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Thread: Films of 2011

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    Films of 2011

    This is going to be a bumper first post, as traditionally I have to list all the upcoming big films. To save my sanity I'll be restricting my comments to those movies I actually know something about, and not doing any extra research. Anyone wishing to read my comments on the smaller films of the year will have to wait until the week they come out.

    Trailers linked where available. Some movies coming out this year will have received limited release in 2010, and so would be covered in the previous thread.


    Season of the Witch: Has one song, albeit an awesome one, inspired the titles of more lame movies? First we had George Romero's interminable and incoherent wiccan housewife flick, then the atrocious Halloween III (which could have been good in another universe in which it was made by people who gave a crap), and now this. Nicolas Cage isn't even trying to pretend he makes a convincing 14th century knight. Ron Perlman isn't either, but he fits so well into movies like this that it hardly matters. I have become quite enamoured of the lovely Claire Foy since Going Postal, I have to say, and she does seem to imbue her maybe-witch character with a certain wild-eyed charisma. But still, I don't get this movie. Either she's a witch and caused the Black Death, in which case this film is essentially a rebuke of the entire Age of Reason in favour of mediaeval misogyny (and would thus make an interesting double feature with Cage's Wicker Man) or she isn't, in which case this movie's plot is a trite historic retcon ala Cadfael, with a hero seemingly transplanted from our rational era arguing valiantly against the superstitious majority. A far more interesting take on the same concept (mediaeval knights searching out a witch who may have power over the Black Death) was released in the UK a few months back. It was called Black Death, and featured a witch character who was neither supernatural, nor totally innocent.

    The Green Hornet: I love Michel Gondry but I have to wonder why he feels the need to make a movie like this. And who actually thought that Seth Rogen would make a good superhero? Oh yeah. Writer-producer Seth Rogen.

    No Strings Attached: Not much to say about this, except that I hate Ashton Kutcher, and 2011 will be the year that Natalie Portman finally becomes the star she was born to be. With this, Thor, Your Highness, and a likely Oscar for Black Swan, she has shown her ability to work in pretty much any genre, and take on any type of role. On its own, this non-romantic non-comedy wouldn't interest me at all, but together with the others, it forms part of an opening salvo that will break Hollywood's doors down.

    The Rite: Sometimes I think Anthony Hopkins takes these kinds of roles just for the pleasure of overacting.

    Gnomeo and Juliet: Bad bad jokes. Can't see what Kate Winslet saw in this.

    Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son: If there is anyone on this board who actually liked the first two Big Mommas, then that individual may like this.

    I Am Number Four: A Michael Bay offering (he's producing, not directing, if that makes you feel any better) about alien fugitives who hide out in a local high school. May seem novel to anyone who never read any kiddie scifi or watched a single episode of Roswell.

    Vanishing on Seventh Street: Apparently this is getting bad buzz, which is a shame because this trailer really had me hooked. I liked the idea of a group of post-apocalyptic survivors being hunted by darkness itself. Perhaps the bad vibes are due to a certain Mr Christensen.

    Rango:True, the plot is basically a mashup of The Brave Little Tailor and The Three Amigos, but I like that, unlike nearly every other tale of this type, the hero is taking his job seriously, rather than running away from it first chance he gets. Bill Nighy makes a great snake. But then, he made a great octopus.

    The Adjustment Bureau: Emily Blunt! Cool. And Matt Damon! Cooler. And General Zod! Coolest. In a Philip K Dick movie! Beyond cool. Not sure I buy the idea of an agency devoted to ensuring fate goes to plan (exactly how many of them are there supposed to be?), but it looks great anyway.

    Apollo 18: No trailer, no info whatsoever. Just a really really cool poster. As lunar conspiracy movies go, this has to be better than Transformers 3.

    Battle: Los Angeles: The first full-blooded, unrepentant blockbuster of the year, this actually looks fairly decent. An alien invasion flick done in the style of 24-hour news reports and embedded documentaries. Interesting that it makes reference to the actual Battle of Los Angeles.

    Mars Needs Moms: Does this count as a Disney animated feature? I hope not.

    Red Riding Hood: Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke returns to the well here. There's no ignoring the beauty that is Amanda Seyfried, and this seems to be drawing at least a bit from the werewolf legend of Peter Stumpp, but this idea was done better in The Company of Wolves.
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2011-Jan-03 at 11:14 AM.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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    Jane Eyre: Not sure why we need yet another Jane Eyre adaptation, but it's a good vehicle for Mia Wasikowska (even if that radiant beauty makes a rather unconvincing Plain Jane).

    Paul: Or, to give its proper title, Shaun of the Dead 3. After horror and action, it was only right that the Pegg/Frost duo would tackle scifi. Edgar Wright isn’t on this one (he left to do Scott Pilgrim), but this does seem to have Simon Pegg’s voice intact.

    The Beaver: Jodie Foster's latest gift to the world as a director appears to have no fear of double entendres. Mel Gibson playing borderline insane man who needs to speak through a handpuppet to regain his last shot at reality perhaps cuts a bit too close to the bone for most people's comfort, but maybe that was intentional. And wow can Mel do a Ray Winstone impression or what?

