Since the Dark Knight just came out, and I have a little time, I thought I would update my list of films to put on the docket …..
The X-Files: I Want To Believe (Jul. 25)
–The plot has been notoriously quiet, and about the only two things out are that Gillian Anderson had a problem getting back into character after many years, and that this will definitively not be a story continuing the so-called “mythology arc” of alien invasion, and will rather be a stand alone story. Very cool crossed-shadow movie poster though! Hey, that’s this weekend!
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Aug. 15)
–Episodes 1-3 kind of fizzled after hype of unimaginable heights, so George Lucas goes and gets a new studio (for the first time Warner Brothers, instead of 20th Century Fox … can you have Star Wars without the famous Fox opening music?) and went all animated. Even though there was already an appreciable amount of animated material put out on TV regarding this, George thinks there’s enough for a film. As many are calling it: Star Wars: Episode 2.5.
Righteous Kill (Sep. 12)
–I likely won’t see this NYPD murder mystery, but any film that pairs De Niro and Pacino is worth making a note of.
W. (Oct. 17)
–Just in time for election day (though in limited release), Oliver Stone’s story of the man, the myth, the soon to be unemployed president of these United States. Normally, I would suspect something afoot that turns into a hatchet job and martyrs the spirit of Bush, but after seeing Stone’s underrated Nixon, which I felt was pretty sympathetic to the man, it will be interesting to see his take on perhaps the only president since Nixon to have been as loathed. Hopefully he learned from Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 which ended up making the president look like he was being picked on, and helped rejuvenate his supporters prior to the 2004 election.
Quantum of Solace (Nov. 7)
–Daniel Craig is back as James Bond, and for the first time this film is an actual sequel, picking up right after Casino Royale. Bond is out to bring down the organization that was behind the plot in the last film, though in Bond’s case, it may be a bit of revenge for the loss of precious Vespa.
Frost/Nixon (Dec. 5)
–While The Queen‘s Mrs. Blair gets stuck in Harry Potter hell, I’m interested in this play coming to the screen with Mr. Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) playing BBC reporter Robert Frost as he sits down for a 1977 interview with Richard Nixon (Frank Langella), in what some historians believe to be the most honest interview Nixon ever gave about Watergate (not that he was ever that open about the facts). Ron Howard directs.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (Dec. 12)
–So help me if these people f#$% up this movie! The original is one of the great classics of both science fiction and the cold war genre. With Jennifer Connelly and Keanu Reeves as Klaatu. Ironically, this may be the perfect era to make a film like this, but they had better not screw this up by making it too overtly political … the earlier Robert Wise film worked because the message was very clear while the politics were very subtle.
Race to Witch Mountain (Mar. 19)
Call me nostalgic … Alexander Ludwig and Anna Sophia Robb play Tony and Tia, the telekinetic and ESP brother and sister team originally played by Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards in the 1970s. Both Ike and Kim will be in this film, with The Rock and Cheech Marin also on board. Could be good for the kiddies … not sure if it will be on my view list.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1)
You like brooding loners (and honestly, who doesn’t) … here is the origin story of the great mutant. There are not many characters from the trilogy appearing, and those who are have been recast except for Hugh Jackman in the title role. A little behind this, but slated for late 2009 will be X-Men Origins: Magneto with Sir Ian supposedly back for that role.
Star Trek (May 8th)
–Kind of going the route of James Bond, this appears to be an entire relaunch of the original franchise. Normally, I would say that there is no way this can be pulled off …. Trek mythology is just too ingrained in the fandom … they’ll never accept it, and it is too soon to cultivate a new fan base. But, JJ Abrams is in charge, and if anyone can do it, he can.
Terminator:Salvation (May 22)
–There will be no governator in this film, though Christian Bale (The Batman) will take the lead as John Connor, leader of the human resistance in the film that should be the end as it serves as sequel to the awful Terminator 3 and prequel to the great original. The big problem is that the film is being directed by the notorious McG who has very little good films to his credit.
Superman: Man of Steel (June ??)
Follow up to Bryan Singer’s remake. Singer stays at the helm.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (June 26)
That’s right, its PRIME time again …. Michael Bay is back for another adventure about the only vehicles on earth that don’t worry about the rise in gas prices. I wasn’t crazy about the first, might not see the second.
Land of the Lost (July 17)
None other than Will Ferrell dons the garb of Park Ranger Rick Marshall, joining Will and Holly on a routine expedition ….. there will be Chaka and pylons and dinosaurs, and a mini army of sleestaks. I don’t know what to think of this newest incarnation of the Sid and Marty Kroft classic, other than to think the drug addled musings of H.R. Pufnstuff are not likely far behind.
G. I. Joe: Rise of Cobra (Aug 7)
The “Real American Heroes” are now an international force led by Dennis Quaid (General Hawk). Ray “Darth Maul” Park gets the masked “Snake Eyes”, but the really intriguing casting may be the villians: Arnold “The Mummy” Vosloo as Zartan, Christopher “Dr. Who” Eccleston as Destro, and Joseph “Third Rock From the Sun” Gordon-Levitt as the Cobra Commander. The word on the street is that the main focus of the plot will be the conflict between Snake Eyes and the Cobra ninja “Stormshadow” (Byung-hun-Lee). Jonathan Pryce plays the president …. how bad could this be?
Plan 9 (Sep 9)
Yes, that plan 9: wake the dead, and conquer the Earth. To quote Ben Kenobi: “Who’s more foolish, the fool, or the fool who follows him.