As promised, here is your annual Summer movie preview; the time of year where the movies are usually not award-winning or original, but damnit, if you turn your mind off for a second, they can be damn entertaining. Sure, the occasional critically-acclaimed movie can come out in Summer (Inception, 2010), but usually, these are just for the fun of it. As usual, I will break down the highlights of the Summer by date, and then at the end, tell you my top 5 anticipated movies. At the end, you can tell me your top 5 if you wish, too! Well, the four or five you who still read this blog. Why didn't I start off the preview with last weekend's Fast Five, arguably the first hit of the season? I just have a hard time calling an April movie the beginning of Summer movie season. Just my preference. Here we go...
Thor - Do I need to explain this movie. God of Thunder? Next Marvel movie after Iron Man 1 and 2 and Incredible Hulk before they combine them all next Summer in Avengers. Ring a bell? It should, because this movie is going to be all kinds of awesome. Marvel has been on fire since they took over the production rights of some of their characters and I don't expect anything less from this one.
Priest - Looks like an action-packed, post-apocalyptic movie with humans against vampires. Although I won't be seeing it in the movies, this is a definite watch for me upon video release unless I hear it is downright horrible. Based on a graphic novel, this might make some dough as it has a bit of a following, but might find the season pretty crammed.
Bridesmaids - Ok, so I personally think this looks horrible, but I am thinking this could POTENTIALLY be a sleeper hit. If it gets some buzz and good reviews, I could see women flocking to this movie about hijinks of a bunch of bridesmaids. Maybe it is trying to be the Hangover for women. So, it could go either way - MAJOR bomb or sleep hit. We will see.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Eh, so is it too soon to release another Pirates movie (and maybe the start of a new trilogy) so soon after the last trilogy kind of fizzled out there at the end. I just don't hear too many people getting excited about it and it has to be how the last one left a bad taste in our mouth. It will make money, just based on Depp's name alone, but this might not be the huge money-maker Disney wants. Then again, it could be once you combine international markets and stuff. At least the previews make it look like a return to the simple fun from the first one.
The Hangover: Part 2 - The shenanigans continue with the same cast from the first one. Previews make it look like the EXACT same movie, just set in a different location. I thought the first one was pretty amusing, but nowhere near as funny as people made me believe it would be. When I saw the trailer in the theater, I chuckled once while the rest of the theater roared with laughter. I don't know. But yeah, this will make bank.
Kung-Fu Panda 2 - Another sequel, another movie that will make a bunch of movie. The first one was very successful (I never saw it), and I don't expect anything different with this second one as I assume they won't stray too far from what made the first one so profitable. Pretty interesting release date, too, a raunchy R comedy on the same weekend as a kid movie means there is plenty for everyone. Probably a huge weekend in the box office.
The Tree of Life - This movie is only coming out in limited release, but I list it because it has had some Oscar buzz for some time. In fact, before it was delayed, people expected it could up for some Academy Awards LAST year. Not sure why it was delayed, but this Brad Pitt/Sean Penn movie is finally coming out. As for what it is about, Google the trailer and you tell me. Just looks....weird. But, as least this movie with a lots of pre-buzz is finally coming out.
X-Men: First Class - I was pretty hesitant about this movie, a prequel of sorts to all the X-Men movies; showing the early stages Professor X and Magneto. Just based on pictures and stuff, it looked downright horrible. But then the trailers started coming out and what do you know, I think it looks like it could be pretty damn good. Seems to have a serious tone to it and I will definitely go see it now, something I hadn't planned on doing a couple of months ago.
Super 8 - Produced by Spielberg and directed by JJ Abrams. That should pretty much sell the movie right there. If you aren't sold, watch the trailer. This looks really cool and gives me a feel of an 80s kid buddy movie like Goonies, but sci-fi-ish and involving aliens...I think. The trailers do a good job of not revealing TOO much about the movie and that makes it that much more exciting.
Green Lantern - Ryan Reynolds dons the costume of the DC Comics superhero. Looks like it could be decent and action-packed, but my boycott of almost everything DC will remain in effect. With Reynolds in the movie though, this should be pretty hilarious.
Mr. Popper's Penguins - Jim Carey takes on the role of a man who suddenly comes into possession of a bunch of penguins and is forced to live with them. Based on a children's book that I feel I read once, but have no recollection of, this could be successful or totally bomb. It is really hard to predict sometimes with kids movies. His kids movies usually make a decent amount so this could be a hit.