    Sucker Punch: Zack Snyder's latest has geeks the world over foaming at the mouth; me? It just looks like a cheaply made girls-in-prison fantasy. Are we really supposed to believe that the best way to escape from a mental institution is to retreat further into your own delusions?

    Source Code: Duncan Jones's followup to Moon looks like an interesting twist on the time travel concept. Trailer does a really good job of explaining what could be a confusing premise.

    Your Highness: I debated with myself as to whether to include the official trailer or the naughty version, but finally decided on including both, since I feel that they offer an interesting take on the success of comedy. See, I actually think the tame version is funnier because it must rely more on wit (or what passes for it) rather than cheap shots. I can kinda see why Natalie Portman agreed to do this- it's not every day you get to prove you can play a warrior maiden- but I can't see what Zooey Deschenel saw in her role at all.

    Hanna: This is a weird one. Saoirse Ronan plays a genetically engineered 14-year-old assassin raised in the Arctic to kill Cate Blanchett.

    Scream 4: This feels like an intrusion from some bleak, wretched past. Since the last one came out, we've had The Devil's Backbone, The Others. Paranormal Activity, Let The Right One In and The Descent. Horror has moved on; it no longer relies on these cliches, unless it's Saw or Hostel. I don't really care for films that lament the poor state of horror when they seem worse than many horror films in recent history.

    Caves of Forgotten Dreams: No trailer yet for Werner Herzog's Lasceaux doc, but still looking forward to it.

    Thor: The whole idea of Thor as a superpowered alien strikes me as a bit odd, but once I take that on board, I have to say this looks kinda fun. Kenneth Branagh seems to have embraced the blockbuster aesthetic with worrying gusto. The final strike in Natalie Portman's all out attack on the multiplex this summer.

    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: This looks like a blast. Freed from the lugubrious and clunky Davy Jones storyline (and the presence of Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley) this feels as fresh as the first. Ian McShane was born to play a pirate, and Penelope Cruz makes an awesome firebrand. And when was the last time you saw mermaids the way they're supposed to be: evil?

    Kung Fu Panda 2: no interest in this, but I gotta admit this trailer's kinda funny.

    The Tree of Life: Terrence Malick's bonkers hybrid of religious allegory, natural history doc and domestic drama certainly has an interesting trailer. Apparently it also has CG dinosaurs.

    X-Men: First Class: No trailer yet for this franchise reboot, but apparently they've cobbled together quite a cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence and Oliver Platt; all playing younger versions of the characters before they were famous. Lawrence (from Winter's Bone) will be playing Mystique. I hope she can handle the makeup.

    Super 8: This trailer for JJ Abrams' followup to Cloverfield was actually released early last year. Pretty good teaser I have to say.

    Green Lantern: With its cosmic scale and vast backstory, Green Lantern was never going to be easy to film, and with its Boy Scout motto, neoconservative subtext, secret clubs and magic power rings, it really belongs in the age of Wally Cleaver and Dennis the Menace. But the trailer is... OK. Although the last few moments felt like a clip from a Will Farrell movie. Ryan Reynolds may have written himself into geek history with this moment at Comic-Con last year, but he doesn't really impress here.

    Cars 2: Not really a car person, so never really got into Cars. Still, nice that they got Harry Palmer to play a spy.

    Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Michael Bay's ability to cheese off the members of this forum continues unabated. If Buzz punched out Bart Sibrel, what would he do to Michael Bay? Personally, it's the grammatical ignorance rather than the lunar conspiracy that irks me.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II: And so the cow is milked, one last time. I just sent my Harry Potter books to Kazakhstan, no joke (they're short of English versions over there, it seems), so I have officially moved on.

    Winnie the Pooh: Not a re-release, but a new animated feature based on previously unfilmed Milne stories. Not really fond of the music in the trailer, but it does seem like the movie sticks closely to the visual style of its predecessors.

    The First Avenger: Captain America: Little is known about this WWII-set superhero flick, save that it is one last piece in Marvel's mammoth Avengers project.

    Cowboys and Aliens: OK, the title's stupid, but once you get past that, this movie looks like it kicks serious posterior. For anyone like me who grew up in the Spielbergian heyday of the mid 80s, this trailer should evoke shivers of nostalgia. Indy and James Bond teaming up again should be worth anything, and how great is it to see Ford enjoying himself again?

    The Smurfs: Once again, just because you can do something...

    Fright Night: The original was quite fun in a cheesy way, and this remake has David Tennant in the Roddy McDowall role. That could be fun.

    Marvin the Martian: What? They made a movie of Marvin the Martian? Well I guess my sig is correct after all.

    Footloose: Probably following the Little Shop of Horrors/Producers/Hairspray route of movie to stage musical to movie again. The original had a great 80s soundtrack but was otherwise unmemorable. Not sure about this.

    The Thing: No not a remake; a prequel. The marketing department will have to hammer that in until someone sees sense enough to tack a subheading on that title. Advance word is, would you believe it, pretty good. Apparently they're eschewing CG in favour of practical effects, which means they got step one right.

