Friday, January 27, 2006

Upcoming Movies

Taleena over at Sun Comprehending Glass has been posting reviews of movies that she has recently seen in the theater or by Netflix; so I thought I'd post about some upcoming movies that I am looking forward to or dreading.

Nanny McPhee. This Movie looks to be the corrective to the unaccountable sweetness of Disney's Mary Poppins. With Colin Firth and Emma Thompson leading the cast, It seems as though it can't miss. Emma Thompson play the title character under pounds of makeup, including warts and a snaggle tooth.

Miami Vice. Yeah, I know. Another remake of an old television show. But, doggone it, Michael Mann is the kind of a certain kind of artistic look, and the trailer shows this look in spades. It's shown in the composition of the shots, the odd muting of the sound track at critical moments, letting the music track and images develop a completely new momentum. If you have seen Manhunter, Crime Story, or Last of the Mohicans, you know what I mean.

What I wonder is, will that 1980s--glam-drug-cop schtick work in a post 9/11 political reality? We will see. Oh, yes. We will see.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. The first "Pirates" movie, Curse of the Black Pearl, did what I considered impossible: it created a fun, engaging move based on a theme park ride. Granted that ride was very cinematic, and told it's own story in three acts; but still! Unfortunately, they weren't able to get Keith Richards to play Captain Jack Sparrow's father, but the very fact that they tried to get him in the movie show, I think, that they understand what made the first move good. It was fun. It had everything but parrot wearing an eyepatch and a pegleg pirate dancing a hornpipe (as was in the "Jack of All Trades" opening.)

I haven't anticipated a sequel so much since "Men in Black II." Of course MIBII was a much weaker movie than the original. Here's hoping that Verbinski can make lightning strike twice.

Lady in the Water. At this point I'll go see anything that M. Night Shyamalan puts out. Even his weaker efforts are better than 90% of what Hollywood produces. He tells big stories through small, intimate viewpoints.

And now a likely stinker:

V for Vendetta. Commenting on the Matrix sequels, a wag said, "It took George Lucas nearly 20 years to alienate his fan base. The Wachowski brothers accomplished that task in just 5." This is an attempt to recover the edgy, transgressing vibe of the original Matrix.


It's purportedly about a shadowy hero named only "V" who uses "terrorist tactics" (scare quotes intentional) to fight the secret police and stage a revolution in a 1984-like England...Except that he's not blowing up orphanages and gunning down shoppers in the town square, or even wearing a suicide belt to a wedding party. In the trailer "V" is using daggers to take out uniformed policemen armed with machine guns. This is much more what the U.S. Marines are doing in Baghdad that what Hamas is doing in Gaza.

And I noticed in the trailer the ever-present signs that indicate that you are in a police state say:


Feh. This must give certain people a shiver of naughty delight. "Yeah man! It's those Christers that want to oppress us!" Get over the fact that you parent forced to to attend Sunday School. That just doesn't cut it, oppression-wise.

I'd be more impressed by the writers and producers of "V" if either adultresses were being stoned in Oklahoma City's town square or young women weren't being killed by their families for dating non-Muslims in western Europe and Canada.

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