Every year I start the year with a list of 20 films I think could be great based on the knowledge available to me. Let’s hope my predictions are a little better than last year, and all these films actually get released.
In Steve Buscemi’s sophomore effort as director, veteron con Willem Dafoe introduces Edward Furlong to the hardened world of prison. Based on the novel by Edward Bunker, a real ex-con who was Mr. Blue in “Reservoir Dogs”.
CECIL B. DEMENTED
In the new John Waters movie, crazed underground filmmaker Cecil (Stephen Dorff) kidnaps an A-list movie actress (Melanie Griffith) to star in his indie movie.
CHICKEN RUN (June 23)
Nick Park and Peter Lord are famous for created the Oscar-winning “Wallace and Gromit” shorts. In their first full-length film, they bring you the story of a group of chicken who attempt to escape from a sinister chicken farm in 1950’s England.
DANCER IN THE DARK
Lars Von Trier presents singer Bjork as Selma, an Eastern European girl new to America with her young son. Dreaming of musicals, she must earn enough money for an operation to retain her son’s sight, a fate that awaits her, as well.
ERIN BROCKOVICH (March 17)
Last year, Julia Roberts seemed interested in only making movies that made fun of her (“Notting Hill”, “Runaway Bride”). Maybe now she’s flagellated herself enough to work with a real filmmaker, and there are few finer working today than Steven Soderbergh.
FINDING FORRESTOR (December)
Sean Connery in a Gus Van Sant movie? Yup. Bond plays a novelist who develops a bond with a gifted young athelete who is also a talented writer.
FREQUENCY (April 28)
Dennis Quaid and Jim Caveziel star in this film about a man who travels into the past to prevent a murder. Gregory Hoblit (“Primal Fear”) directs.
GLADIATOR (May 5)
Ridley Scott directs Russell Crowe as a former Roman general looking to get even with Cæser (Joaquin Phoenix) who cast down him down as a slave.
HE WHO GETS SLAPPED
This is actually the newest film by Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia. Depicting the relationship between two halves of a comedy team, Nino and Bruno, the pair begin to hate each other as they grow more successful. While more accessible than “Perdita Durango”, this comedy is still in Spanish.
KIKUJIRO (March 3)
Takeshi “Beat” Kitano returns in this story where he takes a young boy across Japan to meet the mother he’s never met.
MIFUNE (February 25)
In director Soren Kragh-Jacobsen’s contribution to Dogme ’95, we meet Kreston, a yuppie in Copenhagen called back to his rural family on the eve of his wedding.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 (May 24)
“Huh?” you ask? Does the name John Woo ring a bell? Yeah, I know, production dragged on forever, but that doesn’t mean anything. Woo is still the best action film director in the world.
MONKEYBONE (May 12)
A cartoonist (Brendan Fraser) is transported by a coma into a nightmare world of his own creation. It’s from by Henry Selick, who actually directed “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “James and the Giant Peach”.
NO ONE WRITES TO THE COLONEL
In this latest film from Mexican director Arturo Ripstein, we meet a retired officer and his wife as they struggle to survive. It’s not as bad as it sounds.
O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? (Summer)
George Clooney stars as an escaped convict in the new Coen Brothers movie.
REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (Summer)
Darren Aronofsky follows up “Pi” with this adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr.’s novel. Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly star in a tale of dreams and drug addiction.
SHAFT RETURNS (June 16)
Samuel L. Jackson is always one bad mother f**ker. Richard Price writes and John Singleton directs.
SHANGHAI NOON (June 2)
Jackie Chan is in the American old West in rescue a kidnapped princess.
THINGS YOU CAN TELL JUST BY LOOKING AT HER (Spring)
Gore has already seen this Sundance-bound film of multiple inter-locking stories about several women. Cameron Diaz, Glenn Close, Kathy Bates, Holly Hunter, and Calista Flockhart star.
TITAN A. E. (June 16)
In this animated feature from veteran Don Bluth (“The Secret of N.I.M.H.”), mankind must find its future in the stars after the Earth has been destroyed by an alien attack.
WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM? (March 3)
Garry Shandling wrote and starred in this Mike Nichols film about an alien sent to Earth to woo and impregnate a human female.