Wednesday, December 20, 2006

2007 Paramount preview

The fine folks at were treated to a preview of what Paramount has in store for 2007, and were kind enough to share it with the rest of the world. "Transformers" would have to be the big dog, but there's plenty more to love and hate on this list. Enjoy.

Norbit (Feb. 9):
After watching some version of "Big Momma's House" while trapped on a plane, I've already made my big New Year's Resolution: No more movies about dudes in fat suits, no matter how funny they might be. Luckily, this Eddie Murphy dud doesn't look like too much of a challenge to resist. (I can't believe poor Eddie Griffin, Thandie Newton and Clifton Collins Jr. are all gonna be in this, but at least Charlie Murphy is getting some work!)

Zodiac (March 2):
Some fairly lukewarm reviews thus far definitely won't be enough to keep me away from this new David Fincher flick. Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo (huzzah!) and Robert Downey Jr. all star in this flick about the zodiac killer who terrorized San Francisco. Count this one very on my must-see list for 2007.

Shooter (March 16):
I've never been much of a fan of Antoine Fuqua (is there a more overrated movie around than "Training Day"?), so I can't get terribly excited about this thriller starring Mark Wahlberg, especially given this plot summary: "Wahlberg is Bob Lee Swagger, a former Army sniper who leaves the military after a mission goes bad. After he is reluctantly pressed back into service, Swagger is double-crossed again. With two bullets in him and the subject of a nationwide manhunt, Swagger begins his revenge, which will take down the most powerful people in the country." Sheesh.

Blades of Glory (March 30):
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder together in one flick? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, but the premise for this sounds fairly funny. The two are rival figure skaters who get into a tussle at the world championships and, after getting barred from the sport, find they can only make a comeback as a pairs team. Remember, I only said fairly funny.

Disturbia (April 13):
Despite its instant nomination for worst title, this one has me at least mildly interested if only for cast members Shia La Beouf and Carrie Ann Moss. After his father's death, Kale (LaBeouf) becomes troubled to the point that he finds himself under a court-ordered sentence of house arrest, and Moss plays his mother. Out of sheer boredom, Kale becomes voyeuristicly fascinated with his neighbors, one of which he begins to suspect is a serial killer. Sounds fairly standard, but I'll give it a chance.

Shrek the Third (May 18):
What can you say about this one? The plot apparently involves Shrek in line to become king of Far, Far, Away unless he and his running mates Donkey and Puss n' Boots can find the other long lost heir to the throne. On an almost entirely unrelated note, I got the fantastic Tom Waits collection "Orphans" as an early Christmas present, and it contains the great little ditty "Little Drop of Poison," which appeared on one of the Shrek soundtracks, according to my co-worker Dan Maley.

Hot Rod (June 1):
I had never heard of this oddity featuring, in supporting roles apparently, Sissy Spacek and Ian McShane, but this plot summary has me intrigued: "Self-proclaimed stuntman Rod Taylor is preparing for the jump of his life. Rod plans to clear 15 buses in an attempt to raise money for his abusive stepfather Frank's life-saving heart operation. He'll land the jump, get Frank better, and then fight him, hard." Any movie with a "self-proclaimed stunt man" can't be all bad, after all.

Transformers (July 4)
Does it just make me a faux geek at best if I'm more excited about the release of Pixar's "Ratatouille" in the same week than this one? It will be fascinating, at least, to see the fallout if Michael Bay somehow screws up the saga of Autobots and Decepticons. I think beheading just might ensue.

Stardust (July 27):
Based on a graphic novel by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess, this one sports a rather remarkable cast, including Claire Danes (huzzah!), Sienna Miller, Robert De Niro, Ricky Gervais and Peter O'Toole, among others. The plot, as far as I can tell, goes something like this: A young man named Tristan (Charlie Cox) tries to win the heart of Victoria (Miller), the beautiful but cold object of his desire, by going on a quest to retrieve a fallen star. His journey takes him to a mysterious and forbidden land beyond the walls of his village. On his odyssey, Tristan finds the star, which has transformed into a striking girl named Yvaine (Danes). To complete his mission, he must win her heart. There's much more going on, and it all sounds like a lot of fun.

Untitled Farrelly Brothers Project (Oct. 5):
After wooing the kiddies with "A Night at the Museum," Ben Stiller will crank up the grossness once again with the Farrellys. In it, he'll play a man who proposes to a beautiful woman (Michelle Monaghan) after knowing her for only a week. On their honeymoon, of course, she reveals a darker side, and hilarity just might ensue. Especially since Ben's bringing his father Jerry along for the ride.

Bee Movie (Nov. 2):
Judging from what little footage I've seen of Jerry Seinfeld's animated flick, it just looks like twisted fun. Unfortunately, it will star Renee Zellweger, but at least she won't be accompanied by Michael Richards.

Beowulf (Nov. 16)
Robert Zemeckis' take on the epic saga should be anything but boring, especially with a script from Gaiman and Roger Avary. The cast includes Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother, Anthony Hopkins as the corrupt King Hrothgar and Ray Winstone as Beowulf. Man, how I hope this doesn't suck.

