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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Looking ahead to next year’s Oscars

By Trevor Hale, Red Pulse Editor

The Academy Awards were just as boring as ever Sunday night. Hugh Jackman did his best to liven it up a bit, but since everyone knew who the winners would be already8212;thanks to newspapers and magazines everywhere putting in their two cents8212;it wasn’t enough. Unfortunately, the best part of the show happened after everyone had already changed the channel.

During the end credits, there was a 2009 movie montage of brief shots of some of the most promising movies leading up to next year’s awards show. In case you missed it, here’s a recap.

“Sherlock Holmes”

Guy Ritchie made a few great movies early in his career such as “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.” Then he married Madonna and everything kind of went downhill. Well, last year, they got a divorce and Ritchie hooked up with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law to breathe new life into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant detective. Life after the Material Girl is off to a good start.

“Funny People”

Judd Apatow, the man responsible for “Knocked Up” and “Freaks and Geeks,” steps back behind the camera for this film about a dying comedian trying to get his life back on track before it’s too late. When Adam Sandler has solid direction and actually tries, he turns in a damn good performance8212;much like “Punch-Drunk Love.” Hopefully Apatow knows how tight to hold the leash.

“Public Enemies”

Michael Mann, director of “Heat,” Johnny Depp, from every woman’s fantasy and Christian Bale, from on-set outbursts made famous by the Internet, team up to tell the story of famous bank robber John Dillinger and Melvin Purvis, the man assigned to capture him. It might not be as epic as De Niro and Pacino meeting for the first time, but one of the most promising pictures of 2009.


Pixar hasn’t stumbled yet and there’s no reason to believe that this film about a 78-year-old man trying to see the world by tying balloons to his house will be any different. Early buzz has been spectacular, but everyone knows you can’t bat a thousand forever.

“Terminator Salvation”

Director McG, who brought “Charlie’s Angels” to the big screen8212;twice8212;is trying to revive the should-have-stopped-after-two “Terminator” franchise. As skeptical as I am, the footage looks pretty good and Christian Bale usually only signs on for a project if the script is up to his standards, so there is hope. My prediction: way better than T3, not nearly as good as T2 and on par or maybe slightly below the original.

“(500) Days of Summer,” “An Education”

Both of these were widely regarded as two of the best films shown at Sundance this year, and both are set for a wide release. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel look great together and the movie doesn’t seem like your typical run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. “An Education” is already being talked about as one of the best films of 2009, but there’s a lot of competition left.


Hilary Swank might as well start prepping her Oscar speech now, because there is nothing the Academy voters love more than a biopic, and Swank as Amelia Earhart will be the front-runner all year long. It’s probably a safe bet that this film won’t break much new ground, nor will it have a happy ending, but it’ll be solid all around.

“Whatever Works”

Woody Allen writing for and directing Larry David. First instinct is comedy gold, because Allen has been on a roll lately and David is a genius.

“Inglourious Basterds”

Quentin Tarantino’s take on World War II should be fun, to say the least. If you’re a Tarantino fan, the script reviews were positive and critics are saying it’s much better than “Death Proof.” If you’ve always hated the man, this probably won’t change your mind.

“State of Play”

Based on a BBC miniseries of the same name, investigative reporters attempt to solve the murder of a congressman’s mistress. This picture boasts an all-star cast including Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Jason Bateman and a script by Tony Gilroy, whose stuff gets better every time. Maybe not award-worthy, but a hell of a time at the theater anyway.

“Angels & Demons”

The sequel to “The Da Vinci Code” is finally being released. It was plagued by delays from the writers strike last year, but production resumed once that was resolved and now Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is back. This time around, he needs to solve a puzzle that will prevent a terrorist attack on the Vatican. The book was a prequel to “Da Vinci” but Ron Howard and his team tweaked this film enough to slide it in as a sequel.

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