We have hit the midway point of 2012, and even though there have been some highpoints – Prometheus and The Avengers – there have also been long stretches of “ho hum.” What can we look forward to in the coming months? I’m glad you asked … Just don’t expect to find Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 here. I’m a horror/sci-fi/thriller/fantasy kind of person, and my selection is based on the films that I’m intending to see on opening weekend in the cinema.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – Seth Grahame-Smith adapts his novel for the big screen, and for director Timur Bekmambetov’s pleasure. I already know this is going to be all flash over substance – if you’ve ever seen a Bekmambetov-helmed film, you will know what I’m talking about – but I’m still going to see it. Abraham Lincoln slaying vampires. Now let that sink in. OK, you got it. The inclusion of Rufus “I’m too sexy for my fangs” and Dominic Cooper are added incentives. Trailer.
Brave – Pixar’s latest film about a defiant, chaos-causing, flame-haired princess who must rely on her bravery and archery skills to undo a curse. So it doesn’t sound particularly original, but it’s Pixar and it’s Scottish. Again. But I’m alright with that. Voices by Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, and Julie Walters. Trailer.
The Amazing Spider-Man – Do we really need a Spider-Man reboot? I guess we’ll see. And I will see it in IMAX and 3-D, thank you very much. Andrew Garfield will give new life to the web-slinging Peter Parker and Emma Stone, sporting blonde hair, will play his main squeeze, Gwen Stacy. I really like Tobey Maguire, so I don’t know if I’m totally on-board with the casting of Garfield, but Stone is WAY better than Bryce Dallas Howard. And I’m really stoked that Kirsten Dunst is no where to be seen. Rhys Ifans plays the nemesis, The Lizard. I’m excited to see Martin Sheen and Sally Field playing Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Trailer.
Snabba Cash/Easy Money – I know this Swedish flick won’t open in Omaha – it’s limited release – but I’m still going to see it whenever it becomes available. The story doesn’t thrill me – it’s about the criminal underworld and a young man who becomes a coke dealer (yawn) – but what does is the fact that Joel Kinnaman (Holder of AMC’s The Killing) plays the lead role. Hey, I endured The Darkest Hour for him, I can probably endure about anything. Europeans get a sequel to this film this year, so we might see that in 2014 or, you know, never. Trailer.
Red Lights – Another limited release, so I’m not holding my breath. This one is a horror/thriller/drama about a psychologist and her assistant who study paranormal activity. Yeah, story is um, who cares, but the actors involved are Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, Robert DeNiro, and Elizabeth Olsen. From the director of Buried, if that trips your trigger. Trailer.
The Imposter – Let’s go for a trifecta of limited releases, shall we? This documentary centers on a young Frenchman who convinced a Texas family that he was their son who went missing three years prior. Deception Comes Home is the tagline. Sounds intriguing. Trailer.
The Dark Knight Rises – Writer/Director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy comes to a close with the horned crime-fighter (Christian Bale) taking on Bane (Tom Hardy), a bald baddie sporting a muzzle of sorts and claiming to be Gotham’s reckoning. A really phenomenal cast with Liam Neeson reprising his Ra’s Al Ghul thing, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing John Blake. Other notables include Juno Temple, Matthew Modine, and Marion Cotillard. (It’s a mini-Inception reunion.) Coming back for the finale are Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and Michael Caine as Alfred. I’m an enormous Hardy fan, and I’m ready to watch him burn Gotham to the ground. Catwoman, played by Anne Hathaway for some reason, also shows up. Why? I have no idea. Trailer.
Killer Joe – I saw this crime/drama/thriller performed on stage, and it’s pretty damn wicked. A cinematic adaptation warms my heart because it is helmed by William Friedkin, and stars Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, and Thomas Haden Church. The end is a bloodbath, and the film earned an NC-17 because of it. That might also be why the damn thing is limited release. Trailer.
The Bourne Legacy – I hadn’t read much about this project, which is based on another of Robert Ludlum’s novels. All I knew was that Matt Damon wasn’t in it. That kind of pissed me off, because I dig the Bourne flicks. And then, I saw the trailer for this, and found myself really excited. Directed by Tony Gilroy, the film pings off of the Bourne franchise in that it focuses on yet another CIA operative who has gone AWOL. That operative is Aaron Cross and he’s played by Jeremy Renner. From the trailer, it looks as if they are incorporating some footage from the first Bourne film, so we’ll be seeing Joan Allen, Albert Finney, Scott Glenn, and David Strathairn again. New to the franchise is Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton. Looks pretty thrilling. Trailer.
