2007 was a good year for movies â€“ OK, yes, I said it, it was a GOOD year for movies – and 2008 looks to be no exception…. or does it?
Looking at the films I’m keen to see this year, I just realized that over half-of-them are blockbusters â€“ and we all know what happened to last year’s blockbusters, don’t we? Yep, pre-release someone wiped a cherry-tainted women’s pad on them resulting in offerings that smelt like yesterday’s cat litter and, well, looked like it too (apologies for the ‘woman’s pad’ reference, I know that’s going too far, but until I can think of something more intelligent to write in there it stays).
Heck, the last thing we want to be saying at the end of the year is â€œMan, how disappointing was the new Indiana Jones movie!? But thank god for the Judd Apatow comedyâ€. It happened last year.
I remember going into 2007 â€“ and I bet you did too – thinking â€œSpider-Man 3â€ is going to be as radical as screwing one of Hef’s Girls’ Next Door. So much for that. We came out of of the year feeling as if I’d just been butt-fucked by Carson from â€œQueer Eyeâ€ – it no doubt hurt just as much as it would too. Make no mistake, â€œSpider-Man 3â€ was a blunder of astronomical proportions… and so was â€œShrek the Thirdâ€… and â€œFantastic Four : Rise of the Silver Surferâ€…. and, for many, â€œDie Hard with a Virginâ€, er, â€œDie Hard 4.0â€, er, â€œLive Free or Die Hardâ€. It was truly the year that the studio’s raped us â€“ and Judd Apatow made sweet love to us.
Now I’m not saying I hope Judd Apatow’s next films – â€œForgetting Sarah Marshallâ€ and â€œThe Pineapple Expressâ€ are due out this year â€“ choke like Lindsay Lohan in the backseat of a car-park, I don’t, I just think there’s more at stake with â€œIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skullâ€. I’m pretty sure it will be good â€“ if only because Steven Spielberg is there to spit at the crap suggestions handed to him by his partner â€“ but lets remember, George Lucas is involved in this film…. and most of us still haven’t forgiven him for releasing three films that somehow managed to call themselves â€œStar Warsâ€ prequels (I don’t know about you, but I’d consider â€œCaravan of Courageâ€ more part of â€œStar Warsâ€ canon than I would â€œPhantom Menaceâ€).
From what we’ve seen so far â€“ the pictures of Harrison in the outfit; the spoilerish pictures of the props; the few story details that have been released (notably, the ties to â€œRaidersâ€)- this should be the shit. It should be. But then, as I said, it could go either way and five minutes after the Lucasfilm logo appears on the screen a ‘Mattel’ watermark is suddenly spotted in the corner of the screen and a CGI fish is introduced to the audience as Indiana’s replacement at the school whilst the teach goes hunting for the Crystal Skull â€“ which, we ultimately discover, isn’t so much a â€œthingâ€ as a â€œherâ€…. the daughter of a cosmetics Tycoon, missing since World War II. But I’m just jumping the gun, and realistically, Steven Spielberg should be able to give us what we want – – – even if George Lucas pressed him not to.
â€œIndiana Jonesâ€ is definitely on that ‘must-see’ list.
As is â€œThe Dark Knightâ€. It’s going to be a weird experience watching it now, what with Heath Ledger’s passing and all, but I’m sure, thanks to his reportedly bravura performance, and of course the fact that it is bound to be a good movie (funny how I’m not even the less bit scared of this one stinking) that within the first five minutes of the film we’ll forget all about Ledger â€“ in a good way, in a good way! – and see ‘The Joker’. That’s how Heath would want it. You know it’s true. He wouldn’t want us sitting there for two hours in our seats dropping tears into our oversized buckets of lard, er, popcorn. He’d want us enjoying ourselves; relishing in his performance as the Batman’s no.1 adversary; forgetting about Chris O’Donnell and Coolio’s big moment from â€œBatman & Robinâ€… having a good fuckin’ time. If I had to bank on any film being one of the year’s highlights it’s â€œThe Dark Knightâ€ – I’m predicting it’ll use â€œThe Incredible Hulkâ€ to wipe it’s ass and have â€œIron Manâ€ blow it off in the auditorium after the show â€“ if only because it’s predecessor was a 5-star masterpiece (according to everyone but Joel Schumacher’s boyfriend).
Not to say both â€œHulkâ€ and â€œIron-Manâ€ won’t be good, I bet they will (did anyone ever expect to be excited over another â€œHulkâ€ movie?!) – especially â€œIron Manâ€, whose cast would have to be the finest group of actors that have ever been assembled for a comic book movie (sans 1991’s â€œCaptain Americaâ€, of course, which featured the likes of Matt Salinger and Ronny Cox). Robert Downey Jr wouldn’t do the film â€“ just – for the bucks… it must have some substance (or Marvel rolled a wheelbarrow of coke up to his front door… but I believe he’s clean, so no) and there’s got to be a reason he forced himself to take up a membership at Gold’s Gym and, god forbid, made an appearance at Comic Con (nobody likes to be stalked by a sweaty gorilla in a I Heart Tony Stark T-Shirt at the end of a hot day). Same with â€œHulkâ€ – why the fuck would Edward Norton do that? unless there was some heavy shit in the movie? There’s no way Edward Norton would pick up Eric Bana’s sloppy seconds â€“ not even John Travolta would do that; or maybe he would â€“ unless he saw some possibility here (Granted, Norton did re-write the script so it’s essentially an â€œEdward Norton movie, the way he intends it to beâ€).
