AT THE MOVIES
Shutter Island (Feb. 19)
What is the hype with blood, cannibalism and a need to sadistically torture people in movies these days? What happened to the smart and suspenseful thriller flicks that actually made you think and left you speechless at some insane psychological twist in the end? Fortunately, Martin Scorsese’s upcoming thriller Shutter Island looks to be just that.
Based on a book by Dennis Lehane, Shutter Island takes place at an eerie mental institution where detective Teddy Daniels (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) is assigned a case to investigate the disappearance of a patient. During so, Daniel begins to question his own sanity as many unfortunate twists and turns take place.
With Scorsese and DiCaprio teaming up for the fourth time, there’s no denying the movie magic that is bound to happen once again. This time around, someone get DiCaprio an Oscar!
– Uyen Cao
Alice in Wonderland (Mar. 5)
It seems as though everyone is on the “Alice in Wonderland” bandwagon. Macy’s, Apple and Tom Binns are all advertising Tim Burton’s version of Lewis Carroll’s “children” story (though we all know the drug references are more frequent then the white rabbit appears).
The classic is transformed from the beloved, sweet Disney tale into a stark, gothic Burton-esque sequel. I just hope that the film doesn’t lose focus on Alice’s adventure through the name-dropping cast. The 3-D trailer is promising and hauntingly dark – nothing short of what we should expect from Burton.
– Karen Song
Date Night (Apr. 9)
Date Night, starring Steve Carell, Tina Fey and Mark Wahlberg, could be the comedy hit of 2010 – that is if neither Amy Poehler nor Kristen Wiig make cameos. Longstanding comedians Fey and Carell are stars of Golden Globe and Emmy-winning shows “30 Rock” and “The Office” respectively and graduates of Chicago’s Second City Comedy Club. Though Carell starred in a fair share of comedy flops, Fey’s wit-drenched humor will hopefully make Date Night as entertaining and impressive as its all-star cast.
The plot begins when the Fosters (Carell and Fey) pretend to be the Triplehorns in order to secure a reservation at a swanky local restaurant, mistakenly accosted by two thugs and accused of stealing from Joe Miletto – so begins the comedy action thriller.
Iron Man 2 (May 7)
Comic book fans rejoice – the John Favreau-directed sequel to 2008 mega-hit Iron Man is finally labeled as “in Post-Production.” Robert Downey Jr. makes a triumphant return to the role that propelled him from his C-list status to marquee topping leading man in Iron Man 2. The film shows Tony Stark dealing with the aftermath of his decision to reveal his double identity to the world. As the government pressures him to share his technology with the military, new foes and allies emerge from the least likely places.
The thrilling thing about the sequel is the reemergence of S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Nick Fury (played by the charismatic Samuel L. Jackson) who tries to keep Stark in check. One can also expect more devious debauchery delivered with a tongue-in-cheek smugness that not only exemplifies Tony Stark but also makes for amusing interactions between him and his co-stars. Perhaps the most exciting thing about Iron Man 2 is that it brings The Avengers movie closer to reality.
– Anastasia Zhuravleva
Toy Story 3 (June 18)
Woody and the gang are back to light up the screen with their loveable escapades. Now, after ten years of separation from our beloved cowboy and strapping spaceman, we must wait no longer – Toy Story 3 has arrived. Andy is now in college, leaving the toys behind at a local daycare center. Dopey Rex, sardonic Ham, cute Slinky Dog, demure Lil’ Bo Beep and our favorite heroes Buzz and Woody must once again band together and form an escape plan.
More so than in the last two films, the toys will also come to life, thanks to new 3-D technology. 3-D glasses? Check. A reappearance from Wheezy, the penguin with the broken squeaker? Check. Tim Allen speaking fluent Spanish? Check. And if a feature-length 3-D extravaganza doesn’t sound cool enough by itself, Pixar will present its usual animated short film prior to the movie. Yee-haw!
Inception (July 16)
Fans of The Matrix, rejoice: After over half a decade, Hollywood looks to have finally produced a new sci-fi thriller that promises both jaw-dropping imagery and a seriously mind-twisting story. While precious few details have been revealed about the film’s plot, it is rumored to follow the exploits of a corporation that enters people’s dreams to uncover potentially threatening “ideas.” A new trailer offers glimpses of such extraordinary concepts as a cityscape bending over on itself, water flowing upwards, and the idea that the mind can be manipulated – all completely breathtaking and totally unique.
Inception also boasts direction by The Dark Knight’s Christopher Nolan and an all-star cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
– Robin Migdol
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Nov. 19)
The seventh installment proves to be the most anticipated movie yet of the eight. Although it is not scheduled to be released until November of this year, the trailer has already been distributed by Warner Bros. on the release of the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on DVD. This created a dangerously high fever among fans for such an early stage in production.
