School’s out, and hopefully tomorrow I will be taking in James Cameron’s Avatar to see if he can redeem himself after the garbage that was Titanic …
In any event, there are a few coming soon films that have piqued my interest …
Daybreakers (Jan. 8th)
AKA: The Victory of Dracula
… I’m not a huge fan of the vampire genre, but I don’t dislike it … the problem is for every good film (From Dusk ‘Till Dawn, 30 Days of Night), you get more crappy films (Fright Night 2, Twilight). This film’s premise is that the vampires have finally won, and humanity has been essentially reduced to cattle …. a herd of cattle that is rapidly diminishing. Thus the vampires are fighting to survive while humanity is trying to get back on top of the food chain. It sounds like a rare original take on the blood suckers.
I wonder if this is some sort of allegory regarding our diminishing petroleum reserves? Probably coincidence.
The Wolfman (Feb. 12)
AKA: The Wolfman (duh!)
This film has had its release pushed back twice, and that is rarely good news … a February release date also does not bode well (is the studio thinking it couldn’t compete with the summer blockbusters or fall awards fare?) In any event, what looks to be an atmospheric film with Benicio del Toro and Anthony Hopkins can’t be all bad … can it?
Alice in Wonderland (Mar. 5)
AKA: The definitive version of a timeless drug induced children’s classic
So Tim Burton, who has made a career of making great family films look like they were based on some drug induced trip, finally gets a crack at perhaps the ultimate prize: Lewis Carroll’s timeless masterpiece. I can imagine Disney sitting down to plan this one:
We need a director who knows creepy (Burton, check)
Is that woman who Tim Burton puts in all of his films available the really creepy looking one (Helena Bonham Carter, check)
How about Anne Hathaway … she’s not creepy, but if we dress her in white and put her in head to toe white make up, she will look very otherworldly (check).
Alan Rickman can play creepy and evil … we’ve got to get him in here (check)
How silly … if you want a creepy movie, Crispin Glover is the king of creepy (And we can send him to Letterman for the promotional tour) (check!)
How about Johnny Depp … (check)
The only thing that might make this creepier is getting Christopher Lee …. the guy who played Dracula, Sarumon, Count Dooku (check)
I’m not sure you will want your really young kids to see this …. it is bound to be a trip of some kind!
Clash of the Titans (Mar. 26)
AKA: Perseus’ List
The original Clash of the Titans was notable for being the last film for special effects legend Ray Harryhausen and acting legend Sir Laurence Olivier. Otherwise it was a very Hollywood retelling of the Greek legend of Perseus and how he goes about saving a babe from a Norwegian sea monster (the Kraken is from Norse myth … never sure how it got here … maybe a part of a trade between Zeus and Odin … the Kraken was the monster to be named later?)
This retelling looks to be a lot darker and a lot more epic thanks to CGI. Stepping in for Sir Laurence as Zeus is Liam Neeson, and stepping in as Hades is Raph Feines. Remember the human sized scorpions in the original … bigger! Kraken … more menacing … the big change in this film is that rather than Thetis being the pain in Perseus’ butt, it is Hades attempting to take over Olympus …. and the son of Zeus needs to help the old man out.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (Apr. 30)
AKA: Freddy’s Reboot
Filmed partially in the nearby north suburbs, Jackie Earle Haley parlays his career reboot into putting on the razor claws of everyone’s favorite crisped custodian. I mean, didn’t they just recently wrap on Nightmare XXXIV? Michael Bay directs, and it looks like he is putting CGI to full effect to bring the nightmare sequences to greater fruition.
Iron Man 2 (May 7)
AKA: Twice the Iron, Twice the Man
In the Iron Man mythos …. the big villian is The Mandarin … who has but only been alluded to but not seen, and I suspect that will continue in this film with the baig man finally coming out in film #3 … an interesting twist on how most superhero trilogies start big and peter out as they introduce weaker villians. Anyway, everyone’s favorite gazillionaire-alcoholic-playboy-engineer must not only hold of the pressure of the U.S. government who covets his suit of armor, but antagonists from Russia (Whiplash and the Black Widow, played by Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johansson, respectively).
Robin Hood (May 14)
AKA: My name is Gladiatorhood
Ridley Scott is a phenomenal director, and Russell Crowe has as much range as any modern actor (hard to believe that General Maximus Decimus Meridius and John Nash were played by the same actor). That alone will get my attention. Cate Blanchett gets the nod for Marian (who is played as a widow, not a maiden).
The A-Team (Jun. 11)
AKA: Untitled Liam Neeson TV project
In 2002, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, and no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire ….
Except for retconning the action for Iraq War vets instead of Vietnam vets, and inserting Liam Neeson into the role of wise cracking leader and master of disguise Hannibal Smith. I couldn’t find a trailer, but allow me to predict:
Woman in distress: Help me A-Team!
Murdoch: No problem, beautiful senorita, madamoiselle, wohoo!
Face: I’ll charter the plane.
B.A: I ain’t gettin’ on no plane, Hannibal!
insert car chase, explosions, gun battle, anti-drug message, The End
The Karate Kid (Jun. 11)
AKA: Will and Jada Pinkett Smith present their son, Jaden, as the Karate Kid
Thought The A-Team was the only vintaged 80’s title coming back in the middle of June? This film does offer a few twists in that it is about a kid who actually has to go to China when mom gets moved there by his job, and learns the title martial art from a grand master. Who dares step into the shoes of beloved Pat Morita’s Miyagi-san … Jackie Chan was a pretty good hire! If there is justice, there will be a “sweep the leg” or “pt him in a body bag” line somewhere in there, along with “You’re the best” playing in the background.