Win­ter warm­ers

DiCaprio, Da­mon, Pitt … the loom­ing US sum­mer block­buster sea­son means good things for movie fans

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - Leigh Paatsch


Star Trek Into Dark­ness ( May 9)

Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Sal­dana, Zachary Quinto They say: While the En­ter­prise crew fight a threat from within, Cap­tain Kirk leads a man­hunt to cap­ture a one- man weapon of mass de­struc­tion. We say: J. J. Abrams worked mir­a­cles with his Star Trek re­boot in 2009. If any­thing, the wait for an­other has been way too long. Beam us up now! Close up: Abrams em­phat­i­cally states this is not a tra­di­tional se­quel, but more of a stand­alone ad­ven­ture “that is not just for hard- core Trekkies”. Sher­lock star Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch car­ries the bad- guy torch here. Wide shot: Will this mark the end of the line for this su­pe­rior strain of Trek screen ad­ven­tures? Could well be so, now that Abrams is com­mit­ted to the Star Wars re­boot for years to come.

The Great Gatsby ( May 30)

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mul­li­gan, Tobey Maguire, Ja­son Clarke They say: Or­di­nary fella Nick Car­raway is lured into the lav­ish, all- is- not- what- it- seems world of his nou­veau riche neigh­bour, Jay Gatsby. We say: Ever read the clas­sic F. Scott Fitzger­ald novella? May not mat­ter, con­sid­er­ing mav­er­ick post- mod­ernist Baz Luhrmann is at the con­trols here. Close up: As is in­vari­ably the case with a Luhrmann pas­sion pro­ject, this could well turn out to be any­thing. The jury re­mains well and truly out on the need for 3D to show off all the elab­o­rate Jazz Age sets and cos­tumes. Wide shot: Opens to an un­usual global re­lease pat­tern, start­ing with a full US roll­out in early May, fol­lowed by the pres­ti­gious open­ing night slot at Cannes, and a Syd­ney pre­miere a fort­night later.

Also open­ing in May

The Hang­over Part III ( May 23): First one killed. Sec­ond one ex­pired. Any signs of life for the third? A re­turn to Vegas and a show­down with Mr Chow are pos­i­tive enough signs. The Call ( May 16): Halle Berry is an emer­gency helpline op­er­a­tor who must save a teenage girl who has been ab­ducted by a vi­cious killer. Evil Dead ( May 9): Con­trary to what you might have heard, this ac­claimed re­make of the hor­ror clas­sic is now get­ting an ( ad­mit­tedly limited) Aus­tralian re­lease.


Af­ter Earth ( June 13)

Stars: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Zoe Kravitz, Lin­coln Lewis They say: A crash land­ing leaves a fa­ther and son stranded on Earth more than 1000 years af­ter hu­man­ity was forced to flee. We say: When it comes to sur­viv­ing on a planet not fit for liv­ing, Will Smith has ex­ten­sive form to his name. Re­mem­ber I Am Le­gend? Jaden Smith’s pri­ors as The Karate Kid might come in handy too. Close up: Will Smith came up with the con­cept af­ter be­com­ing hooked on the docu- re­al­ity TV se­ries I Shouldn’t Be Alive. The fu­tur­is­tic set­ting came later, as did the at­tach­ment of po­lar­is­ing writer- di­rec­tor M. Night Shya­malan ( The Sixth Sense, The Last Air­ben­der). Wide shot: The gnarlier sci- fi an­gles of Shya­malan’s orig­i­nal screen­play have been sanded back by many rewrites. The end re­sult is that Will Smith is more of a sup­port player to son Jaden, who car­ries key scenes in the movie.

World War Z ( June 21)

Stars: Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, Mirielle Enos

They say: A rene­gade UN em­ployee tra­verses the globe in a race against time to stop a zom­bie pan­demic that is threat­en­ing to dec­i­mate hu­man­ity it­self.

We say: Brad Pitt ver­sus a plague of fleet- footed flesh- eaters? Doesn’t sound like a fair match. But it does sound like a fair movie. Come on Brad, you can do it!

Close up: Pro­duc­tion prob­lems stretch­ing back sev­eral years and a mam­moth bud­get blowout ( es­ti­mated at more than $ 250 mil­lion) have had pro­duc­ers jumpy they may have missed the zom­bie box- offi ce boat. The re­cent US suc­cess of Warm Bod­ies would be re­as­sur­ing.

Wide shot: The 2003 Max Brooks novel is revered as an im­por­tant scrip­ture by zom­bie fa­nat­ics. Sub­se­quent auc­tion of film rights trig­gered a bid­ding war be­tween pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies owned by Pitt and DiCaprio.

Man of Steel ( June 28)

Stars: Henry Cav­ill, Rus­sell Crowe, Amy Adams, Kevin Cost­ner

They say: Young jour­nal­ist Clark Kent is forced to con­front his se­cret ex­trater­res­trial her­itage when Earth is in­vaded by mem­bers of his race.

We say: Now that Bat­man is hav­ing a breather, it’s time for Su­per­man to get a re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing re­boot.

TAK­ING CON­TROL: Matt Da­mon stars in sci- fi block­buster


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