We're about a month in to 2010 and amidst the wasteland of movie releases. Most people, myself included, are still catching up with the final important 2009 releases, but mostly ignoring anything that's been released in January. I had the misfortune of seeing DAYBREAKERS, but at least I just snuck into it after seeing SHERLOCK HOLMES. I've been procrastinating with this, but the first film on my list is just on the horizon, so I figured I better get down to it.
THE WOLFMAN - Directed by Joe Johnston, starring Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Hugo Weaving (2/12/10)
I've been looking forward to this film since its announcement nearly 3 years ago. The original release was supposed to be fall of 2008, then early 2009, then fall 2009, now finally early 2010. A lot of film snobs are likely to scoff at this remake of the classic monster movie, but I see no reason for this. The original is nearly 70 years old and, despite its greatness, only runs a little over an hour. The film could use a little updating and the story is certainly open for expansion, which seems like what has been done with this film.
There are so many reasons why this belongs on my list: Benicio Del Toro is almost too perfect for the role of Lawrence Talbot; The initial trailer for the film was definitely goosebump enducing; Walter Murch, a respected editing genius responsible for APOCALYPSE NOW, worked on the final cut of the film; Andrew Kevin Walker, a master of gruesome storytelling, worked on the screenplay and to put it quite plainly, I'm just excited to see a good werewolf film.
Out of the hundreds of movies ever made starring the titular beast, there might only be two good ones (THE WOLF MAN and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON). It's just really difficult to make a decent werewolf picture, which I feel has resulted in a loss of standing for the monster in pop culture. Post-UNDERWORLD (which didn't do the monster any good anyway), the only piece of popular fiction featuring werewolves these days is "Twilight" and such subsequent garbage. Werewolves cannot change at will and they certainly can't do it in the light of day without the aid of the full moon. If they can, then they have no right to be billed as such. I'm excited for the return of the wolf man as the bad guy or tortured good guy, whose loss of control elicits fears about our own beastly natures, in the stead of the modern wolf boy whose only purpose is to walk around shirtless and cause our IQ's to plummet.
I reserve a small amount of apprehension for the film because of its lengthy delays and reports of a troubled post-production. Also, more recent trailers have been less successful in building on my excitement than the first one, but a quick HBO First Look has reignited my anticipation. This film might not end up being the eternally great, but I have a strong feeling that it will at least be good, which is enough for me.
For info and trailers - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780653/