    The Three Musketeers 3D: Christof Waltz, who just won an Oscar for God's sake, wants to appear in a Paul WS Anderson movie. As if we needed yet another Three Musketeers anyway.

    Contagion: Scifi thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne. That's an odd cast for a scifi thriller. Apparently it's about a contagion of some kind.

    Paranormal Activity 3: The first one was great; the second one was good. Hopefully that means this one will be at least worth seeing

    Happy Feet 2: Wait, didn't the last one end with the lead character going crazy in a zoo? That's not really an ending that screams "sequel".

    The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1: Yes, Twilight's doing it too. Best thing: MyAnna Buring, one of my many screen crushes, is getting her big break in this.

    The Muppets: One of several franchise reboots due from the Henson Company.

    Project X: They're remaking this? Why? Was it really that meaty a concept to begin with?

    Hugo Cabret: A 3D fantasy from Martin Scorsese starring Chloe Moretz from Kick-***.

    Mission Impossible IV: the franchise even Scientology can't kill. This one's directed by Brad Bird, who did The Incredibles.

    Sherlock Holmes 2: I really enjoyed the first one, and I am a rabid Holmes fan. The next one has Noomi Rapace in it, so cool.

    The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn: Spielberg finally manages to get his pet project off the ground after 30 years. Peter Jackson directs. Stephen Moffat writes. The motion capture feels a few steps up from the uncanny valley. But the story is all with Tintin.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: After Noomi knocked the character out of the park, it's hard to see how Rooney Mara (who?) can follow on. David Fincher's a dab hand at this sort of thing though, and Daniel Craig and Joely Richardson are good to have in reserve.

    War Horse: Steven Spielberg shows some guts (and taste) in adapting the award winning play to the screen. And he cast Emily Watson! Thank you!
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2011-Jan-03 at 01:59 PM.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I have become quite enamoured of the lovely Claire Foy since Going Postal, I have to say, and she does seem to imbue her maybe-witch character with a certain wild-eyed charisma.
    I just wish Going Postal had been better.

    The Green Hornet: I love Michel Gondry but I have to wonder why he feels the need to make a movie like this. And who actually thought that Seth Rogen would make a good superhero? Oh yeah. Writer-producer Seth Rogen.
    I saw him being unbearably smug on MythBusters a few weeks ago and was very angry. I doubt it'll even be as fun-bad as The Spirit.

    The Rite: Sometimes I think Anthony Hopkins takes these kinds of roles just for the pleasure of overacting.
    I have no doubt. Then again, I enjoyed The Wolf Man.

    Gnomeo and Juliet: Bad bad jokes. Can't see what Kate Winslet saw in this.
    I believe it was Baron Larry who said, "The money, dear boy."

    Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son: If there is anyone on this board who actually liked the first two Big Mommas, then that individual may like this.
    Actually, the second one is a running joke with us. It's the movie playing on the plane when my best friend came out to live with me while Graham was overseas. It's also generally accepted that, if she has seen a really terrible movie, it's because she saw it on an airplane.

    Rango:True, the plot is basically a mashup of The Brave Little Tailor and The Three Amigos, but I like that, unlike nearly every other tale of this type, the hero is taking his job seriously, rather than running away from it first chance he gets. Bill Nighy makes a great snake. But then, he made a great octopus.
    Is that the Johnny Depp one? I'll watch it. Because it has Johnny Depp in it.

    Mars Needs Moms: Does this count as a Disney animated feature? I hope not.
    IMDB lists its main production company as Adult Swim, which I find much more worrisome. After all, Disney puts out a fair number of movies, or used to, which are actually good.

    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Jane Eyre: Not sure why we need yet another Jane Eyre adaptation, but it's a good vehicle for Mia Wasikowska (even if that radiant beauty makes a rather unconvincing Plain Jane).
    Have you ever seen an adaptation with an actual plain person playing Jane? Frankly, I'm really looking forward to this one. I looked over the IMDB page when I was reviewing the Orson Welles (with Joan Fontaine taking over for her sister briefly as "the allegedly plain woman"), and it looks like they'll be a lot more faithful to the book. And she is a very talented young woman; I first came to learn this when she was Sophie on In Treatment.

    Sucker Punch: Zack Snyder's latest has geeks the world over foaming at the mouth; me? It just looks like a cheaply made girls-in-prison fantasy. Are we really supposed to believe that the best way to escape from a mental institution is to retreat further into your own delusions?
    My best friend (the one of bad movies on airplanes fame) made me watch the trailer to that some time ago. I am . . . agog.

    Source Code: Duncan Jones's followup to Moon looks like an interesting twist on the time travel concept. Trailer does a really good job of explaining what could be a confusing premise.
    He's earned enough goodwill from me that I'm certainly willing to watch his second movie. Maybe even give him a few more chances should it turn out not to be good.

