Summer’s coming to a close. Blockbuster season (such as it was) is over. As we gear up for the battle of the Oscar contenders, there are still plenty of awesome offerings that aren’t necessarily all about going for the statuette. Here are my most anticipated films for the rest of the year. By the way, you should definitely check out all the trailers online at http://www.apple.com/trailers/
1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
My favourite book from my favourite series brought to life on screen: Tri-wizard tournament, Quidditch World Cup, the return of Voldemort (plus the first appearance of Cho Chang! Sigh…). Need I say more?
Joss Whedon produced this! This will be the best science fiction film of the entire year. This will be a visually-awesome, hilarious, thrilling, butt-kicking adventure. You have to see this movie!
3. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Another book that is ripe for a stunning visual adaptation, I am so excited that now that Lord of the Rings has opened the way, other classics of fantasy are pouring through.
Not only is this my favourite musical of all time, but it comes to screen with members of the original cast (Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel and Jesse Martin rule!). This is too awesome…. Now where did I put that soundtrack CD?
5. King Kong
The original was a great film with visual effects that were incredible for its time. Now the Lord of the Rings himself, Peter Jackson, is bringing the great ape back to the big screen. I can’t wait.
6. Corpse Bride
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was mostly a dud, but let’s give Tim Burton and Johnny Depp another chance in this cool-looking, stop-motion, Gothic love story.
I loved the play when I saw it in Toronto. I didn’t get to see Gwyneth Paltrow play the role of the math genius/slightly-disturbed daughter of a math genius in London, but now she’s reteamed with Shakespeare in Love director John Madden to bring it all to the big screen.
8. Brothers Grimm
Terry Gilliam, of Monty Python, Brazil, Time Bandits, and Twelve Monkeys fame has put his kooky and creative stamp on a tale about fairy tales that stars Matt Damon and Heath Ledger as the eponymous brothers.
9. Aeon Flux
Based on a too-cool-for-its-time 90s animated series, I’m hoping that Charlize Theron and company can bring that edgy sci-fi feeling to this live-action, big-screen adaptation.
10. V for Vendetta
Comic book adaptations are hit or miss. I’m anticipating this mainly because of Natalie Portman (I’ve forgiven her for Revenge of the Sith) and the Wachowski brothers (I thank them for the Matrixes). However … A story about a masked vigilante in a dark, futuristic cityscape? I dunno… I already watched and enjoyed Batman Begins.
11. Wallace and Gromit – Were Rabbit
Loved Chicken Run. This one looks cute, clever, very funny, and British. What’s not to love?
It looks to be a mind-bending visual fantasia from the Jim Henson company, and mega-huge horror-fantasy writer, Neil Gaiman.
A bit of warm-hearted, wide-eyed, fantastic, wondrous fun.
14. Chicken Little
The sight of big-headed, nerd-bespectacled, adorable Chicken Little alone seems worth it, but this latest CGI animal adventure might be an even better take on an alien invasion story than War of the Worlds—at least funnier (and thank God Dakota Fanning is not in this one… although… the more I look at that Chicken Little… never mind).
15. Pride & Prejudice
The BBC mini-series will be hard to top, but at least compared to that adaptation (and the Austen-inspired Bridget Jones’s Diary) we won’t be seeing Colin Firth in this one. Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Bennett will be a riot! Plus, I haven’t said no to a Working Title movie so far. Will Keira Knightly pull off the lead role? It’s possible…
I’m sure many other excellent films will rear their heads as the praises and critiques start to ring out, but I hope I’ll get the chance to catch all of these movies at the least. After a lackluster summer at the cinema, it’s shaping up to be a much better fall. Enjoy.