–The Producers (Dec. 16) Having been translated from a movie into a stage musical and back into a movie, The Producers has, from the looks of the trailer, the appearance of leftovers microwaved once too often. The scenes look like the same exact shots from the 1968 movie, only without the manic energy that Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder brought to the lead roles. Where’s the visual inventiveness that Susan Stroman, director of the new film, brought to her Tony-winning stage production? Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, too, seem to have been replaced by lookalike understudies. Uma Thurman shakes some serious booty as Swedish import Ulla, but I’m not convinced yet that she can sing. Please, please let this be better than the trailer makes it look.
–The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Dec. 9) This looks like pretty much everything you could ask for from a live-action adaptation of the C.S. Lewis kid-lit classic. It’s a little unsettling to hear the voice of Liam Neeson emanating from a lion’s mouth (or that of Ray ”Sexy Beast” Winstone coming from a beaver, above), but the effects look up to WETA’s standards, especially the battle sequences, which look very Lord of the Rings. Count me in.
–Memoirs of a Geisha (Dec. 9) The new high-definition trailer for this film is impossibly gorgeous, with a painterly quality to it. Whether or not the story, which looks like glossy melodrama, is any good, the film will be lovely to look at, not least because of Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh, and Gong Li. Can’t wait.
addCredit(“The Chronicles of Narnia: Disney”)