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2009: The year in film: Part One

Fireworks.jpgWelcome to the first in four articles about the coming year in film. The films to look out for in 2009 by Filmstalker.

The year ahead looks an interesting one, and although it may not be as filled with blockbusters as last year was, it does seem to have a pretty strong list of films which are set to get the mind going rather than fire off pretty explosions and CGI.

This list isn't meant to be every film released, nor is it meant to be just what I recommend, it's a list of films that I think will attract an audience for good reasons, and might just be worth your consideration. So read on for part one, January to March.

Now this isn't a definitive list and you should be aware that each of the three month looks through the coming year have been written at the time of posting and that they are taking information from the news on the Internet and articles written on Filmstalker. Obviously updated information will appear after posting, and it's not intended as an accurate reflection of what's happening right now, just an indication for the year ahead.

Oh, and release dates are UK release dates unless otherwise stated, but they should be on IMDB in your country, and the film title will link through there unless otherwise stated as a Filmstalker review.

So that's out of the way here's the run down of interesting films from January to March of 2009. The ones highlighted with the Filmstalker Hotdog are the ones I'd recommend, and where we have a trailer it's been posted up there (thanks for Louise's help there!).

Get stuck in and see what you think. Would you recommend this little lot? Anything sound interesting? April to June will follow really soon.

1st January
The Spirit : Trailer
Already receiving poor reviews and looking like a single story from Sin City, this film doesn’t bode well, especially with UK advertisements claiming it’s the best film of the year – yes, with it being the first release of the year even Elf Bowling (Filmstalker review) would be, and even with the bevy of beauties starring I’m not that interested.

The Reader : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifNow we’re talking real films here. The Reader is adapted from the novel by Bernhard Schlink (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) and is directed by Stephen Daldry, the director of Billy Elliot and The Hours. Starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet it does promise some powerful performances, and the talk of Oscars is already flying, now wonder with such strong source material and from all accounts some of the best performances we’ve seen from both leads.

Che: Part One : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifThis story of Che Guevara looks stunningly epic in its scale, and the trailers we’ve seen so far would appear to back that up, however there’s not that much pre-release marketing material hitting us as yet so it isn’t a sure thing. What am I saying, this is going to be an epic regardless, what with Steven Soberbergh’s vision and Benecio del Toro’s performance – award winning perhaps? The only concern is waiting for the second film to be released in February.

9th January
Defiance : Trailer
Daniel Craig, Liev Schrieber, Jamie Bell star as Polish brothers fighting the Nazi’s while hiding deep in the forests and at the same time protecting an entire village of people they’ve saved from the German occupation. The film looks pretty serious stuff and another one set to keep Daniel Craig the actor separated from James Bond the typecast character. However I wonder how well these guys will handle the accents?

Slumdog Millionaire (Filmstalker review) : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifI was surprised at how enjoyable and entertaining this film was, and how much I was drawn into the characters and their story. It’s a great feel good film that doesn’t pull any punches and presents some of the darker sides of life at the same time, in that regards it’s very much like It’s a Wonderful Life. However the similarities end there and this comes highly recommended.

16th January
Seven Pounds : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifWill Smith continues his serious acting streak and hopefully will be delivering another great performance as he grows from strength to strength. This film is the story of a man who is willing to give up on life but not on other people. Before the plot was released and the first trailer was seen I had already guessed what was going to happen. A man who is responsible for the accidental deaths of seven others, including his wife, decides to affect the lives of seven other individuals using his material possessions and organ donations after his death, a death he plans to carry out himself. However the problem is that he falls in love with the seventh person he finds to help, and his choices get even more complicated. The plot looks superb because it suggests he’s going to be left with a multi-faceted dilemma, something I’m not going to reveal here. This could be an interesting film.

The Wrestler : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifWhile everyone is raving about Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, I’m not so sure it’s going to be something that really grabs me. Sure it looks to have a stunning performance from Mickey Rourke who has no doubt just secured his acting future (as long as he doesn’t go off the rails again), but I don’t know if the plot is enough to draw people in – an ailing Wrestler returns to the ring to reclaim his former glory despite suffering from health problems and struggling with the relationships in his life, including that with his daughter. However let’s face it, Aronofsky and Rourke, you have to take notice of this.