Things We Lost in the Fire (Fall/holiday):
Even with Benicio Del Toro and Halle Berry on board, this just sounds like an impending disaster: "When Audrey Burke (Berry) loses her husband in an act of random violence, she forges an unlikely relationship with Jerry Sunborne (Del Toro), her husband's best friend from childhood. Jerry is a heroin user; his addiction has destroyed everything that was once important to him. As Audrey discovers that Jerry is the only person who can help her survive her loss, Jerry finds the strength to overcome his own problems." Count this in the list of things that make me go meh.

Sweeney Todd (2007):
I have a love/hate relationship at best with Tim Burton, but I'm fairly certain this musical will fall in the former category. Johnny Depp (of course) will play Stephen Sondheim's demon barber of Fleet Street, and Sasha Baron Cohen and Alan Rickman will be along for the ride. Bring it on.

Stop-Loss (2007):
Based on a true story, "Stop-Loss" apparently centers on Brandon (Ryan Phillippe), a soldier who returns home to Texas and is called to duty again in Iraq through the military's "stop-loss" procedure. Oh well. At least it apparently features Ciaran Hinds in some capacity.

And there you have it, in admittedly rather long form. A few winners and more dogs. Feel free to sound off with what you're looking forward to on screen next year, whether it's on this list or not.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a good year for Paramount--must-sees for me are Stardust and Sweeney Todd. I wouldn't say Transformers is a *must* see, but I'll definitely be checking it out. Hey! Did you get to see Company in NYC? Or Spring Awakening? I'm heading out there in late January for a show at the Brooklyn museum and I can't believe how outrageous ticket prices are these days.

Reel Fanatic said...

Didn't get to see anything on stage while I was there, Jeremy ... My parents have tickets to see Grey Gardens next week, which should just be a trip

Chalupa said...

I thought Stardust sounded interesting, but after hearing Peter O'Toole was in it, all I could think of was Man of La Mancha where he depicts Don Quixote.

Sweeney Todd sounds interesting as well. It only seems fitting that Burton would be directing since he has a penchant for death, violence and all things dark. I think I'm more interested in seeing Johhny Depp take on another unique character.

Anonymous said...

I'm somewhat excited to hear there's another Beowulf moving coming out. Did you happen to see the one with Stellan Skarsgard that came out in the last couple years?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I would be to chalupa if Johnny Depp could sing!

Sweeney Todd is practically an opera you can't just waltz in when you've claimed you can't sing for 15 years and then try to sing an opera.

Reel Fanatic said...

I wasn't aware there was a Beowulf made in recent years, J. Marquis .. Ill definitely have to check that out

And I'm not sure if either Johnny Depp, Sasha Baron Cohen, Alan Rickman or Helena Bonham Carter can actually sing or not, so it should be interesting to find out!

Eaglewing said...

Shooter is based on a book - Point of Impact - that I liked, but Mark Wahlberg is miscast. Hope they don't screw up what was a decent book. Never heard of Hot Rod, but the premise sounds intriguing.

Transformers and Shrek in the same year is like a license for Paramount to print money. However, the Transfomrers teaser is out today and I'm thinking 'War of the Worlds Redux'. Still, seeing things blow up is always fun...

Anonymous said...

I just read an article yesterday about how SBC has been told to rap his musical numbers in Sweeney Todd because the music is too high (and difficult) for him. I'm still looking forward to it. Mind you, Sondheim's work is so discordant, I doubt anyone is going to come off well vocally here.
On another note, I was wondering how Tom Waits and Shrek were connected.

Reel Fanatic said...

Only in my mind, Diana ... I was listening to Tom Waits when I wrote that, and one of his songs appeared on a previous Shrek soundtrack .. that's all it takes to set a mind as flighty as mine in motion

Marina said...

I'm most excited about Zodiac and Stardust. Danes doesn't make enough movies.

Reel Fanatic said...

You're definitely right about that, Marina, and for that matter neither does Fincher

Anonymous said...

You'd think if you were going to make a film version of Sweeney Todd, generally acknowledged to be one of the great musicals of its time, that you'd cast at least one person who's actually known as a singer. But no, we get Johnny Depp and Helena "I'm his wife" Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman and Sasha "aren't his 15 minutes up yet?" Baron Cohen. Be afraid, my friends, be afraid.

Reel Fanatic said...

The casting does worry me a bit, Keith, but I have to keep the faith on this one simply out of love for the source material .. even as the dark clouds are looming, I tend to remain unrealistically positive on movies like this one

mercurie said...

Of these films, I think I am looking forward Shrek the Third, Sweeney Todd, and Beowulf the most. In the case of Shrek the Third, I simply loved the first two. As to Sweeney Todd, it is a story I have always loved. My only fear is that Tim Burton can be great (Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow) or he can be lousy (Planet of the Apes). I just hope this time out he is great. As to Beowulf, being directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avery, I suspect it will be pretty good. All three have produced very little that I haven't liked.

Reel Fanatic said...

I have a similar feeling toward Mr. Burton, Mercurie ... Very few directors have been able to make so many movies that I love, while also making so many that I just hate

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