Jack Reacher (dir. Christopher McQuarrie) stars Tom Cruise (oversized smurf) as a former military man who is described, in Lee Child’s novels about him, as a blonde giant of a man. Little that can go wrong there then. Wreck-it-Ralph (dir. Rich Moore) is a Disney feature about the bad guy in an arcade game, who decides that he does not want to be the bad guy anymore and sets out on a journey to other games. Very promising indeed, if only for the appearance of beloved characters from games that were played by people who were kids in the 1990s. Django Unchained will see Quentin Tarantino tastelessly screwing up (movie) history once more, now with the help of Jamie Foxx, Christopher Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio. Get your act together Quentin, and go make another Jackie Brown. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters could be real fun, or it could be the next Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. But it is directed by Norwegian horror prodigy Tommy Wirkola, and stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, so the odds are reasonable. Finally, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey sees Peter Jackson (and everybody else involved in the LOTR madness) revisiting Middle Earth. I expect abolutely nothing from this mind-numbingly boring property, so I won’t be disappointed in any way. On the plus side: the 48 fps images look good in the trailer, and in Martin Freeman it does star a personal favourite of mine.
The Award Darlings
You’d think that a book about a boy and a tiger in a little boat would be unfilmable, but Ang Lee decided to give Life of Pi a chance. In 3D. Also considered unfilmable was David Mitchell’s book Cloud Atlas, but Andy and Lana Wachowski, together with Tom Tykwer, decided to give it a try. However good the film may turn out to be, it won’t win prizes. It’s too weird probably. Much more conventional is Hyde Park on Hudson (dir. Roger Michell), about president Roosevelt (Bill Murray gunning for a career Oscar) receiving the King and Queen of England as his guests. Speaking of American presidents: Steven Spielberg’s biopic Lincoln stars Daniel Day-Lewis, so Bill Murray may have to wait for his Oscar a little longer. Another biopic that may score big is Hitchcock (dir. Sacha Gervasi), starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. Already a favourite is Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, the Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman starring The Master. Argo (dir. Ben Affleck) will be a contender, as will Les Miserables. The latest one is directed by Tom Hooper, who dug up quite some gold for The King’s Speech two years ago. And if the director is anything to go by, look out for Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. A new The Hurt Locker? We’ll have to wait and see.