Idris Elba, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Leonardo Dicaprio, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson are just some of the stars coming to dazzle you in the new year and I have barely just scratched the surface. So wear those coolers and get ready to meet the biggest star of them all, the one and only Rajinikanth!
Petta releases during Pongal, the harvest festival dedicated to the Sun (January 11, 2019). Rajini’s great laugh seems to echo in ones head and the sheer joy which he brings to all his characters. In fact, I’ve been going around the house singing, ‘Ribararibarey ra re ribararibarey!’ or are the drums of Marana Mass playing that wild dance-in-the-aisles rhythm... I don’t care that Kaala disappointed me a little, I am glad Petta brings me more of Rajini, with Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Trisha, Vijay Sethupathi, Simran.
I must be honest and confess that I don’t know which is greater: my love for John Wick’s ‘69 Mustang or my never-ending crush on Keanu Reeves. John Wick 3 releases in May, but January sees Keanu Reeves in a sci-fi drama Replicas.
Neil Gaiman brings one more of my star crushes (he was the best Doctor Who methinks) as a demon in his show Good Omens on Amazon Prime. David Tennant is all kinds of wonderful, even with that 70s hair.
As I go through the lists, one show brings me anticipatory shivers: The Man In The High Castle Season 3. The best of Philip K Dick’s imagination, the very concept was mind-blowing. It kept viewers hooked through both the seasons (it’s a rare thing, trust me!) and the trailer of the third season uses my favourite U2 song to spill some of the secrets. As Spock would say, ‘Fascinating!’
Immigration continues to be a political issue everywhere around the world, Amazon Prime creates a show for us: Carnival Row. It’s a show where mythical creatures seek asylum in the city and simmering tensions come to the surface when a series of murders take place. Will the tenuous peace be shattered? Orlando Bloom and Cara DeLevingne star in the show which will be streaming soon.
Amazon also promises an adult animation series about a woman who is dealing with a new relationship with time after an accident. It’s so hush hush we don’t have any trailers… Wassup Amazon Prime?
The Irishman is Martin Scorsese going back to his familiar territory and making a film with the usual suspects - Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro - that will stream on Netflix. Of course, it’s about the mob and teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.
There’s more to George R R Martin than just The Game Of Thrones. His Nightflyers will be streaming on Netflix too. Science fiction, nothing less.
As I watch Baki on Netflix now, I wonder where animation films are going to be in the coming year. There’s the delish Lego 2 movie, the violent and dark Polar (based on Polar: Came From The Cold, Mads Mikkelsen stars), Toy Story 4 (yes, the love story of Woody and Bo Peep) The Umbrella Academy is being adapted from graphic novel to live action, The Secret Life Of Pets: The Sequel (releases June 2019), and of course the uber cute How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
Who is up for more superhero action? I, most certainly, am because these films help me enjoy caramel popcorn without jumping out of my skin (for that there will be sequels to Pet Sematary, Happy Death Day To You and IT: Chapter 2). By now most people have seen the trailers to Avengers Endgame and Captain Marvel, Hellboy live action Dumbo and Pikachu movies, but I’m rooting for Godzilla: The King Of The Monsters.
Before the English movies overwhelm this list, I must not miss out on what makes the entire nation get up and dance in the aisles. Bollywood. It is stuck on biopics and this new year has everything from Taanaji to Thackeray and yes, Manikarnika and Super 30.
And we have everything that sounds of gunfire and violence and military themed: Uri: The Surgical Strikes, Battalion 609, Panipat, Kesari, Kalank, Batla House, Brahmastra, Kick 2. I am, however, waiting for Dibakar Banerjee's Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, The Zoya Factor with Dulquer Salmaan, the evergreen Anil Kapoor in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga and the ever ebullient Ranveer Singh in Gully Boy.
Are you dazzled yet? Let me pour hot chocolate sauce on your rainbow ice cream cake. I started writing about Idris Elba and realised that he gets to relive his ‘before he became a huge star’ life as a DJ in the Netflix series called Turn Up Charlie. Not too much is known about the show except that Idris Elba plays a has been DJ who gets a second chance when he has to play mentor to his famous friend’s problem child.
Then there’s Tom Hanks who shows up as the kindly Mr Rogers and his wonderful neighbourhood in Will You Be My Friend. And you know that the year is going to be a huge one when the writer has not mentioned Star Wars Episode IX until the very end. Until the new year, stay on it! Then I shall see you online, and at the movies!
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication.
First Published: IST