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Top 10 Anticipated Films of 2006

 

By Rachel Sexton

 

The following is a list of ten films I am most excited about seeing in 2006. There are a lot of pictures that ALMOST made the cut (Marie Antoinette, Decameron: Angels & Virgins, Cars, The Fountain) but I needed to narrow the list down to just a few. Here they are in random order:

 

1. Tristan and Isolde (January 13) Each year I like to choose one film that seems unexpected, and this one, opening this very weekend, takes that prize. This medieval Romeo and Juliet-esque love story is exactly to my tastes. I like the cast (Spiderman’s James Franco, Henry Cavill) and director Kevin Reynolds has done work in the past I’ve liked (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves). The trailer hints at lush production values. (FOX)
 

2. Superman Returns (July 1) The miscasting of Lois Lane aside (a blonde?!? shame on you, Warner Bros., even if she is in a brown wig!), director Bryan Singer brings Krypton’s only son back to life in gigantic fashion. Kevin Spacey is Lex Luthor and newbie Brandon Routh looks to fit the part of Clark Kent perfectly. The hype starts now. (Warner Bros.)
 

3. Mission: Impossible 3 (May 5) Cruise returns to one of the roles we love him in best, super spy Ethan Hunt. He’s joined by series regular Ving Rhames, as well as newcomers Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Keri Russell, Billy Crudup and Laurence Fishburne. J.J Abrams, the genius of Alias and Lost, has been handed the writing and directing duties. This one looks more realistic and team-focused than the first two. (Paramount)

 

4. As You Like It (Fall/Winter) Kenneth Branagh is the Shakespeare adapter of our time (Hamlet, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing), so this version of one of the Bard’s best romances should fit right in with his previous work. He’s always trying new things with these classic plays. The setting (Asia) combined with the cast (Bryce Dallas Howard, Alfred Molina, Kevin Kline) will intrigue even non-Shakespeare-philes. (Miramax)
 

5. The Departed (August) Martin Scorsese. Leonardo DiCaprio. Matt Damon. Mark Wahlberg. Martin Sheen. Jack Nicholson. Cops and gangsters. Is there any way this CAN’T be a good film? I think every film fan is rooting for greatness and for Scorsese to finally clutch that elusive Oscar. Based on a Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs. (Warner Bros.)
 

6. All the King’s Men (Winter) The cast consists of Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Patricia Clarkson. Steven Zaillian (A Civil Action, Searching for Bobby Fischer) writes and directs. It is a remake of a past Best Picture Academy Award winner. The remake has even more awards stamped all over it. At the very least, the performances can’t miss. (Sony)
 

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (July 7) As the tag line says, “Captain Jack is back!” Johnny Depp’s Oscar-nominated role is a fans favorite, and the trailer hints he’s in fine form. That Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, director Gore Verbinski and writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio all returned bodes well. (Disney)

 

8. The DaVinci Code (May 19) Everyone knows the book, and now everyone can see the film directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks. Wonderful French actress Audrey Tautou (A Very Long Engagement) also stars, while others in the cast include Ian McKellen and Paul Bettany, two of my faves. Exciting and thought-provoking, the book should hopefully prove to be very cinematic in the hands of these filmmakers. (Sony)

 

9. The Black Dahlia (Fall) Some of my favorite actors including Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank appear under the direction of Brian DePalma (The Untouchables, Carrie) for this adaptation of James Ellroy’s novel about L.A.’s infamous 1940’s murder case of the same name. Given that Ellroy also wrote L.A. Confidential, one of my all-time favorite films, could this be just as good? Here’s hoping. (Universal)


10. X-Men 3 (May 26) Though director Singer defected (see #2), the main cast is back playing everyone’s favorite squad of mutants. Surprises, new characters and the usual action all look to be on display if the trailer is any indication. Director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) takes over directing duties, and we’ll just have to wait until Memorial Day to see if he comes through or not. (FOX)

 

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