Un conte de Noël (A Christmas Tale) : Trailer
The story of a dysfunctional French family brought together against their wishes at Christmas time by one of the younger members of the family, and how they begin to try and find some way to reconcile their differences despite the history of physical and mental illness, self-harm, estrangement and loss. The film stars a number of big name French actors, including Catherine Deneuve, Anne Consigny, Mathieu Amalric, Melvil Poupaud, and more.

Frost/Nixon : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifAlthough the story is attractive, for me there are three things that really draw me to this film. The first is that it’s been a successful stage play running in London for some time, that it’s written by the excellent writer for stage and screen Peter Morgan, and the other is that they’ve taken the two actors who performed the lead roles to the big screen version. For me these are the exciting factors of this story, but there’s also the promise of a great character battle throughout and the direction of Ron Howard. A film that’s hugely reliant on a clever script, and which is set-up to deliver, this is definitely a recommendation.

Chi Bi (Red Cliff: Part I) : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifJohn Woo’s turn to deliver an epic story with the first in his two part tale. It tells the story of of China in 208AD when a campaign of epic proportions was waged to unite the three kingdoms. The Han Dynasty leads a battle against the Xu and the Wu in the East and West who combined against the Emporer. After numerous battles the forces eventually met at the infamous Battle of the Red Cliff where two thousand ships were burned, huge numbers died, and Chinese history changed forever. Part one.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans: Trailer
I wouldn’t say I’m looking forward to this, to be honest I haven’t even watched the second film in the series, but I’m curious to see how Rona Mitra takes up the role that Kate Beckinsale made her own. I actually think in the obvious way she’ll do much better, and the early reports of the film overall, it sounds like she might have just captured a franchise role for herself.

Milk : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifAn interesting story, and a compelling tale which is very relevant today, but will it reach worldwide appeal? The portrayal of real people usually means that the story has to be utterly compelling and appeal to a wide audience, or the real person needs to be known across the world in order for the film to gain as big an audience as possible. With Milk they really are relying on the star behind the main role, as worldwide understanding of Harvey Milk’s story isn’t that big. I hope it does break through that though, for I think Sean Penn is a great actor, and I do think that this is an important and very relevant story to be told.

23rd January (U.S.)
Killshot : Trailer
From the director John Madden comes a story adapted by Hossein Amini from an Elmore Leonard novel, and already you should be salivating at the thought of that line up. However add in Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and you should be damn excited by now. The story tells of a couple who are placed in the Witness Protection program after witnessing and testifying against someone with a lot of power. Far from being safe as they believe, a professional hitman is sent after them along with a psychotic young killer, and they've only got themselves to turn to.

30th January
This is an interesting tale that I wrote about way back when the idea of the film first came out, it’s a story that follows four people through two parallel worlds, London and a future metropolis that is ruled by a religious fervour, who are brought together by a single bullet.

Preest is a maked vigilante detective trying to hunt down his nemesis in the religiously ruled future city; Esser is searching for his lost, homeless son in the streets of current day London; Milo is a heartbroken man looking to return to the purity of his first love, and Emilia is an art student who’s focus on suicide as her theme is growing more and more deadly.

The cast list was once much more ambitious than the current one, with John Hurt, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany and Eva Green as the four people, but now only Eva Green remains and the others have been replaced by Bernard Hill, Ryan Phillipe and Sam Riley. Some of the other names starring are Art Malik, Jay Fuller, Mark Wingett and Susannah York.

It does sound an interesting and challenging project, but the drop in the calibre of actors is a little concerning. I do hope that this is not a reflection on the film and that it does deliver something a bit more clever if a little smaller.

The Brøken : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifStarring such names as Lena Headey and Richard Jenkins, this is the Sean Ellis written and directed film about a woman who sees what looks like her car being driven by someone who looks just like her. She follows her home and soon her world is crumbling around her. Clever idea, and the trailers so far have been looking very intriguing, however the ratings and reviews aren’t quite living up to the promise of the trailers and the story, here’s hoping they’re just from the wrong crowd.

Revolutionary Road : Trailer 1 / Trailer 2
Hotdog-xsmall.gifOkay, get over the Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio reunion, something I just don’t understand why there’s such a big fuss over, after all each film is different, they aren’t playing the same characters people. Anyway, taken from a fantastic novel by Richard Yates (Amazon UK / Amazon US), the story promises a lot as it relies on a great script and strong performances. So far it’s looking like it will deliver and this could be Sam Mendes' latest hit.

