Perusing Adam's handy-dandy movie schedule site, I've already made a preliminary listing of the films I'm looking forward to seeing in 2009. There aren't quite as many prolific ones as past years, but maybe a few surprises will turn up, like how Speed Racer and Tropic Thunder was.
Up - I have really high hopes for Pixar's Up, and I'm keeping to my personal declaration that it's going to be incredible. The talent involved, specifically Monsters Inc. director Pete Docter and composer Michael Giacchino, is already a formula for success in my book, and early impressions (and here) are already glowing positive.
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince - With the delay back from November of 2008 to July of this year, more than ever am I anxious to see the latest Potter movie adaptation. I still hold to the comments I made last year, that I believe the film should be in reasonable hands with director David Yates, and that I hope Nicholas Hooper turns in a better score than Order of The Phoenix. The released trailers are looking very good so far.
Terminator Salvation - My review of Terminator 3 made it clear that I wasn't exactly its biggest fan, and honestly, the first teaser trailer of the new movie did nothing to impress me. However, the most recent theatrical trailer did manage to percolate my interest. I'm one of the staunch believers that feel they should have never continued on after Cameron's titles, but like T3, I'm willing to give this a shot under the pretense that this more of a 'What If' entry. The story itself might turn out decent, seeing as how the screenplay was helped along by Paul Haggis (Casino Royale) and Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight). No doubt Salvation will be the one to officially fire off the summer popcorn season.
Sherlock Holmes - This one isn't due until November, but it's by far the most intriguing project of 2009 for me. For those who haven't heard, this will be one of two planned adaptations planned for release within the span of 2009-2011. The one coming this year is being directed by Guy Ritchie, produced by Joel Silver (V For Vendetta, Speed Racer), and starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson respectively. Ritchie's version is described as portraying the harder, more action-packed side of Holmes. Says FilmSchoolRejects: "Fans of literature will remember that, in addition to tales of his boxing and martial artistry, Holmes was not opposed to striking criminals with his cane, discharging firearms, breaking the law in search of justice, and dabbling in tobacco, morphine, and cocaine. Holmes has been watered down over the years, but the sleuth from the books was a bit of a bastard and it is this version of Sherlock Downey and Ritchie aim to bring to the screen." I really can't wait to see how this one turns out.
Other films of mild interest include Dreamworks' latest animation Monsters vs. Aliens, the Hugh Jackman driven X-Men Origins: Wolverine, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek (the trailer looks really dynamic), Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, and Pete Jackson's The Lovely Bones. It's been a REALLY long time since we've seen a James Cameron directed film (his last one was Solaris back in 2002, wasn't it?), so Avatar might be worth checking out. Dragonball? It reeks of disaster, but Stephen Chow's in the producing chair, so who knows.