Films to look for in 2004 

Well it seems every girl in the world is completely in love with Viggo Mortensen these days. I guess playing the king of all men is a good way to get chicks. In any case, if you’ve not yet seen Lord of the Rings, Return of the King you’re wasting your life.

Other than that, there isn’t much to get excited about at the theatres right now. Cold Mountain is long and predictable and, although Nicole Kidman rules, Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai is a much better picture. So let’s forget the old and bring in the new. What’s shaking for 2004?

First of all Big Fish opens sometime in early January. It’s directed by Tim Burton ( Batman, Ed Scissorhands ,) and stars Ewen McGregor. It’s a movie about an old guy who has done it all and tells the greatest stories ever. It’s touching but not cheesy and since Tim Burton is one of the best directors of our time this movie will rule.

Also coming soon (Feb 20 th ) is Kill Bill vol. 2 the finale to Quentin Tarantino’s epic samurai/ninja/pop culture/ gore-fest. Volume 1 was superb so this movie is bound to astound. Besides, Tarantino promises a real bad-ass shit kicking between Uma Thurman and Daryl Hannah. That’s worth 12 bucks if anything is.

Comic book fans will be happy, because 2004 is a huge year for comic book movies. Sam Riami ( Evil Dead, Army of Darkness) is back directing Spider Man 2 , which will be better than part one, the best comic adaptation ever. Or Hellboy, based on Mike Mignola’s underground classic, debuts in early April. It’s sci-fi and could produce a lot of cheesy one-liners, but really, there isn’t much cooler than a demon who saws his own horns off and then fights evil as a secret paranormal investigator.

Underground comics make good movies, this is a fact ( Tank Girl, Conan, Josie and the Pussycats) . But comics aren’t always a sure thing. The Punisher , which already sucked enormously as a 1990 movie starring Dolph Lundgren, looks like it’s gonna suck again in summer 2004. Too bad, The Punisher used to be my favourite comic. And a movie that ought to be a comic book, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow stars Jude Law, Angelina Jolie and Gwenyth Paltrow in a super-duper future movie with cartoon backgrounds that look like cold war Russian propaganda. It comes out this summer and it rules. You heard it here first.

If you haven’t had enough Angelina Jolie (and who ever could) hold you breath for Taking Lives , where she plays a detective called to Montreal (Yay, French accents) to catch a serial killer who’s faked his own death and just really likes slaughtering people. Looks good to me.

These are but a few films to get excited about in the new year. 2003 was swell and all, but lets look to the future. And yes, the Oscars are just around the corner, but as Sickboy says in Trainspotting , "It’s a sympathy vote." I’m sure boring-ass Cold Mountain will do quite well.

Regardless, Spike and Mike’s Sick And Twisted Animation Festival plays until Jan. 4 at the Rainbow Theatre, the only place in town where the front row doesn’t suck ass.

At Village 8 Jan. 2-8: Mona Lisa Smile, Last Samurai, Something’s Gotta Give, Paycheck, Peter Pan, Cheaper by the Dozen, Lord of the Rings; Return of the King, Elf, Cold Mountain.

At Rainbow Theatre to Jan. 4: Spike & Mike’s Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation.

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