First up and coinciding with the release of the last novel a few weeks later, we have v5 of Harry Potter - Order of the Phoenix. Definitely the darkest of the series and by far the longest. It looks like David Yates is taking the director helm this time around, who I unfortunately know none of his previous work. I think he had a huge challenge with this one (more so than other the previous directors) because of the information not conveyed in Goblet of Fire and how much ground he has to cover with this one. I must say that Harry’s character in this one is by far the most interesting. The pent up rage and anger… Rowling did a great job capturing adolescent angst.
The first movie, Nightwatch was surprisingly a very good movie (including being incredibly Russian). Basically a fantasy fight between good and evil set in modern Russia. It was really good! And a movie where Ann could watch and listen to the Russian dialog and I could read the subtitles. The sequel, Daywatch, has been out in Russia for quite sometime but is now making its way to the US markets, and it looks like its taken the look and feel to a whole new level, building upon the success of the first. I highly recommend renting or adding to your Netflix queue the Nightwatch DVD (don’t watch it with the English overdubs – they are more distracting than good), so you’re ready when Daywatch hits the streets.
For something more light hearted, Martian Child looks like a very touching movie. Staring the Cusack pair (John and Joan), it may not have the punch lines John’s previous movies had (Grosse Point Blank, High Fidelity, etc) he usually does quality films and always does well in them. Probably a rental later on.
Finally, we have the most unknown quantity, the sci-fi thriller – Sunshine. It looks like they did a very smart thing and didn’t go for a big name actor but instead focused on a few high quality actors who are a little less renowned. I think its at least a good starting place. The plot seems a little over the top, but the CGI looks top notch. Hopefully there is a good back story underneath and some quality dialog (a little character development wouldn’t hurt either), rather than a strict action thriller. I think I’ll maintain low expectations and try to be pleasantly surprised.