    Caves of Forgotten Dreams: No trailer yet for Werner Herzog's Lasceaux doc, but still looking forward to it.
    I really, really, really want to see this in 3D, but I can't imagine that I'll have the chance to. It's not, "Ooo, what will Werner Herzog do with 3D?" It's "No, he's right; this is really the right way to do a documentary about this subject."

    Thor: The whole idea of Thor as a superpowered alien strikes me as a bit odd, but once I take that on board, I have to say this looks kinda fun. Kenneth Branagh seems to have embraced the blockbuster aesthetic with worrying gusto. The final strike in Natalie Portman's all out attack on the multiplex this summer.
    I'll see it. Probably even if we hear nothing but bad about it. Shameless superhero junkie strikes again!

    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: This looks like a blast. Freed from the lugubrious and clunky Davy Jones storyline (and the presence of Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley) this feels as fresh as the first. Ian McShane was born to play a pirate, and Penelope Cruz makes an awesome firebrand. And when was the last time you saw mermaids the way they're supposed to be: evil?
    Ever since I found out Ian McShane was going to be in it, I was sold. Then again, I'm also the only person who liked the third one.

    Kung Fu Panda 2: no interest in this, but I gotta admit this trailer's kinda funny.
    Still haven't seen the first one; don't plan to.

    X-Men: First Class: No trailer yet for this franchise reboot, but apparently they've cobbled together quite a cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence and Oliver Platt; all playing younger versions of the characters before they were famous. Lawrence (from Winter's Bone) will be playing Mystique. I hope she can handle the makeup.
    Huh. There's another one I will probably see regardless.

    Green Lantern: With its cosmic scale and vast backstory, Green Lantern was never going to be easy to film, and with its Boy Scout motto, neoconservative subtext, secret clubs and magic power rings, really belongs in the age of Wally Cleaver and Dennis the Menace. But the trailer is... OK. The last few moments felt like a clip from a Will Farrell movie, though. Ryan Reynolds may have wrote himself into geek history with this moment at Comic-Con last year, but he doesn't really impress here.
    I just don't like him!

    Cars 2: Not really a car person, so never really got into Cars. Still, nice that they got Harry Palmer to play a spy.
    I consider the original to be Pixar's weakest release to date. I'll watch it anyway. Because it's Pixar.

    Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Michael Bay's ability to cheese off the members of this forum continues unabated. If Buzz punched out Bart Sibrel, what would he do to Michael Bay? Personally, it's the grammatical ignorance rather than the lunar conspiracy that irks me.
    I just . . . . The first one, I watched for the Academy. It was up for technical categories, which did make sense. The second one was, too, and I said, "Fool me once, Academy!"

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II: And so the cow is milked, one last time. I just sent my Harry Potter books to Kazakhstan, no joke (they're short of English versions over there, it seems), so I have officially moved on.
    I haven't. I'm quite looking forward to it--and I spent the money for hardcover British edition box set on the books.

    The First Avenger: Captain America: Little is known about this WWII-set superhero flick, save that it is one last piece in Marvel's mammoth Avengers project.
    I'm a lot more interested in it than the new X-Men. Far more than in The Green Hornet.

    Cowboys and Aliens: OK, the title's stupid, but once you get past that, this movie looks like it kicks serious posterior. For anyone like me who grew up in the Spielbergian heyday of the mid 80s, this trailer should evoke shivers of nostalgia. Indy and James Bond teaming up again should be worth anything, and how great is it to see Ford enjoying himself again?
    They swear it's not intended to be a comedy. On the other hand, when I saw the trailer, everyone laughed at the title. Not a few laughed at other bits in it as well.

    Happy Feet 2: Wait, didn't the last one end with the lead character going crazy in a zoo? That's not really an ending that screams "sequel".
    I'm done with animated penguins anyway.

    The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1: Yes, Twilight's doing it too. Best thing: MyAnna Buring, one of my many screen crushes, is getting her big break in this.
    But don't you wish it could be in a good movie?

    The Muppets: One of several franchise reboots due from the Henson Company.
    I am deeply concerned about it. You want to talk emotional connections to things, we should talk the Muppets. (Same branch of the family, actually; Dyllan's grandmother used to be a puppeteer.) Brian just makes me feel tired all over sometimes.

    Sherlock Holmes 2: I really enjoyed the first one, and I am a rabid Holmes fan. The next one has Noomi Rapace in it, so cool.
    I'm pleased. The first one got plowed under in the juggernaut that was Avatar; maybe this one will have a fair shot.
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    So how many of those are remakes/sequels/adaptations and how many are entirely original concepts? You also missed out Yogi Bear. I nearly vomited when I saw the trailer.

    I'm looking forward to POTC. I did like the second two, in fact more than the first, but I'm glad this one is disconnected from the previous three. I always thought that this should be an episodic movie series with self contained adventures.

    I'm also looking forward to Sherlock Holmes as I really liked the first one. I really enjoyed RDJ's quirky performance.

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    Yogi Bear is a 2010 release. See Films of 2010 for that.

