Friday, August 19, 2011
The Five Coolest Movies Being Made Right Now
Matthew Jaffrey previews five up movies currently in the Hollywood pipeline.
World War Z
Perhaps only Brad Pitt's involvement as producer and star could have gotten a zombie holocaust movie green-lit to the tune of a $125 million budget, so we must give are thanks that Pitt has an eye for good material and the balls to take risks. World War Z is an adaptation of the novel of the same name, written by Max Brooks. Pitt plays a fictional version of the Brooks, who, in the novel, is a journalist compiling interviews and first person accounts of various individuals’ struggles during the zombie epidemic which ended 10 years previously. It all sounds very exciting, the only drawback is that in order to secure the huge budget, Pitt and director Marc Foster conceded to a tame PG-13 rating.
Tarantino’s new film is shaping up nicely. The story follows Jamie Foxx’s slave Django as he escapes imprisonment from sadistic ranch owner Calvin Candy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Candy runs an underground club in which slaves are raped and forced to kill each other, so it’s no surprise that when Django escapes, he wants revenge. The big name casting doesn’t stop there. Kevin Costner is confirmed to play Candy’s right hand man who revels in the sadistic orders he’s given, while Samuel L. Jackson is signed on to play Stephen, a house slave loyal to Candy. Christoph Waltz, who won an academy award playing Colonel Landa in Basterds plays a German bounty hunter, who is reportedly the real star of the piece. All-in-all it’s pretty familiar territory for Tarantino but it seems Django is turned up to 11 and you can’t deny that it’s one hell of an impressive cast.
Based on the existential, labyrinthine novel by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas stars Tom Hanks, James McAvoy, Halle Berry and Hugo Weaving. The novel follows six narratives from different points of history, ranging from 1850, to a dystopian near-future and even a post-apocalyptic distant future. Director Tom Tykwer and producers The Wachowski Brothers of Matrix fame are collaborating on the adaptation. Here’s hoping Hanks returns to form after the disappointing Larry Crowne and forgettable Robert Langdon movies.
Originally intended as Ridley Scott’s return to the deflated Alien franchise, then as a spin-off to it, and finally, a basically-nothing-got-to-do-with–it type deal, Prometheus remains something to be excited about and probably benefits from a lack of bad-blockbuster baggage. The plot has been kept a close secret but is rumoured to be about a team sent to the home world of the alien species that engineered the human race. Anything else is speculation, although I think it’s safe to assume the mission doesn’t go as smoothly as the main characters would have hoped. The cast is an international affair with Irishman Michael Fassbender and Sweed Naomi Repace providing indie cred along with cool-as-a-cucumber Brit Idris Elba. Charlize Theron rounds out the players as a sly corporate suit type alá Paul Reiser in Aliens, although hopefully she’ll be, y’know, less Paul Reiser-ee.
The Dark Knight Rises
While undoubtedly the most anticipated movie of next year, The Dark Knight Rises faces a tough battle to equal or surpass its predecessor. If Heath Ledger faced an uphill battle in topping Jack Nicholson’s Joker then Anne Hathaway seems as though she has a mountain to climb in order to be thought of as the definitive Catwoman. The star of Bride Wars, Get Smart and The Princess Diaries will have a lot to contend with if she’s to dethrone Michelle Pfeiffer’s classic incarnation. Hathaway won’t be armed with a ridiculously impractical figure-hugging cat-suit to help her case either.
at 5:40 PM