Silver-screen spring preview

This season’s films aren’t merely the first films of 2010 — they’re the first films of a new decade.

To start off the year, Montage previews some of the predicted blockbusters hitting theaters before May.

Though this spring’s movies seem to spawn from trends and novels rather than original ideas, the season still promises entertainment in all genres, however old their inspiration.


 “The Book of Eli”: Jan. 15

Despite being one of the few original screenplays this spring, “The Book of Eli” fits into the recent fad of apocalyptic movies following the recent hit, “2012.”

The repetition of this theme, however, is saved by a talented cast, including Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman, and a religious undertone that creates curiosity for viewers.

But action fans beware. Critics say this movie has little of it, aside from a few stand-alone battles.

— Emily Handy

“The Lovely Bones”: Jan. 15

(not pictured)

Previously only released in select theaters, the film goes worldwide on Jan 15.

Director Peter Jackson, most known for “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, exercises his science fiction side in “The Lovely Bones.” The film is adapted from the award-winning novel by Alice Sebold. It follows the Salmon family after the death of their daughter, Susie, who is played by Saoirse Ronan (also starred in “Atonement”).

Susie’s death creates a rift between her mother (Rachel Weisz) and her father (Mark Wahlberg), who is actively seeking the cause of her death. Years pass, and Susie’s spirit watches as her father and sister search for the truth of her murder.

— Issa Luckett

 “Dear John”: Feb. 5

“Dear John” is gaining hype as this year’s hit romance film, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The story comes from Nicholas Sparks, author of “The Notebook.”

The film follows the love story of John Tyree (Channing Tatum) and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), who meet while Tyree is on leave from military duty, and fall in love after only two weeks.

Both are determined to continue their relationship during his dangerous deployments and communicate with each other through love letters.

With the “Dear John” reference to soldiers writing letters back home, this could allude to a sad ending, so bring tissues.

— Amanda Moore

“The Wolfman”: Feb. 12

 “The Wolfman” is a remake of a 1941 film that tells the iconic tale of love and man’s inner struggle.

Benicio Del Toro leads as Lawrence Talbot, a young man who returns home after receiving news his brother has been missing and finds a werewolf has been terrorizing the city.

Fueled by his love for his brother’s fiancé (Emily Blunt), Talbot begins a search for his brother that leads to a primal struggle within himself.

The plot has not deviated from the original story, characters and location. Fans of the original blockbuster should find the new adaptation a refreshing update.

— Emily Handy

“Shutter Island”: Feb. 19

“Shutter Island,” like many of the movies this season, is another novel-based film. 

Set in 1954, characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams and Ben Kingsley are located on Shutter Island, home of a mysterious psychiatric hospital where the dangerous and unstable patients are held.

After the disappearance of a female patient, U.S. Marshals (DiCaprio and Ruffalo) try to find connections with her disappearance and other murders on the island. As events unravel, they begin to discover sadistic secrets hiding in the hospital.

— Issa Luckett

“The Crazies”: Feb. 26

“The Crazies” joins another recent bandwagon genre for films: zombies. It tells the story of a town whose water supply turns those who drink it into crazed maniacs.

Based on the 1973 George A. Romero film with the same name, the film’s antagonists are more frightening than zombies. The infected crazies maintain a thought process and search for their victims.

While not a pure zombie film, fans of Romero’s work should find enough of his influence to enjoy the film and its new, modern twists.

— Emily Handy

“Alice in Wonderland”: March 5

Tim Burton unleashes his usual bright colors and strange surroundings in his rendition of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Nineteen-year-old Alice Kingsley (Mia Wasikowska) feels alienated in her snobbish society and has forgotten her previous visit to the magical world of Wonderland. Much to her dismay, a wealthy suitor proposes to her, and she soon finds her way into Wonderland again.

With the help of The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and other familiar faces — such as Tweedledee and Tweedledum — Alice embarks on an adventure of self-discovery to defeat the tyrannical Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter).

With a typical Tim Burton flair, the movie should be, as Johnny Depp said in an interview with, “very, very, very fun.”

— Rachel Kaylor
“A Nightmare on Elm Street”: April 30

The new “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is the first Freddy Krueger film without Robert Englund as the sharp-fingered antagonist. This version is full of unknowns.

The story is only loosely
 based on the original film in 1984, and though it follows the same general story and promises the same slasher-film gore, it’s set in a modern-day time period with new characters and a deeper look into Krueger’s life.

— Issa Luckett