So, with the big winter films already hyped to the max, and with Iron Man 2, Clash of the Titans and Robin Hood being the highly anticipated movies this Spring, I thought i’d take a look at some Spring movies that maybe aren’t getting the attention they deserve – The Losers, Green Zone, A Couple of Dicks, Machete and Kick-Ass. Note, this is a list of the films i’m personally looking forward to, so you won’t necessarily agree with me…
When is it? – 9th April.
Where is it? – Currently filming in Puerto Rico
Who is it? – Directed by Sylvain White, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana, Jason Patric.
What is it? – Based on the short lived DC comic series, it follows members of a CIA black ops team that are betrayed and left for dead. The team goes out to hunt down the people that tried to kill them.
Why am i excited? – Jeffrey Dean Morgan is brilliant in everything he does, from John Winchester to The Comedian. Zoe Saldana is one of the hottest properties in Hollywood, with roles in this years Star Trek and the upcoming Avatar. And Chris Evans is vastly under-rated, having to try and shine in films like Fantastic Four and Push. The plot actually sounds very similar to next year’s The Expendables, and whilst Sly’s action all-stars will easily out-gross The Losers, the great source material means The Losers should have a much better storyline. Word has it this movie will roughly follow issues 1 to 12, leaving ample material for a franchise if its successful.
But? – White is an inexperienced director, with I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer one of his few credits. And writer Peter Berg was responsible for the mess that was Very Bad Things.
When? – 16th April (USA)
Where? – In the can
Who? – Directed by Matthew Vaughn, and co-written with Mrs Jonathan Ross Jane Goldman. Starring Nicholas Cage, Aaron Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
What? – A young schoolboy decides to become a superhero, despite a distinct lack of super powers.
Why? – Kick-ass was struggling to find a distributor, due to some slightly questionable content – said to be mainly due to the presence of Hitgirl, an 11 year old schoolgirl assassin. Vaughn took some footage to comic-con, which got a standing ovation, and a bidding war was triggered. Lionsgate won, but considering they’ve been distributor for every Marv Films production (Vaughn’s production company), this wasn’t all that surprising. The leaked trailer showed a fairly even mix of comedy and stylistic action.
But? – The team of Vaughn and Goldman achieved success with their first film Stardust, but will have to have stepped up their game for Kick-Ass – Vaughn hasn’t really done action, and worryingly there were rumours he ducked out of X-men as he felt out of his depth.
When? – 12th March
Where? – In the can
Who? – Directed by British director Paul Greengrass, and written by Brian Helgeland. Starring Matt Damon, Jason Isaacs, Greg Kinnear and Brendan Gleeson.
What? – A thriller about a pair of CIA agents on the trail of WMDs, and a foreign correspondent following their mission
Why? – Greengrass has shown great talent for compelling drama with Bloody Sunday and United 93, and great action with Bourne’s Supremacy and Ultimatum. This, coupled with his working relationship with Damon developed during those Bourne films, makes him the perfect man for the job. United 93 was based on a politically and socially sensitive subject, and the majority feel he handled it well. Damon’s career has improved dramatically thanks to his work as Jason Bourne, and this year has shown his diversity with a career performance in Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant. The book it is based on is a non-fictional account of the early days of the invasion of Iraq, when political relations were perched on a knife edge. The book was written by real life journalist, so historic details should be fairly accurate.
But? – Some attendees of very early focus group screenings have criticised perceived overuse of shaky-cam, but the film wrapped some months ago, so there’s been plenty of time for post-production.
When? – 16th April (USA)
Where? – In post
Who? – Written and Directed by Robert Rodriguez, and starring Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Jessica Alba, Robert de Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Don Johnson.
What? – Based on the fake trailer shown between Tarantino and Rodriguez’ Grindhouse double feature of Death Proof and Planet Terror. Based on an idea formed by Rodriguez back during Desperado, the titular Machete, Danny Trejo, is an assassin on the FBI’s payroll. He is double-crossed, and is now out for revenge, pursued by FBI agent Alba.
Why? – The trailer is really cool, in a crazy over-the-top kinda way. Word is Rodriguez has cut all the scenes from the trailer into the movie, and built the rest of the story around them. Rodriguez had a big hit with Sin City, which suggested he may be beginning to find his form again. Danny Trejo is due a lead role, following two decades of bit-part characters. Cheech Marin is always great to watch, and is reunited here with Johnson; they’ve worked together in Tin Cup and tv series Nash Bridges.
But? – Once Upon a Time in Mexico was a bit off a mess, and the Spy Kids pictures Rodriguez is now known for are as far removed from this kind of movie as you can get.
Would you like to know more? – You can find a poster here.
A Couple of Dicks/A Couple of Cops – Now Cop Out!
When? – 26th February
Where? – In post
Who? – Directed by Kevin Smith, written by Mark and Robb Cullen. Starring Bruce Willis, Sean William Scott, Michelle Trachtenberg, Adam Brody.
What? – The dicks in question are two cops, and the movie follows them through a series of hilarious situations.
Why? – This is the first movie Smith has directed that he didn’t write, so he must have been impressed by the screenplay. As listeners of Smith’s Smodcast podcasts know, he is a genuinely funny guy with a great feel for comedy. Despite a career based mainly on action movies, Willis has also shown a talent for comedy. He did, after all, start off in comedy series Moonlighting. After meeting Smith, Bruce took a liking to him and specifically wanted to work with him.
But? – This is Smith’s first feature without regular producer, Smodcast co-host and friend, Scott Mosier. Willis has a reputation for poor script choices, and, barring 2005’s Sin City, hasn’t had a big hit for 10 years.
Would you like to know more? – You can follow Kevin Smith at http://twitter.com/thatkevinsmith. He recently stated on a tweet that A Couple of Dicks is the best movie he has been involved with.You can now find the trailer here.
Bazmann – You can now follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/baz_mann