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Commentary

20 Must-See Films in ’10, Part I

2009 is in the can (thank God), and 2010 resets the annual movie hype season (which keeps perpetually chugging along).

So let’s get started now: what are going to be the biggest, most-talked-about flicks of the new decade? Will ’10 be another year of lackluster summer blockbusters, or will we return to the stellar form of 2008?

Iron Man 2 (May 7)

The return of Tony Stark (the bone-dry Robert Downey Jr.) adds a few to the potential “Avengers” call sheet: Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen) enters the fray, and if the trailer is any indication Stark’s pal Rhodey (Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard) will put on the black-and-silver War Machine armor. Mickey Rourke rides his “Wrestler” resurgence to play dual whip-wielding villain Backlash. Expect more high-flying superhero shenanigans and more setup to the 2012 “Avengers” film.

Alice in Wonderland (March 5)

 

Who else but Tim Burton could redo this classic tale for a modern audience? Mia Wasikowska (who impressed in HBO’s “In Treatment”) takes the title role, with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham-Carter as the Queen of Hearts, and Alan Rickman pulling on the stripes and the crazy eyes as the Cheshire cat.  

Kick-Ass (April 16)

This adaptation of Mark Millar’s and John Romita Jr.’s comic book series has the geek community buzzing. The premise is a fanboy dream: a high school becomes a real-life superhero.  Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake) and starring, among others, Nic Cage and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and British actor Aaron Johnson playing the title role. 

The A-Team (June 11)

The ’80s camp TV series that made Mr. T a superstar is remade for the new millenium with quite the cast: Liam Neeson taking George Peppard’s cigar as Hannibal, Bradley Cooper (“The Hangover”) as Face, Sharlto Copley (“District 9″) as “Howling Mad” Murdock, and Quentin “Rampage” Jackson stepping under B.A. Baracus’ mohawk. Directed by Joe Carnahan (“Smokin’ Aces”) , this promises to be a more serious (but hopefully not TOO serious) action flick.

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (April 23)

 Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) gets out of the klink and gets back into the greed game in the sequel to Oliver Stone’s most overrated film. Shia LeBeouf enters the fray for added box of…star power as Gekko’s new protege (and beau to Gekko’s daughter), and rumor has it Charlie Sheen will stay out of jail himself long enough to make an appearance.

Toy Story 3(D) (June 18)

The toys are back again in this 3D-quel.  When Andy goes off to college, it’s supposed to be the attic for Woody, Buzz and the gang, but they accidentally end up in a day-care center where a gang of rambunctious children get to play with the toys. Interestingly, an “alternate” version of this film was scripted (but later jettisoned), where Buzz Lightyear toys were recalled, and Buzz is sent to Taiwan for destruction.

Robin Hood (May 14)

Ridley Scott offers his take on the archer of Sherwood forest, which means Russell Crowe will don the green tights (or some variant therein; see photo above) and make merry with Maid Marian (Cate Blanchett) and laying the beatdown on the Sherrif of Nottingham (Matthew Mcfadyen).

Tron Legacy (Dec. 17)

The LOOONG-awaited sequel to Disney’s 1982 video-game cult classic is finally here, and it’s brought more groundbreaking visual style with it. Oh, and also returning is some original cast members, including Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges (but not, unfortunately, Cindy Morgan).

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (June 30)

 Part 3 of the tween romance-porn vampire saga continues, as this time Bella (Kristen Stewart) has to choose which beau she wants: glittery vamp Edward (Robert Pattinson) or hunky werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Director David Slade, who helmed the awesome “Hard Candy” and the less-so “30 Days of Night” has promised more action, but don’t worry: there’s still going to be plenty of googly-eyes, frowny/lusty stares and barely-legal dudes with their shirts off. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (Nov. 19)

Harry, Ron, Hermione and the gang gird up for their final battle against the evil Lord guy-you’re-not-supposed-to-mention in the fight so big they had to make two movies to fit it all in. Expect more of the same crazy wizard action in what is arguably the millenium’s biggest film franchise.

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