Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summer of Sequels

Movies. Some good, some bad.
Little new under the sun.
Yet we eat them up.

2007 may go down as the Summer of Sequels.

Spider-Man 3
Shrek the Third
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Live Free of Die Hard
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Rush Hour 3
Bourne Ultimatum
Oceans 13

There are other sequels this year. Not all for summer, not all blockbuster, tent-pole releases. Mostly horror sequels such as 28 Weeks Later, Saw IV, Hannibal Rising, Hostel: Part II, Halloween (okay a remake more than sequel), Resident Evil: Extinction ... maybe more I missed. We also have Daddy Day Camp (which, after seeing the trailer for this, I'm tempted to place under horror), Alien vs. Predator 2, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Evan Almighty, and I'm sure a few others I don't know of.

One I didn't list, that I'm actually very excited to see, is a re-release of Tim Burtons The Night Before Christmas in Digital 3-D!

Now, I saw Meet the Robinson's in Disney Digital 3-D earlier this year. It was phenomenal! Gone are the days of cheap red and blue plastic lenses. No more rough cardboard frames gouging furrows in your nose. Leave behind the myopic disorientation of the old 3D ways. Now we have digital projection onto a silvered screen (yes, the silver screen is back!) with polarized lenses set within study, comfortable plastic frames.

The 3-D effects are astounding, and in their true colors and clarity. You can see normally out of the glasses without headaches, disorientation, or dizziness. Plus, when you look at another person sporting the cool lenses, you get this sci-fi glimmer in the lenses and their eyes from the special coating.

Anyhow, Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D will be freaking cool.

There are new movies this year which have come out, or are coming out, that are not retreads or sequels. Many of them comic book properties, or based on popular books.

The Mist
and the Golden Compass

Of all those mentioned, I am most eagerly awaiting The Golden Compass. I've read the first two books, and while I'm not particularly impressed with the theology espoused by Philip Pullman, his story is engaging and adventurous. The trailers for the film are stunning, and it is lining up to be a huge trilogy in the vein of Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean.

I'm also interested in The Mist.

It is based on one my all-time favorite Stephen King short stories, a novella, actually. An end-of-times, monsters-on-the-loose romp of action and terror. I'm worried, as with most of King's book-to-film conversions, it'll lose it's charm for me on the Big Screen. I'll have to wait until November to find out, though.

More contemporaneous, is another King conversion, 1408. The short story was intriguing look into a haunted hotel room, with typical King weirdness and even more of his much-loved creepiness. The trailer for the film version, starring Samuel Jackson and John Cusak, seem to capture the spirit and feel of the story. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

One sure-fire blockbuster movie this year I am surprising not interested in seeing is Ratatouille. I love Pixar films, and have seen each and every one they've released in a theater, as well as own them on DVD. Something about this one, however, doesn't draw my attention. In part because I despise Andy Dick. I don't know why, really, but he annoys the crap out of me. Also in part because, while the animation seems as good as anything, nothing i saw makes me want to see it anymore than other animated movies this year.

Though, for animated movies, TMNT was the best I've seen recently. Darn good story, fun and exciting adventure, and just plain coolness on the Big Screen. Of all the super-hero flicks I've seen this year, TMNT wins hands down.

Maybe I'll post a list of films I planned to see this year, along with whether I've seen them, and school-style grade for them. Hmmmm ....

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