Cars 2 - I think that Cars is the worst of all the Pixar films (although beautiful on Blu-Ray), and it is certainly not one that needed a sequel. On the flip side, this movie made SO much money for Disney from a merchandising point of view that it is not surprising that a sequel was made. I know I will be skipping the theater for this one. But yeah, tons of money.
Bad Teacher - Comedy starring Cameron Diaz as a foul-mouther junior high teacher also starring Justin Timberlake and Jason Segal. A lot of people thought the trailer was pretty damn funny and if it ends up getting some buzz, it could do pretty well. Of course, it could also crash and burn, which is what I would probably put my money on, but you never know.
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon - Here we go with the third film in the series. The first one I LOVED. The second one really disappointed me with how dumb the humor was, but got better after repeat viewings. This third one: I am cautiously optimistic. Hell, even Bay and Shia said the second one was garbage and that this one will be much better so that alone has to give one hope, right? Tough to tell from the trailers though - it was just a bunch of cool effects of shit blowing up. PLEASE be good!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - It all ends here. This is more than just a tagline for a movie. This REALLY is it. After enjoying the great series both in book form and movie form, this is it. And what a finale this looks to be. Part 1, released in November, was phenomenal and I expect nothing less from this second part. This is both exciting and sad at the same time. It all ends here.
Winnie the Pooh - Wow, I didn't even know this was coming out. Yup, there is a new Winnie movie coming out this Summer. But the same day as Harry Potter? OUCH! Is Winnie the Pooh too dated now? DO young kids of today even like him? We shall see.
Captain America - The final Marvel superhero film before they combine the 4 heroes (Cap, Thor, Hulk, and Iron Man) as well the supporting cast in next Summer's Avengers. This looks great and although the last few weeks have been all about Thor, I expect the excitement for this one to build in the coming weeks. As long as they keep to the same pattern as the other gems they have had lately, this should be a winner.
The Smurfs - Did anyone ask for this live-action adaptation of the 80s kids cartoon. This looks HORRIBLE. But hey, it could make a good amount of money. Still, Smurfs lost in the city...total pass on this one.
Cowboys and Aliens - Sci-Fi Western. Yeah, you don't hear that too often. But that is what we have here, a movie about an alien invasion in the Old West. Looks like a fun movie and the cast looks great. Plus, Jon Favreau makes some pretty damn good movies too. Will it make a ton of money or totally bomb? That is still up for discussion but I AM leaning towards a mild hit.
The Change Up - Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, a single stud and a married man, respectively, switch bodies. Give me a break. Ryan, you're better than this...
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - A reboot of the Apes series showcasing how the apes came to be intelligent in labs and their subsequent breakout from captivity. Can a movie be that good though when one of the selling points the trailer tried to make was who did the special effects? Looks cool, but I will wait for video.
30 minutes or Less - Based on the cast and the relatively late place in the movie season, I think this could be a sleeper hit that could make a bunch of money. Starring Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg, this action-comedy about a bank hold-up could do very well.
The Help - And on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have this movie set in the 60s about a white college girl who interviews the black help in her household. Or something. This is based on a very popular book and I expect it will make a few late season dollars. Other than the name though, that is really all I know. I know people love it though.
Conan the Barbarian - Yup, they remade it. I am guessing not too many people knew that except for the folks like me who go to movie sites every day. I am guessing if you liked the original, you will be willing to give this one a try, no?
Spy Kids 4 - REALLY, Robert Rodriguez?!?! Sigh...
Fright Night - A remake of a cool 80s Vampire horror-comedy about a boy who lives next door to a vampire, except nobody believes him. This original is a cult classic and with Colin Farrel playing the vampire in this one, it could be fun. Hoping for something good, but still waiting for video.
Final Destination 5 - STOP ALREADY!!!!
With that, we reach September and the Summer season comes to an end. Whew...
So, anything look worthwhile? Here is MY top 5.
#5 X-Men: First Class - What was once a ho-hum movie for me has now become something I am excited for. Hope I am not disappointed.
#4 Transformers 3 - Would probably be #1 if part 2 hadn't disappointed me slightly. I am so nervous for this one.
#3 Thor - Just a couple more days for the God of Thunder, just another year until it all comes together in Avengers!
#2 Captain America. I love Captain America. I think he is a cool character. The movie looks like a ton of fun, almost Indiana Jones like with action and comedy. I hope it is not TOO over the top funny, but as long as they don't mess this up too bad, we will be all set for the combined forces of the Avengers next year!
#1 Harry Potter - Yup, this looks awesome and the fact that it is the end of everything Harry Potter makes this more anticipated than any others.
Whew, that took forever. No way I am going back and checking for spelling and grammar.