If you’re like us at STAHR you love going to the movies, and May through July is the season for that! Starting with next Friday’s “The Avengers,” there’s at least one huge block buster, classic reboot or highly-anticipated comedy after another. Let’s give a brief run down.
(Click the title for a trailer)
May 4th, The Avengers
As of right now not much differentiates “The Avengers” from any old summer blockbuster, like for instance “Battleship” which look so typical it didn’t make this list despite being good for at least 40 million opening day. I either did not see or did not care for any of the “supplementary films” leading up to “Avengers,” though Robert Downer Jr’s portrayal as Tony Stark is good entertainment. What’s most interesting is, will it all be worth it?
There are more “Iron Mans” and “Thors” planned and probably another “Captain America.” So what if this “Avenger” experiment is a flop? Does it not kill one but 4-5 franchises at once? No matter. Despite a very generic looking villain, “Avenger’s” is a shoe-in for one of the highest grossing films of the year, especially coming in so early in the season, before too much competition starts piling up.
May 11th, Dark Shadows
Hollywood’s quirkiest threesome is back! I find it so intriguing that Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton decided to ride the vampire train to the bank. I know “Dark Shadows” is a classic TV show and that’s right up their alley, but you’d think they’d not want to start mucking it up with the TwilightTrueBloodVampireDiaries crowd.
Despite the vampire trend continuing long past its expiration date, and despite Burton’s track record as of late being less than stellar (I’m looking at you Alice), “Dark Shadows” has got my attention. The fact that it’s set in the 70s and not present day alters the chemistry in Burton and crew’s favor. Depp looks to be charismatic as ever, much more so than in last season’s dreadful reboot of the “Pirates” franchise, and the young Chloe Moretz looks to be adeptly bridging the gap from child star to teen queen. Be watchful for a sleeper hit, if not another Depp/Burton cult classic.
May 11th, God Bless America
Not much to say about “God Bless America” except that it looks like one of the most gruesome, self-indulgent pieces of film to be released in quite some time. GBA is destined for a very limited and brief release, so see it while you can, if it’s your thing. Basically a man and a young girl go on a road trip and destroy everything that’s wrong with America: homophobes, political lobbyists and, of course, American Idol.
May 16th, The Dictator
As we push deeper in May there doesn’t seem to be a lack of commercial time yet, which means I’ll probably be absolutely sick of “The Dictator” when it comes out in two and a half weeks, but as of right now I am cautiously optimistic. “Borat” was a work of comedy genius which somehow outshined the legendary “Ali G in Da House.”
For “The Dictator,” Sacha Baron Cohen ditches the under cover routine and does and straight up comedy, and it looks to be a wild one. Will American audiences root for, or even enjoy rooting against, a man who commits heinous war crimes? “The Dictator’s” biggest enemy is the daily news cycle. One poorly timed genocidal act in the Middle East and you’re looking at a massive flop.
May 25th, Men in Black III
This just in: Lady Gaga and Just Bieber to play aliens in MIB III. And so the see-saw continues.
Ages ago when we heard MIB III was in the works with both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones attached, not to mention Josh Brolin, all seemed right in the world and that god-awful sequel would be erased and we would have these two treasures, the beautifully show, creative original, and a decent followup. Then the first trailer came out, and it look very “meh.” And then it came out that TLJ is only on screen from about 10 minutes. Now this…
Sure, Michael Jackson made a brief cameo in MIB as an alien, but you know the Biebs and Gaga are going to get more airtime than that. I’m not trying to be a hater but I don’t know if this movie can stand it, even for a scene.
Still, it’s hard not to get excited about Will Smith not only returning to big screen, but hitting it hard in IMAX 3D. Everyone should see 1-2 cheesy, big, blow-em-up blockbusters over the summer, and MIB III is at the top with the best of them.
May 25th, Moonrise Kingdom
The first movie on this last, but not the last, that we here at STAHR are absolutely psyched about. West Anderson returns with a children’s romance/adventure, and he’s brought a few tricks with him: Ed Norton, Bruce Willis and Frances McDormand.
