Winter Movie Preview: 10 Films to Start Off ’10, Pt. 2

As I present you the Top 5 movies on my list of films to watch these next couple of winter months (click here for the first five), I’m getting a bit nervous. The reason is because when it comes to January and February, it’s hard to say with certainty that anything will be good.

But I’ve taken a stab and I think that regardless of how the movies turn out, they are still the five movies that warrant the most legitimate consumer interest because they appear to have the pieces to be good.

Anyway, read what I have to say, check out the trailers and tell me what you think.

5. Legion (Jan. 22)


The Word: Visual effects guru Scott Stewart writes and directs his first of two evil creature action movies starring Paul Bettany (the albino in The Da Vinci Code). But what the film lacks in seasoned writing and direction, it hopes to make up for with stunning visuals – and with Paul Bettany as an archangel trying to stop evil angel/demons that God has sent to destroy the world because another flood would be so cliché.

My Thoughts: Bettany and Dennis Quaid in a blaspheming horror action movie sounds like it could be a lot of fun. This could be one of those movies that I stupidly fall for because of visuals and a creative premise in theory, but it could also end up a cult favorite. The grandma that goes Exorcist insane is a little freaky, but some of the action shots appear to hold promise. I rarely am interested in a film like this that appears to try and pass shock value off as quality entertainment, but a few things have me withholding judgment. God, however, appears to have not. (View Trailer)

4. The Wolfman (Feb. 12)


The Word: Nothing says “I love you” on Valentine’s Day like taking your girlfriend to see The Wolfman. Sorry taken dudes and dudettes, but while you’re stuck seeing Valentines Day together, I’ll possibly be watching Benicio Del Toro transforming when the moon is full and taking down some old English dudes in this reboot of the classic horror film. Joe Johnston (Jumanji, Jurassic Park IIII) directs, but more exciting is the involvement of not only Del Toro but also Sir Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving and fast up-and-comer Emily Blunt. Troubling, however, is that Universal has moved this film all over the place prior to settling on February 2010, not usually a sign of a film a studio is proud of.

My Thoughts: I was initially really excited for this until Universal began playing pin the tail on the release date. With an adaptation by Andrew Michael Walker (Se7en) and David Self (Road to Perdition), two scripts I’m fond of (plus the aforementioned actors) I feel like there should be quality here. I’ll be anxious to read reviews, but they’ll have to be fairly negative to sway me from The Wolfman. (View Trailer)

3. Daybreakers (Jan. 8)


The Word: Being an early January film that opens Friday, Daybreakers is one of the few films that has been seen a few times at film festivals and such prior to its release and has garnered a few reviews, most of which have been positive – if you like stylish action horror. Daybreakers is a vampire science fiction film taking place 10 years from now when (clearly) all humans will be gone or endangered and vampires will inhabit our planet. Naturally, that would leave them short on human blood, and the solution to that problem is where the story comes in.

My Thoughts: I feel really weird endorsing so many action films where “horror” is at least part of the genre description, but Daybreakers has earned my interest. It seems to be a clever, unique and incredibly well-imagined vampire premise and it interested talents such as Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill (plus the early reviews haven’t hurt). The Spierig brothers might not have many good “from the makers of” taglines to add to the marketing materials, but based on early buzz, they might not need it. (View Trailer)

2. Youth in Revolt (Jan. 8)


The Word: Michael Cera starring in an indie-style romantic comedy where he plays a loser trying to get a really cute girl will probably get most movie fans to role their eyes. This again? But so far, Cera has earned some praise for his starring role in this film. He plays Nick Twisp, but he invents an alter-ego for himself named Francois Dillinger to give him the confidence to make advances on local trailer park cutie Sheeni Saunders (newcomer Portia Doubleday). In supporting roles are Ray Liotta, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long and Steve Buscemi. Charlie Bartlett screenwriter Gustin Nash adapted the cult-fav book by C.D Payne.

My Thoughts: Based on positive early reviews and my own inclinations about this movie based on the trailer back when it was supposed to be released in October, I’m very confident Cera can prove that he’s more than just the nerdy, quiet, weird-looking, virginal character. I like the supporting cast and the odd vibe I’m getting from the movie. Plus, having never read the book, I will have zero attachment to the finer plot details, which is always a plus. I’m also ready to believe in Portia Doubleday because how can you suck with a name like that. This film could make her a quick star if early buzz about this film is true. (View Trailer)

1. Shutter Island (Feb. 19)


The Word: Movie fans everywhere were completely bummed that we’d have to wait an extra four months for Shutter Island, the newest Martin Scorcese collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, who is posed for a big year with Chris Nolan’s Inception coming out in July. Although creepy period horror thrillers don’t strike me as Scorsese material, I’ve no doubt the direction of this film will be flawless even if its plot leaves something to be desired. Based on the Dennis Lehane novel (whose books have resulted in great movies in Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone), Shutter Island is about two U.S marshals (DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) who visit said island to investigate the disappearance of a murderer who escaped the loony prison on the island. From what the trailer lets us gather, they’re in over their heads.

My Thoughts: The move from October to February does not shake my confidence over a Scorsese picture. It might not end up being one of his best films, but it just has to be a quality film from a production aspect. There’s nothing here that points to it being worth passing up once the Valentines Day hoopla is over with. If it means anything, screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis might have produced NBC flop The Bionic Woman written some stinkers in Alexander and Pathfinder, but she is part of the writing team for James Cameron’s next movie, Battle Angel, which makes her a disciple, I think. (View Trailer)

So that’s my Top 10. I suppose you feel mildly alienated that I’ve included so many horror/action/thriller-related films in my Top 5, but I’ve also offered my thoughts on a few other films that didn’t make my list (and only one is horror). For those, however, you’ll have to check back tomorrow!


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