Sunday, January 18

Movies of 2009, first 6 months

If you know me, you know I'm a movie junkie.  It's not just that I like film, but I enjoy the whole shebang: the gossip, the hype, great movie, bad movies, art films, blockbusters.  I especially enjoy the anticipation (which is a bit sick and wrong).

'08 was a pretty good year.   Not great.  Not many surprises (except perhaps for the fact that Iron Man was better than it had any right to be... I just rewatched it and it has an incredibly tight script).

'09 has some a few films I'm excited about.  Some less so.

Okay, this is already out in limited release.  I have never heard of it before but as I was scanning the '09 release schedule it jumped out at me.  Because I immediately thought it was a sequel the M. Night's The Village and Ice Cube's Barbershop.  I am unclear why that film hasn't been made yet.

Killshot (Jan. 23)
I saw a screening of this over two years ago.  It was pretty god damn awful.  Maybe it was re-edited or re-shot, but I can't even see how that would help.  My guess is that it is getting a release finally ONLY because Micky Rouke has gotten praise for is performance in The Wrestler.  Killshot is not going to help him but might be worth seeing for the horrible Native American makeup they put on him.

Coraline (Feb. 6)
I love many things.  Neil Gaiman and stop-motion animation are near the tops of my list.  Gaiman's book upon which this is based is a beautiful and dark story.  Dream/horror/adventure.  Other world parents with buttons for eyes.  Looks gorgeous.

Not on my radar at all.  Looks like a pretty run-of-the-mill thriller.  I only mention it because it is about an evil multinational bank.  Good timing.

Fired Up (Feb. 20)
"Nick Brady and Shawn Colfax, two popular high school kids, decide a two week stint at a Cheerleaders' Camp is the perfect opportunity to score tons of meaningless romantic liaisons with lonely girls in tight-tops and short-short skirts. But their plan to caress a few hundred pom-poms goes awry when Shawn falls in love with Carly."  Listed purely because of the line "plan to caress a few hundred pom-poms."

Watchmen (Mar. 6)
Okay, this is a no-brainer for me (see pretty much every post I've every made).  My expectations are pretty low.  I foresee it being over-packed and frenzied, lacking a certain amount of heart, and to miss the mark on the ending.  But the trailers look gorgeous and dead on.  So I'm going to look it not as a piece of storytelling than as a riff on the images of the comic book.  I am glad that Warner and Fox came to a deal so movie will be released on time.  (Nice deal for Fox: $5 to $10 mil up front and 5% to 8.5% of gross for basically doing nothing with the property.)

No, I'm noting to see this.  But I do have found memories of seeing the first Witch Mountain movie in the theaters.  I also have found memories of seeing The Cat From Outerspace.

I really should have written that crime-scene clean-up company movie when I thought of it in '94.

I Love You, Man (Mar. 20)
There are a bunch of folks I know through the improv world in this one.  And I have a little bit of a man crush on Paul Rudd.

Let's look at the cast - Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., John Hodgman, Tina Fey, Christopher Guest, Jeffrey Tambor, Nate Corddry, Patrick Stewart, Jason Bateman, Stephanie March, Fionnula Flanagan... Enough said.

Fast and Furious (Apr. 3)
Having run out of ways to rework the title in any way that seemed even vaguely clever, they just decided to remove the "The"s.  (My script, The Vast and The Furries, about group of kids at a fat camp that escapes and hide at a convention of people you dress up as animals and have sex is still available for producers.)

Vanilla Gorilla (Apr. 24)
Great title.  It's about an albino gorilla that learns sign language.  Did you see Congo?  That was a great film.  Wish Bruce Campbell was in it more.

I still believe this will suck.  I don't want it to suck.  If it doesn't i will be a nice start to the summer movie season.  But I expect it to suck.  I could give you my arguments but why bother?

Star Trek (May 8)
I have never been a huge Star Trek fan (as relative to the rest of my geekiness).  I do love reworkings of classic material (see BSG for a fantastic example).  I like the cast.  I also love how J.J. Abrams' mind works.  He has yet to show me that he can really direct a movie (although I thought Mission Impossible 3 was under rated).

Who asked for this?  Look, I like Ron Howard and I like Tom Hanks.  Neither one has to be hard up for work, right?

The first two films were great.  The third was crap.  McG hasn't proven himself as a director with much talent and his name annoys me.  But time traveling kill robots.  And it's set (mostly at least) in the future.  So, again, my expectations are low but hopeful.  Time traveling killer robots... how can you screw that up?

Up (May 29)
Pixar, Pixar, Pixar.  Someone who saw a very early version of it said that Pixar as surpassed themselves on a deeply emotional level.  And Pixar fine tunes their stories down to the last minute.  The teaser trailer apparently doesn't come close to what this story is about. (SPOILER: Expect to cry in the first 10 minutes.)

Land of the Lost (June 5)
More childhood rape. Will probably be overly snarky. But I do appreciate that they have stuck close to the original Sleestak designs.

Imagine That (June 12)
You remember when Eddie Murphy was smart and edgy? That was awesome.  (For half a second I thought I saw improviser Paul Welsh in the trailer. It wasn't him.)

Year One (June 19)
I actually like Jack Black but this is just him doing the same old-same old (at least from the description). However you know the pitch was something along the lines of "Quest for Fire meets Slackers."

Transformer Revenge of the Fallen (June 26)
Can't say I loved the first one, but it did go bang good.  Giant space robots (although I never bought into any of the rationals behind transforming in cars and such.  And supposedly they are including Devastator.  More damn Starscream, please (and the Starscream that is whiny and manipulative. He was awesome. (After typing it twice, I realize that his name is Stars Cream. Dibs on that as band and/or improv team name.)