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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

Movie Picks for 2010

So far, I'll tell you this: Book of Eli is my favorite film of 2010.  Will it be able to hold the title after I've seen any other movie hitting theaters in the next 12 months?  Are there, in fact, any other movies being released this year?  More than 250 of them, supposedly.  Let's take a look. My categories aren't quite the same as last time, although I've got twice as many movies in my top tier, they don't represent "the best chance of both being good and doing well" so much as the titles that have grabbed my interest the strongest.  Assuming they're all released, the A-List are the movies I won't hesitate to go see, even though quality-wise there are some gambles in the mix:

The A-List: Buried, Carlos the Jackal, From Paris with Love, Get Low, Greenberg, Harry Brown, Inception, Iron Man 2, Knight and Day (sure, this might be terrible, but half of the trailer is intriguing), The Last Airbender (From M. Night, and apparently condenses 60 episodes of a good cartoon into 1 live-action movie, so it might be terrible too, but let's hope not), Let Me In, The Mechanic (the original is terrific, and Statham is probably the Bronsonest modern actor we've got), Paul, Prince of Persia (should be stuffed to the gills with neat Parkour stuff. Hopefully it's a Pirates 1 and not a Pirates 2), A Prophet, Red Tails, Splice (from Cube-master Vincenzo Natali!), Stone, Four Lions and The Town (if Affleck directs as well as last time, with Gone Baby Gone).

The B-List:  I'd like to see most of these, they've got something in their corner that makes them more appealing than 60% of this year's announced titles: 13,  The A-Team, The American, Black Swan, Blitz, Brighton Rock, Cemetery Junction, Centurion and Eagle of the Ninth (an unrelated pair of movies about the Roman 9th Legion), Clash of the Titans, The Company Men, The Conspirator, Daybreakers, Due Date, Edge of Darkness, Eat Pray Love, Enter the Void, the Expendables, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, Frozen, Green Hornet, Guardians of Ga'Hoole (from Zack Snyder), Happy Tears, Henry's Crime, Hereafter, How to Train Your Dragon (Dreamworks is a big red flag, but I like Chris Sanders...whose movie is it really going to be?), The Irishman (Cleveland mob movie!), Ironclad, Jack Goes Boating, John Rabe, The Joneses, The Karate Kid (Kung-Fu Kid, you mean), London Boulevard ([ready for closeup joke]), Lottery Ticket, Machete and Predators (representing a return to the Rodriguez that makes things), Micmacs (Jeunet), Morning Glory, Mother's Day, Mr. Nobody, Never Let Me Go, North Face, The Other Guys, Please Give, Priest, Ramona and Beezus (I hope it does well enough to spawn a sequel so we can see those french fries at the end of Ramona Quimby, Age 8), Rapunzel, Red, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead (!), The Rum Diary, Salt, Sanctum, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (worrisome, it looks like the late 80s have been thrown in a blender with Michael Cera, but on the other hand, it's Edgar Wright), Shutter Island, Social Network, Solomon Kane, The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Jon Turteltaub is one of those people that I should get on with just great, but it doesn't work - this is something that I should love, but I bet I'm let down again like Nat'l Treasure.  Ah well.  We'll always have 3 Ninjas), The Tempest, Tomorrow When the War Began, The Tree of Life, Triage, Tron: Legacy, True Legend, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Twelve, The Way Back, The Extra Man, Wild Grass, The Winning Season, Womb, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

The C-List: These have some promise, but I'm either doubtful about the end product or there just isn't enough info out there yet to boost it to one of the above categories.  I'm sure I'll see a few of 'em, but these are more likely to be rentals because they haven't grabbed my attention (yet).  Lower expectations based on the advance material that's available right now might make for some nice surprises by year's end.