Tôkyô sonata
Nothing really grabbed me about this film until I noticed that the writer and director is Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation) who wrote and directed us Kairo, and wrote the remake Pulse, Kuyre (Cure), and a bunch of other Japanese horror/thrillers. This film is a drama that tells the story of a Japanese family that begins to fall apart after the family’s head loses his prominent job. I thought I'd drop this into the list for a bit of something different.

Valkyrie : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifHere’s a film that has been receiving a whole lot of press, and not always for the right reasons. Bryan Singer brings to screen the story of the man that a lot of German’s regard as a hero of World War II, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg led the attempt to assassinate Hitler in order to save German from the brink of defeat and to make some kind of peace. A script by Christopher McQuarrie, directed by Bryan Singer and a cast including Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice van Houten, Terence Stamp, Eddie Izzard, this looks like a film that could well turn into a classic war film, and one with a hell of a lot of historical relevance.

Possession : Trailer
This is strange because this film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar was one that I heard about an eon ago, and it's only coming out now? As usual, it's a remake of an Asian horror film, Gellar you have to find something new to do. Anyway, it tells the story of a woman who's husband and brother-in-law are involved in a terrible car crash and they are both in comas. When the brother-in-law wakes up he believes he's his brother, in other words her husband, and that's where everything turns upside down. I'm not sure how good this will be, but it does sound an interesting premise.

2nd February
My Name is Bruce (DVD) : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifI know it’s a DVD release, but for most of the world this will be a first look after the limited US cinema release with accompanying live Q&A with the star and director himself, Bruce Campbell. However it will be only a few days shy of the big man himself appearing in Edinburgh for a special screening of the film – I'm trying to track down details, but I’m there. While I may be disappointed at not getting to see him reprise his Elvis role in the sequel to the superb Bubba Ho-tep (Filmstalker review), I will be excited to see him appear on screen poking a little fun at him, his career, and above all, you and me in the audience.

6th February
Punisher: War Zone : Trailer
There are some films I’m adding to the list for you, and although I might not have any real desire to see the film, but I know there’s a big fan base and people are dying to see how Lexi Alexander has taken this new Punisher – hopefully darker and deadlier than before, just without a complete death metal soundtrack like the trailer!

Fanboys : Trailer
U.S. release date
You probably know all about this film already, it's been heavily delayed for so many reasons, but it's only just now that it's coming out. With a line up including newcomers, well known comics and actors, and cameos from some amazing stars, this film will pull in the fanboys and girls alike. It tells the story of a group of Star Wars fans who head to the Skywalker Ranch in order to steal a look at an early copy of Episode I: The Phantom Menace – did anyone tell them just not to bother?

Philip Seymour Hoffman playing off against Meryl Streep. For those of us who like great acting and powerful roles, this is perhaps one of those special moments. However early word hasn’t been overly complimentary about the story that sees a priest accused of abusing a young black student which he denies. From there on we're unsure of who is telling the truth and are dragged back and forth. Plenty of heavy issues brought up here from religion to morality and the law, it might be heavy going but superb to see these two battle it out.

Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom (The Good, the Bad, and the Weird) : Trailer
The western, itself influenced by Japanese cinema, comes back to the east with this interpretation of a classic western theme – can you guess the film perhaps? From Kim Ji-woon, the film tells the story of three Korean outlaws in 1930's Manchuria as they fend off Chinese and Russian bandits and the Japanese Army as they try to find hidden treasure marked by a mysterious map. It does sound familiar, but be prepared for twists and style galore.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifThe F. Scott Fitzgerald novel is adapted for the big screen with David Fincher at the helm, Brad Pitt leads the film with Cate Blanchett at his side. What more do you want? Okay, how about the superb plot which sees a man born old and slowly growing younger to his death, aging in reverse to those around him? This is a must see, although word so far isn't so good and descriptions of Forrest Gump meets Big Fish haven't really endeared me to it as yet.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona : Trailer
Woody Allen’s latest film starring Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz and Patricia Clarkson is set in the wonderful location of Barcelona and tells the story of two girlfriends who are holidaying there and fall for the same man, a painter, just as his ex-wife appears on the scene. Oh what a terrible time that man must face (sarcasm!). I'm looking forward to this, because since Allen dropped the comedy style he'd become known for, his films have been getting better and better.

13th February
Notorious : Trailer
Whatever this becomes we know that at least it will be fascinating to watch, hopefully it will contain more truth than bravado as it retells the life of Christopher Wallace, otherwise known as the rapper and music producer, Notorious B.I.G.. There's no word yet if it will attempt to assign blame for his murder, but the rest of his life should serve as a message, and perhaps inspiration, to others.

