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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, April 10, 2005 - 06:30 am:   

I'm copying this from a thread I started at Asimovs, for discussion here.

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By StephenB on Sunday, April 10, 2005 - 04:22 am:

In no paticular order, by director, these are the movies in 2005 and beyond, that I think will be good and I'll be sure to see:

David Cronenberg:

The History of Violence

Painkillers? (not sure if it's coming out)

History of violence is about a guy (played by Viggo Mortenson) who gets involved in a shoot-out at a diner and the repercussions for him and his family.

Painkillers is a science fiction film, but I don't know if he's still making it, or if it'll be out by 2005.

He also has a thriller in the works for 2006 about a psychic, called, London Fields.

George A. Romero:

Land of The Dead: His fourth zombie film, need I say more? It's going to take place at the last human refuge, in a world over-run by zombies.

Diamond Dead: This one's about a girl who brings a rock band back to life and must kill 365 people with their help. This is going to be different than most of his films, more humor and I've heard it's even partly a musical...

Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: Based on the Stephen King book, which I haven't read.

The Ill: Another movie listed for 2005, but I doubt we'll see this movie that soon.

George has been busy.

Terry Gilliam:

We'll be seeing a couple from Terry.

The Brothers Grimm: About two con men, Jack and Will, who get mixed up in a real fairy tale curse.

Tideland: A young girl's mom dies of a heroin overdose, her dad brings her out of the city to a rural farm house, where weird things begin to happen...

Roman Polanski:

Oliver Twist: Based on the classic Charles Dickens novel. This should be good, considering the source and the director. Still... I'm not quite as excited about this as some of the others...

Lars Von Trier:

Manderlay: The next part following Dogville in his "Amercian" trilogy, about slavery, taking place in the 1930's south.

Darren Aronofsky:

He has some interesting movies in production... don't know when they'll actually be released, like a number of these movies listed.

The Fountain: A science fiction type movie.
Here's a direct quote from IMDB
"Spanning over one thousand years, and three parallel stories, The Fountain is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world."

Lone Wolf and Cub: A samurai movie, about a disgraced samurai turned assasin and his attempts to clear his family name, with his only companion, a three year old boy.

Flicker: A fantasy about a film student obsessed with a hack film maker. A movie about B movies.

Tim Burton:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: I used to read a lot of Roald Dahl as a kid and I've liked some of Burton's work. It stars Johnny Depp, and Burton's best movies star Depp, so this is a good sign.

Corpse Bride: Animated, like Nightmare Before Christmas, with Depp as well.

Peter Jackson:

King Kong: Well... it's going to be big.

Francis Ford Coppola:

Megalopolis: A future Utopia movie... we'll see how it is.

I guess I'd like to see how Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy turns out as well.

There's probably more.

Any other movies any of you are looking forward to in the near future?

By Marguerite on Sunday, April 10, 2005 - 07:50 am:


I'm looking forward to the Batman movie--I can no longer keep track of titles.

I'm also looking forward to the next Star Wars film. I know, I know, I was so disappointed by the flaccidity of 1 and 2--but you know how it is... you're sitting in the darkened theater, watching the previews before some other flick--and that damn music starts, and the 12-year-old in you blazes into hopeful life--maybe, just maybe this one'll be different....

Um, and I'm also looking forward to Kingdom of Heaven.

By StephenB on Sunday, April 10, 2005 - 08:55 am:


Batman Begins looks like it could be a good movie. It'll be better than the post Burton crap, that's forsure. It's supposed to be more like the early comic and it has a decent director. So I'm looking forward to it. Will it be the best Batman movie to date? I wouldn't bet on it, but who knows?

I'll admit that the 12 year old in me will likely go see Episode 3 in theatres. I'll probably enjoy it to a certain degree too; the excitement of seeing a new Star Wars movie on the big screen for the first time. I won't be suprised if we see more of the atrocious dialog, cheesey CG scenes etc, which ruined the first two in the second trilogy for me. Still, I'll be positive, this will likely be the best of the new movies; It'll be the darkest.

Kingdom of Heaven seems like just another recent trend in the big-budget Hollywood epic, so I'm not all that enthused. Another buck in the great American fuck, is what it'll most likely be. Gladiator wasn't that good of a movie and I definitly thought it was over-rated, although it's ok at times. This will probably be the inferior Gladiator sequel, that's not a sequel.

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StephenB
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 02:04 am:   

I forgot to mention Dave McKean's MirrorMask, which Neil Gaiman helped write. I remember Ellen Datlow saying she liked it. Is it already released?

