2000 preview

2000 Movie Preview
After an eventful year in Science Fiction, we're heading straight for the new Millennium. Jason Caro looks into next year's releases.

selected from Starburst Special #42
PREVIEWED IN THIS STARBURST SPECIAL:

SCREAM 3 • MINORITY REPORT • THE CROW: SALVATION • TITAN AE • MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 • THE X-MEN • SUPERNOVA • THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS • END OF DAYS • BATTLEFIELD EARTH • ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE • FLIGHT 180 • HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS • THE HOLLOW MAN • THE FLINTSTONES: VIVA ROCK VEGAS • LOST SOULS • RED PLANET • MISSION TO MARS • WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM? • DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS • PITCH BLACK

BELOW: JUST THREE OF THE 20+ PREVIEWS IN THIS COVER FEATURE!


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Minority Report

Stars:
Tom Cruise, Matt Damon (tentative)
Writers:
Scott Frank, Jon Cohen
Director:
Steven Spielberg
US Release Date:
November 17
UK Release Date:
tbc

Premise: Washington, in the next century. The ‘pre-crime’ division of the police force use psychics to predict crimes before they happen. When a police officer is accused of involvement in a murder yet to be committed, he faces the task of working out how it will happen. And then preventing it.

Why you should see it: Based on a short story by novelist Philip K Dick, whose other Sci-Fi tales became Blade Runner and Total Recall. Dick’s tales fuse the storytelling thrust of a great detective yarn and a truly inventive futuristic imagination. The prospect of the world’s biggest actor and director collaborating is not without appeal and the latter is known for pushing the visual boundaries of any genre to their limits. With his brilliant, multi Oscar-winning production regulars, gob-smacking futuristic embellishments by ILM and, of course, a John Williams soundtrack, this could be the first classic Sci-Fi film of the new millennium.

But then again: Spielberg’s September announcement that he will take over the futuristic project AI from the dead Stanley Kubrick, initially shed some doubt over the film’s future, as did the knock-on effect of Cruise’s delays on Eyes Wide Shut and Mission: Impossible 2. Jan De Bont (who now produces) was originally to helm, so let’s hope the script is better than his last couple of stinkers.

Tom Cruise: looking to the future

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The X-Men

Stars:
Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Anna Pacquin, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Ray Park
Writers:
Ed Solomon, Chris McQuarrie, Joss Whedon, several others
Director:
Bryan Singer
US Release Date:
June 30
UK Release Date:
tbc

Premise: In a world where mutant children are branded outcasts, a group of young people with incredible gifts are united as the X-Men. Can these band of super-powered ‘freaks’ overcome their differences and the destructive force of the mighty Magneto?

Why you should see it: Expectations are sky-high for Singer’s (The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil) take on Marvel Comics’ hugely popular heroes. The director has stated that he’s more interested in fully developing the protagonists and plot, than he is in ‘doing an Emmerich’ ie sacrificing intelligence, logic and credibility at the altar of digital effects. That’s not to say that this $70-$80m Fox production (a big step-up for Singer) won’t have your eyes popping out of their sockets, as the gang blast energy rays, swoop over New York and all sorts of other mutant malarkey.

The eclectic casting mix of stars and virtual unknowns has created unprecedented interest on the Net, as many fans have declared choices as X-cellent or X-crement. Stewart has certainly been given the thumbs-up as mentor Dr Xavier, as has Ray (Darth Maul) Park as horrible henchmen Toad. Wolverine-tastic teaser posters have already shown up and prepare yourself for Phantom Menace-sized hype/ merchandising nearer to the late June release date. Potentially, the biggest summer movie of 2000.

But then again: Singer has marvellous characterization credentials, but has he got what it takes to deliver the super-spectacular visual dynamics that have comic fans quivering in a state of uncontrollable arousal. How long must we wait for a trailer?!

Patrick Stewart: Xavier of the project?

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Pitch Black

Stars:
Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser
Writers:
Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat, David Twohy
Director:
David Twohy
US Release Date:
January
UK Release Date:
tbc

Radha Mitchell: neighbourly new talent Premise: A Space craft crashes on a planet where daylight is constant and darkness only falls once every 60 years. But as anyone who’s ever seen Aliens knows, they mostly come out at night. Mostly.

Why you should see it: More emphasis on tautly turning the screw than usual, as the assorted survivors begin to realise the scary significance of darkness. Promising cast.

But then again: Has inexperienced director Twohy bitten off more than he can chew?

Vin Diesel, Pitch Black's surgically enhanced convict Riddick, interviewed in this issue!


Just a taste of Jason Caro's extensive previews section.
Read the full rundown in this Starburst SpecialBuy it here

Feature © Visual Imagination 1999. Not for reproduction


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