Wednesday, February 07, 2007

10 Movies to Go See This Spring


Just because it’s Spring doesn’t mean all the movies have to suck, although going on the past ten years or so, most of them probably will. So, this year Hollywood it seems is taking the approach that if you throw a hundred or so pictures out there in a little over 2 and a half months, something has got to stick. The release schedule, as it is right now, is ridiculous. This two movie a week thing is about to change. Starting in March and leading up to our favorite webslinger’s third appearance on the big screen (Spiderman 3) we are going to get about five wide releases a week along with three or four limited releases. Granted, some of these films, if not a lot of them, are going to be moving to later on in the year as the box office heats up; I can guarantee that. We already had our first casualty announced today; “The Kingdom” has been bumped from April 20 to September of this year. Expect more to follow, but going on the release schedule that we have now, here are the ten that I’m hoping will be worth a damn when all is said and done, and won’t make you feel like you threw away 8-10 bucks (Depending on where you are in the country) when you walk out to your car.

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez each give us a feature length (about an hour and a half) film in their ode to “Double Feature” grindhouse movies of the seventies. Not to mention a lot of other genre faves (Rob Zombie and Eli Roth to name two) giving us some fake previews to go along with our fun double dip. And this will all be for the price of one. Tarantino’s contribution is called “Death Proof” and stars Kurt Russell as a badass who likes to run people over with his car, and Rodriguez gives us “Planet Terror,” a zombie film starring Rose McGowan as our heroine who apparently replaces her missing leg with a semi-automatic weapon. Do I really need to say more? Can April 6 come fast enough? Hopefully this isn’t one of the ones the execs decide they need to move unless of course they move it to an even earlier date.

Reuniting the director and cast of 2004’s instant classic, “Shaun of the Dead,” is enough to make one wet with anticipation. Simon Pegg stars in this send-up of cop films. He plays an overachieving and rather reckless big city copper who is transferred to a much quieter and smaller town where he can do less damage. However, the bodies start piling up and are ruled as accidental deaths, and Pegg is determined that these people are idiots and they have a serial killer on their hands. One of the best previews in the early months of 2007 promises a riot of a film. The 21st Century’s answer to Monty Python might get a little more concrete with this film. Bring it on.

3. 300 (MARCH 9)
I’m not as impressed with this preview as a lot of people are. After seeing great previews to other visual feasts like “Sin City” and “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” over the past few years and only being disappointed at the utter lack of an interesting story to go along with the eye candy when I actually saw them, gives me a little deja-vu. But here’s hoping this is less pretentious and more engaging than those examples. Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead) has proven to be an exciting director to watch, and here’s hoping that this will only enrich his filmography.

The fact that this is Craig Brewer’s follow-up to the great “Hustle and Flow” is enough to get me in the theater, but the fact that he’s got Samuel L. Jackson in the film makes it only sweeter. When was the last time Jackson actually worked with a good director? I sure as hell can’t remember. Jackson plays a used up bluesman turned religious extremist in the backwoods of some Southern delight this side of “Deliverance,” and takes it upon himself to kidnap and train the town tramp (Christina Ricci) to become a better person. This looks to be the best Russ Meyer film that Meyer was never able to make; think “Faster Pussycatt, Kill, Kill” but good. Plus I’m sure we’ll get a great Blues soundtrack out of it if nothing else.

When the studio was given a nearly 4 hour cut this past fall they decided to have director David Fincher do a little more editing, and so it got bumped from it’s October 2006 release date. Usually not a good sign, but at least it didn’t get dumped in January. Plus I love a good serial killer film, and I love a good David Fincher film, so here’s hoping for the best. Hopefully it’s less like that highly touted serial killer film from 06 (Black Dahlia) from another highly touted director (Brian De Palma) and more like, say Fincher’s other great serial killer opus, “Seven.” Great cast to go along with it (Jake Gyllenhall, Mark Ruffallo, and Robert Downey Jr.) makes me a little more intrigued. Plus if Fincher is going to do a film every five years (His last one was 2002’s underrated “Panic Room”) let’s hope to God he’s given us something worthwile.

6. RENO 911: MIAMI (FEB. 23)
Let’s hope Thomas Lennon writes big budget garbage like “Night at the Museum” in his off-time so he’s allowed to give us some great comic brilliance that his show “Reno 911” has given us over the past few years. Haven’t been too impressed with the previews, but my love for the show and the comics behind it give me enough of an urge to go check it out. Of course I said the same thing about “Tenacious D,” and look how that turned out. Hopefully the brains behind “The State” haven’t let success get to them yet like Jack Black obviously has.

