2002 promises to be a rich cinematic year with much to offer fans of all film genres. If you're looking for compelling dramas, dark film noir
, big-budget special effects blockbusters, sappy romances, or side-splitting comedies, chances are that your favorite director has something cooking.
Here's a list of 2002's most eagerly-awaited films:
- INDIANPENDENCE DAY - A compelling look at the Battle of Little Big Horn, told from the viewpoint of the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians that participated in it. History books typically portray this battle as the worst disaster in American military history, but Native American lore treats it as a decisive (but brief) show of Indian power. Director Roland Emmerich aptly commands his actors, and Wilford Brimley plays a convincing General Custer. Look for spectacular battle scenes that put "Gladiator", "Braveheart", and "Good Will Hunting" to shame; the film's special effects team will be stretching CG visual effects to their limits.
- JEWS - Steven Spielberg directs this action thriller about a man-eating rabbi that is terrorizing innocent bathers on a New York resort island. The all-star cast includes Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and the late Robert Shaw. Scheider's character is a Unitarian minister that is initially terrified of Judiasm, but as the film progresses he manages to put his fears aside and prepare himself for a climactic final showdown to end the terror once and for all. Produced by Richard Zanuck and David Brown, this film promises to be one of the biggest money-makers of 2002.
- COMMUNISTIC TENDENCIES - Harrison Ford once again assumes the role of Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy's cloak-and-dagger action hero. The film, directed by Phillip Noyce, is said to center around a suspenseful plot involving a possible defection by the Secretary of Defense to the Democratic party. As is typical, Ford's character gets too close to the truth and finds himself under a hailstorm of bullets from Democrat thugs; his wife and daughter are kidnapped by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and the film builds to an explosive conclusion.
- POULTRYGEIST - Directed by Tobe Hooper (of "Aliens" fame), this sci-fi horror film promises to deliver loads of scares. The plot revolves around chicken farmer Freve Steeling and the turmoil that his family goes through when a malevolent demon kidnaps his youngest daughter and pulls her over to the "other side." Though it appears that the situation is hopeless, things get resolved when munchkin-like Zelda Rubenstein shows up, sacrifices a gross of chickens, and captures the evil poultry demon in a Holy Omelette, which results in little Carol Anne Steeling being delivered back to the Earthbound plane.
- THE STANG - "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" co-stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman pair up once again in a film directed by George Roy Hill. Redford and Newman play a couple of low-grade con men who are out to cheat a reclusive billionaire out of his candy-apple red 1964-1/2 Ford Mustang convertible. "The Stang" promises to deliver all of the exciting poker-playing antics of "Rounders" combined with all of the exciting car chase scenes of "Citizen Kane."
- EI8HT - David Fincher directs Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in the gut-wrenching sequel to the crime thriller "Se7en." When a woman named Jan is found murdered, Freeman's character (Detective Somerset) is suspicious. But when another woman named Marsha is discovered dead, Somerset is convinced: there is a madman out to kill people who share the names of the eight members of the Brady Bunch. It's up to Pitt and Freeman to track the psychopath down and stop him before he finishes his gruesome masterpiece.
- APOCALYPSE TOMORROW - While we're on the subject of sequels, we would be remiss not to mention Francis Ford Copolla's highly-anticipated followup to his 1979 masterpiece "Apocalypse Now." The original film starred Martin Sheen as Captain Willard, who was on a mission to kill a murderous and mutinous Colonel Kurtz (played by Marlon Brando) in Vietnam. The sequel takes place during the Gulf War, and Sheen and Brando reprise their original roles. Kurtz, who is inexplicably still alive, now wears a hockey mask and wields a machette; he slices and dices his way through countless nubile and sex-starved Iraqi teens before Willard is finally able to hit him with a sledgehammer, run over him with an ammo truck, electrocute him in a bathtub with a curling iron, and shoot him 29 times. Fans of the series will be delighted to learn that production for "Apocalypse Next Year" will commence in June 2002 in Afghanistan.
- THE WHITE STUFF - Philip Kaufman's epic three-and-a-half hour-long tour de force follows the career of seven white supremacists who start off as obscure, small-time activists and end up winning the hearts and minds of Americans as the Original Seven founding members of the Ku Klux Klan. Hailed by film critic Jeff Craig as "this generation's 'Birth of a Nation'", the film is already expected to be a huge contender at the 2003 Academy Awards. The film stars Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward, Sam Shepard, Lance Henriksen, and many other recognizable Caucasian actors.
- PATTOON - There's no question that war movies are among the most compelling pieces of entertainment that Hollywood has ever produced; Franklin Schaffner's "Patton" and Oliver Stone's "Platoon" are two shining examples of combat masterpieces. However, there's also no question that Americans are becoming increasingly busy, and most simply do not have the time to sit down and watch two movies that are each three hours long. For this reason, director Alan Smithee has undertaken an ambitious project; starting with the original screenplays and storyboards for both of the movies, Smithee plans to take the two films and create a final product that combines the strengths of both with none of their weaknesses. George C. Scott plays a controversial and multi-dimensional general who commands the Second Armored Division on a bizarre odyssey from the deserts of Northern Africa to the jungles of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Ultimately, Scott's character flaws prove to be his undoing; he curses at a soldier with a self-inflicted wound and ends up being killed by his own men. This will be an excellent opportunity to allow busy Americans to enjoy both of these classic films without being forced to sit still for six (!) total hours.
I think that you'll agree that there is a lot to look forward to in cinema for 2002. 2001 was on the whole a rather drab year, "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" notwithstanding. This year promises to be much spicier, and that is a Good Thing (TM). Adequacy.org
will, as always, keep you informed as to the latest releases and review
them as appropriate. Happy moviegoing!