Blade, Harry Potter, 2001...

2001: AN SF ODYSSEY

It’s the year we make contact… and a year brimming with hotly anticipated Science Fiction blockbusters.

Starburst presents our annual preview of forthcoming films: it’s just too exciting…

By Brian Alexander

Selected from our latest Yearbook,
Starburst Special #46
PREVIEWED IN THIS STARBURST SPECIAL:

JURASSIC PARK 3TOMB RAIDERPLANET OF THE APES plus in the issue: UNBREAKABLE • FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING • DUNGEONS & DRAGONS • 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY • GHOSTS OF MARS • PLUTO NASH • OSMOSIS JONES • JASON X • HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S / PHILOSOPHERS' STONE • SHREK • ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE • HANNIBAL • A.I. • BLAIR WITCH PREQUEL • SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE • MONSTERS, INC • BLADE 2: BLOODHUNT • ROLLERBALL • THE MUMMY RETURNS • QUEEN OF THE DAMNED and FINAL FANTASY

BELOW: JUST THREE OF THE PREVIEWS FROM THIS ISSUE!

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JURASSIC PARK 3

Jurassic Park III: slashing stuff

Premise: When a plane crashes on InGen’s dino-infested research island, expert Dr Alan Grant is recalled for a daring rescue mission.

Why you should see it: Well chuffed by the profit margins of the first two movies, Universal gave the green light to a second sequel, even though Steven Spielberg has vacated the director’s chair in favour of an executive producer role. Enter Joe Johnston, a film-maker equally adept at action (The Rocketeer, Jumanji) and character drama (anyone see the brilliant October Sky?) “There will be a lot of special effects,” he has said, “but most important to me would be the story.”

Concerns that Johnston might be compelled to mimic Spielberg’s established Jurassic formula seem unfounded (“Steven has given me carte blanche. He has said that I should make my own movie”), while effects master Stan Winston and the CG wizards at ILM are determined to up the ante. Expect a few new dinosaurs, and a thrilling disaster movie climax set in a major US city. Fans of the franchise must be delighted that Neill is returning to the safari suit of Dr Grant, while the brilliant Macy and Deep Impact’s Leoni should provide great support as a wealthy businessman and his lover. There’s even talk that Laura Dern will show up in a cameo role, in much the same way that Richard Attenborough featured in The Lost World.

But then again: While JP2 did good box office, audiences had become blasé about CG trickery and disappointed by a shallow retread of the first film. Will Johnston be able to break with formula enough to surprise dino-fans?

Stars:
Sam Neill, Alessandro Nivola, Téa Leoni,
William H Macy

Writers:
John August, Alexander Payne, Craig Rosenberg, Jim Taylor

Director:
Joe Johnston

US Release Date:
July 4 2001

UK Release Date:
tbc

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TOMB RAIDER

Tomb Raider: fabulous sets. That's S-E-T-S...

Premise: Thrill-seeking Lara Croft travels the globe in search of sections to an ancient mask.

Why you should see it: Lara Croft = sex personified. And in casting Angelina Jolie, Paramount have not only an Oscar-winning actress but one of the world’s most beautiful stars.

A dizzying mix of Indiana Jones and James Bond-esque adventures, Tomb Raider promises to be an adrenaline-charged take on the hugely popular computer game, with stunning locations, fab sets and amazing fight sequences. If it’s a hit, there’s a promise of more to come…

But then again: Tomb Raider is ripe for the celluloid treatment, but let’s hope West and co don’t forget to add some much-needed characterization into the mix.

Stars:
Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Chris Barrie, Jon Voight
Writers:
Patrick Massett, Simon West, John Zinman
Director:
Simon West

US Release Date: June 15 2001 • UK Release Date: July 13 2001

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PLANET OF THE APES

Mark Wahlberg: pilot of the future

Premise: A contemporary human arrives on a world where apes rule.

Why you should see it: Another ’70s hit revisited. Planet of the Apes has been on the cards for nearly seven years, with (at one stage) Arnold Schwarzenegger due to headline, and Philip Noyce, Chris Columbus, Peter Jackson, Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay and James Cameron all linked as the director. Wisely choosing to fashion a ‘re-imagining’ of the Apes series, as opposed to a straight remake, Fox have hired the unique talents of Tim Burton, the man responsible for the dark Gothic fantasy of Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, and Mars Attacks!

In this version, Wahlberg is a pilot who finds himself in this bizarre inverted society ruled by apes, while Roth, Carter and Duncan will spend hours in the make-up chair hiding their famous mugs behind prosthetics. The new masks, designed by Rick Baker, are being fashioned to suit each individual actor, and will allow a much greater range of expression than those featured in the original series. Talk of a Charlton Heston cameo now seems unfounded, but original Apes producer Richard Zanuck is back in his old job.

But then again: Planet of the Apes is a classic; why bother to re-make it?

Stars:
Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Spike Jonze

Writers:
William Broyles, Larry Konner, Mark Rosenthal

Director:
Tim Burton

US Release Date:
July 27 2001

UK Release Date:
tbc

US Release Date: July 4 2001 • UK Release Date: tbc

Feature © Visual Imagination 2000. Not for reproduction