James Wan directed a little horror film back in 2004 that maybe you’ve heard of, “Saw.” And three years later his follow-up concerns a crazy old woman and her army of ventriloquist dummies hopefully scaring the absolute bejesus out of us. “Saw” has a lot of fans; I’m not one of them. However, I fault that more with the script; I actually thought the mood that Wan set was almost its saving grace. And ventriloquist dummies scare the fuck out of me, and if there is going to be an army of them then count me in. This is my pick for the one horror film in the early going that will not suck.

8. THE NUMBER 23 (FEB. 23)
This has something to do with Jim Carrey starting to see the number 23 in everything that has to do with life and losing his fucking mind over it. Plus, hot as hell, Virginia Madsen gets to be along for the ride. This is one of those high concepts that is either going to wow us to death, or make us laugh our asses off at how ridiculous it is. Joel Schumacer behind the camera doesn’t give me the highest hopes, but the man has made some good thrillers in the past (The Lost Boys and Phone Booth). But expect to see Carrey’s nipples poking out of his shirts.

Since no date has been set, I have a feeling this one could get moved, but it’s slated as a Spring release, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now and put it on the list. Danny Boyle did not impress me for a long time, I’m one of those two or three people out there that thought “Trainspotting” was utter nonsense. But then he made “28 Days Later” and “Millions,” and so I’m hoping this interesting looking sci-fi flick will continue his hot trend. An interesting cast (Michelle Yeoh, Cillian Murphy, and Chris Evans) play a crew of astronauts sent to reignite the dying sun 50 years in the future, and apparently start losing their minds in the process. Could be inventive, could be “Event Horizon 2,” but with Paul Anderson nowhere near the damn thing, here’s hoping for the former.

I will go see anything that Billy Bob Thorton does, it’s that simple. So, this had to be on my list by default. The fact that it looks like a good film doesn’t hurt anything. Thorton plays a wannabe astronaut that ends up building his very own rocket ship “Macguyver” style. The previews make this look a little sappy, but it’s an interesting story that hopefully will tone down on the cheese factor a bit.

And here are ten films to avoid at all costs. Could be a surprise in here, but I kind of doubt it:

1. THE HILLS HAVE EYES II – It is apparently nothing like the 1985 sequel to the original except of course it will suck ass. It’s Marines vs. the mutated desert folk; think if “Aliens” had been bad.
2. DISTURBIA – “Rear Window” for the teen set with Shia Lebouf under house arrest and convinced that his neighbor (David Morse) is a serial killer. But how will he get out of that ankle bracelet long enough to prove it before being busted? Oh, the agony. Skip.
3. WILD HOGS – Tim Allen, Martin Lawerence, John Travolta, and William H. Macy get some Harley’s and hit the road to try and beat their impending midlife crisis. From the director of “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder.” How could it be bad? Think if “City Slickers” sucked balls.
4. PERFECT STRANGER – Halle Berry plays a journalist who thinks that some rich asshole (Bruce Willis) is killing women, so she goes undercover as one of his ladies. This is probably the worst preview I’ve seen ever, so I don’t have a lot of hope for it.
5. PREMONITION – Sandra Bullock in a darker take on “Groundhog Day.” Her husband (Julian McMahon) dies, but Bullock wakes up every day to him alive, and has to figure out a way to keep him like that. Expect a lot of dark stares from McMahon and a lot of people thinking Bullock has lost her mind. And we’ll probably get a stupid twist ending to boot.
6. TYLER PERRY’S DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL – Perry is a freaking paradox to me. A really unfunny and uninteresting filmmaker who has people believing he’s good.
7. ARE WE DONE YET? – For those that asked for more hijinks from Ice Cube in a sequel to surprise hit, “Are We There Yet?,” well, you got it. And now the rest of us have to suffer.
8. HANNIBAL RISING – If the film is ten times better than the book, then we are still in for a shitty, shitty film.
9. I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE – Chris Rock makes a return to directing after 2003’s less than stellar, “Head of State,” and he decides to his own version of “The Seven Year Itch.” Rock is a great stand-up comedian that has no idea how to make a film, and this will only further prove that statement.
10. GHOST RIDER – From the writer/director of “Daredevil.” Need I say more?


Post a Comment

<< Home