As promised, here is a quick run-down of some intriguing, non-blockbuster films, coming out in the next few months of explosions and excitement. This is an incomplete list, but serves as a taster of something else to look forward to in the coming months. Of course, the obvious and earliest opportunity for some alternate picks (if you're in NZ anyway) is the World Cinema Showcase - playing now in Auckland, starting in Wellington this week and hitting Dunedin soon. My preview is here. Also if you're in Wellington I recommed heading along to the City Gallery for the Graham Percy exhibition. On until the 25th, I cannot recommend enough, especially if you have any interest in illustration. Also, it's free!
From director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) offers something of a change in direction here. Saoirse Ronan stars as the eponymous character; a young girl raised her entire life by father Eric Bana to be a merciless killer. She is sent on the hunt for Cate Blanchett’s top level spook. Wright has shown himself to be a filmmaker with an astounding level of skill (it’s hard to not be impressed with Atonement, only his second film) and this looks to be a cracking action film that doesn’t talk down to us.
Duncan Jones made a very, very impressive film with his low budget debut Moon. I, for one, am hoping the bigger budgeted, Michelle Monaghan and Jake Gyllenhaal starring follow up Source Code is up to the same standard. The trailer hasn't really done too much for me, but it's already been released in the States and I've read good things. Gyllenhaal (in his first time travel film since Donnie Darko?) is a young soldier, sent back into the body (and life) of a man in the last few minutes of his life.
So long as someone like James Gunn (Slither) is out there making movies, I'm happy. Super is looking to be this year's Kick Ass, but a whole lot more demented. Rainn Wilson is just a regular schmoe who, when his wife leaves him, decides to fight crime as The Crimson Bolt! Ok, so it might not be an origin story on par of that of Superman, Batman or even Aquaman but I am definitely looking forward to another skewering of the superhero movie.
This looks like it could be the comedy hit of the year, which feels slightly strange to say about a Cameron Diaz vehicle. But Diaz looks absolutely filthily hilarious in this, as if Billy Bob Thornton's Bad Santa was a teacher. Her output of late has been... well, less than stellar. She hasn't been really great in anything since 1999's Being John Malkovich, so here's hoping Bad Teacher can remind us why she matters. The recent red band trailer had me giggling away and Ms. Diaz is ably supported by some fantastic comedians.
Hobo with a Shotgun
Starring Rutger Haur, who looks absolutely insane. And just look at that poster. LOOK at it! That's a slice of pure fried amazing right there. I'm unsure if this film (based on a trailer knocked up for a Grindhouse competition) will actually make it to our shores (perhaps at the Film Festival?). I remain ever hopeful, albeit realistic: Death Proof didn't set box office tills ringing, Planet Terror never even got a cinema release and Machete was gone inside two weeks. Still, I can but hope.
The Tree of Life
A new Terrence Malick film? Yes please. A new Terrence Malick film with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn? Yes please and when does it come out please? Let’s be blunt: a new Malick film is an event that I anticipate more than any so-called “event” movie. I was taken in by The New World in 2005 and absolutely fell under the Malick spell with Badlands last year. To say I'm somewhat looking forward to this is an understatement. Malick is one of THE filmmakers and this should be a magical, spiritual and beautiful film.
Well, this is the big one isn't it? 2 weeks of films, from all over the world covering a variety of genres and time periods. The annual International Film Festival packs in hundreds of films and it's always a mid-year treat.
So what films are you looking forward to for the rest of the season? Can you not wait to be chilled and thrilled like you were in high-school with Scream 4? Or is it the Bayhem of Transformers 3: The Dark of the Moon that has you excited? Or is it the mystery surrounding J J Abrams' Super 8?