Robots, Ninjas & Action Men – Summer 2009

Robots, Ninjas & Action Men – Summer 2009

The big summer blockbuster season is upon us once again, with Hollywood already starting to roll out the big marketing campaigns and mega expensive Superbowl TV spots I thought it would be a good time to take a look at what we can expect in this years silly Season.Transformers : Revenge Of The Fallen is set to be the Summers biggest film. With a massive budget – rumoured to be in excess of $250 million USD, huge scale – Battling on pyramids! Destroying cities! and almost guaranteed box office – the original film took in excess of $700 million USD at the global box office, good or bad Transformers 2 will be massive film.

Director Michael Bey is upbeat for sure “I really feel this movie is not a forced sequel. I think the script is really good, and I think it’s got a lot of new stuff in it.” He said when recently interviewed, “There are a lot of rumours out there, but we’ve released a lot of fake stuff. We’ve done a really good job of keeping things secret”

What DO we know? Expect more robots including the Constructicons and Soundwave, a bigger role for Deceptacon & chief Megatron baiter Starscream and most of the original cast returning including Megan Fox, Turtlub and LaBouf.

Oh and that Bey will edit the film to within an inch of its life as always….

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen is out in the UK on the 26th June 2009.

Fast & Furious (which is number four in the franchise) comes care of Asian director Justin Lin who previously helmed

the better than expected third film in the series Tokyo Drift. Paul Walker & Vin Diesel return and with Lin behind the wheel (so to speak) the film should at least deliver some exciting car action which is what it’s about after all.“I just look at this one as it’s really the first true sequel.” Enthused Paul Walker at a recent Fast & Furious press junket “Vin and I in the first one and it’s kind of like okay, they’re back together again finally. When I tell fans, Vin and I are back making another one, people are pretty excited about it…”

The Fast & Furious movie shave always been popcorn escapist fun so set your expectations to low and this should be at least enjoyable.

Fast & Furious is out in the UK on 5th June.

Next up is G.I Joe : The Rise Of Cobra a film which, if done right, could be whole bunch of fun. Okay so it’s directed by Stephen Sommers who hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with his previous efforts such as The Mummy films or

the direr Van Helsing. But the trailer promises Wanted style OTT action and the film will boast the lovely but loose Sienna Miller in a tight cat suit.That aside (!), this live action version of the famed Hasbro action figure (who wouldn’t want to be a Hasbro shareholder right now!) has all the right ingredients to be a solid PG-13 action film including a quirky international cast that teams up Brit’s Sienna Miller & Ray Park alongside bigger names like Brendan Frasier and Arnold Vosloo and some OTT action care of second unit director Greg Michael (‘Mummy’; ‘Van Helsing’)

Let’s face it – whilst GI Joe will never trouble the academy, if done right this could be a diverting 90 minutes of a fun, action packed ride like Transformers. Of course if not then we could be looking at a dire, unwatchable mess like Van Helsing. Let’s hope for the former…

G.I Joe : The Rise Of Cobra is out in the UK in August 7th .

Inglourious Basterds hits cinemas in August. The latest film from film god and Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino this time sees the maverick director put his unique slant on World War 2 movies.

The film that tells the story of Lieutenant Aldo Raine (played by Brad Pitt), who teams together a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution against the Nazi’s. Known to their enemy as “The Basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich.

Tarrantino describes the film as “…my bunch-of-guys-on-a-mission film. [It’s] my Dirty Dozen or Where Eagles Dare or Guns of Navarone kind of thing”

Alongside Brad Pitt stars Cabin Fever director Eli Roth, Mike Myers, Sam Jackson, Diane Kruger and Jade Screen favourite Maggie Cheung as Madame Mimeux. With it’s trademark quirky cast (although not as impressive as the original rumoured cast which included Michael Madsen alongside action Icons Stallone, Willis and Arnie), no doubt snappy dialogue and heaps of OTT violence this should be the hit of the Summer.

 

Tarantino needs a hit (Death Proof and Kill Bill 2 have sullied is once great reputation) and in terms of hyping it up he has been talking about this movie since the early 90’s. See for yourself when Inglourious Basterds hits the big screen on August 21st (UK/USA).Arriving towards the end of the summer is thriller Shanghai. In the months leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbour, an American man (John Cusack) arrives in Shanghai to find his friend recently murdered. In investigating his friend’s death, he stumbles upon a secret that the United States government doesn’t want uncovered…

The film is directed by Mikael Håfström (1408, Derailed) and co-stars Batman Begins’s Ken Watanabe as well as Chow Yun-Fat, Gong Li and Rinko Kikuchi .Håfströmis a good, if not great, director but the cast is good and the period setting may arose some interest.

Shanghai is out in the UK in September.

Tekken gets it’s big screen release towards the end of 2009. Starring Brit John Foo, Luke Goss, Gary Daniels the film also co-stars Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and a cast of fighters, Martial artists and all-around hard nuts. The story? Well according to the official press blurb it’s “A high-octane action movie about a young man who discovers he holds a great power and must battle a team of elite fighters who will stop at nothing in order to get it from him”

In reality it’s the big screen adaptation of the popular video game that should at least see a high bang for buck ratio. Deep Dwight H.Little directs, who of late has carved out a career directing for TV shows like Prison Break & 24, and the script comes care of Face/Off writer Michael Colleary. Will it be any good? Well video game to big screen adaptation have a chequered track record and the last film like this to be adapted, Mortal Kombat, didn’t exactly set the world on fire. BUT it has a great cast, including the much under appreciated but highly talented Gary Daniels, and good director so you never know…
Tekken is out in the UK towards the end of 2009

Finally, comes the return of two 80’s icons in Ninja Assassin. Yes that right Ninjas are back… and this time with a budget! Produced by the Brothers Wachowski and directed by V For Vendetta helmer James McTiuage, the film stars Korean Pop sensation Rain alongside Naomi Harris and one Sho Kosugi, making his return back to a sub-genre he popularised back in the 80’s.

McTiuage is clear on his frame of reference for Ninja Assassin, aiming to recapture the vibe of classic Asian cinema: “The Kouroswa ninja films, the 60’s ninja film called Shinobi no Mono… these are my inspirations here. We didn’t go down the whole 80’s route… “ What no American Ninja? McTiuage also reaffirmed that this wouldn’t be a PG-13 movie “Definitely R rating. My interest in Definitely making an adult film.”


Little other than a few training videos have been made available for the film so far but the set visit promised Ninjas galore alongside the return of a genre icon and some hardcore action means this should be a film to watch out for.
Ninja Assassin’s release date is TBC

Other films that are well worth looking out for include the Tony Scott directed remake of Pelham 1 2 3 in June, Daniel Radcliff and gang returning in July in Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince . Also in July look out for the Michael Mann directed ‘Heat with Tommy Guns’ Public Enemies, staring Christian Bale & Johnny Depp.

You can watch the latest trailers for most of these movies at

www.apple.com/trailers.Phil Hobden

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