    As for original releases, in my list (which was not a complete list) there were:

    Season of the Witch

    No Strings Attached

    The Rite

    Caves of Forgotten Dreams

    Vanishing on 7th Street

    Rango

    Apollo 18

    Battle: Los Angeles

    Mars Needs Moms

    Paul

    The Beaver

    Sucker Punch

    Source Code

    Your Highness

    Hanna

    The Tree of Life

    Super 8

    Contagion
    Keep in mind though that just because they aren't sequels, remakes or adaptations, that doesn't mean they're original concepts.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I just wish Going Postal had been better.
    I thought it was OK; Pratchett's books are probably unadaptable anyway, so it was about as good as could be expected

    I believe it was Baron Larry who said, "The money, dear boy."
    I'm fairly sure that the child support from Sam Mendes alone is keeping her in the black.


    Is that the Johnny Depp one? I'll watch it. Because it has Johnny Depp in it.
    Yeah. Sorry. It's the Johnny Depp-is-a-lizard one.


    And she is a very talented young woman; I first came to learn this when she was Sophie on In Treatment.
    I quite agree. I saw her in In Treatment too.

    But don't you wish it could be in a good movie?
    She already made a good movie: The Descent. And she was in that fun devil-round-a-black-hole Doctor Who episode. So I'm OK.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

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    I'll definitely see the Johnny Depp-is-a-lizard film.

    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - why? The Swedish version was excellent.

    ETA: rhetorical question. I know the answer.

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    2011 will be the year that Natalie Portman finally becomes the star she was born to be. With this, Thor, Your Highness, and a likely Oscar for Black Swan, she has shown her ability to work in pretty much any genre, and take on any type of role.
    I never had doubts about her. She's got a lot already under her belt. The Star Wars prequels were proof that even the best actors can't rescue a bad script.

    The Smurfs: Once again, just because you can do something...
    Gah. Got that right.

    Looking forward to the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean...they're all fun movies to me, primarily thanks to Johnny Depp.

    Apollo 18 has me interested...I could put aside rational if they made a decent horror film of the situation. A what if type thing. Just keep the obvious science real though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I thought it was OK; Pratchett's books are probably unadaptable anyway, so it was about as good as could be expected
    What got me about it was the unnecessary changes. Why was the road to Sto Lat a forest trail, and why did Spike go with him? Things like that. It was my problem with the Dresden Files TV show, too. I understood why they didn't do Bob the Skull the way he is in the books; that's going to get expensive. But why change his car? How hard is it to find a beat-up old Volkswagen?

    I'm fairly sure that the child support from Sam Mendes alone is keeping her in the black.
    I couldn't say. But you never know some people's motivation. There's also the grandmother-in-a-basement explanation.

    Yeah. Sorry. It's the Johnny Depp-is-a-lizard one.
    I assumed it was something Hunter S. Thompson-like--the poster doesn't give you a lot to go on other than "Johnny Depp is a lizard!"--and was going to see it anyway.

    I quite agree. I saw her in In Treatment too.
    She played the only character on the show who had my total sympathy. (Well, I'll be getting disc one of season two from Netflix this week.) I thought the married couple should just give in and get divorced, and I thought most of the characters were bringing their problems on themselves, but Sophie was put in a bad position by life and didn't know what else she wanted or how to get it. It wasn't an easy role, and she handled it with aplomb.

    She already made a good movie: The Descent. And she was in that fun devil-round-a-black-hole Doctor Who episode. So I'm OK.
    I just don't like Doctor Who, but you get my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    I'll definitely see the Johnny Depp-is-a-lizard film.
    I'm curious. Will anyone actually call it by name? That's how I think of it; I suspect that's how everyone thinks of it.

    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - why? The Swedish version was excellent.

    ETA: rhetorical question. I know the answer.
    Oh, yes. Now, I just finished watching Kingdom Hospital the other day; I didn't review it because it isn't in the Rotten Tomatoes database. However, I did think it was an interesting adaptation of the Danish original. In that case, it was mostly Stephen King thinking, "Hey, that looks fun!" Besides, Americans didn't watch his version, either.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Happy Feet 2: Wait, didn't the last one end with the lead character going crazy in a zoo? That's not really an ending that screams "sequel".
    No, it ended with him coming home and convincing the other penguins to dance for the researchers, which encouraged the people to protect the penguin colony so the dancing could be studied.
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    Looking at that list, I probably won't go to the movies in 2011. I don't think there was a single one that sounded interesting.
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    Thor I'm gonna watch. Mmm, hunky men.

    Otherwise, the list looks pretty meh. Perhaps Kung Fu Panda 2, but only perhaps. There was a Mythbusters episode about Green Hornet which didn't particularly inspire me to watch the movie. And I know we live in sequel-land but really, can we have some new concepts please?


  13. #13
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    I can't believe I'm the only person I know really interested in Jane Eyre. Maybe it's that all my college friends moved away?
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    I think the reason that it's hard to get exited about Jane Eyre is because after Lord of the Flies it's probably the one book everyone has read at school. So watching it feels like a homework assignment.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

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    That's the thing. I don't know anyone who read it in school. To Kill a Mockingbird, yes; I'd also say it's the B&W movie the largest percentage of people I know have seen. (Usually in tenth grade.) But I didn't read Jane Eyre until college, and several of my friends had never even heard of it when I told them there was a new movie of it coming out. I had to explain the whole thing, though they did know about mad wives in attics.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Looking at that list, I probably won't go to the movies in 2011. I don't think there was a single one that sounded interesting.
    Johnny Depp as a lizard! Johnny Depp. As a lizard.

