Wednesday, May 05, 2010

July Summer Movie preview: Inception and Schmucks

If this lackluster summer movie season has a best month to it, it has to be July. The last week aside, most of the offerings sound halfway decent - or even better.


THE LAST AIRBENDER: Many people absolutely swear by the Nickelodeon show (which has another A-word that couldn't be used because some one else *ahem* co-opted it). And it's not just kids. Adults quite like it as well. I am not familiar with the show, but I am willing to give the film a shot. Yes, the quality of M. Night Shyamalan's movies has been in freefall - but I have a feeling he'll bounce back. Could just be that I'm really hopeful I'll see it with my favorite young artist. PROSPECT: B

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE: Shoot, I never even got around to New Moon. But I guess I gotta catch up, now that they've handed Breaking Dawn to a quality director, Bill Condon (Dreamgirls). This one is directed by David Slade, who has a mixed resume. Hard Candy, Ellen Page's breakout movie, has a good reputation. His previous vampire flick, 30 Days of Night? Not so much. PROSPECT: C


DESPICABLE ME: Universal has been very smart in selling this movie, not really revealing exactly what it's about - which only makes the picture seem more tantalizing. Take this teaser, for instance.

Now that piques my interest. PROSPECT: B

PREDATORS: Ordinarily I would dismiss this project out of hand, considering what schlock Alien vs. Predator was. (Never even bothered with the sequel.) Since Robert Rodriguez is at least producing, however, I will give it the benefit of the doubt. PROSPECT: B


INCEPTION: Not only has Christopher Nolan not missed yet, he hasn't made anything less than a Grade-A film. (That's without seeing his debut, Following). I have a very strong sense this movie will blow people's minds and be bigger than anyone expects. This is the summer film I most want to see yesterday. PROSPECT: A+

THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE: On the one hand, part of me is curious as to just what the hell this movie is; it's hard to gauge the tone by the trailer. And on the other hand, a larger part of me is discouraged that a generation of kids will know the Sorcerer's Apprentice not as a classic Mickey Mouse short, but as a noisy adventure flick. Between this and Prince of Persia, ol' Jerry Bruckheimer's judgement seems a bit foggy these days. PROSPECT: C


DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS: The premise and the cast of Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell seem promising, yet for reasons I can't define, this seems like a movie other people will find hilarious, while I find it merely amusing. Perhaps I'm wary of leery of humiliation-based comedy. We shall see. PROSPECT: B

RAMONA AND BEEZUS: One of Beverly Cleary's books makes it to the big screen for the first time, I believe. I just hope it's more Bridge to Terabithia and less Diary of a Wimpy Kid. PROSPECT: B

SALT: I want to like this picture. The director, Phillip Noyce, has done good work, and I'm curious to see how Angelina Jolie fares in a role once set for Tom Cruise. Yet every time Jolie goes the action route (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Wanted, etc.) I find the results lacking. Jury's out on this one. PROSPECT: B


BEASTLY: This new take on the "Beauty and the Beast" mythos could be good, but I have to agree with IMDB's buzz: "looks like a super-sized episode of Gossip Girl and Smallville." Meh. PROSPECT: C

CATS &  DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE: The original was OK, but an overly juvenile approach kept it from being the riot it could have been. I don't expect better from the sequel. PROSPECT: C

CHARLIE ST. CLOUD: Zac Efron reteams with his 17 Again director in a story about Efron working in the cemetery where his younger brother is buried. Sounds just ... odd. No read. PROSPECT: C

1 comment:

Allison M. Dickson said...

Inception is the movie I've most been looking forward to all year. DiCaprio is on a hell of a streak lately and Nolan is co-God. lol

I'm a HUGE fan of the show on which Airbender is based, and I'm very much looking forward to this movie, even though I agree with you about Shyamalan. What I think will help him here is the fact that this movie already has a well-cemented story. He needed a movie that should show off his gifts as a filmmaker and not so much his overly indulgent screenwriting.