Also, there's a remake of The Wicker Man, called May Day, directed by Robin Hardy and staring Christopher Lee, just like the original. What's with all these remakes of horror classics? Can't they just think up something original and go with it?

John Carpenter's remaking The Thing, as well, I've heard. What happened to him?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 07:40 am:   

Looking forward to none of them. Would have looked forward to Flicker, but they've condensed it so much, I think it'll suck by comparison to the movie. As for Von Trier, I like his stuff, but am not looking forward to a swede's view of slavery days...no thanks. I'm more interested in his upcoming Satan movie.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 08:43 am:   

I'm looking forward to the Piano Tuner of Earthquakes. It's the film the Quay brothers are currently working on.

I'm also looking forward to The Curse of the Were-Rabbit starring Wallace & Gromit. And Howl's Moving Castle (Miyazaki's new film)

Mirror Mask was at Sundance, and maybe some other festivals, but hasn't had any wide distribution. I want to see it.

I can't say any others interest me. Burton's last remake was terrible, and he hasn't done anything I like in a long time.

There's no way I'm watching Episode III until I make no effort to see it (it's on TV or I borrow a DVD). The last two films were terrible, and after so many bad films, I have no faith in Lucas to produce anything entertaining.
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 10:12 am:   

I love the Quay Brothers' short films but I thought INSTITUTE BENJAMENTE was a disaster. I didn't realize they were working on a new one. I'll see it but theirs is not a talent that seems to excel at feature length (if this is indeed a feature film). Still, they need to work hard to keep reclaiming their style from the music video industry.

I'm looking forward to A Scanner Darkly in spite of everything. Even if all they do is have Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jr. mouth words straight out of the book, it'll be worth one viewing. Not sure how they'll pull off the dog-turd scene--a crucial uncinematic event--but I will be there in the front row. For me, this is the new Star Wars movie equivalent (since I don't give a shit about Star Wars)...I'm hoping against hope (and previous disappointments) it'll be good.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 10:38 am:   

I enjoy Institute Benjamenta, but not so much as a film, but simply as a collection of beautiful images and background music. As a film, I find it pretty dull.

The new one is supposed to be feature length, but no estimate on the release date.

It is a shame Tool so shamelessly copies them in videos. I remember one Tool vid that even had shots copied directly from the Quays. It's lead to lots of people thinging the they did Tool's videos.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 01:52 am:   

Lucius:

I thought you liked Cronenberg?

So there are no movies being made in the west that you think you're going to like?

I was hoping you'd do some reviews of movies that don't suck, that you actually like, instead of the biggest trendiest "sci-fi" related movies of time. But I guess that's going to be tough?

You may have a good point about Manderlay, but as if you won't still see it.

What movies do you think have been successful portraying slave era America? I've recently read the book Beloved, which was great, but I've heard the movie's bad. Toni Morrison apparently disowned it. To Kill a Mocking Bird's a good movie (and book), but I'm not sure if it counts. But I think Manderlay takes place in the 30's, after Dogville.

Robert:

Burton's Planet of the Apes sucked, I couldn't even bother to get through the whole movie.

But does that mean that all of Burton's movies after, will be bad too?

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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 05:36 am:   

But does that mean that all of Burton's movies after, will be bad too?

Given a history of bad movies, I suspect everything else will be bad too. The last movie I liked by him was Ed Wood, and his record before then isn't spectacular either.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 07:24 am:   

First of all I don't believe Aronofsky will have a movie out in '05. His first look deal with Dreamworks has kept him inactive for years and I don't think this year will be any different. Flicker, a brilliant novel, will have to be so condensed to translate to a movie....it almost seems pointless to make.

Secondly I don't like animation of any sort so the new Japanese thing etc doesnt excite me

of late Cronenberg has been very uneven so I can't say I'm looking forward to his films, though I certainly will see them....

Actually I didn't notice Tideland -- sorta interested in that. Not interested in the Grim Brothers.

George Romero filming.another Stephen King turd? Nah..

Yeah, I'll see the Von Trier, I just don't have hope. Portayals of the south rarely grab me. '
Being a southerner, I;m appalled at the depth of ignorance displayed by these films.

Matter of fact, I'll see most of these films. As a reviewer, I mainly limited by my employers to American genre films -- this means I'm gonna hate most of them.

Actually I'm gonna do a review of some movies I liked--but they aren't American films.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 07:41 am:   

PS--I agree with Robert about Burton
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 09:30 am:   

Burton should become a cinematographer...
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 01:52 am:   

of late Cronenberg has been very uneven so I can't say I'm looking forward to his films, though I certainly will see them....