    Well, I'm excited.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I think the reason that it's hard to get exited about Jane Eyre is because after Lord of the Flies it's probably the one book everyone has read at school. So watching it feels like a homework assignment.
    I don't know if that is the reason for me, though I did have to read it in high school. I actually have vague memories thinking it was "OK", and that was 35 years ago. I just saw the coming attractions for the one about to be released and I wasn't excited.

    On the flip side, I also had to read Lord of the Flies and really liked it.
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    I read Jane Eyre for school just this past month, and I loved it. But I hated Lord of the Flies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Happy Feet 2: Wait, didn't the last one end with the lead character going crazy in a zoo? That's not really an ending that screams "sequel".
    No, it ended with him coming home and convincing the other penguins to dance for the researchers, which encouraged the people to protect the penguin colony so the dancing could be studied.
    Or, you could both be right:
    http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/vid...nhed&gt1=42007
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  20. #20
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    OK, 18hrs without a reply is probably enough of a break for me to post my weekly update:

    Season of the Witch: See above. And listen to the Donovan song! It's probably the best thing about the movie.

    US

    Ong Bak 3: That trailer may look like it's been ripped from about 1982 but the Thais are new at this whole blockbuster thing. It certainly looks very Thai, with lots of elephants and golden buddhas. It's interesting to see how an entirely different culture utilises fantasy FX.

    The Absent:"As the body count rises... the mystery deepens". Like, what is this movie about? Looking on the blurb it's apparently about a science teacher who engages in nookie with one off his students, then has to deal with his brother who decides to protect him by killing her and everyone who knows about the relationship. Charming. And very likely laughable.

    The Time That Remains: Peculiar mixture of surreal satire and dark drama, but then, I'm told by people who live in Israel that that is the standard lens through which they view their situation.

    Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune: Documentary about a 60s folk singer who wasn't Bob Dylan and knew it. Seems sad.

    Violent Blue: Don't expect this to make sense, because, well, it doesn't.

    No One Killed Jessica: Bollywood gets activist. It's nice to see the usually timid Bollywood directors taking on serious social issues, and with nary a dance number in sight.

    UK

    Abel: It's a bit odd that the US gets the Bollywood release this week while the UK gets a Mexican release. This does look fun; a comedy drama about a boy who has something like autism.

    Amer: French attempt to recreate the old Italian Giallo thrillers. Could be good.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  21. #21
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    Ok, previous attempt to post this crashed. Let's hope it works this time (blessed be Word)

    Apologies in advance for any advertisements. Apparently, Youtube fails to see the irony in posting an ad before an ad.

    Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: This missed my initial list because it has yet to gain a fixed US release date. It is planned for release in the UK on March 4, but I thought I’d add it now, since the trailer has been online for a while and, well, it’s awesome. It's a remake of a 1973 TV movie that so scared Guillermo del Toro as a kid that when he grew up he used his own money and his own script to get a new version onscreen. Although he isn’t directing, this sure feels like a del Toro movie, with its Gothic manor, isolated kids, and ghostly voices. As a horror movie it may be unique in modern times to have aimed for a PG-13, but received an R. You can see why. If that trailer doesn’t scare you, consider a career as a war correspondent.

    For the week of Friday the 14th of January

    US

    The Green Hornet: See above

    The Dilemma: I am sick and tired of Vince Vaughn. He hasn’t made a good movie since Swingers and yet everyone still seems to flock to his new releases. I don’t think there was a single landed punchline in that trailer, and given that trailers are supposed to showcase the best a movie has to offer, that’s not a good sign. I’m not too concerned about Ron Howard; his track record is usually about 1 masterpiece for every 5 or 6 duds, so he’s still on form. Nice to see Winona get billed again at last (she must be out of purgatory).

    Barney’s Version: see Films of 2010

    Burning Palms: When a trailer consists of people standing outside of a theatre telling you how bad the movie is, you know it’s trying to be arch and post-modern. But irony only goes so far. You can’t expect a cast of C-listers and a lot of screaming to counter the argument. If you tell people your movie is bad, they’ll probably assume it’s bad. Of course, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe our culture has reached such a terminus of self-referential vacuity that people would actually go to see the film just to spite the trailer. And then make Youtube videos of themselves standing outside the theatre saying how much they liked it.

    Every Day: A comedy (I think) about a married man who contemplates infidelity with Carla Gugino. Though in fairness, that doesn’t reveal much about the human condition, as there isn’t a married man on Earth who wouldn’t contemplate infidelity with Carla Gugino. Seems more substantive than The Dilemma, but less funny, if that’s possible. Much as I love Eddie Izzard, The Riches aside, he should really stick to standup. Hey, Helen Hunt! How’s that Oscar been for you? What’s it now, 13 years?


