Saturday, May 15, 2010

Attack of the Summer Movies!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The summer blockbuster season is upon us! It's been a decent enough year so far, with hits like How to Train Your Dragon and Iron Man 2, and bombs like Clash of the Titans and Wolfman.

Some of the summer's possible blockbusters include:

Knight and Day - a high-action film starring Tom Cruise as some sort of secret agent and Cameron Diaz as a woman who gets caught up in his adventures. There are some really hilarious scenes in the trailer, so it's an action film with some amount of humor, too. I hope it's as good as the trailer implies.

Robin Hood - Russel Crowe and Ridley Scott team up once again in this new take on the Robin Hood legend. It's supposed to be heavy on the action, and much lighter on the Bryan Adams ballads than the last big Robin Hood hit, Prince of Thieves.

Toy Story 3D - their owner's a big kid now, so Buzz, Woody and the rest of the gang get donated to a daycare center. Hijinks ensue. The last two movies were great, so I've no reason to think this one won't be, too.

Shrek Forever After - the final Shrek film. Even having seen some previews, I have no idea what it's about. I wasn't a big fan of Shrek 3, so I'm reserving judgment on this one. Nothing I've seen so far really made me want to see it.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - a Disney flick turning a computer game into an arabian adventure that looks surprisingly awesome based on the previews I've seen. I'm optimistically putting this one in the "likely to be good" category.

Splice - two rogue scientists create an entirely new life form. From what I've seen, I think it then goes berserk and eats them or something, but I'm not sure. I'm reserving judgment on this one, too. I need to see or hear more about it. It's got an intriguing premise though - sort of Frankenstein updated for the genetic age.

The A-Team - a blatant remake of the old 80s TV series, with Liam Neeson replacing the cigar-chomping George Pappard. I loved the show as a kid, but the premise of every single episode was insipid and ridiculous, so I'm not holding much optimism for this movie.

The Karate Kid - another blatant remake, this one takes place in China instead of Los Angeles, and puts Will Smith's kid in the lead role made famous by Ralph Macchio and action hero Jackie Chan in the teacher role played brilliantly the first time by the late Pat Morita. This ranks high on my list of movies that don't need a remake, particularly one where there's no actual karate for the kid to learn. Karate's a Japanese martial art, and all the scenes I've seen of the new film feature Chinese Kung-fu instead. I'm calling this a "skip" and I rather hope it flops. Learn to leave the classics alone. Strike first, strike hard, no mercy!

Jonah Hex - an adaptation of a comic book about a Civil War-era soldier (Hex, played by Josh Brolin) who has been brutalized and scarred by his evil nemesis, but kept alive through some sort of magic. I'm not sure about this one, honestly. It could be a more action-oriented "Unforgiven" or it could be a campy "Wild Wild West." I'll let some other folks check this one out - at best I'm thinking it's a Netflix candidate for sometime over the winter.

Twilight: Eclipse - I only know what I've heard about this series (based on the bestselling novels) online, so I don't feel right commenting on it. Sparkly vampires vs. werewolves with lots of teen-girl angst is the impression I get. The trailer did look pretty cool. This is, I believe, part 3 in a series.

The Last Airbender - this is another one I don't know much about. I think it's based on a Japanese manga cartoon about a little Shaolin monk-type boy with magical powers.

Predators - based on the classic Arnold Schwartzenneger film of the 80s, this version features names like Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, and Laurence Fishburne. Ok, I mean, Fishburne's pretty cool - I particularly liked him in The Matrix and The Tuskegee Airmen. But really, there's nobody here who even comes close to the majesty that was Ahnold, plus Jessie Ventura and Rocky's Carl Weathers. I'm thinking this is a "maybe" at best, and I'm not even sure I'm that optimistic.

Despicable Me - an animated feature starring Steve Carrell as an also-ran super-villain who meets some orphans and has a change of heart. Meh - I haven't been impressed with the previews I've seen so far. It could be a huge hit, but right now it looks like snores-ville to me.

Inception - the director of the recent Batman movies, Chris Nolan, brings us Leonardo DiCaprio as a guy who can force people into dreams and then manipulate those dreams to steal their secrets. He's come to hate what he's doing and wants to make one last big score before he gets out of the game. Has a lot of buzz, but so far I'm not sure I'm sold on it.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - a live-action film based on the classic segment from Disney's Fantasia. Stars Nicholas Cage, Monical Bellucci and Alfred Molina. I've seen nothing about it so far, so it's a big question-mark for me.

Salt - Angelina Jolie plays a government agent who may actually be a Russian double-agent planning to assassinate the President or the one person who can save him. Think Jason Bourne with long hair. I think this movie looks terrific and I can't wait to see it.

The Expendables - It shouldn't be possible to pack so much potential for awesome into one action flick, but combining the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mickey Rourke, Danny Trejo, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger ought to be able to pull it off if anyone can. This is probably the one movie this year that I'm most afraid might suck and am most hoping won't. They play a team of mercenaries who take on an especially deadly mission because it's the right thing to do.

Machete - this is just all kinds of funny. It's a mexsploitation film sort of along the lines of his 1995 film "Desperado." It features Danny Trejo, who for his entire career has always been the "huge Mexican guy with the big knife" in the background of a wide array of different films. For the first time (that I'm aware of) he gets to play the leading man - a guy known as "Machete" who is hired to assassinate a controversial politician played by none other than Robert De Niro. Except it's a set-up, and he's actually been hired to be killed in the act, thereby justifying the politicians anti-Latino platform. Except (dun-dun-dun!) they miss. Now Machete is coming to get them. Features an all-star cast including Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin (as a twin-shotgun-wielding priest!), Steven Seagal and Don Johnson. Ok, granted, Seagal and Johnson's glory days are well past and it's questionable whether Lohan ever really had any, but still, that's a decent cast and the film looks like a riot of over-the-top violence typical of Robert Rodriguez films.

Those are the big summer movies that I know of. There could well be a couple others that have slipped by under my radar, but that should be the bulk of them. Honestly, it's all gravy after Iron Man 2 - that movie has already made my summer in terms of entertainment. Hopefully a few more of these will be worth seeing as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment