You don’t have to love Hollywood movies to appreciate what’s coming your way from Lalaland in 2007. Undead pirates, bald surfers and robots from outer space, a guy who can turn himself into sand, John Travolta in drags, green ogres, yellow people, a boy wizard tries to keep his clothes on, Matt Damon gets bourne again, Chan and Tucker in Paris, and Ocean and crew returns once more. Tell me there isn’t something among those movies that you are dying to see, and I’ll call you a liar. Even the most pretentious movie fans among you will be waiting with bated breath for at least one of those movies. I’m counting at least five among my “Must See’s”.
So, for your reading pleasure, here is our most anticipated Hollywood offerings for the year 2007:
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight, Megan Fox, Bernie Mac. Directed by: Michael Bay (July 4th, 2007)
“The Earth is caught in the middle of an intergalactic war between two races of robots, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, which are able to change into a variety of objects, including cars, trucks, planes and other technological creations.”
The mother of all Geek movies. If you don’t immediately think, “More than meets the eye!” and mimic the “transforming” sound from the old cartoon when you hear the word “Transformers”, then you can’t possibly dare call yourself a geek. “The Transformers” is, bar none, the most anticipated movie of 2007. Forget Spiderman, Jessica Alba, or Keira Knightley’s pirate booty. It’s robots, it’s transforming, it’s big, it’s Michael Bay explosions. Basically, it’s everything you want in your Hollywood Summer Event Film, all delivered on the big screen with a gazillion dollar budget. While it’s true that Hollywood has sucked major eggs in recent years, you gotta admit, this is the kind of movie they were created to make in the first place.
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Regan, Dominic West Directed by: Zack Snyder (March 9th, 2007)
“Set in the midst of the Persian-Greco war during the Battle of Thermopylae, where Spartan king Leonidas led his army of 300 soldiers into battle against the invading Persian army. According to legend, their valor and sacrifice inspired all of Greece to unite against their Persian foe, leading to the origins of democracy.”
The only reason why Zach Snyder’s big-screen adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novels isn’t #1 is because of loyalty — I’ve been with “Transformers” since I was a kid, not so much with “300”. But that doesn’t mean I’m not anticipating “300” as much as “Transformers”. Maybe it’s a toss-up. There’s no doubt that “300” is going to be everything I expected and want if the trailers are any indication. Snyder (“Dawn of the Dead”) has done an incredible job of adapting Miller’s work, and he’s done it with infinite loyalty to the source material. You want insane action? Come get some!
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, James Franco Directed by: Sam Raimi (May 4th, 2007)
“A strange black entity from another world bonds with Peter Parker and causes inner turmoil as he contends with new villains, temptations, and revenge.”
It’s Spiderman. If you didn’t like the first two “Spider-Man” movies, then you probably won’t like the third. But if you did like the first two “Spider-Man” movies, you’re gonna love the third. The trailers say it all: Three times the action, three times the villains, three times the personal problems for our hero Peter Parker. Plus, the introduction of a new love interest in Gwen Stacy doesn’t bold well for Pete’s relationship with Mary Jane. Is someone gonna die at the end of this time? Maybe. With director Sam Raimi still at the helm, there isn’t anyway in hades this movie could go wrong.
“I am Legend”
Starring: Will Smith, Alice Braga Directed by: Francis Lawrence (December 14th, 2007)
“In a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, one lone man fights to survive against a horde of vampire-like beings created when a cancer treatment went awry.”
After endless years in development hell, Richard Matheson’s “I am Legend” finally has its best chance to hit the big screen with Will Smith’s name attached as star and producer. Even if director Francis Lawrence (“Constantine”) gets just 50% of Matheson’s book right, this should prove to be an insanely good horror/sci-fi movie with some spine-chilling thrills. The only doubts I still harbor is that the story has been in gestation for so long that I find myself hoping against all hope that it actually, finally, happens. The film is scheduled for a late 2007 release. God I hope it makes it.
Starring: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin, Marley Shelton, Jeff Fahey Directed by: Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez (April 6th, 2007)
“Directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez present two full-length movies in a new horror double feature. In Tarantino’s “Death Proof,” Austin’s hottest DJ, Jungle Julia, sets out into the night to unwind with her two friends Shanna an Arlene. Covertly tracking their moves is Stuntman Mike, a scarred rebel leering from behind the wheel of his muscle car, revving just feet away.”
Tarantino and Rodriguez back together again! (Well, if you don’t count their collaboration in “Sin City”, that is.) Parts horror, parts camp, and all-out action. If you don’t love this kind of exploitation stuff, you’ll be so turned off by “Grindhouse” that it won’t even be funny. But if you happen to love this stuff? ‘Nuff said. How can you not love the sight of Rose McGowan having a machinegun attached to her leg? I mean, come on, folks!
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Stellan Skarsgard, Naomie Harris Directed by: Gore Verbinski (May 25th, 2007)
“Captain Barbossa, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann must sail off the edge of the map, navigate treachery and betrayal, and make their final alliances for one last decisive battle.
Jack Sparrow leads the boys (and girl) back for more pirating adventure in this third installment. The same holds true for “At World’s End” that was said for “Spider-Man 3” — if you liked the last two, you’ll love the third. Plus, the chance to see Chow Yun Fat made up like a pirate is just too good to pass up. Expect three times the action, three times the wacky special effects, and three times the elaborate set pieces. Unfortunately expect the same lack of character moments for Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom and three times the moments for Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. Then again, considering how damn fun Sparrow is, that’s not such a bad thing.
“Live Free or Die Hard”
Starring: Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Maggie Q, Timothy Olyphant, Mary Elizabeth Winstead Directed by: Len Wiseman (June 29th, 2007)
“An attack on the U.S.’s computer infrastructure begins to cripple the nation. But the man behind the attack never expected an old-fashioned cop to mess up his plans.”
John McClane takes on cyber terrorists in this fourth outing for our New York Cop caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Internet terrorists? I know, sounds stupid, but the action shown in the trailer doesn’t look too bad. Plus, it’s helmed by Len Wiseman (“Underworld”), aka Mr. Kate Beckinsale, and Wiseman knows his action. And in any case, Bruce Willis gets to battle Maggie Q. at one point. Any movie with Maggie Q. is okay in our book.
“The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”
Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon Directed by: Tim Story (June 15th, 2007)
“The enigmatic, intergalactic herald, the Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As he races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery of the Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Dr. Doom, before all hope is lost.”
Literally everyone, from cast and crew to the characters, are back for the second go-around of Marvel Comic’s “First Family”. The most interesting aspect of the film will be to see if they introduce/bring in Galactus, the alien being responsible for sending the Silver Surfer to Earth, or if he’s kept in the background until the third movie. (Is there any doubt there will be a third movie?) I’m looking forward to some cosmic superhero action, as the budget should be larger than the first, and the story more action-packed now that the origins is out of the way. But really, I’m not incredibly curious how they’re going to do Galactus. What does a being called “The Devourer of Worlds” look like on the big screen…?