    UK

    NOTE: I’ve decided to ignore Bollywood trailers from here on, as there’s little more I can say about them unless I learn Hindi.

    Brotherhood: Yet another tedious thriller about a frat pledge that goes wrong. Has about as much flair as an episode of Cops.

    Henry’s Crime: Keanu Reeves can’t act. Just thought I’d mention. Nice to see James Caan; I hate to say I honestly thought he was dead.
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2011-Jan-11 at 09:33 PM.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: This missed my initial list, because it has yet to gain a fixed US release date. It is planned for release in the UK on March 4, but I thought I’d add it now, since the trailer has been online for a while and, well, it’s awesome. A remake of a 1973 TV movie that so scared Guillermo del Toro as a kid that he used his own money and his own script to get a new version onscreen. Although he isn’t directing, this sure feels like a del Toro movie, with its Gothic manor, isolated kids, and ghostly voices. This horror movie must be unique in modern times to have aimed for a PG-13, but received an R. You can see why. If this trailer doesn’t scare you, consider a career as a war correspondent.
    My daughter and I watched the original around Halloween. Whenever the creatures appeared on-screen, she'd say, "Not scary," but I'm not sure if she was stating a fact or just trying to convince herself. The R rating means seeing the remake will probably have to wait a few years, though - she's only seven, and if it's intense enough to get an R it's likely a bit too much for her yet.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  23. #23
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    There isn’t a married man on Earth who wouldn’t contemplate infidelity with Carla Gugino.

    I gotta agree with you here. So a guy has to choose between Helen Hunt and Carla Gugino . . . you didn't say this was a fantasy film. This one will definitely be going in the queue, although the thought of watching Brian Denehy wax philosophical from a hospital bed makes me ill. Thank goodness for Fast Forward.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    The Dilemma: I am sick and tired of Vince Vaughn. He hasn’t made a good movie since Swingers and yet everyone still seems to flock to his new releases. I don’t think there was a single landed punchline in that trailer, and given that trailers are supposed to showcase the best a movie has to offer, that’s not a good sign. I’m not too concerned about Ron Howard; his track record is usually about 1 masterpiece for every 5 or 6 duds, so he’s still on form. Nice to see Winona get billed again at last (she must be out of purgatory).
    I thought Vince Vaughn was good in Clay Pigeons, wherein he played someone slimy and untrustworthy. I don't think there's enough soap in the world to clean Jennifer Connolly after she touched him.

    Henry’s Crime: Keanu Reeves can’t act. Just thought I’d mention. Nice to see James Caan; I hate to say I honestly thought he was dead.
    Funnily enough, about the only movie where I don't dislike him a great deal is El Dorado, also one of the only John Wayne movies I like.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  25. #25
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    For the week of Friday, the 21st of January:

    US:

    No Strings Attached: See above. Apparently Natalie has a fourth movie coming out this year that I knew nothing about. I think, m’dear that we are now entering the realm of overkill.

    Mumbai Diaries: OK, let me slightly qualify my previous statement: I will not preview any more Bollywood movies, unless they come with English subtitles. This one doesn’t come with English subtitles, but then it doesn’t come with any dialogue either. Looks like whoever made it is aiming for a very Slumdog Millionaire feel; perhaps this is the Bollywood equivalent of China releasing all those wire-fu wuxias after Crouching Tiger.

    Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance: Early contender for “most unwieldy title of the year” award. I mean seriously, make up your minds. Either you can advance, or you can’t. And I don’t see how such a wishy-washy statement qualifies as evangelion. Imagine if the Angel Gabriel had appeared to the shepherds in the fields and proclaimed, “I bring unto ye great tidings! Or not.” Appears to be mainly about giant robots fighting each other. With mushroom clouds and seas of blood. Way to rub it in Japan.

    Tetsuo The Bullet Man: This trailer has the feel of a particularly psychotic video game, which either says a lot about video games or a lot about the current state of Japanese cinema.

    The Housemaid: Seems to be an East Asian theme this week. This supposedly superb Korean thriller looks elegant and creepy, with a very beautiful lead actress. Other than that, can’t say much from here.

    The Off Hours: Honey, I admire your ability to get a no-budget drama off the ground in these strained times, but save the commentary for the DVD. Let us make up our own minds about your movie.

    UK:

    Honeymooner: subdued-looking British drama about a man who is dumped by his fiancée the month before his wedding.

    John Carpenter’s The Ward: Apparently, this hasn’t received a US release date yet. Probably something to do with the terrible reviews it’s been getting. John needs to step back and reassess his priorities. Given that recent attempts at asylum horror have included such gems as Gothika and The Jacket (and, no doubt, Sucker Punch) perhaps his first priority should be not touching that genre with a ten foot pole.

    NEDS: That’s short for “Non-Educated Delinquents", but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is some kind of high school comedy. It’s directed by Peter Mullan, who made the unforgivingly brutal The Magdalene Sisters, and its tone is similarly dour. Doesn’t look like it covers any new thematic ground, but seems well acted, as is par with Mullan.

