Jan 1 2011

Coming Soon (for Better or Worse)!!!

Well, it is a new year, and with it a new slew of highly-anticipated Hollywood blockbusters, not to mention more regular content from the site.  No doubt many of you have kept up with the rumor mill of Hollywood; oodles and boodles of remakes, reboots and superhero sagas are being planned for the big screen.

Which ones are you eagerly awaiting?  Which ones are you eagerly awaiting to hate on?  Following the jump are some of the films we’re most excited for, and some that we’re complaining about already.

Reboots/Remakes

Most ExcitedRobocop    

Robocop is an amazing picture; it looks great, it’s violent, bleak, funny, engaging, and just plain well made across the board.  Director Paul Verhoven has always had a way with making a picture sleek, yet unrelentlessly gritty at the same time, and in that sense, Robocop is his American masterpiece.

So obviously, a reboot of Robocop would be cinematic sacrilege then, right?  Right, unless the man pushing for the reboot is Darren Aronofsky.  Although MGM’s bankruptcy has halted the project, Aronofsky is still intent on making the film, so there is hope yet.

I’ve said it time and time again: reboots or remakes aren’t inherently a bad thing depending on who is involved.  Aronofsky is a fantastic filmmaker; he is visceral and intense in style, and he knows how to tell a story of transformation in a very bold, unrelentless fashion.  Bottom line: I want to see Aronofsky’s Robocop.

Least Excited: Highlander  

Like Robocop, Highlander is one of the great Eighties masterpieces; it’s flashy, ridiculous (an “Egyptian” Sean Connery), and featured a powerhouse score from Queen.  However, several sequels have proven that Highlander should have adhered to its own mantra: “There can be only one.”  Each sequel has been exponentially worse than the one that came before, and that digression of quality is not likely to change just because someone has decided to label the next film a “reboot” instead of a “sequel.”

Yet, is it not hypocritical to give the thumbs up for Robocop and not Highlander?  It would be, if a filmmaker of Aronofsky’s caliber were helming the project.  Unfortunately, Justin Lin, director of Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift will be behind the camera for the reboot.  For the record, Lin has said that he is thinking about using the music of Queen for the film.  Any Highlander fan knows that there are three things absolutely necessary for a Highlander film: swords, quickenings, and Queen.  Anyone who needs to think about using any of these is not equipped to handle a Highlander film.

And one more thing: Clancy Brown IS the Kurgan.  No substitutes.

Sequel/Prequel

Most Excited: Ghostbusters 3

It’s about time.

Even though Sylvester Stallone has had the corner market on the “out of retirement” franchise films for the last few years now, I think it is safe to say that, while we have been watching all the Eighties action icons return to the big screen, we were all waiting for Egon, Ray, Winston and Venkman to mop the floor with them with parapsychological wit.

I will be the first to admit, some of Dan Aykroyd’s ideas are worrisome, particularly his obsession with featuring a new tam of young, sexier Ghostbusters (Eliza Dushku and Anna Faris’ names have been dropped).  However, the opportunity to see these guys dust off their old proton packs and smart-ass their way to the edge of the hereafter has a lot of potential.  And who doesn’t want to see Bill Murray in top form again anyway?

Why God, Why?!?!

Least Excited: Big Mama’s House 3

This is another installment of that one movie where Martin Lawrence dresses up as a fat lady and tries to not get discovered.  Hijinks (or should I say “lowjinks?” ZING!) ensue.

Fat suits and drag: does Eddie Murphy know Lawrence is stealing his thing?

Superhero Film

Most Excited:   Thor  

Thor has always looked promising: a virtually no-name actor to play Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a well-respected director who isn’t on Hollywood’s speed dial (Kenneth Branagh) helming the film, and making a movie about one of Marvel’s more unconventional superheroes.

For one, the Thor trailer doesn’t have the “action scene, one liner, shirtless star, smarmy quip” setup that panders to the lowest common denominator (see: The Green Lantern).  Given his repertoire of Shakespeare film adaptations, Branagh is an interesting choice who may steer this big-budgeted superhero flick into a different direction.  And if Hemsworth can deliver anything like his surprisingly intense, ten-minute performance in Star Trek, he might give us the most compelling superhero since Iron Man.

Least ExcitedCaptain America: The First Avenger  

Granted, no trailer and a handful of production stills offer nothing to go on, but I have little faith in this movie.

In the Marvel universe, Captain America is the quintessential leader of men; and yet, they gave this role to Chris “poor man’s Ryan Reynolds” Evans.  In most of his films, Evans’ dialogue is comprised of quips, and the few serious films he has been in, save for Sunshine, have been clunkers.

Jim Johnston is directing the film, and although he isn’t terrible, he’s not stellar either; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a classic, The Wolfman was awful, and The Rocketeer exemplified his gift for gee-whiz wonderment, and his ineptitude for depth.  If anything, Johnston is not reliable enough to fully trust with something as big as Captain America.

Furthermore, the whole Avengers thing has become more of an obligatory cinematic franchise than anything else.  Adding the “First Avenger” title onto the film suggests that it will be, simply, a piece of an eventual whole.  Although Thor has the same potential conflict, something tells me Captain America will be a self- conscious opening act to The Avengers, rather than a solid stand-alone film about Captain America.




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