As I look into my magic mirror, I see far, far into the future, more than two months in fact. One thing I see is all the little children excited about the coming of Christmas and how they're deluding themselves into thinking they'll get decent gifts in this economy. What I want to talk about today, though, are the films coming out between now and the end of the year. I am now going to try and predict what will be the best movie to come out in this competitive holiday season and what will be the worst. These are both very difficult to predict as there are promising entries in each category and I'll almost certainly be wrong but it's Tuesday and that means I'm supposed to put something new up today and it may as well be this. First, the best.
I came close to picking Due Date, the new comedy from the people who gave us that instant classic The Hangover. Comedies don't get the respect they deserve since, to be good, they must look like they took no effort to make and the trailer for Due Date looks like Robert Downey Jr. and Zack Galifianakis got together and just casually and expertly ad libbing their scenes in one take. At the very least, I predict it will somehow manage to outshine Morning Glory and Little Fockers as the best comedy of the season. So, what will the best movie be?
This is the time of year is always loaded with Oscar hopefuls. This year, we have entries like Julie Taymor's rework of The Tempest and Miramax's attempt at Oscar #300,000 with The King's Speech. Naomi Watts playing Valerie Plame in Fair Game looks promising but it was directed by the guy who made Jumper. When I reviewed Jumper, my entire article was one paragraph long and was summed up by the unimaginative-but-true headline "Jumper Sucks" which is why Fair Game gets knocked out of contention. Another runner up is Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan but, admittedly, the main reason I'm looking forward to this is because of a reported sex scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. No no, I'm kidding. I'm looking forward to it because it looks like an interesting, artful look at a living nightmare and not because Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis will rub their sweaty, naked bodies against one another, heaving and thrusting until mutual ecstasy...um...living nightmare. Yeah.
In the end, though, there's only one choice, at least from the information I have, and that is the Joel and Ethan Coen remake of True Grit. This looks to actually outshine the original that earned John Wayne an Oscar. Jeff Bridges who, judging by this and the bits of him we've seen in the Tron promos, is now legally obligated to hold onto the look he had in Crazy Heart, was the perfect choice to step into the role of Rooster Cogburn and the Coen brothers are the perfect choice to do whatever the hell they choose to make a movie out of so yes, I'll be at a theater on Christmas day when this comes out. So, that's my prediction for the best. Whatever will I choose for the worst.
Naturally, there are way more candidates for worst than there are for best and it is so very hard to choose but choose I must else I fail to meet my arbitrarily set goal. This trailer for Yogi Bear jumped out at me when I first saw it but this looks like a dumb, harmless kids film. I've already mentioned TRON:Legacy but if I chose that it would mean Jeff Bridges was in both the best and worst movies of the season. It now occurs to me that I don't care if I do that or not but, I'm not choosing TRON. That's not even in the same timezone as some of the other selections.
For the season's worst movie, I look to Thanksgiving Day. That's the day we get both the winner and the runner up. The runner up is Dwayne Johnson's revenge film Faster. The trailer looks like both a very stylish and very stupid Deathwish ripoff that is poised to defy anything even vaguely related to reality and logic. Johnson's character will either be killed at the end or be allowed to go free after taking the law into his own hands and committing several cold blooded murders which means Faster should be a celebration of depression and pointless nihilism no matter what happens. So, what's worse than that? This.
Oh yes, my No-Prize goes to Burlesque. I simply can't figure how a major film studio like Sony was convinced to basically remake Showgirls. That movie at least had that tall girl from Saved By The Bell taking her clothes off. This new movie has Christina Aguilera. is she taking her clothes off? No. She's just singing forgettable songs when she's not playing a girl who is utterly entranced by the idea of singing burlesque songs while getting felt up by Stanley Tucci. This will truly be the most painful Thanksgiving ever.