Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Summer movie preview 2011


Jumping the Broom: A poster I saw for this movie claimed it would be "the most talked about film of the summer. Umm, no. The most talked about movie of the summer will have brooms, but it won't be this one, however appealing it may me.

Something Borrowed: Looks like a fairly appealing rom-com that could be a long overdue coming out party for Ginnifer Goodwin. Might also be good counter-programming to ...

Thor: I was a little dubious about this when I saw the trailers. I still have scary memories of Thor from that cheesy Hulk/Thor TV movie in the 80s. But with Kenneth Branagh directing, I have to take a look.

MAY 13 

Bridesmaids: At long last, a Judd Apatow comedy for the ladies. Early screenings (including one at Miami University in Oxford have built a lot of positive buzz, which says this is more than just The Hangover for chicks.

Priest: Because Legion, from the same star/director team (Paul Bettany/Scott Charles Stewart)  was just BEGGING for a do-over. Yawn. 

MAY 20

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: I've always thought this series was overrated, and by the end of the incomprehensible third movie, I and the filmmakers were out of gas. I won't be checking this one out unless the reviews are promising.

MAY 27

The Hangover Part II: Unlike most people, I don't drink. Like most people, I though The Hangover was very funny. Still, I get the nagging feeling sequelitis will kick in. Just how many times can you get these guys smashed before it turns into a movie about rehab?

Kung Fu Panda 2: The original was one of DreamWorks' best movies. I just hope this series doesn't go the way of Shrek and burn itself out.


X-Men: First Class: The trailers for this look promising, and this is much more interesting than another Wolverine movie would be. I'm cautiously hopeful this franchise can get back on track.


Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer: This seems like one of those kid-lit movies that will do moderately well and sink without a trace. Or will this be more Diary of a Wimpy Kid territory? We will see.

Super 8: J.J. Abrams makes his Spielberg movie, with Spielberg himself producing. Probably the summer movie I am most anxious to see.


Green Lantern: I have increasingly liked Ryan Reynolds as a leading man over the years, and the director is the underrated Martin Campbell, who made the best Bond movie in many years (Casino Royale). High hopes.

Mr. Popper's Penguins: Jim Carrey steps into another literary classic. Let's hope this one turns out a little better than the underwhelming animated Christmas Carol.


Bad Teacher: Call me crazy, but Cameron Diaz is not who comes to mind when I hear the words "bad teacher." Maybe that's why this is supposed to work?

Cars 2: Cars was the Pixar film that I loved the least, so this is the first Pixar film in awhile I'm not aching to see. That said, I'm definitely there. Never underestimate this studio's capacity to surprise. I didn't expect this to be a spy caper.


Larry Crowne: Tom Hanks directs and stars for the second time (after That Thing You Do), with Julia Roberts along for the ride. Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) writes. Good enough for me.

Monte Carlo: The trailer for this Selena Gomez Prince and the Pauper-style vehicle doesn't look very good, but the co-writer and director is Thomas Bezucha, whose previous feature was The Family Stone, which I really liked. Wait n' see.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Wow. Here I was ready to dismiss this out of hand, and the trailers, especially the second, actually look kinda cool. Could it be that shooting in 3D has forced Michael Bay to craft action scenes so that they actually make sense? Again, wait n' see.


Horrible Bosses: The film has quite a good cast (Jason Bateman, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston) but the director is Seth Gordon, who last made the barely tolerable Four Christmases. The jury is out.

Zookeeper: I really like Kevin James, but must he waste his time on crummy-looking Adam Sandler-produced vehicles that waste his talent?


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II: As one of maybe four people left on Earth who doesn't know for sure if Snape is a good guy or a bad guy, I'm psyched, along with several other million people on Earth.,

Winnie the Pooh: Call me crazy, but I may be a little more excited to see this than Harry's final chapter. A Pooh feature made by the classic Disney animators, with songs by Zooey Deschanel? Cue ear to ear grin.


Captain America: The First Avcnger: Of all the comic book movies, coming out this summer, this one is the one I am most eager to see. I'm actually least familiar with the Captain America lore, so most of it is new to me. This one is novel in that it's a period piece. And the director is Joe Johnston, an underrated helmer of solid popcorn fare (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Jurassic Park III). Sold. And given the news events of this week, this one might be an even bigger hit than anyone thought.

Friends with Benefits: The premise seems exactly the same as this year's No Strings Attached - only this one stars Natalie Portman's wilder half, Mila Kunis. That, and the fact that the director is Will Gluck, who made the terrific Easy A, sells me. Better yet, Emma Stone is in this one too.


Cowboys and Aliens: With Indiana Jones and James Bond? By the guy who directed the Iron Man movies? Are you kidding?

Crazy, Stupid Love: Look, it's Emma Stone again! And Ryan Gosling And Steve Carrell! And Julianne Moore? Are you kidding?

The Smurfs: Oh well. Two outta three ain't bad. Call me Gargamel, but I am really and truly tired of CGI charcaters cashing in on nostalgia, be it for the Chipmunks, Yogi Bear or the first Blue Man Group. Feh.


The Change Up: At first I yawned when I saw this was a body-switch comedy with Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman. Then I realized it was written by the guys who wrote The Hangover, and directed by the guy who made Wedding Crashers. There's hope yet.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Again, I yawned at the idea of a sequel to a reboot no one much liked, but the trailer actually looks fairly decent.


The Help: Must be the summer of Emma Stone, which is more than fine by me. This time she stars in an adaptation of the Kathryn Stocker novel. Can Stone hack it dramatically? I have every confidence she can.

30 Minutes or Less: Sounds like a bit of a comedic spin on Dog Day Afternoon, with Jesse Eisenberg forced to rob a bank with a bomb strapped to his chest. Eisenberg reunites with his Zombieland director, Ruben Fleischer. No word yet on a Bill Murray cameo.

Final Destination 5: Ladies and Gentlemen, the film with the most redundant and contradictory title of 2011!


Conan the Barbarian: Released in: 3D. Depth of characters: 2D. Probable grade: 1 D.

Fright Night: Two things about this movie blow my mind. One, the distributor is Walt Disney Pictures. Two, the director previously made Lars and the Real Girl. Wow. Just ... wow.

One Day: Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess as a will they or won't they couple, from the director of the excellent An Education? Yes, please.

Spy Kids 4: Used to be that a new Robert Rodriguez film would pique my interest. Then he casts Jessica Alba in the lead. Whoops.


Apollo 18: Looks like The Blair Witch Project crossed with Apollo 13. And this has been delayed for months.Not sure what to make of it.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: Even if Guilliermo Del Toro is only producing and not directing, I'm still intrigued. 

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