Some films have that special something, and some films seem like they stepped in something. Allow me to help you know the difference, and maybe find you something good to watch.
I couldn’t stop. In my last post I found 11 films that seemed worthy of mentioning. Films that will be coming soon, but may fly under your radar. People seemed to like it. But the thing is, once I started digging, I found more. Lots more.
I’m not going to separate them into genres this time. No order, no rules. I’m not even going to count them. It’ll be anarchy.
Ehhh, okay there’s eight of them.
(one) – THE ZERO THEORUM (dir. Terry Gilliam)~(act. Christoph Waltz, David Thewlis) If you don’t think that Terry Gilliam is one of the greatest director’s of all time, then I can probably assume you’ve never seen BRAZIL (1985). According to wiki, Gilliam is back with a dystopic sci-fi film about an eccentric and “reclusive computer genius working on a formula to determine whether life holds meaning.” Cool, right? Also, there’s an oppressive government called Management (Matt Damon), and the always amazing Tilda Swinton has a role as a doctor of some kind. I’m thinking she’s an ‘evil’ doctor. This is set for December, no trailers yet unfortunately, but this is definitely one to keep your eye on. Great concept, great cast, great director: I’m there.
(two) – BLUE JASMINE (dir. Woody Allen)~(act. Cate Blanchette, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K.) Woody Allen has had a long career. If I’ve counted correctly, this will be the 45th film he’s directed over the past 47 years (not counting things he’s performed in without directing). That means he’s nearly averaged making one film a year for 4 and a half decades. Even if you don’t like his movies (really? NONE of them?!) you HAVE to hand it to the guy for being consistent. Anyways, BLUE JASMINE is “the story of the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.” (wiki) The plot doesn’t really jump out at you, but the mere fact that Louis C.K. in it makes me interested, and the trailer makes it look better than the plot does. I think this could be good. Not great, mind you, not ANNIE HALL-great. But good. This has a July 26 release date.
(three) – WRONG (dir. Quentin Dupieux) ~ There was a film made a few years ago called RUBBER, about an abandoned car-tire in the middle of the desert that gains sentience, mobility, telekinetic powers and a murderous rage. It was awesome. Absurd and surreal, it was a bloody clever dark comedy. Now the writer/director has made another film. This one’s actually out on disc now, totally available, but I just found out about it, so I figured it should be included. WRONG is about a guy that wakes up one morning to find his dog is missing. William Fichtner plays the role of Master Chang, his “spiritual guide”. See how I put that term in quotes? That means irony. Watch the trailer, and then try to tell me you don’t want to see this. I know I’m excited.
3b) – WRONG COPS (dir. Quentin Dupieux) ~ Another one by the other Quentin film-maker, this one looks like SUPER TROOPERS but with just a tad more teeth to it. Darker, meaner, or maybe just more pathetic, I don’t know. But it has Eric Wareheim of “Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job”, among others, and it shares that kind of tone and humor. No release date yet. I think it’s been playing the film-festivals this year, trying to find a distributor and whathaveyou. The trailer’s pretty funny so they shouldn’t have a problem.
(four) HER (dir. Spike Jonze) ~ Although I was disappointed with his WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE adaptation, both ADAPTATION and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH were absolutely brilliant and I think he’s more than capable of striking gold again. HER is about a lonely writer (Joaquin Phoenix) who buys a new computer and he somehow over the course of the film falls in love with it. I don’t know, it has powers like a genie or something. They’ll make it work. Take a look at the line-up of beautiful women signed up to act in this film: Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Samantha Morton, and Portia Doubleday. And those were just the ones I recognized right away! I like the idea, and I definitely like the cast. Should be good. This is set to release in late November.
