MOVIE fans better get ready to duck – 2009 will see the return of 3D blockbusters to our cinemas. The films have come a long wa since their heyday in the 1950s – Hollywood bosses have spent a fortune on digital technology to create the most stunning three-dimensional effects ever seen.
Disney are at the forefront of the 3D revolution and are releasing two animations in the format – Bolt, starring John Travolta, and A Christmas Carol, starring Jim Carrey. Their classic features will also get a 3D makeover, with Toy Story first on the list.
Other unmissable movies include Monsters vs. Aliens from Shrek creators DreamWorks, who will now make all their animated films in 3D. And Titanic director James Cameron will treat us to a 3D trip through space with Avatar. But it’s not all 3D – there are plenty of other reel stunners. JOHN MILLAR reveals his must-see movies for 2009.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR and Jude Law star as the legendary sleuth and his sidekick Dr John Watson as they face one of their deadliest adversaries, the evil Lord Blackwood. Lock, Stock director Guy Ritchie – just divorced from Madonna – is creating a version of Holmes that is very different from Arthur Conan Doyle’s original character. Word is that it will be a romp – but will it be a smash hit? l Out November 20.
STARRING Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, this opens in postwar Germany and details teenager Michael’s passionate affair with an older woman, Hanna. Eight years later – when he is a bright law student – he is stunned to discover she is on trial for Nazi war crimes. As Hanna’s past is revealed, he uncovers a secret that will affect both their lives. It’s an incredible film, with stunning performances from Winslet and newcomer David Kross. The film is engrossing, moving and could be the one that finally earns Winslet an Oscar. Out January 2.
KOREAN War veteran Walt Kowalski’s most treasured possession is his 1972 Gran Torino car. So he’s furious when an Asian teenager tries to steal the vehicle. Eventually the old soldier decides to help the troubled youngster get back on the straight and narrow. Oscar winning Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this classy piece and has hinted that it may be his last acting role. If it is his final hurrah on the silver screen, he is going out in a massive blaze of glory.
Out February 20.
THIS space epic stars Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver and follows a wounded former Marine, Jake, who teams up with the natives of treasure-rich planet Pandora to aid their fight for survival. Director James Cameron has spent years bringing this 3D adventure to the screen – his first feature since he became king of the world with the Oscar-laden Titanic. On this basis alone, Avatar will undoubtedly be one of the movies of the year.
Out December 18.
THIS sequel – titled Revenge Of The Fallen – once again sees stars Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox battling shape-shifting robots who are threatening the earth. As our heroes try to save the planet, they discover the secret of the Transformers might be in the pyramids of Egypt. After the huge box office success of the first film, this follow-up – again directed by Michael Bay – is a shoo-in to make big bucks. The special effects are even more stunning this time around, guaranteeing fans will be captivated from start to finish. Out June 26.
THE crew of the Starship Enterprise are revived to boldly go for another adventure among the stars. Directed by Lost creator J.J.
Abrams, this follows the early days of James T. Kirk, Spock, Scotty and Co. With a top cast including Heroes star Zachary Quinto, Hot Fuzz’s Simon Pegg and Hulk’s Eric Bana, this is guaranteed to be a box office blockbuster. You can already picture the multiplexes being swamped by hordes of Trekkies dressed as their sci-fi heroes. Out May 8.
THERE’S a crime wave in Depression-hit, 1930s America and the FBI set out to nail high-profile crooks John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd. Johnny Depp shines as Dillinger, the charismatic bank robber who is the No.1 target of the fledgling FBI’s top agent Melvin Purvis, played by Christian Bale. Director Michael Mann will be aiming to make up for the failures of his 2006 cop flop Miami Vice, so this should be a gangster classic. Out July 3.
A DRAMATIC retelling of the post-Watergate interviews between British talk show host David Frost and former President Richard Nixon, played by Michael Sheen and Frank Langella, both above. Frost gambles his career and cash on the two telly chats. In the first, wily Nixon dances rings round Frost, who appears out of his depth. Everything then hangs on one final throw of the dice.
Terrific performances from Sheen and Langella, reprising the roles they originally played on stage. Out January 23.
THIS animated spectacular has shades of The Truman Show. A dog has lived his whole life as the star of an action TV show, in which he has superpowers. When separated from the studio by accident, he learns to his horror that he doesn’t have special abilities and the show is not real. Featuring the voice talents of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus and Malcolm McDowell, this is the first Disney animation conceived and produced in 3D. It looks brilliant and there is no chance such a funny cartoon will end up in the big screen dog house. Out February 6.
BASED on real events, this tells of the plot to assassinate Hitler by a group of high-ranking German officers during the Second World War. They are led by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, played by Tom Cruise a war hero who lost an eye and hand in combat. Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer takes the helm and the impressive supporting cast includes Kenneth Branagh, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy. But success will depend on whether viewers believe Cruise is more Bavarian than Bronx. Out January 23.
THE Half Blood Prince – the sixth in the series – sees boy wizard Harry, Daniel Radcliffe discover an old book once owned by a mysterious character who calls himself the Half Blood Prince. In investigating this strange wizard, he also discovers more about Lord Voldemort’s dark past. The delay in releasing this film from the summer has turned the latest chapter in the Potter saga into one of the most keenly anticipated movies of the year. It’s tipped to be one of the darkest tales in the series. Out July 17.
THIS is set in an alternate 1980s where America won the Vietnam War and costumed superheroes are part of everyday life. But the vigilantes have been stopped by a government crackdown – and one of them, The Comedian, is murdered. His washed-up former colleague Rorschach, Jackie Earl Haley, sets out to find the killer – and uncovers a diabolical conspiracy and the stability of the planet is threatened. This is a visually stunning version of Allan Moore’s graphic novel, thought to be unfilmable, also starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Carla Gugino, above. Out March 6.
Source: Sunday Mail