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Movies: Anticipation Anxiety

Being the movie geek that I am I often find myself torn between being excited about the news that a particular movie is being made and being disappointed by the notion that said movie is being made, but made by people whose track record leads me to suspect that the end result may not live up to my hopes for the project. To illustrate what I mean, lets take a look at an upcoming film loosely based on another of Philip K Dick’s stories.

The original story, titled The Golden Man, is set in a not too distant future, where a new breed of mutants are being hunted and killed by humans. The humans of this time consider the mutants, some of whom display powerful abilities, to be a threat to mankind. The primary protagonist of The Golden Man is a character called Cris. He is a mutant with gold colored skin and the ability to see a short time into the future. Cris uses his abilities to escape when he is captured by the government and sentenced to be executed.

Sounds cool, right! Well, too bad that it’s nothing like the movie that is currently in post-production. The film, titled ‘NEXT’ is about a man who has the ability to see two minutes into the future. Said man becomes involved with the FBI and their attempts to thwart an impending terrorist attack.

So, we’re already off to a bad start.. but the ground gets even shakier from here:

  • The director for Next is Lee Tamahori. Lee may very well still be on the hit list of any self respecting movie fan for being responsible for xXx: State of the Union.
  • Lead Screenwriter Gary Goldman’s bio holds him accountable for Navy Seals and Big Trouble in Little China.
  • Credited screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh openly admits to having written for Die Hard: With a Vengeance, Armageddon, and the 2004 stinker The Punisher.
  • An additional writing credit is given to Jared Chandler, who has NEVER written anything that you or I have ever read or seen before.
  • The character of Cris, in Next, is being played by Nicolas Cage who, while being a fine actor, hasn’t always shown the greatest of skill when it comes to choosing what movies to be involved with… And, as previously established here on EOL, is a dork.
  • While the source material is great, some previous Philip K Dick adaptations have been abysmal. These include Total Recall and Paycheck.

If I wanted to keep picking away I could probably point out a handful of additional reasons that have me concerned for the quality of this film. The thing is though, that while there may be many reasons to be concerned about a film there are always other ingredients that hold promise:

  • Screenwriter Paul Bernbaum is credited for having written an episode of The A-Team… Don’t even pretend that you don’t think that is awesome.
  • Next’s cast includes Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel and Peter Falk.
  • Jessica Biel is ridiculously hot!
  • Peter FRIGGIN Falk is in it.. Don’t make me tell you again!
  • Ok, I give Cage a lot of crap, but the guy really can act and we don’t know yet if this is going to be a role that shows off his ability to act, or his ability to be a huge dork. So it’s not fair to write him off just yet.
  • Again, while Lee Tamahori was a party to that xXx shyte, he did also direct Once Were Warriors. So, again, it’s probably not fair to write him off just yet.
  • And finally, Jessica Biel is ridiculously hot!

While I probably come off as a ‘glass is half empty’ guy most of the time, the fact is that I love the story telling medium that is film and television and even when I anticipate that something, like Next, is going to fall short of my expectations those expectations usually dissipate the moment that I sit down to watch the final product… It’s just the lead up to that moment that I find torturous.

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