Some Quick Movie Notes

Just a few notes:
  • I'm looking to do another installment of the Kaedrin Movie Awards for 2007 movies. If anyone has any suggestions for categories this year, let me know. The categories I had last year were: Best Villain/Badass, Best Hero/Badass, Best Comedic Performance, Breakthrough Performance, Most Visually Stunning, Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film, Best Sequel, Biggest Disappointment, Best Action Sequences, and Best Plot Twist/Surprise. Heck, while you're at it, if you'd like to nominate something for any of the above listed categories, just leave a comment. The awards probably won't happen until mid-January (like last year), so we've still go plenty of time.
  • On Sunday, I talked about critics' top 10 lists, and I realized that my top 10 list for this year is looking a little doubtful. For me, this year has been filled with a slew of good films that are seriously flawed in one way or another. Last year at this time, I already had a pretty good idea what films were going to be on my list (most of those films came out early in the year). This year, I find myself pegging hopes on some of the later releases, as a lot of earlier films just didn't connect with me much. A lot of contenders for a top 10 slot this year probably wouldn't have even made it close to last year's list...
  • Alex is doing his annual 12 Months of Movies series of posts, which are great. He's only up to February, but so far so good.
  • A few months ago, I wrote about a list of movies that I wanted to see even though I know they'll suck. One of the movies on that list was I Am Legend, which I just saw tonight. It was surpsingly not sucky, though not especially a great film either. As a straightforward action film, it works pretty good. As a study in human lonliness, isolation, and grim irony, it doesn't work nearly as well as the book (which is extremely different). Part of the issue here is that there are really only a few ways to emphasise the lonliness and isolation in a film, and they've all been done before, probably to better effect. For instance, the main character (who is the only human left on an earth that has been overrun by vampires (the movie never calls them that by name, but at least they didn't call them hemocytes either)) talks to his dog and to mannequins as if they're real people (a la Tom Hanks and Wilson in Cast Away). Mix this in with a typical action film, and you never really worry that the main character is really going to snap psychologically. It's still quite entertaining, even if it doesn't approach the book's brilliance. ***
  • I saw the new Dark Knight preview, which was quite interesting. It starts off by chronicling a quick bank heist planned by the Joker (this is pretty much a self-contained 5 minute story) and that's followed by a more typical movie preview with pulse-pounding music and quick flashes from the rest of the movie. It looks great. I wonder if that first 5 minutes will actually be in the film - if not, this is an interesting trend.
  • So it looks like Peter Jackson's going to be involved in the new Hobbit film after all. This is great news. Jackson's a good director, but his fight with New Line meant that The Hobbit wouldn't just be missing a good director - most of the people who worked on LotR, from the special effects guys to the actors, were very loyal to Jackson and wouldn't have worked on The Hobbit unless Jackson was involved. It looks like Jackson won't direct, but most of the actors and crew will return, which is really good news. Filmmaking is a very collaborative process, so while I'm interested to see who they choose to direct, I'd imagine the rest of the crew will help maintain a continuity between the new Hobbit film and the LotR films. Who are likely candidates for directing? Some people seem to be rooting for Guillermo del Toro or Sam Raimi would be my choice from this list, which contains a few people whose involvement would worry me (I'm looking at you, Terry Gilliam).
That's all for now...