Summer is winding down, with only a smattering of buzz releases remaining before the end of the 'sunny' season.
In order to get our jollies, we're looking slightly further ahead to find the kind of films that will give us our thrills.
Join us then for a look at the coolest films being made right now, and then curse us for getting you all worked up...
1. Sherlock Holmes
So far we’ve seen burly brawls, Pirates’esque humour and enough London backdrops to keep the UK tourism industry happy for decades.
But Sherlock Holmes is, and has always been, about Holmes & Watson. Whilst the trailer is filled with Holmes moments, Watson has largely remained in the background. That, according to Law and Downey Jr, won’t be the case in the movie.
“The purists will say that the way Watson has been depicted previously is not accurate,” Downey Jr told us. “Watson is a doctor, an army surgeon in fact; he’s a veteran – he is something of a bad-ass himself but in a more reserved way.
“Our Watson isn’t like what you saw in previous incarnations, sticking his foot in wastepaper baskets and looking befuddled.”
Jude Law jumps in, the camaraderie between the men evident: “The number of people who take that as the reading of Watson!
“And when you read the book you realise this guy’s right next to him, and he’s straight out of the army and he’s born in India and Afghanistan and the idea that he’s ever [puts on shaky old voice] “I can’t keep up with you.” It’s a joke really! These guys are on the front line together.”
Next: Cemetary Junction[page-break]
2. Cemetery Junction
Look up “cool” in the dictionary, skip past “moderately cold”, “lacking in enthusiasm, cordiality”, “(of jazz) economical and rhythmically relaxed” and other such meanings, onto definition number 13 (in our dictionary, anyway…).
It’s “unruffled elegance or sophistication” and it explains why Cemetery Junction – Ricky Gervais’ first film with co-writer Stephen Merchant – has found its way onto this list.
Why “sophisticated”? It’s about trying to better oneself, whatever that means. Over to Gervais to explain and tell all about our exclusive still:
“Growing up in a working class estate in Reading in the ’70s, if you left school at 16 you either got a job on a building site or in a factory, with your dad, or you went to work in a huge modern building on the edge of town called Prudential Headquarters.
“This was one way of moving from blue to white collar and of bringing home your wage packet with clean hands. This is how our hero Freddie thinks he can better himself. He doesn’t want to end up like his dad. Played by me.”
Next: Fantastic Mr. Fox[page-break]
3. Fantastic Mr. Fox
On a mild day in Connecticut, George Clooney and Bill Murray are running around a farm pretending to be a fox and a badger...
“Wes wanted to shake up the animation process and bring some of his live-action experience to it,” producer Scott Rudin told us recently.
“He thought that rather than record all the voices in sound booths, it would be more creative and fun to record in real locations with real ambience. So we headed to this farm and we all mucked in for a few days.
"You’d see George and Bill loading the dishwasher after dinner, that kind of thing. It was a little rough and ready and I think that particularly appealed to George.”
Anderson might not always be on set, but he is in daily contact with the team and offers suggestions constantly.
Including, it would appear, on tailoring. Many of the clothes worn by Mr Fox have come from Anderson’s own tailor. “We had to have the material flown in,” says a member of the model department. “It was weird dressing Mr Fox in an outfit that we’ve actually seen Wes wear...”
Tim Burton plus Timur Bekmambetov equals cool. It’s that simple.
The Corpse Bride fantasist and the Wanted maestro are producing this post-apocalyptic CG ’toon fantasy, which looks anything but Pixaresque.
And that, for once, is a compliment. “Violence and scary images” have earned it a PG-13 in the US and the dark steam-punk visuals should make your senses fizz.
Make that “stitch-punk”. Directed by former WETA animator Shane Acker, expanding on his Oscar-nommed short film, 9 is set in a war-scorched parallel world in which man-made war machines have rebelled against their makers and all the humans are gone.
Now a group of extra-special living rag-dolls, each with unique skills, must confront the machines and fight for survival and the future...
Next: Iron Man 2[page-break]
5. Iron Man 2
Favs and Downey Jr arrived at Comic-Con last week with a seriously tasty trailer that left the 6000 strong Hall H in desperate need of a change of shorts.
Eclipsing the reaction New Moon recieved on the Friday (geddit?), thousands of fanboys showed tweens everywhere exactly what screaming like schoolgirls is all about, conjuring a pitch and volume of deafening proportions after the high-octane footage screened.
The film, set for release in May of next year, picks up six months after the first installment, and finds Downey Jr's Tony stark struggling to cope with the public knowledge of his Iron Man persona, and turning to drink.
Stark also faces opposition from the Government, in the form of Garry Shandling's Senator who brings the billionaire before the supreme court and demands he hand over his hi-tech armour.
The main villain is Mickey Rourke's Russian Ivan Vanko, who becomes Whiplash, a character who incorporates elements of several Iron Man comic-book villains, including the Crimson Dynamo. He weilds twin electro-whips, which were one of the highlights of the Comic-Con footage.
The biggest and loudest gasps screams and applause were saved for Don Cheadle's James Rhodes (he repleaces Terrence Howard), who with the help of military contracter/industrialist Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) becomes War Machine, Iron Man's brother-in-arms who is literally armed to the teeth - the footage showed him flying with many body mounted guns blazing in all directions.
Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow both reprise their roles, and Scarlett Johnasson will play Tony Stark's new assistant, who is actually a spy codenamed Black Widow.
Suffice to say, you should be excited. Keep your eyes on the site, we'll post the trailer as soon as it hits the net.
Next: Tron Legacy[page-break]
6. Tron Legacy
It’s been a year since the surprise teaser trailer was shown at Comic-Con 2008 and Tron 2 (or Legacy, as it’s now called) is finally in production.
If the man who made that teaser – former advert director Joseph Kosinski – has judged it right, it’ll blast the virtual reality tale into the 21st Century.
Picking up the story more than 20 years after the original, we find Bridges’ Kevin Flynn vanished into his compuworld, leaving a twentysomething son (Garrett Hedlund) behind, bitter and refusing to be part of his father’s legacy.
But when he learns what may have happened to his supposedly deadbeat dad, he ventures into the Tron universe and discovers that things have gone wrong, despite Flynn’s best efforts.
This year at Comic-Con, attendees got to see a rough cut of one early scene, where Sam Flynn (Hedlund) ventures to his dad's old arcade on the advice of Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner).
Kosinski also revealed that the new movie won't be set on the internet, but instead in a version of the Tron universe that has slowly been evolving on a server maintained by Kevin Flynn.
Lips are locked in regard to the plot of this high-concept sci-fi thriller from Christopher Nolan, who has only been described thus far as a 'contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind'. Not sure what that means, but if it's from the pen of Nolan, we're interested.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Marion Cottilard, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Tom Berenger and Michael Caine, this certainly has a cast to be excited about, and for fans of serious sci-fi, the whole project looks mouthwatering.
Filming is scheduled to take place in Tokyo, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Tangiers and Calgary, so the pieces are certainly falling into place, but expect anything other than straightforward with this one.
More news as it develops, but after The Dark Knight, Nolan could film a stick men animation and we'd be in the front row, so we certainly have high hopes for this.
Next: Alice In Wonderland[page-break]
8. Alice In Wonderland
Tim Burton sets his vivid imagination loose in Lewis Carrol's Wonderland - and the results are dropping jaws everywhere.
Pitched as a sequel to the beloved children's tale, the film finds a 19-year old Alice (newcomer Mia Wasikowska) running from a party after refusing a proposal of marriage. She sees the White rabbit and follows him down the hole, and finds herself in a much darker world than that she visited as a child.
The internets were set alight first by a serious of concept art stills showing the various characters - including a certain Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter - appeared last month, and now by the teaser trailer that hit the web in time for Comic-Con.
Burton has lined up quite the stellar cast for his pet project - Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Matt Lucas, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee, Barbara Windsor, Timothy Spall, Crispin Glover and the aforementioned Depp all appear as residents of Wonderland.
It's no wonder the buzz surrounding this is ferocious. One of the most imaginitive and original directors of our time, one of the most well loved stories of all-time and some fellow called Depp, expect this to be nothing short of bloody brilliant.
Next: Scott Pilgrim[page-break]
9. Scott Pilgrimvs. The World
Edgar Wright landed on the international stage with a personal little film he made with a couple of mates. Now he's captain of a big-budget Hollywood pic - but don't worry, he isn't going to be the latest John Woo-style casualty of the studio system.
The pic is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, based on the series of graphic novels by Canadian-writer Bryan Lee O'Malley, and we couldn't think of a better fit for Wright's witty, film-referencing style.
Starring Michael Cera, who Wright spotted off the back of Arrested Development and ear-marked him for the role as early as 2007, the film follows titular slacker/sometime bass played Scott Pilgrim, who falls in love with an Amazon.ca delivery girl Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) but must first defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends.
Expect Shaun of the Dead-style humour and references matched up with some Hot Fuzz-esque action movie-parodying visuals and a large helping of Michael Cera goodness, and have confidence that this should be every bit the sum of it's parts.
Next: Valhalla Rising[page-break]
10. Valhalla Rising
From the director of the Pusher trilogy Nicolas Winding Refn, this tale of Vikings and awesome has the totalfilm.com office in several kinds of hysterics.
Following the fortunes of One-Eye (Mads Mikkelsen), a mute Viking warrior of supernatural strength, the film is by all acounts a bloody gorefest with elements of the supernatural, and the super awesome - look at those tats!
Held captive for years by brutal warlord Barde, One-Eye escapes with the help of young boy Are, and find themselves aboard a Christian Viking ship sailing for a crusade on Jerusalem. When a mysterious fog descends around the ship, they crew sail for months before landing at an unknown island - where One-Eye and Are must fight to survive against mystical forces.
Covering all the B's - bloody, brutal, beautiful and brilliant, Valhalla Rising has all the meaty Viking chops to succeed Gladiator as the historical epic for the next decade.
Right we're off to get Viking tattoos. Which of these has you weak at the knees? Any films that should be on this list - let us know!
For more cool movies, check out the latest issue of Total Film Magazine, on-sale Thursday 30 July. For a sneak preview, click here.
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