Each Tuesday I will present a thematic Top 10 list that is either my opinion or something factual.
For the past few years I've been predicting, on January 1st, what I think my eventual ranking will be for the movies of the upcoming year. I disallow myself from looking at this ranking until January 1st of the next year, when I contrast it to my actual rankings, as of that moment. Ranking things, especially movies, is fun in itself, but what adds an extra level of interest to this for me is noting how some movies were better/worse than I had expected, that some movies highly-ranked at year's end had not even been on my radar at year's beginning, and that some movies, ranked at year's beginning, I ended up not even seeing.
When trying to identify which movies are coming up for the year, here are my two sources: The Numbers and IMDB. IMDB excels in providing posters, descriptions, and even trailers for those movies that are just a few months out. The Numbers provides the most complete list for the year that I've found, though it pales to the list available by year's end. Whereas 133 movies are listed for 2010, 2009 shows that 1150 movies were released in the U.S., 535 of which earned at least $1 (meaning they saw a U.S. theatrical release, rather than going directly to video or being released overseas but not in the U.S.). Using those numbers as a guide, and assuming that every movie on the 2010 list will receive a theatrical release (unlikely), the 2010 list accounts for only about 25% of the films that will eventually be released this year.
What, were you told that there would be no math? Okay, on with the list!
Good cast, with Ben Stiller as the mellow lead. I greatly enjoyed two of Noah Baumbach's other films, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Squid and the Whale.
9. Alice in Wonderland
I try not to miss a Tim Burton outing, as they are always quirky, dark, and visually stunning. This film looks to have his most colorful cast yet.
I am greatly intrigued. The less I know going in the better.
7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Truth be told, the Narnia series is a bit dull. But the battles are epic, the creatures authentic, and it's some of the best fantasy we have to tide us over until The Hobbit.
I will see anything having to do with superheroes, superpowers (provided it isn't horror), or comic books. This appears to have two out of three.
5. How to Train Your Dragon
Looks funny and cute.
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
Harry Potter is a step up from Narnia in the entertainment department, has lavish props and effects, and great ongoing continuity.
3. Iron Man 2
One step closer to The Avengers (2012). Bring it.
2. The Last Airbender
The other Avatar. M. Night Shyamalan has no trouble making good films that are interesting and moody, but he has been falling short of greatness lately. The Village and Lady in the Water were both good, and worth seeing again, but there is something missing from them; perhaps they feel too overtly like stories. As for The Happening, well, I could have done without it. The Last Airbender, if it's anything like the cartoon, could be great.
1. Hoodwinked 2: Hood vs. Evil
Hoodwinked is my favorite film from 2006. It has a unique animation style, fun songs, witty dialog, and a Rashômon-esque plot. And, just to bring sex disparity into perspective, it is one of only a handful of digitally-animated films where the central character is female (the others I can think of are Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Battle for Terra, Kaena: The Prophecy, and Happily N'ever After; not exactly the A-list of animated films).