Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Before you party like it's 2007, let's turn our face to what fantastic filmfare is scheduled for release in the coming months. There are two times of year that serious filmgoers dread: August-September and February-March. That's when film studios let the dogs out. The big bangers are still kept for early summer and late fall. But sometimes, just sometimes, some truly wonderful films come out during the off period. However, for sci-fi and fantasy fans, the pickings this Spring look pretty thin.
The new year begins with a trickle. Potentially Guillermo Del Toro's goregeously filmed fantasy, "Pan's Labyrinth" will be released this week. The story of a girl who escapes into a fantasy world to escape the brutal realities of war. While the fanboys will be salivating, the question is: will this film hold a mainstream audience and find any legs. I won't make predictions, but I will ask, in a holiday season that hasn't been boffo, why would the studio do what amounts to a January release? Suspicious.
Following that, two films that will probably slip by unnoticed: "Happily N'ever After" and "The Invisible" . The first is an animated feature from the producer of "Shrek" and it has the same slick, satirical sensibility, if only it didn't have the voices of Sarah Michelle Geller and Freddie Prinze. The second film is another teenager facing a supernatural threat film with oozing teen angst and emotional sincerity. gag.
What's waiting for you in the dead of February? It's "Hannibal Rising", the film which asks the question: Do we really need the story of a young Hannibal Lecter? Also in February, another film that has had a flexible release date (always a bad sign): "Ghost Rider". Based on a mediocre Marvel Comics title, this feature film stars Nicholas Cage, who must be asking himself what's happening to his career. First "The Wicker Man" and now this.
"The Hills Have Eyes II", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", and "The Reaping". The last actually looks like it may have something, offering itself up as a supernatural horror film with religious overtones. The other two? I'm sure the skaters will love "Turtles" and masochists will seek "Hills" as a temporary fix for their gore habit.
And April? I won't even talk about April.
Now don't get me wrong, there are some good filmfare coming out in the next few month, just not in the realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy (of which I include supernatural horror). You're going to have to wait until May. And then? Look out
May 4--Spiderman 3
May 11--28 Weeks Later
May 18 -- Shrek The Third
May 25 -- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
June 15 -- Fantastic Four, Rise of the Silver Surfer
July 13--Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (I think Warner Brothers abandoning their usual Christmas release for Potter for a summer release is a mistake)
July 27--The Simpsons Movie
and also later in July --The Invasion, starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidmann.
So you see...There's hope. There's hope. Just wait until May. My birth month, by the way. May 17th. Feel free to get me something.