Can’t say I’m as excited about the new â€œPunisherâ€ movie as I am the other superhero flicks … and it’s not because there are too many darn comic-book movies out â€“ which, of course, there are â€“ but more so because I think it’s going to suffer from the ‘unknown dude replaces Thomas Jane’ factor. The first film wasn’t that hot, but Jane was good as Frank Castle, and I personally would’ve loved to have seen him in a sequel â€“ albeit, something better than the first. But when Jane came out and essentially said â€œThis script sucks more than anything in that shitty Christina Applegate movie I did, so I’m not doing itâ€ that’s when I gave up all hope for a superior sequel. Go on, Prove me wrong.
If there’s any blockbuster of 2008 that I’m surprisingly ecstatic to see â€“ well, besides,um, Howard Stern’s â€œPorky’sâ€ (I doubt that’s even got it’s financing) – it’s J.J Abrams’ â€œStar Trekâ€ prequel. I think it’s going to be terrific. I’m not a huge fan of â€œTrekâ€, and if you asked me whether Spock’s got a penis I wouldn’t know (does he?), but I’ve enjoyed all the previous â€œTrekâ€ films and truly support the prequel idea â€“ it’s something we haven’t really seen before with â€œTrekâ€… and that’s saying something considering they’ve done everything from save Whales, had Spock romance the whore from â€œSex and the Cityâ€, and cast David Warner ‘twice’ as two different characters in two different films. Its a terrific cast, but mainly, Abrams is a talented son-of-a-bitch â€“ nobody went and saw it, but I swear if you’d spent ten bucks on â€œMission : Impossible IIIâ€ you too would agree that the man definitely knows how to breathe new life into struggling franchises. Oh, and I hope we get to see Winona Ryder’s pointy-ones (oh that’s right, Spock’s mum was human, not a Vulcan â€“ sad that I remember that).
Sequel-wise, there’s a few on my radar : â€œQuantum of Solaceâ€ (retarded title, but sure to be good) with Daniel Craig back as Jimmy B; â€œThe X-Files 2â€ (I still can’t believe they actually got around to making it – – I was convinced it’d stay a rumour); â€œThe Mummy 3â€ (yes I know it has a longer title but I’ve got to type quick, I’m at an Internet cafe!) and â€œHarold and Kumar 2â€ (so much for my snooty critic reputation). More so, there’s a bunch of â€œoriginalâ€ flicks that will get my money first – â€œBe Kind Rewindâ€, where Jack Black channels Peter Weller; â€œTropic Thunderâ€ where Ben Stiller channels Tom Cruise; â€œNights in Rodantheâ€ where Diane Lane and Richard Gere channel Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling; â€œI Know What Boy’s Likeâ€ in which Anna Faris channels those big-titted airheads from the Playboy reality show; and…. â€œDeath Raceâ€….. just fuckin’ with ya, I avoid Paul W.S Anderson like I do the cracks in the side-walk (yes, I’m a freak). Oh, but just to complete what we’re doing here it’s : The one where Jason Statham Channels the nuts stuck in a floater.
â€œDeath Raceâ€ isn’t the only film likely to have me looking at my watch for an hour-and-a-half, there’s a bunch of films I couldn’t give two hoots about â€“ though I’m sure the publicists will attempt to change my mind by giving me a collectible pencil-case tin or something bearing the movie’s title â€“ like whatever-the-fuck-that-â€Narniaâ€-sequel-is-called; The Wachowski’s â€œSpeed Racerâ€ (cheaper to get some dud crack); â€œFool’s Goldâ€ (the poster should read â€œThis Year’s ‘Two if By Sea’!); â€œAngels & Demonsâ€ (hasn’t Hanks got anything better to do – – fuck, a â€œMoney Pitâ€ sequel would be more exciting!); and, of course, the next â€œHarry Potterâ€… how many left of those? Surely not many, right?
Oh, and count me out of â€œSaw 5â€ too – – – Jigsaw does about as much for me now as that Italian chick I used to date – when I was about 20 – did for me at the tail end of an evening. Jack shit.
(I’m not even going to mention â€œSex and the City : The Movieâ€ – it only becomes real if I type it. Shit. Just did. Fuck, the Apple page is replaying the trailer again! Help!)
I’ve seen a boatload of movies over the last few days, and when I get a chance I’ll type them up for you (using my ‘pretty’ new ibook keyboard! – – the other one was as dirty as Bob Saget’s last book), but for the meantime check out my DVD Drivel Dome…. or don’t. I don’t much care. But please, at least use protection the next time you go site jumping like you’re about to do right…. now.
Party on squids!
P.S – Check out my interview with Oscar Nominee Marco Beltrami right here