The remainder of 2009, and the first part of 2010, holds out promise for fans of fantastic cinema, and that’s not including the legions of fans awaiting the next Harry Potter and Twilight installments. Three fantastic cinema attractions are of especially interest and on the radar for front row movie tickets over the next few months with the arrival of fall and winter.
“In the horror comedy Zombieland focuses on two men who have found a way to survive a world overrun by zombies. Columbus is a big wuss — but when you’re afraid of being eaten by zombies, fear can keep you alive. Tallahassee is an AK-toting, zombie-slaying’ bad ass whose single determination is to get the last Twinkie on earth. As they join forces with Wichita and Little Rock, who have also found unique ways to survive the zombie mayhem, they will have to determine which is worse: relying on each other or succumbing to the zombies.”
The film includes Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray which is promising in terms of acting and comedic talent, but it remains to be seen whether Zombieland will become another zombie comedy classic alongside Shaun of the Dead and Fido providing both good laughs as well as social commentary, or whether it merely provides a forum for diverse expressions of zombie mayhem intended as the lone fodder for laughs.
The second film of interest is The Wolf Man, a contemporary retelling of the classic 1941 film starring Lon Chaney. This film includes a number of exciting elements, not only an iconic monster, but also acting talent including Benicio Del Toro as Lawrence Talbot, Anthony Hopkins, and Hugo Weaving. Add to this the makeup special effects of Rick Baker who helped set the bar high for werewolf transformation makeup with An American Werewolf in London (as did Rob Bottin in another 1980s werewolf classic, The Howling), and the pieces are in place for a solid piece of horror filmmaking. Even so, while fans of classic horror are likely to greatly appreciate this film it remains to be seen how younger audiences, the main audience segment for which horror films are produced these days, receive a classic monster icon in a film that moves beyond gore, psychotic slashers, and torture. The Wolf Man originally scheduled for release on November 6, now rescheduled for February 2010.
The third film that TheoFantastique holds out great promise for in 2009 is Avatar. Set for release just prior to Christmas on December 19, this project will be the first science fiction work for director James Cameron in a long time, and his first Hollywood film since Titanic. IMDB provides a bare bones plot summary for the film:
“In the future, Jake, a paraplegic war veteran, is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na’vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture.”
It is difficult from the plot summary or the teaser trailer to tell much about Avatar, but Cameron has been hyping the film for a while now, especially talking up the 3D aspects of it as revolutionary, even going so far as to state that he will never again direct a film that is not in 3D. For those interested in sneak peeks at further aspects related to this film a videogame is being released in connection with it and an interview with Cameron is available at YouTube as he discusses it. It is hoped that this film lives up to the hype, and Cameron certainly has the ability, experience with sci fi, and passion to do it, but we will see whether this is a year-end sci fi blockbuster that gives the release of Star Trek earlier this year a run for its box office money.