Sunday, April 5, 2009

FotM: Brains over brawn? Let's hope!

Last year the 4 smartest, most compelling AND most entertaining films of the year were all released between the months of May and August. That’s right, last summer movie season we saw the return of a mixture of brains and brawn to our multiplexes and audiences took notice to the tune of one of the biggest years in the history of movies. I know many people pooh-pooh the upcoming movie season because they feel like any trip to the theatre over the next couple of months will require them leaving their brains at the door. With movies like IRON MAN, WALL-E, THE DARK KNIGHT and TROPIC THUNDER dominating the cineplex’s last year I’ve begun hoping it was the beginning of a much welcome and needed trend, not an exception to it. What follows are just some of the films that give me hope that amidst the mindless insanity of the likes of TRANSFORMERS 2, LAND OF THE LOST and G.I. JOE (All of which I’ll admit I’m looking forward to) 2009 will continue the trend of films that dazzle the eyes and the mind alike.

WOLVERINE: X-MEN: THE LAST STAND sucked, this one could easily go either way but the rumors that Fox realized they had crap on their hands and allowed Hugh Jackman and the director to go back and do extensive reshoots to make it far more badass gives me hope.

STAR TREK: I’m not going to argue about this because I think the movie will make my point for me. Look at what Abrams did with the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE franchise. Guaranteed this is the film EVERYONE will be talking about.

THE BROTHERS BLOOM: BRICK, Rian Johnson’s first film is one of the best debuts in recent memory. It looks like he’s totally switching gears, yet still knocking it out of the park with this one.

TERMINATOR SALVATION: My sister and I heard McG talk about this thing at Comic-Con. The moment he opened his mouth we realized the dude is WAY smarter than his name implies and that this will most likely blow everyone’s expectations out of the water.

DRAG ME TO HELL: This will probably be one of the biggest sleeper hits of the summer. It’s Sam Raimi first foray into the genre that put him on the map. How could it not be great?

UP: Pixar = brilliance. I’m pretty much already reserving a spot on my Top 10 list for this one.

THE HANGOVER: The other probable sleeper hit of the summer. The trailer makes me bust out laughing every time I see it.

THE HURT LOCKER: All who have seen it say Kathryn Bigelow has made a sickly intense film experience and reestablishes her as THE female director in the industry… until cough, Megan Welch, cough, comes along.

PUBLIC ENEMIES: How nice of them to release an Oscar nominee this early in the year.

BRUNO: BORAT was one of the best satires of the last decade. Word on the street is that Sacha Baron Cohen has topped it with his second film.

HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE: The further along this film series gets the deeper and more moving and intelligent the films get. It doesn’t look like this one will be breaking that trend.

FUNNY PEOPLE: Judd Apatow is a genius and just the trailer alone for this movie convinces me this will probably be his best film to date.

DISTRICT 9: The dude that SHOULD be in the midst of making a HALO movie at the moment, instead has this very smart, timely piece of sci-fi coming our way.

INGLORIOUS BASTARDS: Quentin Tarantino, WWII, if all home runs were this easy to predict baseball would be pretty boring.

Maybe I’m mistaken but each and every one of those films listed above was made by an artist, people with true artistic vision, not a committee looking at demo numbers and sales charts. Could some of them suck? You betcha! Could some of them be nothing more than mindless ways to wile away a hot summer afternoon? Absolutely, but there’s a lot more brains and talent attached to projects I’ve just mentioned than I can think of in recent years. As we roll into September and kids start going back to school and the “real” movies start coming out again, I think these will be the films that will determine whether or not last years brainy batch of blockbusters were a fluke or the start of something beautiful. Here’s hoping for later.


Anonymous said...

As I said in earlier entry, so long as Wolverine is better than X3, I'm happy.

Same goes with T4 since T3 was pretty pointless for me until the last 15 minutes or so. The Terminator has such a messed up continuity line (especially when you add the TV series) that its going to be hard for it not to look contrived no matter what direction they go in. I think they should do one more after this to tie everything together but they said they want to make it a trilogy which seems as superflous as the Matrix one imo.

Chris W said...

In hearing McG speak at the Con and in a couple of other things I sort of got the impression that they were sort of operationg under the idea that ONLY the 1st 2 movies exist, not the 3rd or the TV series which is more than fine by me. It won't take a lot for WOLVERINE to be better than X3 so here's hoping. I also feel like taking this opportunity for applauding Fox for actually doing something right and firing Roger Friedman (One of their employees on after he reviewed a pirated copy of WOLVERINE. I sincerely hope that man never gets another job for the rest of his life!

Anonymous said...

Ah, I see. That's the direction I would have gone too since the first two are by far the highlight of the series.

For sure, I think if anything they might get bogged down too much in sub plots like the prequels since they have so much to work with but it will be interesting at the very least. Yeah, I heard about that and it reminded me of the actor who blabbed about Indy 4 a few years back.