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
Charlize Theron throws on the tight black to pick up the role of Aeon
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
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.
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.
Keanu Reeves as Fred in A Scanner Darkly
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
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.
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
- 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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
Michael Madsen and Bruce Willis in Sin City
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
Part I- 2004 A Bad Year for Movie?
Top 10 Must See Movies of 2005