Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Reasons to be Cheerful 3

Haven't seen the sun for two days. Wellington has been shrouded in mist. It goes up, it goes down, but it doesn't go. Overcast and humid like Orkland on a day when it's not raining. Women fighting with credit cards down in the city and box shops. Four hours in a car from Wellington to Kapiti. Time to see what good movies 2007 has in store.

2007 will be brought to you by the number 3. Namely, Pirates of the Caribbean 3; At World's End will be hoping to puff out Disney's balance sheets with numerous merchandising wet dreams. 007's main competitor, Jason Bourne, has his third outing in The Bourne Ultimatum. Spiderman 3 looks positively Gothic. Will The Simpsons Movie (trailer here) be more than just 3 episodes joined together? Will it be funnier that Borat, or merely amusing like their last six seasons? A couple of animatic previews were posted up here, but YouTube has pulled them on behalf of Fox.

Slightly further afield from the mainstream box office, Sin City 2 brings back Marv and the dames for a few more tales. Lee Tamahori comes in off the street and directs Next, based on the Phillip K Dick story The Golden Man. It stars Nicolas Coppola, who also appears in a lot of Ghost Rider as a CGI skeleton only he's called Nicholas Cage in this one. Pity he hasn't had a decent movie since Adaptation and he has to cadge glory off wunderkind Cousin Sofia and Uncle Frank.

There is so much hush-hush about The Corrections, I'm going to take a punt on this being a goodie. With a line-up of Brad Pitt, Naomi Watts (sigh), Tim Robbins and Judi Dench, it tells the the story of "several generations of a dysfunctional family". About bloody time. I've had nothing to watch since The Royal Tenenbaums. OK, there was Little Miss Sunshine...

Neil Gaiman's Stardust features not only Claire Danes, Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, but also a veritable cornicopia of Brit actors; Jason Flemyng, Ricky Gervais, Peter O'Toole. Matthew Vaughn, from the excellent Layer Cake, directs. While in Britland, may as well mention the sequel to the Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth, The Golden Age. The story focuses on ER I's conflict with Mary Queen of Scots, played by the ever-yummy Samantha Morton, and her relationship with Sir Walter Raleigh. No mention is made on whether Rowan Atkinson makes a cameo.

But my pick for 2007, in lieu of The Fountain ever getting to our shores, is Black Snake Moan, starring Samuel L Jackson & Christina Ricci. And, er, Justin Timberlake. Rotten Tomatoes:
"From the writer and director of the sleeper hit Hustle & Flow comes a gritty, seductive, blues-soaked tale of love, sex, music, and redemption. Writer/director Craig Brewer's Black Snake Moan descends into the dark, spellbinding heart of fear and desire and comes out the other side."