Con­cepts dom­i­nate cin­ema

Kapi-Mana News - - FEATURE -

#7 Ely­sium

The low­down: In the year 2159, when the very wealthy live on a man-made space sta­tion while the rest of the pop­u­la­tion re­sides on a ru­ined Earth, Matt Da­mon’s Max takes on a mis­sion that could bring equal­ity to the po­larised worlds.

The hoopla: Ja­son Bourne in out­erspace! And then some. Di­rec­tor Neill Blomkamp had a break­out success with District 9, which tack­led alien in­va­sion from a fresh an­gle, and with more brain than brawn. There’s high hopes for this high-con­cept ad­ven­ture.

The rub: Sci­ence- fic­tion is al­ways a dicey game, just look at how dull the sim­i­larly- themed To­tal Re­call re­make turned out. But Blomkamp and Da­mon aren’t likely to screw this up.

ETA: Au­gust. #6 The Master The low­down: A naval veteran, played by Joaquin Phoenix, ar­rives home from World War II unset­tled and un­cer­tain of his fu­ture, un­til he is tan­talised by The Cause and its charis­matic leader, played by Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man.

The hoopla: Any new pic­ture from Paul Thomas An­der­son ( There Will Be Blood, Mag­no­lia, Boo­gie Nights) is an event, and this study of 1950s Amer­ica through the eyes of a Hem­ing­wayesque wan­derer and an in­dus­tri­al­ist is no dif­fer­ent.

The rub: Re­views have been mixed, some put off by the lack of a clear state­ment, and its am­bigu­ous com­ment on scien­tol­ogy – which the cult is sup­pos­edly mod­elled on.

ETA: Jan­uary 17. #5 Man of Steel The low­down: Su­per­man gets the re­boot treat­ment. Brit Henry Cav­ill dons the ‘‘S’’ in what is ex­pected to be a weight­ier, more grounded de­pic­tion of what it would mean to have a su­per­pow­ered be­ing in our midst.

The hoopla: Can Zack Sny­der ( Watch­men, 300) do for Su­per­man what Christo­pher Nolan did for Bat­man? It’s ar­guably the big­gest ques­tion mark hang­ing over movies for 2013.

Hav­ing Nolan pro­duce and as­sist with the story doesn’t hurt, nor does a cast in­clud­ing Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Rus­sell Crowe as Jor-El.

The rub: Can Sny­der really han­dle this? Watch­men would sug­gest ‘‘hell yes’’, but he got it so, so wrong on his last movie, the brain­dead, story- starved Suck­er­punch.

ETA: June 27. #4 Lin­coln

The low­down: Steven Spiel­berg’s long-awaited po­lit­i­cal study of The Great Eman­ci­pa­tor, played by Daniel Day-Lewis. It fo­cuses on Hon­est Abe circa 1865 and his dilemma of be­ing in a po­si­tion to try and end slav­ery or end The Civil War – but he can’t do both.

The hoopla:

Spiel­berg, DayLewis, an Amer­i­can icon – this one was Os­car-bait the sec­ond it was an­nounced. State- side re­sponse has been rap­tur­ous, though it was al­ways go­ing to be. Day-Lewis’ per­for­mance looks like an­other scorcher and the sup­port­ing cast is from the top shelf.

The rub: Spiel­berg has as many misses as hits th­ese days, but this looks rock solid.

Only risk is it gets too en­am­oured with its sub­ject and the characters start chant­ing ‘‘USA! USA!’’.

ETA: Jan­uary 31. #3 Zero Dark Thirty The low­down: For a decade, an elite team of in­tel­li­gence and mil­i­tary op­er­a­tives, work­ing in se­cret, de­voted them­selves to a sin­gle goal: to find and elim­i­nate Osama bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty chron­i­cles his­tory’s great­est man­hunt, from the Os­car- win­ning team who made The Hurt Locker, star­ring Joel Edger­ton, Jes­sica Chas­tain, Mark Strong and Kyle Chan­dler.

The hoopla: If The Hurt Locker con­nec­tions aren’t enough to arouse in­ter­est, then the plau­dits should. Kathryn Bigelow’s pic­ture topped the Na­tional Board of Re­view’s list for 2012, has a Rot­ten To­ma­toes’ rat­ing at 100 per cent ‘‘fresh’’, and is at short odds to win her an­other Os­car.

The rub: A fair bit of con­tro­versy over the frank de­pic­tion of tor­ture, which ap­par­ently wasn’t used by the US in their pur­suit of bin Laden. ETA: Jan­uary 31. #2 Be­fore Mid­night The low­down: A con­tin­u­a­tion of Be­fore Sun­rise and Be­fore Sun­set, chat- heavy ro­mances star­ring Ethan Hawke as cyn­i­cal Amer­i­can Jesse and Julie Delpy as French ro­man­tic Ce­line, who are now in their 40s. This time they cross paths – or per­haps are al­ready an item – in Greece.

The hoopla: If Be­fore Sun­rise isn’t the most ro­man­tic movie since Casablanca, then Be­fore Sun­set is. Richard Lin­klater’s per­fect pair of brief en­coun­ters de­served a third – and per­haps fi­nal – act, and we may fi­nally know if Jesse missed his plane at the end of Be­fore Sun­set.

The rub: The real-time, im­prov style of Be­fore Sun­set was a bit gabby for some au­di­ences, and it’s un­known whether Be­fore Mid­night re­peats the style. ETA: Mid year. #1 The Wolf of Wall Street The low­down: Based on the best­selling mem­oir of high-fly­ing 1990s stock­bro­ker-cum-crim­i­nal Jor­dan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street will trace his rise and fall; the money, the drugs, the women – all un­der the mas­ter­ful guid­ance of Martin Scors­ese. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort.

The hoopla: Scors­ese is back where he be­longs, New York City, and will no doubt of­fer a fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter study and an in­dus­try con­stantly em­broiled in cor­rup­tion and ac­cused of self­ser­vice. Former The So­pra­nos scribe Ter­ence Win­ter has writ­ten the screen­play, and Jonah Hill, Jon Favreau and Matthew McConaughey co-star.

The rub: The premise and story arc does sound a lit­tle like a white- col­lar Good­fel­las, and is there any­thing more to say about Wall St ex­cess and im­moral­ity that Wall Street, Mar­gin Call and Amer­i­can Psy­cho haven’t cov­ered al­ready?

ETA: End of year.

Re­booted: Harry Cav­ill is touted to be a Su­per­man for our times in Man of Steel.

Blow the house down: Leonardo DiCaprio has money on his mind in Martin Scors­ese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.

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