The Ones To Watch
Toy Story 3: I'll admit, I'm a little apprehensive about this one. How could Pixar possibly capture the magic of Woody, Buzz, and crew a third time. But, then I slap myself in the face and remember that I thought the same thing when Toy Story 2 was released, and we all know how well that one turned out. Pixar has ruled the animation scene for the last three summers, with Ratatouille, then WALL-E, culminating their streak with Up last year. Can they do it again? I really hope so. I will be very sad if Toy Story 3 doesn't at least live up the legacy of it's older brothers, but, thankfully it looks like it will.
Inception: Did you read my last post on this film? That pretty much sums up what I'm feeling. Forget that it's an original idea from the guy who gave us the best superhero movie ever made. Forget that it has a cast to die for, including some of the best character actors working today. Forget that it boasts visuals that absolutely must seen on the IMAX screen. I'm sold on the premise alone. I still don't quite get it, but that's what I love about it. That, and it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I'm there! This is the movie to watch this summer! Like I said to Hatter a week ago, if this movie is anything less then brilliant, I just might go punt a puppy off a bridge!
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Michael Cera falls in love with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, except, before he can do the dirty deed, he needs to defeat her seven evil ex boy/girlfriends in an all out battle to the death. Weapon's of choice? Laser swords and bass guitars. I'm so down! Cera looks like he'll be putting a fresh spin on his usual hipster thing, and the action looks to be pretty over the top and awesome! Oh, and Edgar Wright is directing. More please!
See it! That's an order!
Umm... That's all I can think of for this category. Sight unseen, this summer does look a lot weaker then previous ones. Hopefully, a lot of the next ones prove me wrong.
The Ones to Watch (With Reservations)
The A-Team: Ok, it stars Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, and Sharlto Copley. That's good! It has wonderfully over the top action. Also good. It looks to retain the campiness of the original show, while injecting a good deal of snarky humor. That's really good. Why should your expectations be low going in? Well, Joe Carnahan, who gave us the much-to-be-desired Smokin' Aces a couple of years back is taking helm on this one. Uhhh, ok. And, they got an UFC fighter instead of a legitimate actor to play BA, and we all know that never ends well.
Knight and Day: Ok, look, I like Tom Cruise. He can be really good in some stuff, when the material allows it. Thankfully, the material this time seems to be up to snuff. Cruise is playing a funny, sillier take on his Ethan Hunt character, and it looks really cool. Also, James Mangold, the director behind such awesomeness as Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma is behind the camera, which gives me a lot of hope. The one caveat here is Cameron Diaz. Ok, she may be good, but, she is clearly the weak link in this triad. If anyone brings it down, it's her.
Prince of Persia: Movie Going Rule of Thumb #75: Stay far the hell away from movies based on video games. There has not been one good film adaptation of that beautiful hobby. In fact, some of the worst movies ever made are video game adaptations. That being said, Prince of Persia looks like it will be the one to break the cycle. It's being made by the same team who gave us Pirates of the Caribbean; it stars Jake Gyllenhaal, and it seems to stay more or less true to its source material. That's all well and good, and this movie very well might turn out to be awesome! However, the legacy it is inheriting would suggest otherwise. Be wary!
The Last Airbender: I've never seen the show, nor do I intend to. The trailers are making this out to be a kick-ass, CGI fueled, action extravaganza. Ok, I'm down. We can never get enough of that! However, M. Night Shyamalan is directing. Mr. Shyamalan has not made an even close to decent movie since Signs, way back in 2002. In my opinion, he has passed his prime. Now, Airbender is a far cry from any other film that he has made, but, that may not necessarily be a good thing.
Get Him To The Greek: Ok, a few early reviews say this is one funny piece of film. However, it's in the genre that is getting increasingly tired. Look, only Judd Apatow is the master of the genre he created. To it's credit, Get Him to the Greek does star Russell Brand, in a revival of his hysterical character from Forgetting Sarah Marsahll, and P. Diddy in a pretty funny looking role as the head of a record company. It'll probably be the best comedy of the summer, but, then again, there's not many comedies coming this season.
The Expendables: The Good: Every single action star, (literally, ever single one you can think of) hams it up in this explosion filled romp through Latin America! The Bad: Sly Stallone is directing, and his last foray into over the top action was pretty much shit! Will it be good? Of course not! Will it be fun! God I hope so!
The Other Guys: The trailer makes this look pretty funny, but Will Ferrell just seems to be doing the same thing he's been doing for the last few years, playing a blissfully unaware idiot! Mark Whalberg looks like he may be able to pick up the slack, but, I'm not exactly counting on it.
The Twilght Saga: Eclipse: I can't believe I'm putting this in this category, but the inclusion of David Slade as director and a significant dose of extra action has convinced me to give Eclipse a chance to change my mind on the franchise. If nothing else, it will provide some semi-entertaining vampire/werewolf action.
It'll probably be good!
Ones To Skip
Killers: It's Knight and Day, only worse and unfunny!
Shrek: The Final Chapter: Shrek was out of gas halfway through number 2, and the third was simply abysmal! This new one doesn't seem to bring anything new to the table, and, as if that weren't enough, it cashes in on the 3D craze! God damn you Avatar!!!!!!
The Karate Kid: Well, actually, if you like big, Hollywood stars butchering a classic film, by all means, check this one out. If you are in the regular, sane group of people that I like to associate myself with, stay far away!
Grown Ups: Chris Rock and Adam Sandler are only sometimes funny these days, but Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider have not been funny in an extremely long time! Throw in a plot that sounds even more juvenile then what usually comes out of this crew, and some unfunny slapstick gags, and you have one of the sleeper hits of the season. NOT!
Step Up 3D: Really? Do I need to explain this to you?
Jonah Hex: This could have gone in the above category, but, on further reflection, the chances that this will actually be good are too low to risk it. And it stars Megan Fox. RUN AWAY!!!
Fear what it brings!
Ok. Hope that gives you some perspective on what's to come. Expect reviews on most of these films in the coming weeks. See you next time!