The new year is upon us, and there will be no new
Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.
What else is there to keep us occupied?

Let’s do these in order of release dates, as found on
this
IMDB page
.

January

January 23 sees the release of The
Butterfly Effect
. The trailers make it seem
interesting, but studios generally release the dregs
between New Years Day and Valentine’s Day, as so few
people go to movies in the meantime.

March

Genre entertainment hits a dry spell that lasts until
March 19, with the release of Dawn of
the Dead
. Kevin Smith’s Jersey
Girl
will be released on the same day, so I won’t
be seeing Dawn of the Dead the first day of
release.

March 26 is home of the release of Scooby
Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
as well as Shaolin
Soccer
. I know my mind is made up about what I’m
seeing that weekend.

April

On April 2, Ron Perlman plays Hellboy
in a movie written and directed by Guillermo
del Toro
, best known in this context for his work
on Blade
2
. This should be dramatically different from
the talking-animal-fantasy Home on
the Range
that opens the same day.

Fantasy fare resurfaces on April 9 with Ella
Enchanted
. It seems like a vessel for a “be
yourself, little girl!” inspirational movie aimed at
young adults.

April 16 brings us The
Punisher
. I thought the first image released
looked awful, the first trailer looked great, and the
latest trailer seemed mixed. I’ll probably check it
out, but won’t have high expectations. It’s got to
be better than Dolph Lundgren’s, at any rate.

On April 30, we have Godsend,
a movie that sound very much like sci-fi to me, in
which a couple try to clone their dead son.

May

May kicks off with a bang when Van
Helsing
hits on May 7. I expect the Bureau 42
authors will be fighting over the review of this one.

May 14 brings us Troy,
Wolfgang Peterson’s adaptation of a major part of
Greek myth, starring Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric
Bana, Sean Bean, and Diane Kruger.

May 21 brings us Shrek
2
. If it’s half as good as the first, it’s worth
owning.

On May 28, Roland Emmerich strikes out without Dean
Devlin for the first time in years, bringing us The Day
After Tomorrow
. Given his work before Dean
Devlin, I’d say we’re getting something much closer
to Stargate or Moon 44 than
Godzilla. This is a most decidedly good
thing. On the same day, Jennifer Garner stars in 13 Going
On 30
. It sounds like Big with a female
lead, but that might work.

June

The first guaranteed blockbuster is out on June 4.
Harry
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
will be the
first movie in the series directed by Alfonso
Cuaron
instead of Chris
Columbus
. It’ll be interesting to see if it
holds up against the first two.

On June 11, we see The
Chronicles of Riddick
hit screens. Fans of
Pitch Black, take notice. This will compete
with The
Stepford Wives
, about replacing women with
clones.

June 18 brings us Garfield:
The Movie
with Brecken Meyer, Jennifer Love
Hewitt, and Stephen Tobolowsky in on-screen roles,
and Bill Murray providing the voice of Garfield.

July

July 2 brings us Spider-Man
2
. What more needs to be said?

On July 9, King
Arthur
retells the classic myths and legends of
the round table.

On July 16, Will Smith plays the lead in I,
Robot
. Will people believe the man is a robot?

On July 30, Halle Berry hits the screen as Catwoman.
Although filmmakers paid DC Comics for the rights to
use their character, they’ve changed her from Selena
Kyle into Patience Prince. This isn’t going to be
the only change, but it gives you an idea of how much
of the comic character we can expect to see on
screen.

August

August 6 brings us Alien vs.
Predator
, a movie that was in development hell
for about a decade. Did they finally get it right?
I won’t know right away, as this is released the same
day as M. Night Shyamalan’s The
Village
, my top priority, Thunderbirds,
a remake of the old marionette show, and Code
46
, about genetic engineering gone awry. I
haven’t seen a weekend with four genre movies and
nothing else for a long, long time, so I wouldn’t be
surprised if some of these moved.

August 13 might be a bad date to move to, as it’s
home to Blade:
Trinity
. I haven’t seen the first two
Blade movies, but with a sequel including
Parker Posey and Jessica Biel, I just might feel
compelled to catch up in time to see this one.

On August 20, we see A Sound
of Thunder
, a time travel movie that may be more
deserving of the title The Butterfly Effect.

August 27 brings us Man-Thing,
the year’s third Marvel property (after The
Punisher
and Spider-Man 2.) Late
August releases are usually the films that studios
don’t have a lot of faith in. The last week of
August is generally reserved for a decent movie that
couldn’t hold its own against the big summer
releases, but is still good enough to get people in
before school starts up. As far as the horror genre
goes, this one will likely be the last to be released
before October. If the final edits look good enough,
the studio will probably move the release date,
either earlier into the summer (if it’s more action
than horror) or late, into October (as horror films
do their best business in the general vicinity of
Hallowe’en.)

No Firm Dates

We’ve exhausted the IMDB’s list of forthcoming
releases for the moment. Two Bureau 42 readers
(joe__gee and y42) have pointed us to Sky
Captain and the World of Tomorrow
, which has its
official site here.
Lurch_Kimded points us to The Mask
2
, starring Jamie Kennedy and Alan Cumming, with
its official site here.

This probably isn’t an exhaustive list. Did we miss
anything you’re interested in? Is there anything
above that you want us to make sure we review? This
is the time and place to let us know!