Release Date: TBD
Director: Terry Gilliam
Rarely do you see a famous director, even a fairly eccentric one like Terry Gilliam, release a director’s statement prior to the release of a film, but apparently Gilliam is so hyped about The Zero Theorem that he felt compelled to release such a statement which included the following morsel:
“Having not worked with a budget this small for several decades, I was forced to work fast and instinctively, pressured only by time and money. We relied on the freedom to spin on a dime, to make outrageous creative leaps. The results surprised even me. I’m proud to have been part of The Zero Theorem.”
To hear this from Gilliam whose body of work is nothing short of mind altering is no small potatoes. For those of us who saw the bonkers leaked trailer before its internet passport was revoked, shades of 12 Monkeys and Brazil were evident. Like a mash-up between 1984 and Weird Science, it features Christopher Waltz as a Winston Smith-like desk monkey who retreats into a computer simulated reality where he contemplates the meaning of life while appraising the advances of a mysterious, sexy redhead. Starring Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton and Matt Damon.
Release Date: Oct. 4
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
In space, they say, no one can hear you scream. That is unless you have an $80 million budget and your film stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Then, despite all manner of destruction, your remote comms will miraculously survive to transmit a very expensive intonation of fear in your A-list actors’ voices. This is the premise of Gravity. In the hands of a lesser filmmaker, Gravity might sound gimmicky, but Director Alfonso Cuarón has earned his budget before on big films like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men which featured two of the most intense long takes in cinema history. Rumor has it that Gravity opens with a 19-minute-long stretch before the first cut, some of which you can check out in the clip below. If Cuarón even comes close to translating the abject terror one would feel while floating untethered through the vastness of space while your oxygen runs out then this could turn out to be more horror than sci-fi.
Release Date: Oct 25
Director: Ridley Scott
Once in a great while when stars align the Hollywood studio system has been known to allow an exceptional writer, director and cast to slip past its drooling, executive hellhounds to make a film that is greater than the sum of its parts. This could be that film. The Counselor reunites the Academy Award-winning team of Javier Bardem and acclaimed novelist Cormac McCarthy who made the words “Call it” sound far creepier than they ever have. This is McCarthy’s first original screenplay to be produced as a film and features a drug deal gone wrong and the inevitable, pitiless wrath of a cartel seeking reparations. Helmed by Ridley Scott, the trailer looks like homage to his late brother Tony Scott who knew the cinematic value of a good revenge rampage.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Release Date: Nov 15
Director: Martin Scorsese
Generously timed to coincide with the release of Yeezus, the trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street shared not only the track Black Skinhead with the album but also the sordid underbelly of an ego run amok. Based on the memoirs of hard-partying stockbroker turned convicted criminal Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street is director Martin Scorsese’s first run at the out of control financial services industry. Written by Boardwalk Empire scribe Terrence Winter, the film looks like it has given free license to Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey and Jonah Hill to chew up the scenery in a way that would make Gordon Gecko proud.
The Hunger Games Catching Fire
Release Date: Nov 22
Director: Francis Lawrence
After the utilitarian affair that was Seabiscuit director Gary Ross’ first installment in the Hunger Games trilogy, Ross was replaced with music video and I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence, presumably to spice up the two sequels which should feature the rise of the rebellion and an urban warfare scene in the capital city of Panem that could give the audience PTSD. J-Law returns as Katniss Everdeen. Her recent Academy Award-winning stint as a sex-addled widow in Silver Linings Playbook should lend her the pathos to play Everdeen’s tortured heroine-with-a-death-wish, and if Francis Lawrence can bring some of the weirdness he captured in Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video, the film might be able to recapture the raw vitality of the novels that was missing in the first film.