Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summer Movies Part 1

Summer is just about here and the entertainment outlets are putting out there summer movies guides but the overall feeling is: yawn... sequels, remakes, and reboots. It's hard to compare this summer to last summer because this summer hasn't happened yet but for the most part, it's not shaping up to expectations... or is it? Despite what many say about, sequels, remakes, and reboots, Hollywood is getting pretty darn good at getting you into a theater seat to go see it. Last year's reboot of "Star Trek" was one of the best movies made both in it's grossing and critic's reviews despite lots of detractors saying it would be a bust. Also, Michael Bay's "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen" was successful enough to bring on yet another sequel even though it had very little critical success. So who knows? Well, here's my guess's for eleven of this summer's most anticipated movies.

Ironman 2 -- Hit -- This is obvious. Personally, I'm on the fence about this. I worked on a film set that had several people who worked on this behemoth and heard some pretty interesting gossip. Won't kiss and tell though, the name sells itself and plus people want to see Mickey Rourke in a big action film. The part I'm on the fence about it all the stuff director Jon Favreau is bringing in from the Marvel universe. "Wolverine" did this same thing, bringing in lots of auxillary superheroes who ended up hurting the film more than helping. Seems the ironman franchise is the new "Spiderman" as far as superhero films go and so it will be successful... for now at least.

Robin Hood -- Miss -- Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe have been a very profitable pairing in the past but from the way this Robin Hood remake is shaping up, it's not looking very good. Being released in the same month as "Ironman 2" isn't going to help it either. It's going to get hammered critically in how it isn't the story of Robin Hood at all--avoids the crusades entirely, turns Robin Hood away from the likeable ex-nobleman and into a thug. It's sounding more like how "First Knight" retold the story of King Arthur but without Sean Connery and Richard Gere. If you see it at all it's because you're expecting gladiator but what you're really getting is Ridley Scott's over extended line of credit with audiences.

Letters to Juliet--Hit-- This looks to be this summer's "Julie and Julia" in how it sounds like a mother-daughter film that is sure to have success that carries it on for a while. Set in Europe and following the story of a woman's search to return a long lost love letter it may sound cheesy but I assure you it's not written by Nicholas Sparks. My girlfriend will probably want to see it and of all the romantic comedies/dramas churning out, this is one I could probably sit through. Of course, I've been wrong before.

Get Him to the Greek -- Miss -- This bro-comedy looks to hang on the success of a Judd-Apatow-esque sex and drug comedy but despite how much it wants to be this year's "the Hangover" it won't.

Killers -- Miss -- I want Lionsgate to succeed really sincerely, they've started doing most of their production work out of Atlanta now and that's a market I wouldn't mind working in but I don't think "Killers" will be able to beat Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in "Knight and Day." The only similarity between the two is how a woman is accidentally brought into the work of a serial killer/assassin. Cruise trumps Kutcher and Diaz trumps Heigl: "Knight and Day" has been marketing way longer than "Killers" so when people see the "Killers" trailer they think, "Oh, that looks like that Tom Cruise movie with Cameron Diaz."

Knight and Day -- Hit -- Cruise's bad publicity days are winding down. Hollywood wants it's Tom Cruise back. He's learned to keep his head down and mouth shut about the scientology stuff and besides, the media has a short memory, especially when it comes to the antics of Maverick from "Top Gun." Like it or not, Tom Cruise is a force to deal with. The trailer for this movie is stellar and has audiences already wondering what it's all about--something "Killer's" doesn't. There's a mystery in the "Knight and Day" trailer that is more compelling, "How did Diaz live and what does Cruise want with her?" I thought I wouldn't say this, but I almost want to find out. Looks like an exciting date night movie.

The A Team -- Miss -- Why they are making a movie out of this old TV show is beyond me except to say that Family Guy's references to the A - Team and the family guy episode where Peter and the gang turn into "The A Team" are the only reason I can think for the movie's coming about. Plus Mr. T's random commercial appearances. It's going to flop, but no surprise.

Karate Kid -- Hit -- I know, I know, how could they? Right? Well, yeah, they could. As much as I loved the original Karate Kid, it's pretty damn dated back to the 80's. I can barely look at the kid in it and help myself from laughing at how ridiculously 80's he looks and acts. I know the 80's cheesiness is much of the charm of this movie but in reality, the reason we like it transcends the decades. I like that they made the kid African American and the master played by Jackie Chan (in a serious role) that is enough to make me go see it and I'm sure many others will too. Great movie for dad to take the kids to.

Predators -- Miss -- From what it sounds like the Predators franchise has wandered all over the place and that this film hopes to get back to the original awesomeness that was Arnold Swartzenager in the glory days, of course minus the Arnold. It seems like this film was made around the same idea that made "Terminator Salvation" and that it perhaps was meant to rival it and now that it's coming out a year later it won't seem so obvious. The problem I think audiences will have with it will be that we don't get it. The concept sounds interesting and there's definitely an audience there it's just not as big as the makers of this hopeful blockbuster want it to be. Like the inconsistency problems that are killing the "Terminator" franchise, Predators will likely kill itself off as well.

Inception -- Miss -- Summer Sci fi thrillers that don't involve light sabers and the Starship Enterprises generally don't do well no matter who is directing it. Chris Nolan is a great director and story teller but I don't know how well he can pull this one off. I'm looking forward to seeing it though and and will probably like it but I don't think it will be a "success" with the mass audiences, even with Leonardo Dicaprio, it seems unlikely.

The Other Guys -- Hit -- The pairing of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlburg as cops is for some reason hilarious. Everyone can picture Wahlburg's cop character from the Departed and we can imagine how it would clash with someone like Ferrell. On top of that, it looks to be of a higher caliber than Ferrell's latest "Will Ferrell-eque" type comedies so it should be interesting.

So, those are some of my bets. It's not necessarily what I personally would like to see, not all of it at least, especially with "Inception." Some obvious successes are Toy Story 3, Twilight Eclipse, and the Steve Carrell animated film, Despicable Me, and Salt--because anything with Angelina in it is successful and this one has been marketing for a while. Ironman 2 comes out next week! So let the viewing begin!


  1. My thoughts on the hits:

    Iron Man 2, Salt, Knight and Day, Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Karate Kid, The Other Guys

    For the most part I think you're right on all of your misses, save for Inception. I don't know, it's got a good vibe going for it throughout the industry. While it wont have Dark Knight numbers, I think it will be a word-of-mouth success like Star Trek last Summer, cause I mean that one didn't start out that big either but grew cause it was actually a good film. And you missed Prince of Persia on your misses, that one is gonna crash-and-burn pretty hard, but I'll still see it cause I love the game. But those are my thoughts.

    To be honest though, the only films I wanna check out this Summer are: Iron Man 2, Inception, The Expendables, and maybe Karate Kid for nostalgia sake, plus I like Jackie Chan. Aside from that, there is nothing I feel I just have to see opening weekend or that I can't wait till it comes on HBO a year later.

  2. Iron Man II was okay for the most part. I was really disappointed by the lack of story development that was present in the first movie.

    As for the A-Team, I believe my father wants to sunject me to that for his birthday. I will let you know how it goes.