Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Year of the B(lockbuster)

There is the movie as art form: "cinema," as film snobs might say, that challenges our most deeply held notions of God or Love or Truth or Beauty or some other Capitalized Important Concept.

Then there's the stuff I want to go see, movies that challenge our deeply held notions of giant monsters, zombies, gunfire and explosions, mummies, commies, and cannibalism. Ladies and gentlemen, 2008 is already shaping up to be a year that will not disappoint this B-movie lover. Let's see what's on deck.

Always nice to see NYC get destroyedCloverfield (January 18)
Not much is known about this movie as it was filmed in relative secrecy and promoted only recently via a cryptic campaign. But I know enough: It's produced by J.J. Abrams, who happens to produce the brilliant Lost, the only TV drama I actually watch, and it's about a mysterious Godzilla-type monster who trashes New York City. Dude.

BOOM! BAM! SMASH! AAAAAADRIAN!!!!1Rambo (January 25)
The commercials for this movie are awesome. They don't even attempt to communicate a plot; it's all explosions and loud, angry music and gunfire and Rambo punching, stabbing, and blasting his way through the jungle. That's all the movie's target audience needs to know: We're there, even if Stallone is 87 years old and a little long in the tooth for an action hero.

Long live the undead!George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead (February 15)
Man, this one flew way under my radar. I wasn't even aware Romero was making another zombie film and here this one is, already in the can and previewed by enough audiences for it to have a (good) rating and reviews on IMDB. His last, Land of the Dead, was a huge disappointment, but as that was a studio production and this one is 100% independent, I have higher hopes for it, especially based on the trailer. Brrraaaiiinnnsss.

Where's the prune juice, baby?Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May 22)
Dunh da dunh dunhhh, dunh da dunhhhhhhhh! One of my childhood heroes is back, the fictious Nazi-ass-kicking archaeologist Indiana Jones. This time it's 1957 and he's apparently battling commies and dragging around gay-named Shia Labeoeuaeuf as his sidekick. And Karen Allen is back, too, as 94-year-old Indy's squeeze. Apparently, Harrison Ford did a lot of his own stuntwork for the movie without breaking his hip.

Uh... insert mummy joke hereThe Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (August 1)
Brendan Fraser as Rick O'Connell is like the next-generation Indy, and he's back this year, too. I liked the previous two Mummy movies for what they were -- fun, period adventure yarns in the tradition of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the like. Unfortunately, Rachel Weisz is not reprising her role as O'Connell's hot Egyptologist wife, which is a real shame because what made the Mummy movies work so well was the fun interplay between the characters. Maria Bello, who I know nothing about, is stepping in instead.

Dr. Boll responds to critics... and audiencesPostal (?)
Zombie Massacre (2010)
The German Ed Wood (or Max Bialystok) has apparently lost the ability to use tax write-offs (HT: Verd) to make his crappy movies, but he's still pressing ahead with plans to "adapt" more video games for the big screen. Postal, a fairly obscure '90s game about (what else?) a berserk mailman, apparently already exists but has not been released. Zombie Massacre I've never heard of, but hey, I'm open-minded.

See you at the cinemaplex, bitches!