james debate
james debate

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Now it is time to look ahead at what the coming year has in store. Every year we like to briefly preview the biggest and best films, tv shows, music, anything that looks awesome, and this year will be no different. But first, let's look back for a minute at my predictions from the start of this year. My 2008 predictions were pretty much spot on, so I had a lot to live up to with my 2009 predictions, as you will see.

Perhaps my grandest prediction was regarding President Obama and the transformative effect he would have. An in depth review of his first year will come closer to the end of his first year at the end of January, but in short there is little doubt that he has made a lot of progress in a short amount of time, but perhaps much more slowly and incremental than one might have hoped.

Then I made a number of predictions of bands that would make it big this year, with a decidedly mixed success rate. For starters Kyte and Subliminal Girls didn't even release albums this year in the end, so the judge is still out there for a little while longer.

On the other hand, the Temper Trap had one of the most successful single releases of the year with Sweet Disposition, even if the album was mostly mediocre. Similarly White Lies' album turned out to be a big disappointment, even though it had one excellent song. Mind you, it still sold very well, so I'm counting that as a win. Empire of the Sun was also a bit of a hit this year, though once again I personally was disappointed.

When it comes to the film world, my predictions were a little better, but then that's the benefit of being such an obsessive cinema aficionado as I am. Avatar is one of the biggest movie releases of all time and a mega mega hit. Meanwhile, Watchmen was also a commercial success, and pretty good too. Revolutionary Road was sadly not as good as I had hoped, but went on to receive numerous Academy Awards anyway.

So all in all a pretty decent year of predictions, but not up to the standard I set the previous year. Nostradamus rating: B-

- Delphic, definitely one of the most hyped up debut acts of next year, their album Acolyte comes out in January. A bit like a marriage of New Order and the Pet Shop Boys, these guys specialise in infectious indie hooks. Check out Doubt.

- Sound of Arrows produced my song of the year Into the Clouds, and a full album is hopefully not too far away. This duo hail from Sweden and produce majestic, ethereal music that, frankly, is hard not to love.

- Devlin. A London rapper who has recently become one of the hottest names on the underground scene. I'd be stunned if he doesn't make it big next year. I don't even like rap usually, but London City is just fantastic, with more than a hint of the streets about it.

In addition, look out for new albums from the likes of MGMT, Stars and Delays, all of which are great bands.

- Inception. My most highly anticipated film of 2010, this film has "awesome" written all over it. Directed by the briliant Christopher Nolan (Memento, the Dark Knight) starring the excellent Leo DiCaprio (Catch Me if You Can, the Aviator) and with a star studded supporting cast that includes oscar winner Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy and Michael Caine. We know very little about this film so far, which has been described as "A contemporary science fiction action thriller set within the architecture of the mind." But it will be amazing.

- Shutter Island. The second on my list also stars DiCaprio, which is slightly worrying, but also comes with the heavyweight directing credit of the one and only Martin Scorsese. Due to be released in February, this film tells the story of two US marshals investigating the disappearance of a patient from mental hospital located on the Shutter Island. It is generating a hell of a lot of buzz right now and going by that trailer and the names attached, it's easy to see why.

- Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. If you haven't read the original comic series, do so now. I was inspired to check it out myself having heard so much positive buzz, but even I did not expect it to be as excellent as it was. Brilliantly witty, original, and over brimming with wonderful geek culture. The film comes courtesy of British director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and stars Michael Cera. This could be pretty awesome indeed.


The big news for television fans out there is the big series finale of Lost coming this January. Love it or hate it, Lost has been one of the biggest shows on TV and if, like me, you're a fan then you'll be absolutely chomping at the bit for this one.

Video Games
- Bioshock 2. Bioshock was one of the most stunning games of the decade and a smash hit. The sequel is nearing release, and while I personally have doubts that it could possibly live up to its predecessor, the first game was good enough that I have to at least give them a chance.

- Mass Effect 2. Another sequel, this time for one of the best storytelling video games in recent years. The genius of Mass Effect was the ability to make decisions that would have drastic consequences in the gameworld, really drawing you into the adventure and making sure that no two games are alike. With voice acting by Seth Green and Martin Sheen, this is not one to be missed, especially if you were a fan of the original.

So that's all then. Happy New Year everyone, see you in 2010!

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