I used to be a movie buff. As a kid and young adult, I would watch almost anything. I knew my fascination with film had probably become an obsession when, after one particularly active movie-viewing summer, I received a letter from the president of Blockbuster Video, thanking me for renting more movies than 99% of other customers and awarding me with a Blockbuster Rewards Gold card. The card allowed me to have “rent one, get one” privileges for life. The irony of this all, of course, is that I (hopefully) will long outlive Blockbuster video.
These days, as a father of three wonderful kids, we don’t make it to the movies much. At some point during the summer, however, the wife and I will decide to pay too much for the honor of watching stuff blow up while eating stale popcorn. More than likely, you’ll find yourself in the same boat. So, let’s take a look and see what we’ll be watching.
What’s Already Out
The Hangover, Part II
It’s just like The Hangover, but in Bangkok. Did anything good ever come out of a film being set in Bangkok? Especially a film that will almost certainly hinge on raunchy sexuality. In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept: Three guys party hard, wake up and have to piece together the night before while getting into hilarious hijinks. Even though I, admittedly, enjoyed The Hangover, I think I’ll skip this one.
Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides
The first Pirates of the Carribean film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, was light hearted, fun and entirely entertaining. Then came the two bloated sequels shot back to back with a story few people understood and even fewer cared about. PotC: OST, as I’m calling it for short, is the franchise’s opportunity to redeem itself and get back to it’s jolly, swashbuckling roots. Early reviews called it better, but still a missed opportunity. Walk the plank at your own risk.
Super Hero Sightings
X-Men: First Class
X-Men and X2 were great movies directed by the incredibly talented Bryan Singer. Then came the 2006 Brett Ratner-directed X-Men: The Last Stand and the 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which, to put it nicely, underwhelmed. X-Men: First Class attempts to return the origins of the original X-Men trilogy, providing back story for Professor Xavier and Magneto’s decades-long altercation. Here’s hoping that this film can put the X-Men franchise back on track. Release date: June 3.
The Green Lantern
I have to make two things abundantly clear. First, I never got in to the The Green Lantern comics as a kid and, second, I really want to like any film that features Ryan Reynolds. However, I believe those two caveats are cancelling each other out as I look forward to The Green Lantern with a resounding, “meh, [shoulder shrug].” Maybe I’m getting too old but, as Marvel Films rolls out another series of films featuring their most popular characters, I have yet to see anything that makes me want to enter the universe of The Green Lantern. Release date: June 17.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
More Shia LeBeouf and fighting robots. Personally, I’m hoping that director Michael Bay scales back from the action of Transformers 2 to, you know, actually tell a story with this one. Still, this ain’t Shakespeare, but I’d love to see a film that lives up to the good time that was the first in this line of Transformer films. Release Date: July 1.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Another Marvel comic book comes to the big screen, but this story looks much more compelling than the aforementioned Green Lantern. Release date: July 22.
J.J. Abrams follows up his previous directing gigs, Star Trek and Mission Impossible: III to make an original film about aliens… I think. It doesn’t really matter what it’s about. They had at “Directed by J.J. Abrams.” Release date: June 10.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
If you’re not a Harry Potter fan, this isn’t the time to start. Harry, Ron and Hermoine continue their search for the last (five?) of Voldemort’s horcruxes. That might have been the nerdiest sentence I ever wrote. Who cares, I can’t wait for this one. Release date: July 15.
Cowboys and Aliens
I’m not sure if I ever knew that I wanted to see a movie combining alien invasion and a western, until I saw the preview for this film starring James Bond (a.k.a. Daniel Craig) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Plus, this is directed by Ironman’s Jon Favereu. Release Date: July 29.
Kids Stuff (Or…the only movies I’ll probably end up seeing this summer)
Since first launching in to feature films with Toy Story, Pixar has done almost nothing wrong. That is, unless you count the film Cars. Essentially, it was Doc Hollywood (a Michael J. Fox film in case you aren’t familiar) with talking Cars. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t particularly cute or funny either. I think they’re out to redeem themselves with Cars 2. Dropping the voice of Larry the Cable Guy would have been a great first step. Strike one… Release Date: June 24.
Winnie The Pooh
I don’t know much about this one, but it looks like Disney has resisted the urge to mess with a classic by “updating” good ‘ol Pooh bear. Release Date: July 15
Stuff I’ll Avoid Like the Plague
It’s like Night at the Museum, but with Kevin James… at the zoo. No thanks.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Penguins are cute. Jim Carrey was funny, right? Oh Jim Carrey, how far you’ve fallen since…oh, wait.
No, no, no, no, no, no….Why?!?!?!?!!?