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A Peek Into 2004
What joys can we at girlswithguns.org expect to see in the upcoming year? Here, we'll take a look into our crystal ball, and preview some of the genre entries currently scheduled for release in 2004. They're in chronological order: all dates given are for the wide US releases, and are inevitably subject to change at the whim of the studio. Most of these will likely be covered here in due course. Unless they suck. :-)
Monster (January 9th) - Female serial killers are few and far between, but this film tells the story of one such: Aileen Wuornos, who killed six truck drivers in Florida, and was executed there in 2002. The first I heard of her was Nick Broomfield's amazing documentary on Wuornos and the media circus which built up around her - around the same time, he is releasing a follow-up, covering subsequent events, up to her death. Charlize Theron isn't the name you'd associate with such a grim role, but make-up seems to have done an amazing job. Christine Ricci plays her girlfriend, but I think this will be grim and nasty rather than anything else. Unlikely to be the feel-good movie of 2004.
Catch That Kid (February 6th) - This is a remake of a Danish movie, Klatretosen, about a 12-year old girl, Maddy, whose mountain-climbing father is paralysed in an accident. To pay for an operation, his daughter decides to use her own skills, and recruits a couple of young pals to help her break into a hi-tech bank. Maddy is played by Kristen Stewart, who was in Panic Room - in this film, Jennifer Beals is her mother. The original was a huge hit in its native land, and since it has a budget of only $18m, it doesn't need to perform spectacularly to be profitable. With the tagline "They're on a mission without permission", I'm thinking something along the lines of Spy Kids, probably.
Kill Bill, Volume Two (April 16th) - The question is, can this possibly top the mayhem and carnage served up in Volume One? Tarantino has kept a few cards back (specifically, Hannah, Madsen and Carradine) to play/slay in the second half. If the first was a homage to kung-fu and samurai movies, I suspect the second will be to spaghetti westerns, going by the Mexican locations. It's a genre I'm personally less familiar with - once you go past Sergio Leone and Django, I'm lost. This might or might not be a good thing; I'll miss the references, but the chances of it seeming like a tired rehash are lessened.
Catwoman (July 30th) - Didn't expect this to come out in 2004, but to my surprise, here it is. I'm going to stick my neck out and say it's going to be a flop. This isn't based solely on my personal bias against Halle Berry: her other project, Jinx, was cancelled in a wave of apathy, disinterest and downright "good riddance", and the Cat-fans are already rumbling over things like the choice of Catwoman's costume. [Can't blame them - going by the pic atop this article, she looks like a dominatrix who has been dragged backwards through a hedge. Or a cheap knockoff of Black Scorpion - if such a thing is possible...] And if you alienate the hardcore devotees, your chances of the essential huge first weekend diminish greatly. Casting Sharon Stone probably won't help, given how long it has been since she's had a box-office hit - save the animated Antz, you have to go back to 1994 for her last $50m movie.
Alien vs. Predator (August 6th) - For hundreds of years, Predators have been using Earth as a training camp, with their main base now under the ice of Antarctica. After this is detected, a team, led by Lex Horner, arrives to explore it - with the bad timing essential to genre movies, they arrive just as a training exercise is about to begin. Hilarity ensues, I'm certain. :-) Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat), Lex is played by Sanaa Lathan, who doesn't appear to have much of an action pedigree as far as I can tell [unless Catfish in Black Bean Sauce conceals a hidden gem!]. But, don't forget, Alien marked the debut of a then-unknown actress called Sigourney Weaver...
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (September 10th) - The original movie had a great ending, with Alice alone in Raccoon City, facing an apparently-infinite supply of zombies. The sequel appears to take its inspiration from part 3 of the video games, with the arrival of characters Jill Valentine, Carlos Olivera and Nicholai Sokolov. Paul Anderson, director of the original, is writing but not helming this time, which sees our heroine trying to escape the city, the zombies, and the Umbrella Corporations's biggest, baddest creation, NEMESIS. Can you say 'Boss Level'?
Taxi (October 8th) - Like Catch That Kid, this is a remake of a European hit, originally produced by Luc Besson, which has already spawned two sequels there. At first, this was planned to star Ice Cube, he dropped out, and with Queen Latifah taking over, the spin looks rather more interesting - Set It Off showed she could bring the necessary intensity to a role. She plays a cab-driver, recruited by cop Jimmie Fallon to use her intense driving skills (learned while delivering pizza!) to help catch a gang of female bank-robbers. They're led by supermodel Gisele Bundchen, which presumably explains the somewhat eyebrow-raising pictures below. I should point out that they are all I could find to illustrate this one. Honest! :-)
D.E.B.S. (TBA) - Another stab at the teen action heroine market, this is based on a short film screened at the 2003 Sundance Festival, the feature gets its premiere at the 2004 event. The premise is that the SAT test also is used to recruit teenage girls into a secret espionage group. Sounds somewhere between Kim Possible and Alias to me - which isn't such a bad place to be...
Ultraviolet (TBA) - Not connected to the UK TV series of the same name, though both are about vampires. This will be Milla Jovovich's second horror-action movie of 2004, after Resident Evil: Apocalypse; here, she plays a woman with a vampiric disease which enhances their abilities, in a world where those infected are on the brink of war with 'normal' humanity. She ends up protecting a child with her new-found skills. It's from the director of Equilibrium, which is enough reason alone for us to be there for this one. This conceptual drawing is merely icing...
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