Friday the 13th : Trailer
The remake arrives from the horror remake stable of Platinum Dunes as they attempt to remake every classic horror film on the planet, and if they get their way they’ll be moving onto other genres too as we see Hitchcock’s The Birds in the remake bucket already. To be fair though the early trailers have looked strong and they might just have recaptured the power of Jason Vorhees. If the mask fits, remake it.

New York, I Love You : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifU.S. release date
Like Paris Je t’aime (Filmstalker review), this features a host of talented writers and directors creating short films that show off their love for New York and their interpretation of what New York is all about. The cast list is amazing too, and if the Paris film was anything to go by this will feature a huge range of emotion and cinematic excitement. Definitely one to keep your eyes open for and not to miss.

14th February
First shown at the EIFF this year this film is a love story set amongst the world of battle re-enactments, telling the story of a man who has to turn around his life in order to win back his wife who he is in danger of losing forever. It co-stars Ewan Bremner, and at the EIFF went down a storm, plus it's a Scottish film, so you should really see it.

20th February
Outlander : Trailer
We’ve been waiting for ages for this film. James Caviezel plays a humanoid who arrives on Earth during the age of the Vikings, trying to track down and destroy a deadly creature that has already arrived. He enlists the help of the Vikings and their primitive weapons in order to capture and kill it. The film also stars Sophia Myles, Ron Perlman and John Hurt, so despite that lesser sounding blurb the film might actually be up to something more.

Che: Part Two
Hotdog-xsmall.gifThe second part of the Che Guevara story from Steven Soderbergh, again starring Benecio del Toro in the lead role. In this part we hear the story of how, in 1964, he travelled to New York City and addressed the United Nations. Seeing the two films back to back on Blu-ray might be one hell of an experience, but I'm dying to see them on the big screen first. Finally people can discover what the face on their favourite fashion accessory actually means and stands for.

Gran Torino : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifClint Eastwood returns to direct in what we were all excited to hear might have just been the return to Dirty Harry, however it wasn’t, but the character does seem to have the same demeanour as the classic cop. Playing a Korean war veteran, Eastwood also directs the film that sees his character help and befriend his neighbours, an Asian family, who he holds a lot of resentment for because of his past war experiences. However a friendship grows through his reclaimed car, a 1972 Gran Torino, an American muscle car.

Push : Trailer
Heroes in film format, that seems to be the low down of this film, even when you read the whole blurb. A group of American ex-pats who have telekinetic and clairvoyant abilities are hiding from a secret U.S. Government agency who are trying to track them down to use their powers. Instead of running they decide to group together and use their talents to fight back and escape their pursuers forever. Might have something a little different, however can you fault it even if it is more Heroes on the big screen?

Confessions of a Shopaholic
A film by P.J. Hogan – who you might ask? Well he's also directed Peter Pan, My Best Friend's Wedding and Muriel's Wedding, and one of the writers, Tim Firth, is behind Kinky Boots and Calendar Girls, and it's adapted from the novel of the same name from Sophie Kinsella, so that sounds pretty good. This stars Isla Fisher as a college graduate who gets a job as a financial journalist in order to earn money to cover her expensive shopping trips, on one of which she falls for a wealthy entrepreneur. John Cusack, John Goodman, Kirstin Scott Thomas, John Lithgow, Julie Hagerty, Lynn Redgrave and Leslie Bibb all co-star, and that also sounds like a cracking line up.

27th February
Hotdog-xsmall.gifThe remake of Brødre which is a Susanne Bier film that tells the story of two radically different brothers. One has a wife and child, and is making a name for himself in the army, while the other is wasting his life on drinking and petty crime. During a posting in Afghanistan one of the brothers is shot by the enemy and presumed dead, while the other brother is released from prison and tries to make things right by looking after his brother’s family. However he falls for his wife and that’s about the time that his brother is rescued and returned home. This remake stars an interesting cast too, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire are the brothers and the gorgeous Natalie Portman is the wife. Sam Shepard is also in there, and Jim Sheridan directs. I've seen the original and it's very strong, so I'm eager to see if they can match or improve with this version.

Bronson : Trailer
No this isn't the story of the Death Wish Charles Bronson, but of Michael Gordon Peterson who later changed his name. He was initially put in prison in 1974 and, with only three months spent outside of prison, has been there ever since. To date he's served over thirty-four years and he's spent some twenty-eight years of this in solitary confinement. The reason he's served so much time there is because he's a rather violent prisoner, and he last received a life sentence for hostage taking. This is his life story from the writer Brock Norman Brock and director Nicolas Winding Refn, it promises to be an uncompromising look at the myth and the man behind it.

