By Michael Lynderey
March 29, 2010
Speedy Gonzales - Yup, him too. In full-body CGI, presumably surrounded by the usual batch of clueless live-action humans. George Lopez, who sounds absolutely nothing like Speedy Gonzales, will voice Speedy Gonzales.
Yogi Bear - Release date's December 17, 2010. Tom Cavanagh is the dumbstruck live-action human, Dan Aykroyd the voice of Yogi himself, and Anna Faris and Justin Timberlake will support. I know I'm beginning to repeat myself here with the plot descriptions, but whose fault is that really? You can blame me, or you can blame the movies.
But big screen cartoons aren't all I got out of the latest batch of movie announcements. Some really good directors have been revving up their next films lately, including:
- Alexander Payne - Payne hasn't helmed a full-length film since the undisputed brilliance of Sideways in 2004 (and who can blame him? It's not like he, or anyone else, could top that one - no sarcasm intended, for once). Anyway, Payne's next, The Descendants, will team him with that other master of winter Oscar-bait, George Clooney, and mix in an interesting supporting cast, to boot - Matthew Lillard, Judy Greer, Beau Bridges, Mary Birdsong. Not the usual batch of awards contenders, and that is intriguing. Despite the horror movie title, the plot is prototypical Payne territory all the way - Clooney's a father tasked with reconnecting with his teenage kids, all while jockeying for his long-deserved Best Actor Academy Award, and checking the December release schedule for new Jeff Bridges movies. So, it's kind of a thriller, too.
- Martin Scorsese - Now basking in both box office and Academy Award success, Scorsese is branching out into previously unexplored territory with a project that, at least at first glance, looks to be a children's film. He's gearing up The Invention of Huge Cabret, about a boy's fantastical adventure in 1931 Paris, and it's got potential for some wild special effects. Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz will be the lead kids, and Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen will co-star as but two of the providers of quirky comic relief. Looks like no Leo this time around, though.
Tyler Perry - Perry may not be considered a great director, but he certainly is a greatly prolific one, and his next film - For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf - will headline his usual menagerie of actors, television stars, and musicians: Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Macy Gray, Kimberley Elise, Kerry Washington, Whoopi Goldberg and Phylicia Rashad. Whew! Not bad for a day's work. Release date's January 14, 2001, meaning that Perry's two-films-per-year streak will end in 2010. That's a great title, by the way, but I have to think it might have to undergo a bit of trimming. There's only so much you can fit on a marquee, especially if you plan to add "Tyler Perry's" right in front of it.