I’m reading through a list of movies scheduled for release in 2005 and there are actually a dozen or so that sound pretty good, with stars ranging from Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise and Orlando Bloom to Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie. It’s going to be an exciting year in the cinema, hopefully, with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, War of the Worlds, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Star Wars III.
Here’s my list…
- CONSTANTINE (Feb. 18)
- Starring Keanu Reeves as a detective explorer out to save the world. Hey, he was awesome in The Matrix, so let’s see if he remembers how to act without wires and intense CGI.
- THE INTERPRETER (April 22)
- Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn as assassins engaged in various sorts of espionage. Not that much of a fan of either actor, but I enjoy films about espionage.
- THE HITCHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (May 6)
- Starring relative unknown UK actor Martin Freeman this film is
either going to be awesome, brilliant and hilarious, or absolutely awful. I fear to see this film, but just love, love, loved the books and BBC radio production.
- STAR WARS: EPISODE III � REVENGE OF THE SITH (May 19)
- I remember seeing the first Star Wars movie when I was in high school, and I’ve seen every one since, watching the franchise slowly lose the spirit and morality play of the original in favor of teen angst and dismal dialog. George, let’s see you end things with a really great movie!
- MR. & MRS. SMITH (June 10)
- The original movie wasn’t that great. I mean, Alfred Hitchcock making a screwball comedy of a marriage gone sour? He was a genius of a director, but comedy? Not his thing. So let’s see what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can do with this material…
- WAR OF THE WORLDS (June 29)
- If I had to bet on one film that’s just going to rock this year, it’ll be War of the Worlds, with Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg. I’ll look forward to this one hitting the theaters and do my best to avoid thinking about the true story of WOTW, as explained in the cult classic “Buckaroo Banzai”.
- CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (July 15)
- The original was a sweet, amusing and ingenious movie that I still enjoy as an adult, but the mind reels at what director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp are going to do with this material. Could be terrible, but it could be a real winner too.
- A SCANNER DARKLY (Sept. 16)
- Yeah, Keanu Reeves just can’t stay away from these heavy sci-fi films, can he? This time he’s a cop with multiple personalities in a film based on yet another depressing novel by Philip K. Dick
- THE WALLACE & GROMIT MOVIE: CURSE OF THE WERERABBIT (Oct. 7)
- I really like the Wallace and Gromit movies – and own them all – but after seeing what Aardman Studios did with the stupid and unnecessarily scary “Chicken Run”, I fear that this is going to be another long, expensive production that misses its mark. We’ll see.
- HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (Nov. 18)
- It’s hard to tell, but as far as I can see, J.K.Rowling must hate being successful with the Harry Potter series, because each book is darker, more scary and more depressing than the previous. This fourth installment of Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts will doubtless be more of a horror film than a children’s adventure, but we’ll see how new director Mike Newell handles the material.
- THE BROTHERS GRIMM (Nov. 23)
- Not too excited about the stars — Matt Damon and Heath Ledger — even if Damon was pretty darn good in the Bourne films, but what excites me about this film is that it’s directed by one of the most visionary directors in the industry, former Monty Python star and superb director Terry Gilliam.
- THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE (Dec. 9)
- This has the potential to be a real sleeper hit with director Andrew Adamson (“Shrek”) interpreting the fascinating and, yes, somewhat scary for kids, C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s novels.
- KING KONG (Dec. 14)
- Peter Jackson was brilliant in his interpretation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so I’d go see just about anything he did. But picking the challenge of King Kong makes this even more interesting. Let’s see what you can do with this epic story, Peter!
That’s plenty to keep me busy throughout the year. How about you, dear reader, what films are you excited about seeing this year?