The Unborn : Trailer
Written and directed by David S. Goyer is something which should attract the eye almost immediately, and the fact that it stars a couple of interesting names such as Gary Oldman, Idris Elba and Carla Gugino, and is billed as a horror/thriller. It tells the story of a young woman who discovers that she was a co-joined twin, but her body absorbed the other twin in the womb – something that I believe happens a lot more than you'd believe. She starts having dreams and then walking nightmares, and begins to realise that the twin is trying to possess her and get his own life. Interesting story which already sounds scary, and Goyer often delivers the goods.

The International : Trailer
Clive Owen is the Interpol agent who has to take on the might of a corrupt financial organisation who fund international terrorism. Doesn’t that sound like Bond? Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Ulrich Thomsen co-star, another well staffed film that has potential to be a really strong thriller. However is it just taking advantage of our fear of financial institutions and the power of the large corporate and throwing it into a standard thriller? I hope not, especially since it's directed by Tom Tykwer.

Entre les murs (The Class)
Oh not another French film I hear you cry (except for those French film fans among you!), that it may be, but it's also the 2008 Golden Palm winner at the Cannes Film Festival and has some strong praise behind it. François Bégaudeau wrote the novel and screenplay, and also plays himself to a degree, in this story about a racially mixed class in an extremely tough Parisian neighbourhood that he battles with to try and educate.

Crossing Over : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifU.S. release date
Harrison Ford turns away from his roles of late and picks up something a lot more dramatic, thank you Harrison, in this story about illegal immigrants that tries to look a little beyond the statistics and stereotypical views and looks to the problem through a number of different viewpoints from the immigrants to the officials. It also stars names such as Sean Penn, Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd and Cliff Curtis. I'm putting a recommendation on this one because of the cast list and the promise that the story carries.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li : Trailer
U.S. release date
I have to put this in as a film that a lot of people are looking forward to, but I didn’t think that it was going to amount to much really, well not until I saw that first teaser and suddenly thought that there might be something worthwhile in it. Sure it’s a martial arts film based on a videogame, but that doesn’t actually mean it has to be that bad, really, it could have a story and build on strong performances…or it could be an updated farce like the first Street Fighter!

6th March
Surveillance : Trailer
Jennifer Chambers Lynch directs, yes the daughter of David Lynch, from a story she co-wrote. It stars Julia Ormond and Bill Pullman as FBI agents investigating a series of murders which may prove to be a serial killer case. They investigate three eye witnesses to the latest murder, a Police Officer, a meth-addict, and an eight year old girl whose family was murdered by two men dressed in jumpsuits and wearing masks. Each tells a different story and unravels a little of the mystery, or perhaps deepens it. With a Lynch behind the film you have to think that this is going to be a little off kilter, and some advance word says that it's a pretty harsh and brutal film. I'm not so sure I would recommend it just yet, but I'm definitely interested.

Watchmen : Trailer
Hotdog-xsmall.gifI’m holding out a lot of hope for a hero, well a bunch of heroes, to thwart Fox’s plans and allow this film to be seen by audiences. Okay there may have been wrong doing in bringing the film to the big screen and Fox may have lost out, but why not just sue for what they’re owed and not try and stop their customers from seeing another company’s product? Ill feeling all round, but then if we do get to see it this is going to be absolutely huge and could well be the film of the year. Watch it at all costs.

10th March
Tales of the Black Freighter (DVD)
Hotdog-xsmall.gifWatchmen may not make it to our screens when we expect, but if it does it’ll be closely followed by this film starring Gerard Butler as the pirate in the comic book story within the comic book story of Watchmen. It’s a great tale that mirrors some of the themes and ideas within the main story, and it might be a complete stroke of genius to film it and release it separately. However my advice here is not to buy it, oh no, rent it if you want to, but if Watchmen does get released then we’re going to see another DVD/Blu-ray release with this added to the Watchmen as a definitive release. That will be the one to go for.

13th March
Marley & Me : Trailer
Animal films are banned in the Brunton households – yes I mean all of them – mainly because of the emotional manipulation that goes on, and this film seems to be no different. Sure it’s based on a true story, but I really don’t want to see it, and if you have kids you might want to think twice about it, for a dog happy ending it may not have.