The seventh movie will begin the end of the series in a fast paced, passionate and twisting plot with all of our favorite people! In addition to familiar faces, the returning director promises new sets in a myriad of non-Hogwarts locations. Like its precedents, the new movie will delve into the mystery of Harry and his friends’ past to finally unravel the mystery of the Deathly Hallows.
– Brittany Pearlman
Vampire Weekend – Contra (Jan. 11)
It has been a long two years since Vampire Weekend has release its self-titled debut album, Vampire Weekend. With a pop-indie take on rock and a hint of reggae, the band had made it beyond the internet blogospheres and into the stereos of teenage scenesters everywhere.
But we aren’t sure of what to expect from Vampire Weekend’s Contra, especially since this young band doesn’t have much history to begin with. Whatever direction they choose to take with Contra, we hope that the apple doesn’t fall too far from their two successful EPs released since their first debut.
– Karen Song
The Eels – End Times (Jan. 19)
The Eels make music that fits perfectly in movie soundtracks because each track tells a story. It’s this story-telling quality they possess (song titles ranging from “Jehovah’s Witness” to “I Like Birds”), alongside their ability to pen humorous and ironic lyrics, that make the Eels’ lyrics so memorable. They incorporate a variety of instrumentals into their music but never let synthesizers and backbeats overpower the verses. End Times is sure to deliver more diverse tracks, each one telling a story. Who knows what movie the band will crop up in next?
Lady Antebellum – Need You Now (Jan. 26)
The fans definitely need and want Need You Now. This newest album of Lady Antebellum already has fans going crazy for their second record release.
The few songs that have been released so far have offered an even better collection of hits than its predecessor. This album promises to produce even more acoustic pleasures with more introversive content. Most of the songs off the first album were generic attempts to make it to the top of the charts, but the trio have developed and grown as musicians. They have the flexibility to take it one step edgier with this newest record.
– Brittany Pearlman
Rogue Wave – Permalight (Mar. 2)
Three years since their last record Asleep at Heaven’s Gate in 2007, Oakland-based indie rock band Rogue Wave is releasing a long anticipated album titled Permalight. Produced by Dennis Herring (who has also produced for artists such as Elvis Costello, Counting Crows and Modest Mouse), Permalight is directing Rogue Wave towards a new direction and sound.
“This record sounds, for lack of a better word, fun,” said frontman Zach Rogue. Let’s certainly hope so.
With a soothing voice and melodic sound similar to The Shins, Rogue wave is surely to produce great tracks perfect for a sunny spring road trip or easy listening for a rainy and mellow day indoors.
Klaxons – TBA
British progressive rock band Klaxons began working on their second album in late 2007 shortly after the release of their Mercury Prize-winning debut album Myths of the Near Future on Rinse Records, a sub label of Polydor Records. Early last year, Polydor rejected a tentative album that the foursome created with producer James Ford, suggesting the music was too psychedelic and experimental to be released. This sent Klaxons back to the studio.
Since then, the band re-wrote previously written tracks, composed new songs and is currently selecting an official track listing from roughly thirty songs accumulated over the past two years. Recently, the band resumed recording – this time with post-hardcore producer Ross Robinson, who typically works with bands such as Norma Jean, Slipknot, Korn and Limp Bizkit. The release title and date for the record have not yet been set.
Britney Spears – Untitled (June)
With thriving dance tracks such as “Womanizer,” “Circus” and “3,” Britney Spears proved in 2009 that she still had what it takes to be pop star, despite her less-than-stellar public image following reports of lip-synching and mental breakdowns. All kidding aside, the girl has always gotten us grooving on the dance floor, thanks to high-energy beats and hummable – though admittedly inane – lyrics. Yet her next album, tentatively scheduled for release in June, is poised to test the staying power of Britney’s musical prowess. After a full decade of such iconic tunes as “Oops! I Did It Again,” “Toxic” and “If U Seek Amy,” do we really need (or want) more Britney Spears songs? The answer, and the future of Britney Spears, will be decided in 2010.
– Robin Migdol
Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part II: Return of the Ankh (TBA)
Erykah Badu, whose music is haunting, upbeat, retro and funky with a contemporary spin, will be releasing the sequel to the 2008 album New Amerykah: 4th World War later this year. Badu’s bluesy grit has made her a Grammy winning multi-platinum recording artist, and still manages to leave fans and industry critics scratching their heads.
New Amerykah provided that ultra glamorous music that no imitation divas, bland crooners and phony “neo soulsters” could imitate. The release of the much-anticipated Return of the Ankh has been set to be a mix up of things left on the cutting room floor from the first New Amerykah. With production from 9th Wonder, James Poyser, J. Dilla, Madlib, Georgia Anne Muldrow and many others, the new album will be a surefire hit. Badu’s powerful MC style will provide more chart topping hits.
– Anastasia Zhuravleva