The Adjustment Bureau, Afterlife, Abel, Agora,  Animal Kingdom, The Beaver, Biutiful, Black Death, Breaking Upwards, Brooklyn's Finest, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Cop Out (I want to back Kevin Smith, but that's one rough trailer), Cracks, The Crazies, Date Night, The Debt, Despicable Me, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dinner for Schmucks (a title that says 'no, we're not remaking a french film.  why?  what have you heard?'), The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Dorian Gray (the same one we didn't get last year), The Dry Land, The Experiment,  Fair Game, The Fighter (dropped a category from last year, somehow), The First Gun, The Ghost Writer, Glorious 39, Heartless, Hesher, Hot Tub Time Machine, Howl, The Hungry Rabbit Jumps, It's a Wonderful Afterlife, It's Kind of a Funny Story, The Kids are Alright, The Killer Inside Me, Killers (fun idea, lots of worrysome names), The Last Word, Letters to Juliet, Life During Wartime (aka Happiness 2), The Losers (is this the double for the A-Team, or the Expendables?), Love and Other Drugs, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, MacGruber, Main Street, Megamind, Middlemen, Mother and Child, My Own Love Song, My Soul to Take (the Wes Craven movie, not the duo of horror and action movies I worked on a few years ago that seem to have vanished from IMDB again), Nanny McPhee 2, The Next Three Days, Nightmare on Elm Street (couldn't've cast a better new Freddy, but it's not like any of the other Platinum Dunes horror remakes have been any good), Night Catches Us, Ondine, The Lightning Thief, Perrier's Bounty, Red Dawn, Remember Me, Repo Men (which was apparently shot before Repo: The Genetic Opera), Robin Hood, The Romantics, Route Irish, Runaways, Saint John of Las Vegas, Secretariat, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Shanghai, Skateland, Somewhere,  Solitary Man, Stay Cool, Sympathy for Delicious, Takers, 3 Backyards, Unstoppable, Unthinkable, Valhalla Rising, Wall Street 2, Warrior, Waska,  Welcome to the Rileys, What's Wrong With Virginia, The Wolfman (I'd hope for more, but it's turned over an awful lot of creatives.  You bring in a half dozen writers, almost as many directors, editors, and composers, and there's going to be some wildly differing ideas on what kind of sauce was being made in the first place), Yogi Bear (might get a watch just for Andy Daly), You Again, and Your Highness.

No Thank You: These are mostly movies I want to avoid.  They have something (usually multiple somethings) in their corner that's working against them.  Here is the trite, the cash-grabs, the formulaic, the pot jokes, and the Jonah Hill.

44-Inch Chest,  Alice in Wonderland, Alpha and Omega, And Soon the Darkness, Area 51, The Backup Plan, The Baster, Beastly, Bitch Slap, Born to be a Star, Bounty Hunter, Burlesque, Case 39, Cats and Dogs 2 (More like G-Force 2), Chloe, Confucius, Crazy on the Outside, Creation, Cyrus (Jonah Hill?  Yuck.), Dear John, The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, Death at a Funeral, The Descent 2, Easy A, Extraordinary Measures, Fish Tank, Flipped, Furry Vengeance, Georgia, Get Me to the Gig (Jonah Hill?  Yuck!), Going the Distance, The Greatest, The Good Guy, Green Zone, Grown-Ups, Gulliver's Travels, HIGH School, Hippie Hippie Shake, Holy Rollers, I Love You Phillip Morris, Jackass 3D, Jonah Hex, Kickass, The Last Song, Leap Year, Legion, Life as we Know It, Little Fockers (the only good thing this franchise has ever brought me is a pal who liked to do Jimmy Fallon's weekend update bit on camping trips), Marmaduke, Multiple Sarcasms, Nowhere Boy, Our Family Wedding, Rabbit Hole, The Resident, The Roommate, Saw 7, Season of the Witch (flashlights off!  Don't disturb the witch!), Sex and the City 2, Shrek 4, She's out of my League, The Spy Next Door, Tooth Fairy, Piranha 3D, Step Up 3D (only, of course, because I haven't seen the first two installments of either series.  I wouldn't know what was going on), Tell Me, To Save a Life, Twilight 3 (does the fact that they're rushing these out mean the studio considers it a flash in the pan?), Tyler Perry's next cynically exploitive something something (working title), Valentine's Day (just following the Love Actually formula isn't enough to get a hopeful rating anymore, especially when this one looks to be following that formula a little too closely), When in Rome, Wonderful World, The Yellow Handkerchief, You May Not Kiss the Bride, Youth in Revolt (I can hardly imagine a less appealing movie.  Maybe if it had Jonah Hill in there somewhere), and The Zookeeper (oh.)  This category also lands Harry Potter 7 and Toy Story 3.  I'm not sure if there's a Potter entry that worked as a good standalone movie and while I'll probably end up seeing TS3, the recent double feature rerelease of the first two doesn't have me looking forward to another rehash of the same elements.