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Why Films of 2005 will Save Hollywood v.2

Published March 18, 2005 in Movie News
By Ryan Parsons | Images property of respective holders. Info can be found on movie pages.
Aeon Flux Charlize Theron throws on the tight black to pick up the role of Aeon Flux
In the first part [Part I] of this series, I discussed why 2004 was a bad year of Hollywood. In the article, I discussed the fact that Hollywood has been growing more and more afraid to create films that original and somewhat daring. The year of 2004 was a prime example as most of the released films all followed the 'formula' for their genre and stuck with the standard conventions applied to almost all films. Now that I have blown off some steam about the disappointing run of the mill movies for 2004, here is a promising look forward for films of 2005.

The Easy Winners- Animations

Just like 2004's Shrek 2 and The Incredibles, 2005 will also boast a few good animations that are nothing short of guaranteed to bring in the high box-office numbers. However, the animation genre has the first refreshing change of 2005.

First we have the CGI animations that include Chicken Little, Robots, and Madagascar. One nice thing about these three films is that all are designed somewhat differently. Robots, starring McGregor and Williams, makes a full fledged attempt to make the animation look extremely real with CGI robots. Chicken Little offers a more cartoon style look with even a little claymation effect [it is all CGI]. Madagascar takes a shot at CG animation by having the characters look more surreal than real. By using sharp edges and angles, the character in Madagascar actually portray more depth [visually] than the other animations of 2005.

Scanner Darkly Keanu Reeves as Fred in A Scanner Darkly
However, the one film that is going to [hopefully] revolutionized the way we think about animations is A Scanner Darkly. A Scanner Darkly is not a CG animated film, but it is some of the best hand drawn animation I have ever seen. The animated film will support a cast that includes Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr, Winona Ryder, and Christopher Ryan. The best part is that the characters will look exactly like the actor or actress who is doing the voice over.

A Scanner Darkly represents one of the many truly unique films to hit the theatres for 2005.

Further Reading: A Look at the Animated Films of 2005

2005-- The Year of Big Hitters

I'm not saying 2004 didn't have a lot of highly anticipated films. The difference comes from the buzz off the anticipated films of 2005. For 2004, we had big films such as Alexander for example; a film that had early negative buzz. For 2005, we also have big films such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Sin City, or Revenge of the Sith; and they all have begun to receive early positive buzz. This year we will actually see epic films, unlike 2004 where we were only blinded by epic films. Lets take a look at what to expect for 2005 in no particular order[animated films not included].

  • Sin City- Probably one of the most unique films for 2005. Take a graphic novel adaptation by Frank Miller, and make the film look exactly like the graphic novel. Perfect.
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith- Everyone is worried on how the last episode in the Star Wars saga will work out. However, early buzz and spoilers are continuing to prove that this last film has what it takes.
  • Mr and Mrs Smith- Take the True Lies formula and use better looking people. But this time, the married couple are both spies.
  • Batman Begins- Forget the comic books, take a look at Batman from the graphic novel [Frank Miller] perspective. Also, pick up an art film director Christopher Nolan [Memento] and attempt to re-create the dark magic from the first Batman movie.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- The Lord of the Rings was box-office gold, why shouldn't Chronicles of Narnia? The WETA is polished up and ready to work on this new fantasy film.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- Tim Burton and Depp team up again to remake the classic film about Wonka and his chocolate factory.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire- Every book of Harry Potter gets darker, and longer, than the previous novels. Goblet of Fire was my favorite book.
  • Fantastic Four- Another attempt to gain from the cash cow of comic book franchises. While re-shoots are occurring at this moment, early buzz still persists that Fantastic Four will blow us away.
  • War of the Worlds- A formula that should never fail: Steven Spielberg + Tom Cruise + cool ass Super Bowl spot.
  • King Kong- Peter Jackson has been walking on water [or is that hundred dollar bills] since his enormous success with The Lord of the Rings. Jackson promises to put the same amount of love into Kong that he did Rings.
  • The Island- A first look at human cloning for the sole purpose of 'harvesting' body parts. The film features Ewan McGregor, Sean Bean, and Scarlett Johannson.
  • Kingdom of Heaven- A film that takes a risky look at one of the 'Crusades' through the eyes of a noble knight [Bloom]. With Ridley Scott at the helm of this epic, seems unlikely that it should go wrong.
  • The New World- Brought to us by the same people who delivered The Thin Red Line. Colin Ferrell plays the part of John Smith as he encounters the new world and the aborigines tribes that dwell there.
  • Aeon Flux- First there was the highly disturbing animation presented on MTV. The story revolves around a female mercenary who has no problems killing, or fucking, just about anybody. Charlize Theron was quick to sign up and throw on the black leather [maybe spandex for the film].
  • Constantine- Based off of the graphic novel called Hellblazer about a detective named John Constantine. Constantine was born 'cursed' when he realized that he could see demons who walked on the middle-ground known as Earth. After an attempted suicide, Constantine works to regain admittance into heaven by doing God's work.
  • Unleashed- Can't help to feel The Professional all over this one. Add some dark green hues to the cinematography and an Asian here [Jet Li], and we may just have another classic film on our hands.
  • V for Vendetta- Based off of the graphic novel by Alan Moore, is a re-telling of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. However, now we are introduced to a 'terrorist' who enjoys wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and terrorizing the totalitarian rule imposed over Britain after the last great war.
Sin City Michael Madsen and Bruce Willis in Sin City
All of these films should pass the $100M mark with their theatrical release. One thing to notice is the added attention to graphic novels. While comic book adaptations have become a hit with high grossing films such as X-Men and Spider-Man, it seems that the studios are willing to go one step further and present films that are more likely to be R-rated and adult subject matter. Sin City, Constantine, Batman Begins, and V for Vendetta are all films that will pay tribute to the graphic novels on which they are based. The Watchmen, a graphic novel by Alan Moore, is also in the works to become a feature film as well.

One of the best parts about the increased popularity with graphic novels is that these types of films should throw out the usual 'formulas' and 'conventions' commonly seen in other movies. Everybody is used to meeting the conflicted good guy who always somehow wins at the end. The graphic novels take an entirely different look at the idea of a 'hero' on their characters. Instead of looking at the hero character as some one who is a straightforward righteous person, we get a deeper look into the characters. A good example would be Constantine or Sin City. In Constantine, we are greeted to John Constantine, a paranormal detective. The only reason Constantine does 'good' is because he hates his enemy and needs to earn salvation. In Sin City, each 'hero' is not even remotely similar to the heroes we encounter in films such as Spider-Man. The heroes discussed in Sin City are just ordinary brutes who, for the period, find a reason to do some good.

Hopefully the audiences will also appreciate some of the more unique films for 2005.

Further Reading:
Part I- 2004 A Bad Year for Movie?
Top 10 Must See Movies of 2005

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Images property of respective holders. Info can be found on movie pages.

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