After all the year end hoopla, which I finally finished with the posting of my top movies of the year, I find myself forging ahead, excited about what the new year of movies will bring. 2004 was a solid film year, but 2005 proves to be even more exciting.
It almost goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith is my most anticipated movie of the year. It's the film I've been waiting for since I was a young child and thus is the centrepiece of my movie viewing year (I've even arranged travel plans in May to make sure that I can be here in Saskatoon for the traditional midnite viewing). For those of you who have been living under a rock, and haven't seen my t-shirt and asked me about it, you can view the trailer for Episode III in Quicktime glory here.
Some other films I'm really excited for:
The Island (Michael Bay) Summer 2005 - I know who would've thought I'd ever get excited for a Michael Bay movie, but for his first project apart from Jerry Bruckheimer, Bay has put together an awesome cast and has a great premise. Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Dijmon Honsou, Steve Buscemi and Sean Bean are all on board for this story about a clone who discovers he is being kept in a utopian society to be raised for "genetic harvesting." Sounds cool to me.
Oliver Twist (Roman Polanski) Fall 2005 - Polanski's last film was a masterpiece (The Pianist) that drew it's power from his own experiences in the Holocaust and the impressive performance of Adrian Brody. This take on Dicken's classic novel should prove to be more serious than many of the adaptations out there. And Ben Kingsley stars as Fagin.
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (Garth Jennings) May 6, 2005 - One of the funniest books ever written should become one of the funniest movies of the year. The buzz I've heard on this one is that it's respectful and in the spirit of the late-Douglas Adam's work and the cast they've assembled sounds cool. Including Martin Freeman (The Office) as Arthur Dent, Mos Def as Ford Prefect, Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox and Bill Nighy as Slartibartfast and Alan Rickman as the voice of Martin the Paranoid Android. You can watch the teaser trailer here.
Sin City (Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller) April 1, 2005 - Robert Rodriguez filmed a five minute short based on Miller's comic book in order to convince him that it could be done. Then he quit the DGA in order to allow Miller to be credited as co-director. Not only does this film also have a sick cast (Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Nick Stahl, Benecio Del Toro, and more) but it looks almost exactly like the pages of the graphic novel have come to life. I've never seen anything as astonishing. This trailer is probably my favourite trailer of the last year. I cannot wait for April.
Elizabethtown (Cameron Crowe) - Really I don't know much about this, but the fact that it's a new film by Cameron Crowe is enough for me. Also, Crowe had the good taste to fire Ashton Kutcher from the film when he realized how bad he was. He was replaced by Orlando Bloom (it'll be interesting to see him in a non-epic). Also starring Kirsten Dunst and Susan Sarandon.
War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg) July 4, 2005 - Spielberg. Cruise. H. G. Wells. That's enough for me. I'm excited. And the trailer which you can watch here is cool (especially the opening speech taken almost word for word from Well's novel).
A Scanner Darkly (Richard Linklater) 2005 - After giving us a excellent yet very different films in each of the past years, Linklater decides to try another genre in this adaptation of the story by Phillip K. Dick. Linklater is using the same dream-like animation process that he used in Waking Life to tell this story starring Keanu Reeves.
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit (Nick Park) - I love Wallace & Gromit. The Wrong Trousers is one of my favourite films and so I'm highly anticipating the first feature length Wallace & Gromit movie. The voices of Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter are featured. I cannot wait.
Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan) June 6, 2005 - Another one that almost goes without saying, but I'm saying it. I figured that Christian Bale would be an excellent Bruce Wayne/Batman long before this film went into production and I'm happy to see it happen. Nolan's past two films were excellent looks into noir and his style should be a good fit with Batman. Also starring Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Ken Wantanabe, Cillian Murphy, Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.
The Fountain (Darren Aronofsky) - Aronofsky's first two films showed so much promise that I've been excited about this one for a long time. This time travel film was originally set to star Brad Pitt but the filming was delayed when he jumped ship for Troy and Hugh Jackman replaced him. I have to say I'm actually happier with Jackman involved. This one has been a long time coming (5 years since Requim for a Dream) but should be worth it.
King Kong (Peter Jackson) Christmas 2005 - After Star Wars this might be my most anticipated movie of the year. I finally had the chance to see the original 1933 King Kong last year and I can see why Jackson loved that movie so much. The amazing work of WETA workshops combined with Jackson's love for the source material should make this a truly exciting movie. I love the unexpected casting of Jack Black, Adrian Brody and Naomi Watts (I love her) as the three leads. Let's hope this is truly the dream project that Jackson hopes it is.