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Upcoming films to keep an eye on (part two)

As promised, I continue my look at upcoming films I’m looking forward to. We continue the top 10 with some sci-fi goodness.

5. Source Code

The story:
This sci-fi tale stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a soldier investigating the terrorist bombing of a train. He does so by travelling back in time to before the attack, but apparently the time-travel technology limits him to arriving just 17 minutes prior to the detonation, meaning he has to work fast.

Why I’m excited: Three reasons. First, this is director Duncan Jones’ follow up to Moon, which is a film that blew my mind a little bit. Second, I’m a huge sucker for any story with an element of time travel (Dead Of Night, Timecrimes, Primer, Triangle, etc.) Third, in addition to Gyllenhaal, the cast for Source Code includes Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. Count me in.

Status: Source Code is currently in post-production. The release date isn’t known yet, but it should be early next year.

4. Red State

The story: Red State is being described as a horror film in which a group of misfits encounter fundamentalism gone to the extreme in middle America.

Why I’m excited: It’s Kevin Smith, goshdangit. He may not be everybody’s cup of tea but I like the guy, even though his last couple of movies didn’t do it for me the way his earlier ones did.

Smith’s last time out was his first try at directing somebody else’s script, and unfortunately it was a pretty poor script. Needless to say, I’m very happy to see him back to writing his own projects again.

I’m excited Michael Parks (perhaps best known for playing Sheriff Earl McGraw in various Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez projects) is attached. He’s said to be playing a character akin to Westboro Baptist Church leader and world-class lunatic Fred Phelps. Parks is the only cast member announced so far, so my interest in this project could still change depending on who else is in it.

Mostly I’m just curious to see what Smith can do with horror. The humour elements of his last couple of projects have really fallen flat for me, so his decision to write something dark and serious has me interested in finding out how dark and serious he plans to get. From what I’ve heard, Red State will be less of a “blood and guts” kind of horror and instead be more psychological.

Status: Red State is currently in pre-production, and it starts shooting this month.

3. Super 8

The story: Details are sketchy so far, aside from what we see in the teaser above. Basically, it’s 1979, and a train transporting something-or-other from Area 51 derails, unleashing the something-or-other on the world. Area 51 obviously implies something alien, but that’s just speculation for now. Writer-director J.J. Abrams has confirmed the film isn’t related to Cloverfield, but won”t say much else.

Why I’m excited: J.J. Abrams is back! I like his track record (Mission: Impossible III, Cloverfield, Star Trek), and that’s enough to bring me in, even though no casting decisions have been announced yet.

Status: Super 8 is currently in pre-production. It starts shooting in September and is scheduled to hit theatres next summer.

2. Looper

The story: Looper is a movie about time travel being used by criminals to carry out hits. Essentially, crime bosses send their targets back in time hogtied and blindfolded. Henchmen shoot the target and dispose of the body, causing the target to essentially “vanish” from the future.

Why I’m excited: Again, it’s all about the director. Rian Johnson’s first movie, Brick, is one of my favourites from the last few years. I wasn’t as big a fan of his follow-up, The Brothers Bloom, but I’m still psyched for this. I’ve already talked about my love of time travel movies, so that’s another factor. Also the cast will feature Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, both of whom I like.

Status: Looper is currently in development.

1. The Avengers

The story:
God only knows. Presumably, lots of superheros will do superheroic deeds in an effort to stop supervillains from doing supervillainous deeds.

Why I’m excited: The photo above (click it for a larger version) should say it all. That’s a lot of acting talent on display, plus Joss Whedon signed on to write and direct. Cramming all that into one film won’t be easy, but if it works it could be pretty amazing.

Status: The Avengers is currently in development.

So, whatcha think? Interested in any of these projects? Got some others I didn’t mention that you think are worthy of inclusion? Let me know…



2 responses to “Upcoming films to keep an eye on (part two)

  1. Michael Walls August 6, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Good list. I’m especially excited for Source Code, Black Swan and Looper(which I just heard about the other day while reading an interview with Bruce Willis).

    Some additional ones I’m looking forward to:

    Cowboys & Aliens – I don’t know much about it other than it’s a sci-fi western starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Clancy Brown and Paul Dano and it’s directed by Jon Favreau(Iron Man) and written by Damon Lindelof(“Lost”, Star Trek sequel). That’s all enough to sell me.

