Every once in a while a brilliant idea pops into The Couch Potato’s mind. While I was hunkered down during the Tropical Drizzle (credit The Cowhead Show for that phrase), the number 4 popped into the mind of this former WVU six-year Communications Major. The number 4 didn’t represent the numbers of years my parents wished they had to pay for tuition, but a new section I have created for CW44.com called “The 4”.
“The 4” will be a new column on CW44.com that will focus on any four things that the writers of this website feel compelled to write about that day. We will write about trends, movies, CW programing, sports and so on. We may even ask the readers for advice. Movies and TV are my forte so I figured to start with upcoming Fall movie releases. So without further ado I give you “The 4: Fall Movie Preview”.
1. Cloud Atlas: Tens years ago both the Wachowski brothers (now brother and sister) and Tom Hanks were box office gold. Hanks had two Oscars under his belt and starred in a string of hits including Saving Private Ryan and The Green Mile. The Wachowskis had directed The Matrix series and were considered the new innovators of film making. Jump to the present day and the situation is the opposite for both parties. Tom Hanks hasn’t had a live action hit since Angels and Demons and has mostly dabbled in television producing with his close friend Steven Spielberg over the last few years. Things are even different for the Wachowskis. Laurence Wachowski is now Lana and the directing duo’s last attempt at directing was the colorful, seizure inducing, adaptation of Speed Racer which tanked at the box office. The Wachowski siblings and Hanks will now team up for the fall’s weirdest movie on my radar.
Cloud Atlas tells the story of how a certain action taken by a person or people can create a butterfly effect that can reach across generations. The Wachowskis have assembled a star-studded cast including Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant and Wachowski favorite Hugo Weaving to name a few. All four actors that I listed will also take on multiple roles in the film as the story takes place over centuries in the past, present, and future. Could this be the strange pairing and story telling that could help both the Wachowskis and Hanks get their mojo back at the box office? The Wachowskis have gotten the audience to buy into high concept science fiction once before with The Matrix. Tom Hanks still has audience credibility that should help some viewers who are on the fence. I think Cloud Atlas is a huge risk sporting a $100 million dollar plus price tag considering, in my opinion that the general public will not buy into this film. Never the less, Cloud Atlas will be one of the film releases to watch this Fall.
2. Wreck-It Ralph: Rio, Happy Feet 2, and Cars 2 are poor excuses for family films that torture us as parents when we are forced to watch these films over and over on our 60 inch flat screens. So there I was – sitting through another terrible kids movie (secretly wishing I was next door watching Ted) when something amazing happened. I saw the preview for Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and I actually became excited for a film my kids so desperately want to see.
Wreck-It Ralph tells the story of 8-bit villain named Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) from a 1980’s video game that has known his role for the last 30 years. His job is to be the bad guy to Fix-It Felix, the hero of the game. Ralph decides he has had enough playing the heel and decides to rebel against his programmers to be become the hero in other video games. Children of the 80’s who grew up with Aladdin’s Castle and the original Nintendo Entertainment system are going to eat up this 80’s nostalgia like Pac-Man tripping on power pellets. Speaking of Pac-Man, expect a ton a character cameos from our favorite video games to show up including Sonic, M. Bison and my own personal favorite Q-Bert. Hopefully this film will prevent me from lying through my teeth when my kids ask me if I liked the movie we just saw that they picked.
3. Taken 2: I’m sure some people may be asking, “Why are they making a sequel to Taken?” The answer is easy: We love to see the almost 60-year-old Liam Neeson unleash an Irish whipping on some European Criminals. The first Taken was a surprise hit in the middle of January almost five years ago. Taken grossed $145 million in the dead zone for film releases in late January and turned the Shakespearian actor into an action star who could take out any of the old fogies in The Expendables.
This time around the parents of the criminals who retired CIA agent Bryan Mills hunted down and disposed of in the original have come for their revenge. The Albanians kidnap Mills and his wife (Famke Janssen) with payback in mind. Big mistake. Didn’t you Albanians learn anything the first time around. Mr. Neeson will find you and he will kill you. I’m not sure how Taken 2 will fare the second time around but I know one thing for sure. I will be in line to see the old guy dispose of some criminal Euro-trash in Istanbul.
4. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2: I know what you’re thinking. How could the Twilight franchise end up on this list? I’ve trashed the Twilight series for its pitiful acting and poor film direction in many of my columns. But I’ll give you two reasons why this film ends up in “The 4”. The first reason is Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is going to be the biggest hit of the Fall. As much as I hate it, the Twilight franchise conclusion will dominate the box office this November. I wouldn’t being doing my job if I didn’t acknowledge the power of the Twi-Hard universe.
The second reason Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 ends up on my list is the media circus that will surround the last installment of the series. When Kristen Stewart was caught making out in the car with her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, it caused the Twi-Hard universe to implode. The line between fiction and reality was always blurred when it came to the films rabid fan base. Who can blame them since Pattinson and Stewart were together in real life. Now we will witness some of the most awkward interviews, red carpets and premieres during the media blitz that will go with the films release. I’m printing up my Team Pattinson and Team Sanders shirts as I write this. My prediction is the two stars will promote separately or Stewart will drop out of the promotion tour all together. Thank god this is the last Twilight film so I will never have to endure the Twi-Hards again.