Sunday, January 29, 2006

Reasons to Be Cheerful 2; Year of the Underdog

We're out of the Sino-Julian timeslip and into the true 2006. It's time to look at what's on offer for the cinematic fanatic this time round.

Unfortunately, some of the movies from last year still haven't made it here. Brothers Grimm didn't live up to expectations and was out on DVD in the States back in August, but won't reach our cinemas here til March. Aeon Flux sucked on US release last month. It'll be in NZ theatres a month before Brothers Grimm. A History of Violence looks to be an excellent story, judging from the DVD reviews from its release in September. That'll be here in March too. Brokeback Mountain, currently romping through the US box office, will be here in Feb. Capote is released here a month before the DVD release in the States. We're stuck in the movie distributor mandated timeslip still. Aieyah!
  1. The excellent don't-trust-government genre, currently going mental with The Constant Gardener, Munich and Good Night and Good Luck, will continue. Clooney follows GN&GL with Syriana, co-starring oil, the CIA and the Middle East (US release Dec, expect it in Feb).
  2. While Alan Moore's Watchmen has returned to Development Hell for the foreseeable future, V for Vendetta is burping and hiccuping its way to a March release (It was originally slated to be released worldwide Nov 5 last year). The trailer looks a bit more Matrixy than I was expecting, but at least the fascists don't look like Agent Smith. No need for sunglasses in this dystopia. Fingers crossed.
  3. Colons, like sequels, are here to stay. Ice Age 2: Meltdown and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest lead the way. Good to see Bill "Slartibartfast" Nighy playing Davy Jones.
  4. Bond 21: Casino Royale will be the acid test whether Daniel Craig makes a better Bond than the once-mooted Tarantino/Brosnan Royale with Cheese.
  5. Brosnan plays not spy but jaded contract killer in a Grosse Pointe Blankish buddy movie, The Matador. This is not to be mistaken for Matador, which is a very twisted movie indeed.
  6. Lars Von Trier concludes his American trilogy (Dancer in the Dark, Dogville) with Manderlay. Critics are panning it, but I'm wondering whether they have mistaken their own Yankee perspective for LVT flaws. Interesting...
  7. Normally I wouldn't name some of the really shitty movies that are also getting released. Each to their own. However, two deserve special consideration because they are remakes of cherished movies. Omen 666 is strictly for people too young to believe in horror movies without cellphones. Steve Martin tries to replicate the unique Peter Sellers in a dire Pink Panther rehash. Avoid both at all costs! Don't look at them. Don't even link to them! There, I said it. Normal service will resume in 5,6,7-
  8. Not sure whether this counts as a remake, revival or whatever, but Michael Mann's Miami Vice is hitting the big screen this year. Am quietly betting that it will be worthy.
  9. Pixar justifies its $10 billion pricetag with Cars, a story showing that life is about friends not fame and fortune.
  10. Stephen Frears provides some encouragement for Mermaids and Showgirls with Mrs Henderson Presents. Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins head a musical defending the need for naked women in the face, and possibly the lap, of adversity. Think Moulin Rouge with nipples.
  11. The penultimate pick is Alfonso Cuarón's latest, The Children of Men. In a world that has lost the ability to procreate, a woman goes on the run from the government after she gets pregnant. Featuring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman.
  12. For the second year in a row, Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain tops the list. Yes, it is definitely on, as this trailer goes to show. IMDb says: Spanning over one thousand years, and three parallel stories, The Fountain is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world. The official site features a trippy flash animation.