This looks insane, and a tremendous amount of fun from Zack Synder. 300 meets Girl, Interrupted is probably the best way to describe it: Emily Browning is confined to a mental institution where she teams up with fellow inmates (super sexy, super cool, super ammo-ed girls) who decide to break free of the craziness by, er, defeating a glory of dragons, machines and Samurai warriors. And there's some burlesque in there, too. It's going to be ridiculously a-mazing.
I was cheated out of watching this at the LIFF last year when the screening completely sold out and we weren't allowed to sit on the floor because of health and safety reasons (yet we did the following night for The Invisible Eye - pah. Although to be fair it was a truly horrible experience). Winner of Best Film at last year's London Film Festival, it's a slow burning thriller set against the icy wilderness on a remote Arctic island.
I'm not sure how much more you can 're-write the rules' in this genre, especially for the film franchise which pioneered the whole sassy slasher premise back in 1996. Surely all the copycats since have done all they can with the masked maniac stalking pretty teenagers set-up. Virgins can die now? Well, Cherry Falls has done that. The kills are more extreme? Try Saw, Hostel. The unexpected is the new cliche? Ughhhh. This isn't going to be a game-changer, but as long as it's better than the third in the series I ain't complaining. Scream 2 has got to be one of my favourite sequels ever. Plus I get to see Pretty Little Liars and 90210's annoying gruesome twosome Aria and Annie get their just desserts. Marvy!
See, forget Scream 4, I'm much more excited for (by 'excited' I mean 'up for') this: Leighton Meester playing a deranged psychopathic sophomore in something that looks like an adaptation of a Point Horror book (Nightmare Hall anyone?). This is the kind of scary movie that you can go and see on your own, because more than chilling your innards it's going to be tremendously entertaining. It takes me back to Urban Legend, and you can't go wrong with that!
It's the Natalie film I'm least looking forward to in 2011! The new trailer has done nothing to impress me following the shambolic five minutes of 'action' that was leaked after Comic Con last year. Whilst there has been some cooing over how beautiful Asgard looks in 3D (which I won't be appreciating anyway, as I don't do 3D - not even for Ms Portman) this has 2-3 Stars written all over it and will come and subsequently vanish. I just wish it was something special. It's probably the most culturemouse friendly out of all the Avenger characters/stories, and I was initially giddy at the prospect of Natalie doing a film like this. But it hasn't delivered. Gotta go see it anyway, of course...
Really looking forward to the final film in the mega Natalie-run at the beginning of 2011. What I want is: to go with a group of friends, into a packed cinema screen on a weekend night, with lots of treats and just laugh myself silly. It's going to be hilarious, and not in a 'all the best bits are in the trailer' kind of way - a genuine lolathon and a spoof plot we haven't seen since the likes of Monty Python and The Princess Bride. Can't Wait - good Summer fun.
Going to see this at the cinema will largely depend on the reviews it gets beforehand. Is this a return to form, a nod back to the gloriously camp and enjoyable Curse of The Black Pearl or more self indulgent, overly long nonsense that has proceeded ever since? I'm looking forward to Ian 'Deadwood' McShane as the new baddie, not so much the presence of Penelope Cruz. Of course it will be the Jack Sparrow show, but we all know he can prance about looking for his rum - let's have a decent story now, please.
I know what you're thinking: Bride Wars. Followed by: why, culturemouse, why?! Well, I'll tell you why. It's not going to be anything like the aforementioned tripe. Firstly, it has the lovely Rose Byrne in it, and yes, she was in Get Him To The Greek but she generally doesn't make bad choices. And it's also written by (and stars) SNL alumni Kristen Wiig, and is directed by Paul Feig whose track record (Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development, Bored to Death to name a few) is a pretty handsome sight. There's enough capable people here that know what they're doing than to go and screw it all up. Fingers crossed for goodness.
Monte Carlo (June)
I'm afraid this one is going to be harder for me to sell: three girls find themselves in Monte Carlo after one of them is mistaken for a British heiress... and girly giggles ensue. This sounds like the kind of misjudged error I'd make as a teenager, turning up at the cinema and wanting to see something amazing (Blue Crush, ahem). But a culturemouse always has her reasons: two of the girls are Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy. Perhaps if it was just one of them I would have swooshed this aside, but I can't ignore BOTH of them, can I? A true guilty pleasure awaits.
Almost nothing is known about Lars Von Trier's new film, out in the Summer starring Kiefer Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg (left, the only vaguely related pic I could find - there are no stills). From fragments and pieces it's enough to ascertain it's a global apocalypse without a happy ending - but under the direction of the man who's brought us Dancer In The Dark and Antichrist this isn't going to be all gigantic tidal waves and cataclysmic fissures ripping through countries whilst a hardy group of survivors fight the elements. It'll be like if The Road had been even more depressing, and even more nuts.
One of the films I'm most looking forward to this year. I loved the book, and always thought it would make a powerful film - the ending alone is sure to create a lot of debate (I'm assuming they're going to keep to the storyline). I'm not a huge fan of Tilda Swinton, but I don't think you can glamorise this with a pretty A-List star: you need someone who is grittier, intense, believable and she will certainly deliver a performance to be talked about portraying a mother whose son commits a heinous crime at his high school. Eagerly anticipating the trailer.
I'm an absolute novice when it comes to Tintin, but I know the potential of a Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson adventure collaboration when I see one. There are many romping films and franchises that I just haven't felt any desire for in the slightest, and I miss being part of the build-up to something spectacular. What this is going to be like remains to be seen, but there's something about its charming spirit and a good old fashioned treasure hunt that makes me want to escape with it.
Ahhh, something different I'm hoping for Halloween this year. Not another lazy rollout of a distant scary classic (oh wait, Paranormal Activity 3 and remakes of Fright Night and Straw Dogs present!) but instead a filmic version of the one of the greatest horror fables of all time - Susan Hill's The Woman In Black. I'm a little surprised this is being made (after the TV version, the writer reputedly refused to let anyone ever adapt the story again) but I'm also very intrigued because it's something I have always wanted to see live on stage in the West End, and for that reason I am delightedly ignorant of the twists and turns that await. I'm also a fan of Daniel Radcliffe, who will be stepping out of the Harry Potter circus and into the shoes of Arthur Kipps, the protagonist at the centre of the ghost tale. Spooky shadowy stuff.
Get putting some reminders in your diary, and meanwhile the first film review of 2011 will appear...