Yet another cinematic year is upon us. From big dramatic weepy films about huge men in lycra to robots that don't look like Arnie smashing shit up, all the way to a film about a man who builds a huge scale model of New York in a warehouse, 2009 will have them all.
We begin the movie year with the big, awards-friendly fare. The kind of films that make me go all gooey in my trouser pants. And I don't get much gooier than when a new David Fincher film is released.
'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' is the first time that Fincher and Oscar have ever been mentioned in the same breath (ridiculous considering he's made three modern classics in 'Se7en', 'Fight Club' and 'Zodiac'. Yet early word has it that this is no selling out for acclaim. Instead it's as epic and dark as all his previous work, with standout performances from Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.
Others to look out for when the bald statues are given out are 'Slumdog Millionaire' (kid goes on the Indian version of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire') and 'The Wrestler' (Washed up Mickey Rourke in the kind of 'look I'm back' story that Hollywood loves to love). I cried at the trailer for that so God knows what mess I'll be in when I see the actual movie.
Once the backs have been patted its the start of Comic Book Season. Or the summer schedule as it used to be known.
First out of the box is 'Watchmen'. But it's a graphic novel, I hear you geeks cry. It's pictures in a book, it's a comic book, get over it. I'd love to get excited about this movie but with Zack 'substance huh?!' Snyder at the helm I fear the worst. Yet in the words of Principal Skinner, "Prove me wrong kids, prove me wrong".
Another guy I'd like spoonfeeding my words to me by the end of the summer is McG. The motherlicker behind 'Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' has been given the 'Terminator' franchise to reboot. While the presence of Christian Bale is intriguing, I fear that not even The Batman can save a film when a director as talentless as McG is calling the shots.
X-Men is given a re-jig in the form of 'Wolverine: Origins'. The film's action is described by its director as "30 per cent not 150. The fights are larger than life but not ridiculous". I'd be happier to swallow that if I hadn't seen a trailer that involves a man made of metal swinging on the back of a helicopter. Call it what it is: dumb, silly, fun. There is nowt wrong with that.
More dumb, silly, fun as Michael Bay is given another excuse to blow the world up when the Transformers return in 'Revenge of The Fallen'. Hopefully it won't lose the comedy aspect which made the first one a surprisingly likeable film. This is one franchise that doesn't need to go down the 'dark route' to find its identity.
Speaking of 'dark', the little bespectacled piss-ant Harry Potter is back. I've had darker shits than these films (e-mail me I'll show you) yet every time his moody face pops up on the silver screen it's accompanied by the lights on set being turned down a wee bit more.
People who have read the books will tell you how great it is and that it does all make sense. Well I never learn-ed to read so here's a big AbraCaFuckOff from me.
Instead of taking the kids to see the J.K. Rowling retirement fund let them loose on 'Inglourious Basterds' (sic) instead. Quentin Tarantino has finally put his WW2 script on the screen with a cast ranging from the sublime (Brad Pitt, Daniel Bruhl) to the ridiculous (Mike Myers, Eli Roth). If anyone can get something good out of The Love Guru QT can.
Sequels include 'Crank 2' (but he's dead!), 'The Descent' (but they're all dead!), and 'Night at the Museum' (why isn't he dead?!). 3-D films come in the bi-polar form of kid's movie 'Bolt' and splatter-fest 'My Bloody Valentine'.
Finally this year may see the return of one James 'Titanic' Cameron. After being AWOL for 12 years his space opera 'Avatar' best be part-'Terminator', part-'Abyss', part-'Aliens', part-'Pirahna 2', and part something that tears the world of movie going a new arsehole.
Oh and the film about a scale model of New York in a warehouse is the latest Charlie Kaufman ('Eternal Sunshine', 'Being John Malkovich'). He makes his directorial debut with 'Synecdoche, New York'. It may be good, it may be bad. It will definitely be interesting.