The Shape of Things to Come, V

I don’t write reviews of every film I see, because if I did I’d be updating this website on a daily basis, and we all have better things to be spending our time on. So, although I mentioned it six months ago, I never got around to telling you all that Clerks 2 is a terrible, terrible film, and is best avoided. Sorry if that warning arrived too late.

So, what of things to come? Well, I’ve been rummaging through my big box of trailers and there’s a surprising amount that’s caught my eye, which means that either there’s a lot of good films on the way, or that Hollywood has simply started making better trailers; I suspect the latter, particularly as the teaser for Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer makes me want to see the film even though we all know how crap the first film was. That there’s even a sequel at all surprises me — perhaps it’s simply a launch film for a Silver Surfer spin-off? What an appalling idea.

But still, there’s a lot out there that looks pretty promising. Take, for instance, Transformers, which should be good, but Michael Bay has a very hit-and-miss history as a director. Although I liked The Island (I accept that I’m in a bit of a minority there), we’re still talking about the man responsible for Pearl Harbour and Armageddon, so it could go either way.

Or how about Spiderman 3? I loved both of the previous films, and as it’s the same crew and cast this time around I’m sure it will be fine, though with three different opponents plus the introduction of both Mary Jane and Spiderman’s evil black suit I’m wondering how it’s all going to fit into one film. To be honest though, if Raimi can slip another Bruce Campbell cameo in, I’m sold no matter what.

I’m also intrigued by the Clint Eastwood double-bill of Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, though more so by the latter than the former. Two stories, both set on the same WW2 battlefield, one told from the US perspective and the other from the Japanese, I’ve heard that Flags is the weaker of the two, though whether that’s down to actual flaws in the film or due to anti-American sentiment remains to be seen. Certainly, the idea of watching the flag-waving American military invade anywhere right now is slightly less than appealing.

300 deserves a special mention. Based on the Frank Miller comic of the same name and telling the story of 300 Spartan warriors defending their homeland against a million Persians, this looks absolutely fucking nuts. If you watch only one trailer after reading all of this, watch this one.

It’s not all about the braindead blockbusters and eye-porn though (but can I slip a mention of the new animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in here? No? Ok then). The Last King of Scotland, starring the suddenly-everywhere James McAvoy (but deservedly so) as the personal physician of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (seemingly played to good effect by Forrest Whittaker), looks like it will be a nicely tense and understated thriller — and so does Breach, starring the fabulously-talented Chris Cooper as a suspected double agent within the Pentagon.

Then there’s also Bobby, Emilio Estevez’s deferential opus to Bobby Kennedy and starring every single actor in the world, plus, oddly, Lindsay Lohan, who I suspect isn’t going to stand up too well alongside the likes of Anthony Hopkins and William H. Macy (also appearing in dramatic thriller Edmond right now).

Have I finished yet? No! I haven’t even mentioned Fur, a fictionalised biopic of the photographer Diane Arbus, or Academy Award satire For Your Consideration, or the Peter O’Toole love story Venus (which scores many points for starring Leslie Phillips), or Stasi paranoia flick The Lives of Others, or psychological thriller Notes on a Scandal, with Judi Dench as a mentalist headteacher, or Hot Fuzz, the new film by the minds behind Shaun of the Dead, or The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert De Niro and starring Matt Damon, and telling the story behind the formation of the CIA…

Hell, even Rocky Balboa looks like it could be fun. I just wish Stallone would shut up about how Rocky is so much like Christ. Still, we should be thankful that Christ is nothing like Rocky, otherwise we’d not only have had the second coming but the third, fourth and fifth as well, each one worse than the last, and that’s just not a world I want to be living in.