|Known for its violent, set-piece action scenes, the original Robocop also boasted a|
nice line in self-aware satire. The new one has a suit borrowed from Iron Man.
|Professor of Archaeology, expert on the occult, and obtainer|
of rare antiquities. Fortune and glory, kid ... well, maybe!
SciFi is big right now. Probably bigger than it's been at any time since the 1980s. So, what could be more natural than to take one of those gloriously camp, self-knowing, 1980s SciFi extravaganzas and remake it as a po-faced, grim and gritty film in keeping with the expectations of a Twenty-First Century audience? It can't fail, can it? Well, I can't claim to be blessed with Total Recall but, from what I do remember, I am experiencing a certain ... Dredd!
9. The Monuments Men
The production stills for this film make it look very Indiana Jones. There are men in khaki, ancient treasures and, everyone's favourite villains - Nazis! The cast is stellar (George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman and - wait for it - Bill Murray!) This one looks so good on paper, it has to work, doesn't it? Hmmm - I can't help wondering how far through the movie we'll get before we start missing that bullwhip and fedora ... cue music!
8. 300: Rise of an Empire
Remember 300, the Zack Snyder directed film of Frank Miller's graphic novel? Yes, it looked gorgeous and was a huge commercial success, but do you actually remember it? It was badly written, badly acted and historically farcical. So, naturally, it's getting a sequel. May the Gods forgive us all!
|When the weather forecast says "mostly dry", that|
means rain. No, really. The clue is in the "mostly"!
Ooh, Biblical epics are making a comeback! God knows why. No, seriously - no one else does, so I can only assume He must have visited someone in Hollywood and done the burning bush thing in their pool.
This one stars Russell Crowe as the boat-building zoo-keeper because, you know, he's been in a historical epic before. The fact that his performance in Gladiator rivalled that of a plank of two-by-four and he's never been in anything worth watching since seems to have been conveniently forgotten. Ah well, at least it'll be a spectacle to take our minds off all this rain we're getting just now. Oh, wait ...!
Look! You wait fifty years for a Biblical epic and then two come along at once! Directed by Ridley Scott, this one stars Christian Bale, so it's got to be good, right? So said everyone who remembers him in Batman Begins, American Psycho or The Fighter. Although those of us who haven't forgotten Reign of Fire and Terminator: Salvation are not so sure! Christian Bale as Moses? Really? Some film directors just want to watch the world burn!
|Maybe you're not supposed to be Spider-Man, climbing those|
walls. That's why you keep falling. And making dodgy sequels
Every one loves Spider-Man. Well, except those poor guys who've been injured in the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark stage musical, obviously. The trouble with this one is that ... well, the franchise just ain't what it used to be! Sam Raimi's first two Spider-Man films succeeded largely because of Tobey Maguire's superbly convincing performance as the socially inept science-geek Peter Parker.
By the same token, however, one of the reasons why the reboot failed to engage us in the same way was because the attempt to capture the jokey arachnid's penchant for corny one-liners just made Parker seem like... well, a bit of a jerk. A bully, even. They do say some spiders are lucky, but this film will need a whole swarm if our new found arachnophobia isn't to become a permanent condition!
The story of Sleeping Beauty, starring Angelina Jolie as the evil witch who curses the Princess Aurora at her christening. What could possibly go wrong? Well, casting Angelina Jolie for a start. Like Natalie Portman, she's one of those actresses who shines in smaller, indie films and yet somehow never manages to produce the goods in big budget blockbusters. Then there's the track record of live action adaptations of fairy tales. Mirror Mirror? Jack the Giant Slayer? Snow White and the Huntsman? Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters? Damn, the only magical thing about this film is likely to be how they persuaded anyone to finance it in the first place!
Ah, Godzilla. The big, green dino-machine for which the term "big in Japan" might well have been invented. He's been represented on screen by stop-motion puppetry, men in baggy lizard suits and CGI. But, in each and every one of those incarnations, his movies have one thing in common: damn, but they suck!
Okay, if I'm being totally honest, I kind of enjoyed the first hour or so of the Matthew Broderick Godzilla movie. But I'm in a (very small!) minority, and even I found it went downhill rapidly once the giant lizard actually began to take centre stage. So, why are we looking forward to this one? Who knows? Like a giant lizard's tail, it seems a fanboy's hope just keeps growing back!
When all the fantasy epics worth filming are taken and someone else has beaten you to all the good Biblical epics, hey, there's still that untapped vein of historical drama to mine, right? And the story of Pompeii, the Roman city destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, is just bound to appeal to fans of the fantasy genre. Isn't it? I mean, we know how the movie's going to end, obviously, but that didn't stop Titanic becoming the highest grossing film ever. Throw in a corny love story to ensure the ending has the tears flowing as freely as the molten lava, and this one's bound to set the screen alight. Unless, of course, Kit Harington (Jon Snow of Game of Thrones fame) can't actually speak in anything other than an inaudible mumble, in which case it's just as likely to disappear under several feet of volcanic ash.
|It's time to put on make-up; it's time to dress up right.|
It's time to meet the Guardians of the Galaxy tonight!
Marvel's track record at turning its comic titles into multi-million dollar movie franchises has been phenomenal. There have been some wrong turns along the way. Daredevil was sadly under-rated due, in part, to Ben Affleck's star being in decline at the time, the Fantastic Four movies were less than warmly received, and it's generally agreed that spin-offs like XMO: Wolverine and Elektra are probably best forgotten. What we remember, however, are the successes like X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers.
Is it any surprise, then, that we're all expecting success for the next Marvel title to be given the movie treatment? Well, it wouldn't be, except that the next such title is going to be Guardians of the Galaxy - a team which includes a dryad-like tree-man, a green-skinned beauty, and a gun-totin' raccoon. Let's be honest with ourselves here: that's a line-up better suited to a Muppet movie than a superhero team!
Okay, so that's the top ten according to BVC's crystal ball, but this is only a "most likely" list. Some of the above blockbusters may yet turn out to be the classics we all want them to be. It's just that, as passionate fanboys and fangrrls, we do have a tendency to expect more from our beloved genres than most films can possibly deliver. And, even if they do all flounder miserably, the outlook for 2014 isn't all bad.
We still have Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Hobbit: There and Back Again to look forward to. I mean, they couldn't possibly disappoint. Could they?