Ok, I really liked Spider, it may not be his best, but it's still good. How is he not at his best, he's going in a different direction I guess, but I liked Spider?...

First of all I don't believe Aronofsky will have a movie out in '05.

Maybe not. He has three movies on the go, and none may appear in 2005, but they still have potential. I'm not familiar with the book the one movie;s based on either.

Actually I didn't notice Tideland -- sorta interested in that. Not interested in the Grim Brothers.

Yeah, Tideland sounds interesting. I think Grimm could be good too, just ignore the big stars involved that may lesson it's credibility. They just give Terry the budget he's been desperately lacking lately. We can forgive him, because he's capable of making good movies.

You gave Constantine a good review, so you can at least try to get over the cast of the latest Gillain movie. At least you'll probably get a better performance.

Matter of fact, I'll see most of these films. As a reviewer, I mainly limited by my employers to American genre films -- this means I'm gonna hate most of them.

That's fine, but at least you'll see some films that are genre related that you may even end up liking.:-)

Actually I'm gonna do a review of some movies I liked--but they aren't American films.

That's good. I know you acknowledge smaller films you like, which is good.

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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 02:06 am:   

Excuse the typos.
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al duncan
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 03:23 am:   

Don't know if this will make any sense whatsoever outside the UK, but I'm looking forward to The League Of Gentlemen's Apocalypse.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 04:47 am:   

I really liked Spider too. I said, uneven, not an utter waste, Existenz, on the other hand, was sort of a David C;s greatest hits, nothing original.

You should read fFicker. It's amazing and a lot of fun..
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 09:34 am:   

I loved the first season of League of Gentlemen. Wish I had more of it!

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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 12:52 pm:   

Al, thanks for the League of Gentlemen link...I had no idea such a thing was in the works. I'll share it with the small coterie of League fans here at work.

I stumbled across it on public television a number of years ago--switched right into the middle of the schoolkids' trip to the barn to watch the vet deliver a calf. It was the best possible place to start. I loved the series even more since I found out they were inspired mainly by Hammer films. But I've only seen Season 1.
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StephenB
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 06:29 pm:   

I was drunk when I posted last night.:-)

I'll keep an eye out for that book, or maybe even order it.

I liked Existenz, but it covers familiar ground and themes, and I agree it isn't his best. It's still a lot better than most movies of its kind.

Robert, I agree that Ed Wood is one of Burton's best, if not his best movie. That and Edward Scissorhands are my favorites by him. We both agree that Planet was junk and a decline for Burton, but, his next movie Big Fish was much better. I have a feeling he had a lot of execs telling him what to do with the Apes remake, and Big Fish is the movie he really wanted to do. I didn't really like Mars Attack either. Sleepy Hollow wasn't bad though. So, he's hit and miss, but that doesn't mean he'll never hit again.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 09:03 pm:   

Thought eXistenZ did a better than average job with the tropes of games...he did some nonobvious stuff there. When Cronenberg is on, he is a real innovator, not just stealing from s.f. but adding to it. I haven't really been blown away by anything of his since Videodrome, though I thought Crash was pretty good. Spider didn't do much for me.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 09:27 pm:   

I liked Spider for its mis en scene. Did not like Crash. But I essentially agree with you as far as saying he stopped innovating at Videodrome. However, I think Dead Ringers and Naked Lunch are his best movies -- one need not innovate to direct a good film.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 10:16 pm:   

Sorry, I had widdle brain fart--caused by interruptions while typing. Yes, Naked Lunch I absolutely love. I just forgot about it.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 10:37 pm:   

Interesting that the movies I remember most of Cberg's are the one\s dominated by strong male performances --Woods, Irons, Weller. I don't usually have that bias, so I wonder if Cberg works better with a strong male lead... or something.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 08:02 am:   

So, he's hit and miss, but that doesn't mean he'll never hit again.

True, but after several misses, I don't expect a hit again. I won't go into anything expecting a hit until somebody I trust tells me his film is good.

Besides, if you expect the worst from a film, you'll be pleasantly surprised if it's only mostly bad.
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StephenB
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 12:13 pm:   

I thought Crash was one of his weaker films. I haven't seen Dead Ringers yet, but I really want to.

I'd say his best straight up horror movies are his early stuff from 70's and 80's. Starting with Naked Lunch, he branched out, trying different things, with mixed success.

