Monday, May 24, 2010

Positive Mental Attitude (Summer Movie Preview)

So now that the final episode of Lost has aired, and gone out with a bang. That pretty much clears my plate as far as Summer viewing goes. I mean Justified and Treme are still on, and Louis should be starting up, as well as the next season of Mad Men, so I mean its not a complete void. But the ranks are definitely thinning, along with being outside and enjoying the weather, grilling, going to shows, reading, and trying to think out my Netflix watch instantly queue (finally), But June is almost here, and with my viewing of Iron Man 2, the Summer blockbuster season is starting off in full swing. Although the slate of movies coming out seem particularly thin this Summer, there are still a few I am looking forward, as well as some second or third tier ones that might be a good distraction and/or reason to get out of the heat and into the air conditioning. In the Summer, thats a very valid reason for going to the movies.

Five I Am Looking Forward To

1) Inception

You might have noticed that Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors, and him returning to a more of his patented twisty puzzlebox-type of a movie has me excited. Not to mention the cast with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, among others, is just awesome. I think this could very easily be the best movie of the Summer.

2) The Other Guys

Barring Talladega Nights, most of the Adam McKay-Will Farrell collaborations have been winners. It would be great if they could reach the heights of Anchorman again, but the surrealist ridiculousness of Step Brothers was nothing to scoff at either. I like the idea of them teaming up in a sendup of action movie/cop movie tropes. I think Mark Wahlberg, mostly, does better with comedies. And I am also excited to see The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson sort of send themselves up as two badass partners on the police force. Lets hope its as funny as the trailers made it look like it had the potential to be.

3) Get Him To The Greek

I think the idea of a strange sort of spin-off from Forgetting Sarah Marshall is so odd that it just might work. What else I like here: for me one of the surprises of Forgetting Sarah Marshall was Russell Brand's Aldous Snow. I'm not sure if I would be a regular fan of his, but I liked him there, and this is his Aldous Snow after falling off the wagon, so teaming him with Jonah Hill, who is usually pretty reliable, here's hoping that the chemistry works. And it being produced by Judd Apatow-thats usually, USUALLY, a sign of quality. And with supporting turns from the likes of Aziz Ansarai and Nick Kroll, I think this also has the potential of being really good.

4) Toy Story 3

If I would bet on any company being able to put together a near-perfect trilogy it would be Pixar. I mean they took Toy Story 2, saved it from straight to video purgatory, and turned in a classic sequel on part with, if not better, than the original. Also it has one of those tear jerking scenes that Pixar pulls off like few (if any) others in the animation scene-the scene with the Sarah McLachlan song showing how Jesse's owner abandons her There are two types of people: people who get misty during that scene, and people who lie about not getting misty. Its Pixar, basically, and they have already laid the groundwork of excellence, with just a ridiculously amazing body of work. Every time they put out something there is high hopes, and I hope this works out as well.

5) Machete

This might have fit more easily into my second or third tier movies, but, being honestly, I have to say I am excited for this one. It could very well be another case where they put all their ideas into making an interesting trailer, and then leave nothing for the movie. (Considering it started out as a fake trailer in Grindhouse) But again, we are talking about potential here, and I think this might be the right amount of over-the-type pulp silliness that we (or I) just might be craving come the end of the Summer. Plus I don't have to go too long with a dose of Jeff Fahey. Keep giving him work! And I sort of love Robert De Niro's terrible attempt at being a Southern congressman here. I dunno, it could, of course, not live up to its own hype, I mean every movie here has the same pitfall, but if it is fun and ridiculous enough, maybe it could be very pleasurable summer diversion.

Second or Third Tier Movies

So these are the ones, much like Machete, that could very well be awful, but, on the other hand might be a nice diversion on a hot, Summer day. A lot of these I might be playing the long odds for a good time and good reward. But really, sometimes thats all you need.

These are just in order by their release date:

1) Splice

This could either be a potentially creepy, interesting take on the ethics of research into gene splicing and the like, or it could be another Species. We'll have to see I suppose. But I like Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley, so this might work.

2) The A-Team

See? Potentially scraping bottom here. But there is something to be said for just out-and-out ridiculousness. I think they had me with the scene in the trailer where Face shoots a tank at an airplane, as the the tank is falling through the air. How did the tank get in the air? Who is he shooting at? See, these questions need answering. I also actually like the casting of Bradley Cooper and Sharlito Copley here. The cons don't even extend too far into how stupid this just might be. Because the potential is there. The hugest con, for me, is definitely is Jessica Biel. Ugh, she is just a vortex of awful. Maybe they will also tell us just what exactly the crime was the A-Team was framed for, and who framed them for it. I'm not sure the show ever answered this. See? Its really tying up loose ends. That I am quite sure people have been thinking about for the past 20 years.

3) Predators

Eh, I'm a soft sell here. I can even look past the other terrible incarnations of the Predator franchise. Okay, to be honest the creatures haven't been handled well since the first Predator came out. But the hope here, where a group of badasses (Topher Grace!?) get sent to the Predator planet and have to try to survive being hunted-I think it could be cool. There's no real middle ground with any of these really, and it also could be terrible. But I'm hoping for the best. Also: Adrien Brody and Danny Trejo-again!

4) Dinner For Schmucks

I'll be honest, this could be middling, but its here because I am excited about the cast which includes Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifinakis, Jermaine Clement, and Ron Livingston, among others. Maybe it might surprise and be really funny. Since this post is mostly about hope: here's to hoping.

5) The Expendables

This could probably have the same problems as Machete, in a way. Will it be a ridiculous action movie-throwback to the 80's? Or just be silly? Will it be self aware of its ridiculousness? I don't know if Stallone is smart enough. But maybe he could come up with an action movie and stack the cast with the likes of Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Eric Roberts, Dolph Lundgren, etc. and have it be silly and fun-a nice enough couple hours to take and get in out of the heat? Obviously that really remains to be seen. Or not. This has potential disaster written all over it, but, honestly, the cast and the setup spoke to my inner 13 year old.

6) Pirahna 3-D

Back when My Bloody Valentine 3D came out, I said that I would see any movie in 3D, because they seemed to be a fun novelty at the time. A few years later after Avatar, one of the many horrible things that movie wrought is now EVERYTHING is being made in 3D and, really, its overkill. I would love it if everyone saw Toy Story 3 in plain ol' 2D and that 3D would go back to being the domain of horror schlock, only used every once in a while if at all. So the hypocritical side me, though, thinks some thing like Pirahna 3D is the perfect piece of stupidity to use 3D for. That being said though, for the most part 3D really adds nothing and I would see Pirahna if it was a straight forward remake to Joe Dante's original Pirahna. You know, that would be enough, enough with the overkill. And here, really, what sells it, again this is weird for this potential nightmare is the cast. There is really some semi-ingenious casting here: Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd, Elizabeth Shue, Steve McQueen's grandson, Adam Scott, Ving Rhames, Jerry O' Connell, and a special guest appearance by Eli Roth. Like I keep reiterating, this is all about potential, sure this has the potential to be absolutely awful, but that also means, glass half-full, that it has the potential for maybe, MAYBE, fingers crossed, being some goofy fun. Sometimes, in the dog days of Summer, goofy fun is all we are really looking for, isn't it?


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  2. I can't wait for Inception!!!

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