The insiders’ picks Spring flicks
We asked three notable Honolulu film insiders — a filmmaker, a film producer and a film curator — to tell us the spring flicks they can't wait to see. Here's what they said:
Brett Wagner, local award-winning filmmaker ("Chief")
1. "THE RUNAWAYS"
(R, opening TBA)
"It's so hard to make a great movie about rock 'n' roll, but I'm hoping this might be one of them. Can Kristen Stewart play Joan Jett as well as Joan Jett played Patti Rasnick in 'Light of Day'? All I know is I can't stop watching JJ's videos on YouTube."
(not yet rated, opens May 28)
"Worst. Title. Ever. But it's the new film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet ('Delicatessen,' 'Amélie'), and it's about weapons dealers. So I'm pretty sure it will be full of the wacky, the bizarre, the disturbing and the French."
3. "THE JONESES"
(R, opens April 16)
"The perfect American family is really a group of actors stealth-marketing lifestyle products to unwitting neighbors. I love this idea, and I'm curious to see if the movie pursues it to a satisfyingly cynical conclusion, or if it gets all mushy and redemptive on us."
4. "GET HIM TO THE GREEK"
(R, opens June 4)
"Judd Apatow has upped everybody's game, and suddenly even dumb comedies seem obliged to be funny. The awesome Jonah Hill (a pudgier, shorter Seth Rogen) gets a solo starring role. I laughed at least five times during the trailer, despite the presence of Sean Combs."
5. "PRINCESS KA'IULANI"
"I've already seen it — twice. So what remains to be seen is how it will play in the wider world. I'm excited that a story about Hawaiian culture is hitting the big screen, and I'll be rooting for its success."
Chris Lee, producer ("Valkyrie," "Superman Returns") and founder of the University of Hawai'i Academy for Creative Media:
"I'm not sure how they're going to extend these frenetic 60-second sketches from 'Saturday Night Live,' but Will Forte and Kristin Wiig are my favorites on the current SNL season, it's got my favorite from previous seasons, Maya Rudolph, and it's got Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer to boot."
(not yet rated, June 4)
"This was one of the few films that was picked up from this year's Sundance Film Festival and part of the new wave of innovative, low-budget horror from Canada. With Adrien Brody and the always brilliant Sarah Polley, 'Splice' is directed by Vincenzo Natali, who was born in Detroit, but may be Canada's most interesting genre filmmaker since David Cronenberg."
3. "IRON MAN 2"
"Hats off to Marvel, which took a risk self-financing this obscure character, and for the unconventional/genius casting of Robert Downey Jr. This sequel looks to continue the fun and action with a worthy villain in Mickey Rourke."
"Huge buzz out of SXSW for this Matthew Vaughn-directed adaptation of Mark Millar's graphic novel. For some reason I have a feeling this will be what the movie "Watchmen" was supposed to be — actually fun — and Nicolas Cage will rise yet again."
5. "ROBIN HOOD"
"Call me old-school (because I am), and I'm sure with Ridley Scott directing Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt and Max von Sydow this will be — but in a good way. Besides, 'Blade Runner' is still my all-time favorite film."
Anderson Le, film programmer, Hawaii International Film Festival:
1. "THE RUNAWAYS"
"Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in this rockin' biopic of the famed female rock group of the '70s. It's a lot of fun and will make you forget this whole 'Twilight' nonsense."
2. "THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO"
(R, screening at HIFF's Spring Showcase)
"Based on the best-selling novel, this conspiracy thriller set in Sweden is also fronted by an anti-establishment, empowered female hacker."
"A look at one year in the lives of four babies from around the globe (San Francisco, Tokyo, Mongolia, Namibia), the 'awww' factor will be punched up for sure. The film shows that we're one and the same in this global village called Earth."
(PG-13, opens June 11)
"Neil Jordan directs Colin Farrell, acting in his Irish native dialect. A magical realism tale of a fisherman who catches a woman in his net, thinking that she may be a mermaid. They fall in love. It's 'Splash' meets 'The Secret of Roan Inish.' "
5. "THE KARATE KID"
"Jaden Smith (Will and Jada are his parents) and Jackie Chan are the new Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi in this version set in Beijing. I'm curious to see how they'll explain why the title says "karate," but it's "wushu" or (kung fu) that Daniel is learning."