When Chris and I were recording the Podcast the other day we were attempting to figure out what movies we are looking forward to that are going to drop into theatre’s between now and the end of the year. For some reason we had to wrack our brains to even come up with one title, meanwhile I am aware that there are many more I want to see coming out and they slipped my mind. Isn’t it strange that I can tell you every big film that comes out in the Summer, but if you quiz me on Winter films I stumble a bit unless I can look up a “Coming Soon” list.
So that is what I am going to do today. An Anticipation list for the winter season’s movies that I am most looking forward to.
So without further ado, in order by release dates:
THE MUPPETS (Nov. 23rd)
I’m a kid at heart. Always have been, always probably will be. The Muppets have always held a special place in my heart, be they Muppets from SESAME STREET, FRAGGLE ROCK, THE MUPPETS, or even LABYRINTH and THE DARK CRYSTAL. Well Jason Segel (of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER fame) it would seem was also a big fan, and thankfully he was in a position to do something about it, so he set out to get an all-new Muppet movie made. The film will see the original Muppets (who have gone their separate ways) attempting to save the Muppet Theatre from a money-grubbing Oil tycoon.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL (IMAX Dec. 16th)
The Mission Impossible film series is a strange duck. The first one, while decent was overall lackluster making it just OKAY. Then someone decided to hire John Woo to direct the second one and it was worse, muddled and incoherent. Then along came J.J. Abrams (the creator of the great spy show ALIAS) and he made the 3rd film absolutely rule. Seriously, how often is it that the 3rd film in a franchise is the best of the 3? Not often, but MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III was fun, action-packed, and compelling with a really nasty (but believable) villain. So what really excites me about GHOST PROTOCOL (the 4th film) is that it looks to have the same vibe as the 3rd one did, and it is being directed by Brad Bird (THE IRON GIANT, THE INCREDIBLES) as his first live action feature.
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (Dec. 16th)
And onto another spy film. One that has already been released in the UK and has already garnered amazing reviews, and even a few whispers of award noms for the actors. I know nothing of John le Carré’s novels, but I do know they have a significant following. TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY being one of the more popular ones. What excites me about this one is that this looks to be a VERY gritty, and realistic spy tale. Whereas MI: IV will be a flashy, action-oriented film, this one will instead be a quieter piece (though I imagine it has action still) that showcases spy’s in a different light and seems to make for a darker tone. At any rate, it looks excellent!
THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN (Dec. 21st)
How can you not be excited for this? Here is a film based on the wonderful tales of Belgian artist/writer Hergé, written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, produced by Peter Jackson (with effects by his company WETA), and directed by Steven Spielberg. That is a heavy hitter movie dream team that makes me actually quite giddy when I think about it! Tintin books were favourites of mine as a youth and so I know the stories are worthwhile. The trailers make the film look absolutely gorgeous, and seeing as I REALLY enjoyed the performance capture in last years A CHRISTMAS CAROL, I feel the tech has come a long way, so I don’t think you’ll find the uncanny valley anywhere here. At any rate, very excited about this one! Also notice that the writers share a font size with the directors and producers, that's not something you often seen on film posters, and probably speaks of the pedigree involved here.
WAR HORSE (Dec. 25th)
You could call Winter 2011 Steven Spielberg’s One-Two-Punch. Seeing as this is the second film he’s directed that is coming out a week after TINTIN. Based on a children’s novel about a young man’s beloved horse who gets conscripted into the cavalry in World War I, it looks to be an amazing tale. I’ll concede I am usually a sucker for Spielberg. I have a friend who always says that he makes “Oscar-Fodder” and for some reason that bothers her. I’ve got no problem with it, because what on earth is wrong with making films that emotionally resonate with their audience? I love those films in fact. At any rate, this also looks to be sumptuously shot, and nicely cast. More importantly, kind of like THE RED VIOLIN, this looks to be a film about a non-speaking (in this case animal) and how he affects the lives of those around him throughout a very turbulent time. Consider me in the theatre seat already.
Well, those are my anticipated films for the Winter season. I'll probably review at least a few of them when I see them. Do you agree with my list? Are there any you feel I missed? What is your list?
(Note: Please don't say my list is missing sparkly vampires...they don't count in my head at all, also vampire's DON'T SPARKLE! Nor do they begin relationships with their food, but I digress.)