(five) THE PROTECTOR 2 (dir. Prachya Pinkaew) ~ This is the highly anticipated martial arts sequel to the first PROTECTOR, the film that, along with ONG BAK helped catapult Tony Jaa into superstardom. If you enjoy martial arts films, you need to watch ONG BAK (2 & 3 aren’t necessary, but they’re fun) and THE PROTECTOR. Their star, Tony Jaa, is AAAAAMMMMMAAAZZZZINNNNG. Really. He’s Jackie Chan-good. He’s Jet Li-good. He’s responsible for popularizing the recent push in Muay Thai fighting style seen in films lately. Since ONG BAK came out, there’s been a flood of others, but other than THE PROTECTOR, nothing quite as good. He’s impressive. No CGI, no wires. Just a lot of knees, elbows, and some dexterous leaping skills. And the fight-scenes are really well choreographed. The first one was made way back (bak?) in 2005. We’ve been waiting 8 years for the sequel. Hopefully, it gets finished. It releases in Thailand in October, so maybe the States will get it by Christmas? Maybe.
(six) DEAD MAN DOWN (dir. Niels Arden Oplev) ~ (Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrance Howard) ~ I don’t know if it DID play in the theaters around here and I just missed it, or if it went straight to video, but it’s coming out on disc July 8. Damn. This looked like something worth seeing on the big-screen. The cinematography looks fantastic in it, and it just looks like it’ll be a gritty, nuanced, bad-ass, violent, sexy good time. This is the same director that did the original THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, and it also has Noomi who actually was the girl who had the tattoo. She was more recently in PROMETHEUS, but don’t hold that against her. The Fincher adaptation of TGWTDT was alright I guess, but it just wasn’t as good, not at all, and it wasn’t necessary. Like the American version of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. Unnecessary. Anyways. This looks good. It should be available pretty soon (7-8-13)
(seven) MAN OF TAI CHI (dir. Keanu Reeves) ~ After all these years Keanu is finally going to sit in the director’s chair. It’s interesting that he’s chosen a martial arts film to break his cherry. It’s also interesting that he will play the bad-guy in this. It’s basically an underground fighting competition of some kind, and Keanu’s character learns about a guy that is supposedly unstoppable (a tai chi master!) but of course, that guy doesn’t want to fight for money. So Keanu has to do some convincing, the hard way. Duhn-duhn DUNNN. The Tai Chi guy is played by Tiger Hu Chen (yes, his name really is ‘Tiger’), who is actually one of the guys that trained Keanu when he was Neo in THE MATRIX, I imagine that’s where they met. Also in the movie somewhere, is Iko Uwais, the star of THE RAID, which, if you haven’t seen, is one of the most brutal, bad-ass, fight-films to come out in the last few years. MAN OF TAI CHI has a good look to it, and a good cast. It may take itself a bit too seriously, but we’ll see if Keanu has what it takes to tell a story from the other side of the camera, and I’m certainly intrigued so far. Here’s a trailer to whet your appetite. No firm release date yet.
(eight) ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA (dir. Declan Lowney)~(act. Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney) ~ If you’re unfamiliar with Coogan’s long-time British character Alan Partridge, that’s alright. There’s plenty of time to watch everything he’s ever done before this film is released. Actually, there’s a lot of episodes, so you should probably get started. Partridge is a radio talk-show host with a personality somewhere between Ron Burgundy and David Brent (from the BBC show THE OFFICE). Did you see HAMLET 2? Or THE TRIP? Both star Steve Coogan, and though, yeah, he always plays basically the same character, he’s friggin’ brilliant at it, so you’re never tired of it. It’s good, and I’m psyched. Here, check this teaser out. It releases in the UK in August.
I guess I’ll stop here. Eight is good. There were a few others, but I think this is good here. I’ll do some more digging. Maybe I’ll be back in another week or two with a third installment of Upcoming Films of Interest.
Until then, make sure you check out the posts from my other film-review page The Walken Chronicles. That’s where I review each and every one of Christopher Walken’s films, starting at the beginning of his career and moving forward.
Thanks for reading, and let me know in the comment section below what you think, if you’ve seen one of these movies, and if they’re as good as they look.