This movies looks hilarious, beautifully shot, cast, and scouted. Why say anymore? Check out the trailer and commence holding your figurative breaths.
June 8th, Prometheus
June brings with it the most highly anticipated film of the summer, “Prometheus.” What began in 2009 as a reboot/prequel for the “Alien” franchise, comes to us this summer as something completely new and ineffable.
“Prometheus” is drawn on a grand scale, a 3D adventure at the outermost reaches of space with a mission of informing audiences on the origins of mankind. What they find their is horrific, and sure spells doom for the entire crew, one by one by one…
Join Ridley Scott on what is sure to be an enthralling romp through the cosmos. A good box office return will ensure a sequel, and perhaps that Alien reboot we all secretly crave.
June 8th, Safety Not Guaranteed
Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass star in this cute, creative “coming of age but what age is it?” faux-time travel movie. That’s a mouthful! This is on the low-scale and might not get a wide release but looks to be worth the drive to your nearest art house cinema!
June 22nd, Brave
I have to admit “Brave” does not have me as excited as most Pixar releases. Maybe it’s due the somewhat generic setting/characterizations/plot that is reminiscent of the recent “How to Train Your Dragon,” not to mention a million films before that. Or maybe it’s because the next 4 Pixar films, dating through 2015, all look/sound absolutely stunning. Whatever it is, “Brave” just doesn’t have that ooompf most Pixar movies command.
In fairness, Pixar makes notoriously bad trailers, and despite the comparisons to HtTYD, Dreamworks is not yet at the same level of story-telling or animation that Pixar continually builds on, so I’ll set my reservations aside and check out “Brave” opening weekend, just like the rest of America.
June 22nd, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzHx7EFVLT0" title="t: rome w/ To Rome With Love
June ends with a special treat from Woody Allen that looks like “Vicky Christina Barcelona” meets “Midnight in Paris.” This is one of those movies that will either be brilliant or enjoyable, so as long as it’s raining you won’t be disappointed! Considering a cast that features Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page and Penelope Cruz, you’re more likely to get the former.
JULY & AUGUST
July 3rd, The Amazing Spider-Man
July brings us two of the bigger releases this summer, the first coming in the form of a Spiderman reboot. Let me say, I love Andrew Garfield and I was never so high on the Raimi films, especially with Tobey’s portrayal of Peter Parker. Needless to say, I’m psyched for this movie.
Now generally you’d think Spiderman=box office gold, and there’s no way this thing flops, but how will a reboot of a movie 10 years old sit with American audiences? Will the reboot break records like Raimi and co. did routinely? Or will “The Amazing” run of this franchise stop at one? That’s up to you friends.
July 20th, The Dark Knight Rises
If “Prometheus” is the most anticipated movie of the summer, Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” is the most hotly anticipated movie of the year. The amount of pressure to surpass the wild, unexpected success of “The Dark Knight” is huge, and it must be done without another career-performance from Heath Ledger.
Tom Hardy’s Bane will seek to pick up the chaos > justice where The Joker left off, taking Gotham under complete control. Batman must return from the shadows and win the day again, but at what price? With this being the final entry into this edition of the franchise, anything can happen. I personally am hoping for a finale along the lines of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, but I’m sure Nolan has got something unknowable and completely awesome in store.
August 17th, Paranorman
At last we come to the end of the road. From the maker’s of “Coraline” we get “Paranorman,” a beautifully and uniquely animated tale of a young boy who can talk to ghosts, zombies and all matters of the dead. He’s even got a zombie dog for a pet! No better way to end the summer.
Expect a detailed rundown and review for each of these films as they are released! And here’s a quick list of some films coming out which didn’t make the list:
5/4 The Perfect Family
5/11 Girl in Progress
5/18 The Samaritan
5/25 Chernobyl Diaries
7/27 Neighborhood Watch
6/8 Lola Versus
6/22 Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
6/22 Seeking A Friend for the End of the World
6/27 Beasts of the Southern Wild