With 2010 now completely out of view we’ve decided to look forward to some movies we think are worth getting a tad excited about. We’ve cherry picked ten non-blockbuster, lesser known movies that the crew here at HMS Friday are dancing the Hempen Jig for. Last year we were surprised and seduced by the likes of major mainstream releases including Inception, Kick-Ass, Scott Pilgrim and How To Train Your Dragon, but there were also some interesting low budget, indie and less well known films which popped up and pleasantly surprised us all. So here are ten smaller titles due for release in the UK over 2011 which we think merit your attention, in no discernible order.
Produced by David Fincher, (Seven, The Game, Zodiac), this animated CGI movie deals with Eric Powell’s graphic novel character The Goon. Accompanied by long time partner in crime Franky, the two misfit characters find themselves in all sorts of bother with supernatural beings, zombies, ghouls, hobos and giant monsters. Expect this film to have a far greater adult feel and theme to it than your average animated feature. The excellent Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown do the voicing honours.
Leaving tits, ass and penis jokes behind him, (for a while anyway), film director Kevin Smith, (Clerks, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back), looks to have turned in a far more serious anddarker movie judging by the trailer for Red State. Starring a slew of great character actors including John Goodman and Stephen Root the main lead is fleshed out by the always mesmerising Michael Parks as a religious extremist who, along with his devout congregation, kidnaps and tortures a group of young misfits. Think The Texas Chainsaw Massacre spliced with the Westboro Baptist Church.
Set in the mid 80s Skateland tells the story of a group of friends coming to terms with the closure of their beloved roller rink. Recognising that the winter of their youth is rapidly creeping in some decide to move on, while others realise they can’t. The film stars Ashley Greene, who can also be seen in some low budget vampire movie franchise which we’ve obviously never heard of.
This could be the sleeper hit of 2011. All the ingredients are there, Ed Helms from The Hangover, John C. Reilly from Step Brothers and Isiah Whitlock Jr from The Wire. The plot centres around Helms as his character, a naive insurance agent who hasn’t ever taken a risk in his life, travels to Cedar Rapids for a convention and in doing so crosses paths with John C. Reilly’s character who has never made a sensible decision in his life…hilarity ensues.
The Tree Of Life
This looks like an Oscar contender straight out of the starting blocks. Written and directed by the ever elusive Terrence Malick, (The Thin Red Line, Days Of Heaven, Badlands), it stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain. Actual details about this film are minimal but Malick has confirmed that the film will have a strong theme about the miracle of life and how we are all trying to find ourselves within the grand scheme of things. So that’s cleared that up then.
We’re huge fans of the original 13 Tzameti, but this remake looks like they’ve managed to retain the mystery and dark tone of it’s predecessor. Without giving too much away it’s about a young man who through a series of incidents assumes the identity of a dead man and finds himself thrown into an underground world of illegal betting and extreme violence. The remake has an outstanding cast featuring Ray Winstone, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Michael Shannon and Sam Riley.
Another film with very little plot information although it’s safe to assume that the story will centre around the relationship between a boy and his pet robot, who plays the old switcheroo by starting off loyal and placid but ending up completely fried and a bit stabby. You just can’t beat cute looking psychotic robots. It stars Max Records who was last seen in Where The Wild Things Are.
Before you watch the trailer below for this film be warned it does give a large chunk of it’s plot away. That being said the plot is pretty simple, Adrien Brody regains consciousness after a severe car crash in the middle of a dense forest which has left him severely injured and erased his memory. As he struggles to make it back to civilisation he attempts to piece together who he is.
Released at the end of last year in Norway we are still waiting to find out if The Trollhunter will receive a release date here in the UK. Shot in a guerrilla mockumentary style, just like the Blair Witch Project, it charts the progress of a group of Norwegian students investigating a series of mysterious bear killings. Teaming up with a wily old hunter the group begin to realise that things out in the Norwegian countryside is not as it seems.
Another film released stateside at the end of last year but which will hit cinemas in the UK on February 18th. This comprehensive documentary charts the global financial crisis of 2008 which created havoc across the world. Narrated by Matt Damon the film pulls back the velvet curtain to reveal the truth behind the crisis by interviewing financial insiders, politician and journalists.