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel
Here’s another film I’ve been waiting for ages to hear something about. I remember being pulled up on the writer’s blog for saying something about this film in the early stages, about making assumptions regarding the meagre plot details that were released at first. However I quickly got over that (surprisingly I have a minimal ego!) and started looking forward to it. The story is about three friends, a cynic and two geeks, who are drinking in their local pub and attempt to solve a time-travel conundrum which begins when the character played by Anna Faris appears from the future. It's a science fiction comedy from the pen of Jamie Mathieson and through the lens of Gareth Carrivick. I'm sticking with this one.

20th March
Duplicity : Trailer
What? Clive Owen again? Oh yes, and Julia Roberts alongside Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson...oh and look there's Ulrich Thomsen – was this two for the price of one? The story is about a pair of corporate spies, that's Owen and Roberts, who were once an item decide to team up again and con the corporates out of their secrets and their money. Sounds exciting, and with Tony Gilroy writing and directing it's got to be even better. For directing see Michael Clayton, for writing see the aforementioned, The Bourne series, Proof of Life, The Devil's Advocate and Extreme Measures. Honestly that sounds like a superb line up.

Lesbian Vampire Killers : Trailer
As I write this I’ve literally just seen the trailer for the film, well I saw it last night to be fair, and it looks pretty damn funny. It would have to be with a title like this, it couldn’t have been a serious film that’s for sure! With a host of British actors from television and some from a few decent horror films, this might deliver a few surprises for the British film industry and get two stars of British television sitcom noticed on a larger scale – let’s hope so anyway. The story sees two hapless men forced to head out into the Welsh moors as a sacrifice to a group of Lesbian Vampires who are taking control and enslaving all the women from the local town.

27th March
The Damned United
Since this year there are a number of films which might only appeal to an American audience, why not the same for Britain? Here's a film that tells the story of Brian Clough's time as the coach of Leeds United, all forty-four days of it. Written once again by the superb real-life thriller writer Peter Morgan from the David Pearce novel, this stars a host of British actors – No surprises for guessing that Michael Sheen plays Brian Clough, but there's also Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall and Col Meaney to back him up. I'm not sure how this will play out for non-football fans, but considering it's a Morgan script it's got to be good. I suspect he could make a crisp packet sound exciting.

Knowing : Trailer
Alex Proyas once directed Dark City, and that seems a long time ago. I did enjoy I, Robot, and for the Hollywood aspects of the story there was equal, and more, intelligent plot lines. I believe time will make that a better received film, however not so with Knowing, for something stands in the way, Nicolas Cage. I once thought he was a not bad actor, but since his early films things have gone from bad to worse with an exception of 8MM.

Knowing has an interesting story though, a school’s time capsule is unearthed and it contains a coded message. Deciphering it a teacher discovers that it contains the date and time of every major disaster in history, including those in the future, however the last catastrophe written about is not too far away. Okay, sounds good, but it’s Nicolas Cage!

A documentary about the troubled fighter starring the man himself, Mike Tyson from the writer and director James Toback. I've heard very little about this, apart from Tyson's involvement and his belief in Toback, so we'll have to wait and see on this one, but it's about Mike Tyson's life, how could you not want to watch that?

So that's January to March, boy that took a lot of work! Hope you got something out of it, but more to the point is there anything else you think should be on there? Any films you think shouldn't be recommended, or do you just want to have your say on a film? Well get commenting.

Watch out for July to September, and October to December, April to June has already been published. Hopefully the last one will flesh out a bit before then because right now it's looking a little sparse.

In the meantime, have a great Hogmanay Filmstalkers, and huge thanks for reading and commenting and making it all worthwhile. Here's to 2009.



Possession was due out this time last year and then they started to push it back with no explanation even to the actors apparently .In June we found out it's distributor Yari was in financial difficulties and Possession wasn't the only film being pushed back and in late Nov Yari distributing went into Chapter 11
At this point whether any of Yari releases will go ahead is up in the air .

Some good movies there.

With reference to Rise of the Lycans, I hope the fans realise this is a prequel so they couldn't really use Kate Beckinsale in it.

I think Rhona Mitra is going to do a good job.

I'm really looking forward to Frost/Nixon and The Wrestler

New film Defiance looks to be a very powerful drama and provide a gritty realism to the audience. The story based on true events is about Jewish refugees bound together in WWII Russia, this true-story already looks to be a winner in 2009. The website www.defiancemovie.co.uk has all the trailers on there….


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