Did you guys like M. Butterfly? I only saw part of it, so I can't make a good judgement. I should try to rent it sometime, as well.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, April 15, 2005 - 12:51 pm:   

Burton has been on a big disappointing curve for a long time and I don't much expect it to trend upward. Charlie & the ChocFac fills me with dread, and I used to think he was probably the best possible choice for such a thing. I was probably fooled by Nightmare Before Xmas. Henry Selick would have done far better with the material in animated form (and he proved to have a good grasp of Dahl's nastiness in James and the Giant Peach). I thought Big Fish was awful, Sleepy Hollow was one error in judgment after another (ultimately the casting of Christina Ricci was the biggest one...most of the supporting cast seemed out of place, and not in a good way). I have to go back to ED WOOD to find a film of his I really like (and in fact own on DVD). It's too bad because the world did not need more horrible interpretations of Charlie. The previous Willy Wonka incarnation was bad enough (I like Gene Wilder well enough, but the rest of the movie was godawful...starting with the ethnically neutral Oompa Loompas...I guess they couldn't find any genuine pygmies to play the parts, and I'm sure Tim Burton is going to pass on grappling with that uncomfortably wicked aspect of the book, ignoring the whole subtext of Willy Wonka as benevolent slave-owner who buys the lives of an entire tribe with a handful of cocoa beans).

Cronenberg's SCANNERS is straight-up 50's Phil Dick, psionic agents and vast conspiracies. Haven't seen it in years but I liked it when I saw it.

But I'm looking forward to quite a few of the movies on StephenB's list. Both the Gilliams, the Jackson, the Polanski, and the Von Trier. I won't necessarily see them in the theater, but there's no way I'll miss them. I'll almost certainly wait for the Cronenberg on DVD because it sounds potentially too violent for me to watch on the big screen.
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 12:36 pm:   

MarcL,

So you thought Big Fish was awful. I didn't think it was that bad really, better then Planet of the Apes. I thought Christina Ricci was fine in Sleepy Hollow; she's got that dark beauty that fits a gothic style. I wasn't blown away by Sleepy Hollow or anything, it could have been better, but again, I didn't think it was quite as bad as you do.

I think stylisticly Charlie and the Chocolate Factory could work really well, and I think Depp works well with Burton. It may turn out to be bad, for some of the reasons you brought up, but I think it'll probably turn out to be the best interpretation of the novel yet. I just hope he won't make it too parent friendly, appealing to a mass commercial audience instead of portraying the book the best he can.
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Martinus
Posted on Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 01:31 pm:   

Lucius wrote:

"As for Von Trier, I like his stuff, but am not looking forward to a swede's view of slavery days...no thanks. I'm more interested in his upcoming Satan movie."

Dane. Lars von Trier is Danish. We Swedes are not assuming blame for him! :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 01:37 pm:   

OK, a furriner! :-)

I'm a southerner and I;m pretty fed up with Southerner's views of the era, which can be scathing and informed, being ignored for other less informed viewpoints. So....

Sorry,
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StephenB
Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 02:49 pm:   

By R.Wilder on Thursday, May 19, 2005 - 02:57 pm:


Just got back from a Sith screening. I enjoyed myself, overall. In the same way that I enjoy Taco Bell, from time to time. Goopy cheesey junk.
The pacing was sluggish from time to time, and yes it is darker than the other Star Wars, but also stuffier. The last forty minutes is pretty good, for Lucas. It's all pretty predicatable, too. But, hey, for mindless, childish sci-fi, it's entertaining.

By StephenB on Saturday, May 21, 2005 - 05:31 pm:


I saw episode 3. Thought it was alright. I pretty much agree with R. Wilder and like his analogy. It's the best of the prequels and of course very climactic. It held my interest through most of the movie, although a few parts dragged. Some of the CG droid scenes I didn't like at all, in fact a number of scenes I could have done without. Much of it seems to be all set up for Lucas' marketing-empire of toys, games, product tie-ins. I don't at all like this aspect of what Star Wars has become. I'm not going to nit pick about the realism considering it's Star Wars, a Space Opera intended mostly for kids. Dialog's better than the first two, but there's still some bad lines. You'll notice a lot of repeated lines throughout the series. Also I don't think certain aspects of the characters were properly or convincingly developed. I didn't like how easily Anakin turned and his simplified rationalizations. The romance is also handled poorly in a similar fashion at times. It's still worth seeing, especially for anyone who used to be fans of the original trilogy, and while it's not as good as the original trilogy, it's a definite improvement over the first two prequels.

One thing this movie and the other prequels are missing, which the original trilogy had, is the sense of fun, and the humor. I really don't think these movies should be taken so seriously. In the original trilogy, Han Solo still stands out as the best character because he's so funny and likeable. His wise cracks made the series more fun, something which seems to have become lost in all the marketing and merchandising, along with all the excessive and unquestioning fans.

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