The Social Network
In cinemas tomorrow is the story of how one 19-year-old Harvard student revolutionised the internet and social networking existence by creating Facebook, and the lawsuits its creation sparked off. It looks set to be a very powerful, very deep film, with a well-written screenplay and great actors, and has already recieved some serious critical acclaim. From the clips I've seen so far I'm not surprised by all the positivity and I wouldn't be surprised if we have a Best Picture Oscar nominee on our hands.
This is the latest computer animation and has had a lot of positive reviews and has made over $245 million at the US box office. From what I've seen so far it looks set to be a very fun adventure with some great characters voiced really well by Steve Carrell, Julie Andrews and Russell Brand. I can guarantee it won't be in the same league as Pixar films (then again how many are in that league?), but it will probably be worth a viewing.
The next DreamWorks animation, and the third this year, looks like it will be a good'un. DreamWorks computer animations started out as hit with Antz (1998), Shrek (2001) and Shrek 2 (2004), and were then miss with Shark Tale (2004), Madagascar (2005), Over the Hedge (2006), Flushed Away (2006), Shrek the Third (2007), Bee Movie (2007) and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008). However, with the exception of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, the last 30 months have all been hit with Kung Fu Panda (2008), Monsters vs Aliens (2009), How to Train your Dragon (2010) and Shrek Forever After (2010), so let's see if this will be just as good. I'm certainly willing to give it a chance.
Judging by what I've seen so far it is clear that this will be a lousy spoof of the Twilight Saga (2008 to present). Just think of lousy spoof films such as Scary Movie 4 (2006), Epic Movie (2007) and Disaster Movie (2009), and use them as a great excuse not to see this film.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
David Yates took over as director after The Goblet of Fire (2005), and the standard of the films has dropped since then. The Order of the Phoenix (2007) and The Half-Blood Prince (2009) merit three stars apiece from me as, although the visuals were superb, the editing was fast and well done, and the mood tense and dark, the screenplays weren't that great, the performances were getting worse, and the action and duels felt artificial, plus they weren't very loyal to the books, and that really angered me as I am a die hard Potter fan and have been for more than half my life. The Deathly Hallows was the best book, and judging by the trailer the film is set set to be loyal, explosive, action-packed and really exciting, so personally I can't wait.
It looks like some harmless kids' entertainment, but like Scooby-Doo (2002) and Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) before it, it seems this is going to be another shameless killing of a classic cartoon by trying to go live-action, so the chances of it being a good film are very slim.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
So far the Narnia films have been 3 star films for me - wonderful visually, with some fun characters, but not very well scripted, and an artificial feel to a number of scenes, plus the Christian messages are dumbed down. However, looking at the trailer, I'm certain it will be superior to Prince Caspian (2008) at least. Dawn Treader was one of the best books in the series so I have high hopes for this film, especially now Fox has taken over the films from Disney, because let's face it, live-action Disney has been to a generally rather low standard of film since Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).
There are two ways this film could go. It could either fail due to the fact that the 1982 original is looked at as a film of its time, plus 28 years is a hell of a long time to wait before releasing a sequel, or the film could succeed thanks to the outstanding quality of computer animation these days, and having the brilliant Jeff Bridges in the lead role again. We shall see this Christmas which of the two it will be, though I don't have particularly high hopes myself.
This film is a remake of the 1969 original, which won John Wayne the Oscar for Best Actor. The leading stars are Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin and they are outstanding choices for leads. Bridges is a truly talented actor and has proved it multiple times in films such as The Last Picture Show (1971), The Big Lebowski (1998), Seabiscuit (2003), and Crazy Heart (2009), among numerous others; the standard of Matt Damon has been shown in films such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and Invictus (2009); and Josh Brolin has in recent years proved just how talented he is in films such as American Gangster (2007), No Country for Old Men (2007) and Milk (2008). The film is directed by the Coen Brothers, who have proved just how talented they are as directors with Raising Arizona (1987), The Big Lebowski (1998), No Country for Old Men (2007) and A Serious Man (2009) among others, and judging by the trailer it is set to be a well-made, really exhilarating and action-packed Western.
This film is a biopic of Aron Ralston, a hiker and climber who gets trapped in an isolated canyon in Utah with his arm crushed under a boulder, and spends five days drinking his water and urine as slowly as possible, before freeing himself by breaking his arm and amputating his lower arm with a blunt penknife and pliers that are part of the cheap multi-tool in his pocket. In the early hours of this morning the last of the Chilian miners reached freedom and I suspect that their story will be a film by 2020, and like their story, this is a great story that everyone knew would make a film some day, just as the Argentinian rugby players stranded in the Andes after their plane crashed became a film in 1992. This film premiered at the London Film Festival yesterday and will be released in nationwide cinemas at New Year and looks like a really gripping, tense film that will capture our hearts. Danny Boyle, director of Trainspotting (1996), Millions (2005) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008) directed this film, with Slumdog screenplay writer Simon Beaufoy having written the screenplay, and if that isn't enough to sell it to you then what is?