Total Recall – I really like director Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop and Starship Troopers, but wasn’t a fan of his version of Philip K. Dick’s Total Recall a.k.a We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. Maybe that’s because I loathe Arnold Schwarzenegger. Colin Farrell replaces that 1980s monstrosity – thank goodness -in this adaptation that is helmed by Len Wiseman. He is joined by John Cho, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston (clapping), Bill Nighy, Ethan Hawke, Jessica Biel (WTF?), Bokeem Woodbine, and Will Yun Lee. Here’s to hoping that this version does P.K. Dick proud. Trailer.
Premium Rush – In this action/thriller, a bike messenger is pursued by a dirty cop who wants the cyclist’s package. Storyline: Ho-hum. The cast: Oh yeah. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon. That’s all I need to know. Trailer.
Lawless - This is another project that has piqued my interest because of who is involved. It is a Prohibition-era crime/drama about a bootlegging gang that stars Tom Hardy and Guy Pearce. It’s a shame that director John Hillcoat, who made the gritty Western The Proposition, had to add Shia “No Talent” LaBeouf to his cast. If that kid says “no, no, no” one time, I’m putting a hit out on him. Fingers crossed that he has a very small role, and it is a silent one. Trailer.
The Possession – This probably has “crap” written all over it, but I really cannot help myself. It is directed by Ole Bornedal, the Dane who gave me not one, but TWO versions of Nightwatch, a horror/drama about a morgue attendant who finds something a-foot. He also made The Substitute, a Danish homage to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But I digress. In this horror/thriller, a young girl buys an antique box that harbors a malevolent spirit (it’s a Jewish dibbuk). Jeffrey Dean Morgan is my other reason for seeing this. Trailer.
Gangster Squad – I have mixed feelings about this crime/drama about the LAPD’s fight against the Mob during the 1940s/1950s. Not a fan of Sean Penn, but love Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Mireille Enos, Robert Patrick, Nick Nolte, and Giovanni Ribisi. Emma Stone also stars. I really, really loved Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland. Glad to see he left Jesse Eisenberg out of the cast. Could be really good. (Looks a bit like L.A. Confidential.) Trailer.
The Cold Light of Day – Action/thriller about more kidnapped family members. This time in Spain. Playing the lead is super smokin’ hot Henry Cavill, a Brit who still hasn’t demonstrated any significant acting chops, but he’s gorgeous – and I’m apparently shallow – so I’ll be showing up to see this. Making that decision a bit easier is the inclusion of Sigourney Weaver and Bruce Willis. Trailer.
Resident Evil: Retribution – Groan. Let me say that I after watching the last Resident Evil film, I decided I would NEVER see another RE film. Ever. When I found out they were making yet another installment, I cursed the gods. And then I saw the trailer for it. Sigh. They must put some kind of subliminal messages in those trailers, or maybe I’m just too enamored with Milla Jovovich to let it go, but I’m on-board for this FIFTH go-around of a franchise that will never die. Not as long as morons such as I keep shelling out our cash. Michelle Rodriguez, Kevin Durand (my fave), and Oded Fehr show up for a paycheck. Paul W.S. Anderson, let your wife do something else. Please. Trailer.
Dredd – This is a remake/revision of Judge Dredd, you know that horrible, over-acted POS from 1995 that starred Sly Stallone and Armand Assante? I probably wouldn’t even be interested in it had Karl Urban passed on the titular role. He’s divine. Lena Headey is probably the only other cast member that people might recognize. The story: “In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury, and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug called SLO-MO.” Stills from the film look promising, but I’m most intrigued by the script, which was written by Alex Garland. It could go either way. Trailer.
Looper – An action/sci-fi film set in 2042 about a mob hitman who kills people arriving from the future. His life becomes complicated when he is ordered to kill his future self. Trippy is my bag, and this one sounds like it’s going to mess with your mind. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis star. The only scary thing for me is that the film is written and directed by Rian Johnson, who came up with Brick (2005), a neo-noir set in a high school. I couldn’t get through that film and his follow-up, The Brothers Bloom didn’t appeal at all. His one saving grace was writing the Breaking Bad episode, Fly, one of my favorites from season 3. Trippy, indeed. Fingers majorly crossed for this flick. Trailer.
