Student Film Guide 2010
From mainstream classics to art school gems, film critic Miles Fielder offers a rundown on the movies you cannot afford to miss
The Rum Diary
Johnny Depp plays a reporter working for a newspaper in the Caribbean in this adaptation of the semi-autobiographical novel by Depp’s old pal, the late, great gonzo journalist Hunter S Thomson. More excitingly still, it’s written and directed by Bruce Withnail & I Robinson, whom Depp was originally asked to adapt Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas before Terry Gilliam came aboard.
(On general release from 24 Sept)
The best thing about Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s underwhelming exploitation movie homage Grindhouse was the fake trailers for movies that didn’t exist. Well, now the hack ‘n’ slash rampage of revenge that was Machete does thanks to Rodriguez, porn tash’d star Danny Trejo and supporting cast Michelle Rodriguez (no relation) Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Don Johnson and Steven Seagal.
(On general release from 29 Oct)
District 9 meets Cloverfield in this science fiction thriller with a political edge. Set in the near future after an alien invasion has left the Mexican-American border a no-go zone, it follows a young couple as they journey into the heart of extraterrestrial-ness. Brit Gareth Edwards wrote, directed and created the sfx, winning the Best New Director award at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.
(On general release from 12 Nov)
The much anticipated sequel to the 1982 science fiction spectacular has been a long time coming, but almost three decades on technology has advanced far enough to promise something as groundbreaking as the original. Once again a couple are lost in a computer game, again they jump aboard ‘light bikes’ and again Jeff Bridges gets a handle on virtual reality.
(On general release from 17 Dec)
The Green Hornet
The old radio play and matinee serial masked crimefighter with the chop socky sidekick Kato (once played by Bruce Lee) gets a no doubt mind-bending modern makeover courtesy of Michael Gondry (Be Kind Rewind, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Funny nerd Seth Rogen is the unlikely star, and he’s joined by Cameron Diaz and Inglourious Basterds’ scene-stealing villain Christoph Waltz.
(On general release from 14 Jan)
On great form following No Country for Old Men and A Serious Man, Joel and Ethan Coen re-unite with their Big Lebowski star Jeff ‘the Dude’ Bridges in this remake of the John Wayne cowboy classic. Matt Damon plays the good guy Glen Campbell role and No Country’s Josh Brolin the villain, but Bridges is the draw as Marshall Rooster J Cogburn.
(On general release from 14 Jan)
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up for a third comic cinematic outing following Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. This time the play a pair of British comic book geeks (not a stretch for Pegg) who pass Area 51 while travelling across America and encounter an alien named, erm, Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen).
Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland) directs.
(On general release from 18 Feb)
Previously known as Eagle of the Ninth, Kevin Macdonald follows The Last King of Scotland and State of Play with this bloody sword ‘n’ sandals adventure based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel about a Roman soldier’s search for his lost legion’s emblem in the dark realm north of Hadrian’s Wall… Buff Channing Tatum, Mark Strong, Donald Sutherland and wee Jamie Bell star.
(On general release from 25 Feb)
If you stayed till the end of Iron Man 2’s closing credits you’ll have been treated to the teaser scene featuring the Norse god of thunder’s mighty hammer, signalling Thor to be the next Marvel Comics’ superhero adaptation. Uber thesp Kenneth Branagh directs Chris Hemsworth (Kirk’s dad in Star Trek) while we wait impatiently for Joss Buffy Whedon’s superhero team-up movie The Avengers. (On general release from 5 May)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The good news concerning POTC 4 is Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s bland lovers are out of the picture, leaving Johnny Depp to chew the scenery as Cap’n Jack. This time round he’s got serious scene-stealing rivalry in Ian McShane as Blackbeard and Penelope Cruz as his daughter, not to mention Aussie thespian Geoffrey Rush once more reprising his role as hoary old Captain Barbossa. Could be hilarious, like the first one was.
(On general release from 20 May)