    The Portuguese Nun: Can anyone who speaks French tell me if I just missed the most profound conversation ever to bring two souls together? Because it would have to be fairly profound to comprise an entire trailer.

    Ride, Rise, Roar: It took me until the main song to remember that David Byrne was the singer from Talking Heads. My Mom used to listen to Talking Heads in the car all the time; never really got into them myself. But I like this idea of combining a rock concert with contemporary dance choreography.
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2011-Jan-16 at 11:05 PM.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Tetsuo The Bullet Man: This trailer has the feel of a particularly psychotic video game, which either says a lot about video games or a lot about the current state of Japanese cinema.
    The trailer has a bit of the feel of the original Tetsuo, the Iron Man movie.
    Reviews on IMDB indicates that rather than working as the third of the series, it feels like an americanized remake of the original.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance: Early contender for “most unwieldy title of the year” award. I mean seriously, make up your minds. Either you can advance, or you can’t. And I don’t see how such a wishy-washy statement qualifies as evangelion. Imagine if the Angel Gabriel had appeared to the shepherds in the fields and proclaimed, “I bring unto ye great tidings! Or not.” Appears to be mainly about giant robots fighting each other. With mushroom clouds and seas of blood. Way to rub it in Japan.
    It does fit in with Eva, though. It's a weird series. Whether or not there is truly any evangelion in the traditional Greek sense depends on your take on events presented. And I speak as someone whose first exposure to the anime was the last two episodes of the series. I loved it, even if I did not in so many words know what was going on. It was exposure to Twin Peaks at an impressionable age, I'm sure.
    _____________________________________________
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    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  28. #28
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    I really should expand my knowledge of barely comprehensible Asian screenwork. I tried watching Tetsuo on youtube but couldn't get past the first ten minutes.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  29. #29
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    OK. I'm just going to pretend that the last few days have not completely shredded my credibility in the eyes of my readership and continue to snidely critique others' work as normal.

    For the week of Friday, 28 January:

    US:

    The Rite: It's a bit unfair to call this a ripoff of The Exorcist, since any movie about Catholics fighting demons will automatically be a ripoff of The Exorcist. That said, it looks about as penetrating an examination of Catholicism, its passions, pains and power plays as The Da Vinci Code. It's interesting that the trailer quotes the Vatican's chief exorcist. I happen to know a few things about him; his name is Gabriele Amorth, he looks like this, and he once claimed to have performed 30,000 exorcisms in 9 years, which works out to one every 2 1/2 hours. Without stopping. So I would advise that one take anything he says with a pinch of salt. Over the left shoulder, naturally.

    The Mechanic: Jason Statham, 'e's well 'ard, innit? Odd that this guy seems to be the only even marginally bankable action star left outside Asia. Whatever happened to the traditional, unapologetic, balls-to-the-wall action movie? Yes, most of them were crap (primarily those made by Sylvester Stallone), but when done well, they were a blast. All the old action directors (Richard Donner, John Mctiernan, James Cameron, Wolfgang Petersen, Jan de Bont) have either moved on or creatively imploded. Some may not mourn the genre's passing, but as a 30-something male I will make a stand for a dying art.

    Kaboom: Part college comedy, part apocalypse thriller, this is the latest from borderline mental case Greg Araki, who has made several movies in a similar vein. Can't really comment any further, as I have yet to see any of them.

    From Prada to Nada: About the only thing I can say about this movie is that it appears marginally more entertaining than The Hottie and the Nottie. But not funny.

    Ip Man 2: Donnie Yen plays a historical figure who taught Bruce Lee. Not particularly historically accurate, so they say (Ip Man was a police officer and an opium addict, not a slave forced to fight for his life in Japanese labour camps), but that hardly matters in these situations.

    Life in a Day: Part social experiment, part human story, part Youtube ad, the concept of Life in a Day is very simple: Ridley Scott and Kevin MacDonald (who directed The Last King of Scotland) asked the world to upload videos onto Youtube of their activities on a single day (July 24, 2010) and then edited the thousands of submissions into a feature film. Lord only knows if they managed to get anything like a narrative out of it, but it will be interesting to see, nonetheless.

    When We Leave: raw-looking drama about being a young Turkish woman in Germany, and the cultural strains it generates.

    UK:

    How Much Does your Building Weigh, Mr Foster?: Documentary about Norman Foster, the architect of such buildings as The Gherkin, London City Hall and the Reichstag Dome, whose futuristic designs have had almost as much impact on London as Christopher Wren's. Love'em or hate'em, you can't deny their strange elegance.

    Men on the Bridge: In another curious moment of filmic synchrony, here is a drama about the lives of young Turks. Not a documentary, exactly, but a scripted film based on the lives of real people, who play themselves.

    Zebra Crossing: Now this looks well 'ard. Proper cockney B&W bleakness. Reminds me of Shane Meadows.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  30. #30
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    Well, those releases do make it look as though The King's Speech, True Grit, and Black Swan will still be in the theatre at least another week.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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