    The Green Hornet – Seth Rogan plays the pulp hero in this movie and, though skeptical at first, the trailer sold me 100 percent. I’m excited to see the interplay between Rogan’s Britt Reid and Jay Chou’s Kato. Also, being directed by Michel Gondry(Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and having Christoph Waltz(Inglourious Basterds) playing the villain ups my anticipation.

    Tron Legacy – This sequel, being made almost 30 years after the first Tron, didn’t really pique my interest until the first teaser trailer. Once I saw a young Jeff Bridges reprising his role as Flynn cursing out an older, current, messiah-like Bridges I was sold. Everything I’ve seen since then has only amped up my excitement. The movie also stars Garrett Hedlund(Friday Night Lights, Four Brothers), Olivia Wilde(“House”, Year One), Michael Sheen(Frost/Nixon, Underworld) and John Hurt(Elephant Man, Alien), with Bruce Boxleitner returning as Alan Bradley/Tron. Also, Daft Punk are doing the score for the film. That’s right: Daft Punk.

    True Grit – The Coen Bros. next film is a remake, but I’m certain it will transcend. It’s the movie that earned John Wayne an Oscar. Apparently the movie will be more of an adaptation of the book that the original was based on, which is fine by me. Jeff Bridges will be taking over Wayne’s role as US Marshall “Rooster” Cogburn and the film co-stars Matt Damon(The Bourne Identity, The Departed), Josh Brolin(No Country for Old Men, Milk) and Barry Pepper(Saving Private Ryan, We Were Soldiers). The Coens’ longtime cinematographer, Roger Deakins, is fiming, so it’s bound to look gorgeous.

    Thor – The Asgardian warrior from legend to comic book panels to silver screen. This movie didn’t really interest me — I never much cared for Thor — until I found out that Kenneth Branagh was directing this. Branagh’s history directing Shakespearean(Henry V, Hamlet) classics and making them interesting should help give the movie the gravitas it needs. Also helping that is the huge Chris Hemsworth(Star Trek, A Perfect Getaway) as Thor, Anthony Hopkins(Silence of the Lambs, Fracture) as Odin and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Also co-starring are Clark Gregg(Iron Man, Iron Man 2), Natalie Portman(Star Wars prequels, V for Vendetta), Kat Dennings(Defendor, The House Bunny), Stellan Skarsgard(Good Will Hunting), Ray Stevenson(Punisher: Warzone, “Rome”), Idris Elba(“The Wire”, The Losers) and Rene Russo(Thomas Crown Affair). The five-minute sizzle reel from Comic Con was released online and it struck the right notes for me. The Asgard scenes in particular look like they have the right sort of campiness that reminds me of Flash Gordon.

    The Town – A Boston crime thriller that I only heard about a few weeks ago(the trailer was before Inception). It’s directed by and starring Ben Affleck who, regardless of your thoughts on his capabilities as a thespian, directed the fantastic Gone Baby Gone. It also co-stars Jeremy Renner(28 Days Later, The Hurt Locker), Jon Hamm(“Mad Men”, The A-Team), Chris Cooper(American Beauty, The Kingdom), Titus Welliver(“Deadwood”, “Lost”) and Blake Lively(“Gossip Girl”, upcoming Green Lantern). I have faith because I love a twisted heist plot and criminals with consciences.

    • Mike Lake August 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm

      Interesting list there, although I have to admit a lot of those are kind of off my radar.

      I’ve never seen Tron, so I’d have some catching up to do before I got into a sequel.

      I wasn’t quite as taken with the Green Hornet trailer as you were but I’m willing to give it a shot. Michel Gondry as the director just seems like a really weird move, but who knows?

      Cowboys and Aliens seems like it will either be really terrible or really awesome, but I have to admit the talent assembled behind it is appealing.

      I remember seeing the Thor footage that leaked from Comic Con but have since managed to forget all about it. I was never a Thor fan but I’m curious to see Branagh take on the genre.

      I’m definitely in for The Town, I was a huge fan of Gone Baby Gone.

      And I’m down for anything the Coens decide to do. I love westerns so seeing how they approach it will be great.

      And speaking of remakes, you reminded me of a couple of other things:

      Zhang Yimou’s remake of the Coen brothers’ own Blood Simple. I love Yimou’s visual style, and seeing a modern story transplanted to what looks like feudal China ought to be interesting.

      Matt Reeves’s remake of Let Me In. Yeah, it’s a little weird to see Let The Right One In remade so soon after the original came out. But Chloe Moretz as the vampire is pretty awesome casting and the buzz from the Comic Con footage was mostly positive.

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