Frankenweenie – Director Tim Burton revisits one of his early, short, films with this “animated” version. I’m all about bringing your dogs back from the dead. Let’s do this! Voice cast includes Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Christopher Lee, and Martin Landau. Could be this year’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Trailer.
The Master -I’m not a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson, but I am intrigued to see his “controversial” film about a charmismatic man whose faith-based organization finds popularity in the U.S. Why does this intrigue? Because, apparently, it’s about L. Ron Hubbard, and I’m sure the Scientologists are gonna be pissed. Hee hee. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the titular master. Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams co-star. Trailer.
Cloud Atlas - Based on the novel by David Mitchell, and adapted/directed for the big screen by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, this sci-fi/mystery/drama has a cast that will make you weep: Hugo Weaving, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Keith David, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, and many more. Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present, and the future. “Action, mystery, and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future.” Official site.
Seven Psychopaths – I’m not a comedy fan, and I rarely, if ever, go and see them, but this one could be interesting if for no other reason than its cast: Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Zeljko Ivanek, Tom Waits … The premise is about a group of guys who kidnap a gangster’s Shih Tzu. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, the guy behind In Bruges, which delighted the hell out of me.
Skyfall – James Bond (Daniel Craig) is back again and he’s squaring off against Javier Bardem. Oh, and Ralph Fiennes has joined the cast. That’s me sorted. Done. Love, adore, and worship Fiennes. Is there a story? Um, who cares. It’s Bond, man. Judi Dench and Albert Finney are here. Berenice Marlohe, a truly gorgeous woman, plays a Bond girl. And you will get to see Noomi Rapace’s husband, Ola. One of the settings is Shanghai, too. Can’t wait. Trailer. (FYI: THAT’S how a trailer should be done. Flashy but not overly revelatory.)
Rise of the Guardians – No, this isn’t about animated owls, although the title might suggest otherwise. This animated film from Dreamworks is about a nefarious spirit named Pitch (voiced by Jude Law), the Boogeyman, who decides to take over the world. Coming together to stop him are such mythical beings as Jack Frost (Chris Pine), E. Aster Bunnymund (Hugh Jackman), Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Sandman (a mute character), and the Toothfairy (Isla Fisher). I love Jackman and the idea that the Easter Bunny fights with boomerangs and exploding eggs fills me with delight. The character designs are really outstanding and creative. For instance, the Toothfairy is part human/part hummingbird. Trailer.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – First, a moment of silence. OK, now a masterful scream. I’m so thrilled, elated, overjoyed to see a screening date for this Peter Jackson-directed Lord of the Rings “prequel” that I can barely contain myself. Some of the old gang are back, including Orlando Bloom, Cate Blachett, Elijah Wood, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Ian McKellen, and Hugo Weaving, but there are plenty of new faces, including Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, Billy Connolly as Dain Ironfoot, Lee Pace as King Thranduil, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, and on and on. The story, in case you live under a rock, centers on the Hobbit, Bilbo, who journeys with a group of dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen by a DRAGON! A dragon, people. I love Guillermo Del Toro, but I’m so glad that he didn’t direct this. All hail, Peter Jackson. Official site.
Les Miserables – I’ve seen this musical so many times that I almost don’t care about ANOTHER big screen adaptation. And yet. And yet. It has Hugh Jackman’s Jean Valjean squaring off against Russell Crowe’s Javert. Amanda Seyfried, who I adore, plays the lovely Cosette. The comical, although horrible, Thenardiers will be played by Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. The best surprise of all? Colm Wilkinson, my fave Valjean, has a minor role as the Bishop of Digne. And Anne Hathaway plays Fantine, who dies early on in the show. Yay! (I know, not nice.) If you aren’t looking forward to this production, you need to watch the trailer. Tom Hooper, the man behind King’s Speech and, my fave, Longford, directs. Trailer.
Jack Reacher- In this crime/drama, a homicide detective looks into a case involving a trained sniper who shot five random victims. There were a lot of groans when Tom Cruise was cast as the lead, but I love him. I also really like Christopher McQuarrie, the writer of Valkyrie and The Usual Suspects, who is directing.
The Great Gatsby – Believe it or not, this week features a double feature of Leonardo DiCaprio, but while so many others will be seeing him in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (and I’ll probably see it, someday) I will be watching, and, no doubt, marveling at Baz Luhrmann’s take on F. Scott Fitzgerald. I don’t care much for this story, but I like Luhrmann’s style/finesse, and what a cast: Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, and Tobey Maguire. Trailer.
Have Your Say
Powered by Facebook Comments