Summertime is always a fun season for movies, particularly for comic fans like myself. The summer blockbuster has become a pretty steep competition between studios, with questionable results. They can't all be winners, I guess. Here's what I think of a few of the big ones...
Iron Man 2: Saw it and liked it. I've never been a fan of Iron Man as a character, so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed these movies. As sequels go, this was a pretty good one. The additions (and changes) to the cast were all strong, and the returning players were still as good as in the original. My favorite addition was Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer. That guy can do no wrong in my book. I'm glad Scarlett Johansson didn't put on a fake Russian accent, but I was disappointed that Black Widow didn't have one. I guess that's unfair because Mickey Rourke's accent was fine, so there's no reason to think Scarlett's wouldn't have been. Robert Downey Jr. owns Tony Stark of course. There was a half hour in the middle that got a bit boring, and the final action scene was a bit disappointing, and but all in all, it was a fun movie.
Robin Hood: No thanks. Russell Crowe is old and annoying and I just don't see him as Robin Hood. Also, this looks like some big war epic (like Gladiator) but I like my Robin Hood stories to be about a gang of thieves hiding in Sherwood Forest, stealing from the rich, giving to the poor. I know some people who have seen it and liked it, so maybe I'll get it on netflix eventually...
MacGruber: I don't watch SNL, I've never seen these skits. I'd rather have a normal MacGyver movie (starring Richard Dean Anderson) than this spoof.
Shrek Forever After: All of the Shrek movies are fun and clever, but I'm not too worried about catching them in the theater. I get tired of these animated movies being too full of pop culture gags, but the Shrek movies seems immune to my annoyance. Maybe their gags are more clever than the rest...
Sex and the City 2: I'm sure it'll be a lot like this.
Prince of Persia: Jake Gyllenhaal is one of my favorite actors and he usually picks solid roles. Even if the concept of the movie or character is stupid (I'm looking at you, Bubble Boy) he usually puts his all into the role. It looks like he's just in this for the paycheck, though. I'm afraid not even he can save this movie. When I first saw the preview for this movie, it was shown with the previews for Clash of the Titans and Sorcerer's Apprentice and all three previews were set up exactly the same. CGI CGI clever quip CGI hot girl CGI flipping around rumbling sound villain CGI title. I saw Clash of the Titans and was not impressed. I'm sure Gyllenhall, Arteron, Kingsley, Molina will do fine, but it doesn't look like their going to have much to work with. Who knows, maybe it will be awesome. We'll see in about six months.
Get him to the Greek: Could be funny or could be stupid. I've always liked Jonah Hill but never had much use for Russell Brand. He looks like he tries too hard to look like he doesn't try. I heard P. Diddy did a good job. Well good for him, he could use the money.
Splice: I've heard great things, but I'm too scared to go see this.
The A-Team: I enjoyed this movie. I said my piece here.
Karate Kid: Blah. The Movie Maven says it better than I could.
Jonah Hex: Already talked about it here.
Toy Story 3: I'm sure this will be fantastic. I was a bit bummed when, after Up, I heard that Pixar's next two movies were sequels (particularly because I have an unreasonable dislike for Cars), but Toy Story 2 was good so who cares. I probably won't see it in the theaters though. Apparently Michael Keaton's Ken is a really funny villain. I don't know who this Blake Clark is, thinking he can imitate the late great Jim Varney, but I guess someone has to.
Knight and Day: Tom Cruise is trying to get on our good side again, and he's bringing Cameron Diaz along to help. This movie does not appeal to me at all. Unlike most of you, I don't hate Tom for jumping on Oprah's couch or being a spokesperson for a weird religion. At least he hasn't been openly racist or anything
He just annoys me and the preview for this movie annoys me. There are several scenes where ridiculous shit happens. For example, he's riding on the rook of a car and another car is flipping toward them or something and he narrowly dodges a flying car. Or how about when they're driving the motorcycle and she flips around and shoots both guns backwards. These scenes are stupid looking. Maybe if they were superheroes or cyborgs or something but these action movies have these normal people doing more and more extraordinary things and we're supposed to buy it? It bugs me. I guess it's nothing new, but damn.
Grown Ups: Adam Sandler hasn't made a funny movie since 1998 but I'm not sure that even applies here. I think this movie is one of those feel good family dramedy's dressed up as a comedy. I'm willing to bet that the funniest parts of the movie are in the preview. There will be some theme about growing up and connecting with children, blah blah blah...
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: I admit that I read the first two Twilight books. My whole family loved them so they say I had to read them. They were easy enough to read. I started reading the third one. I got a few chapters in, I remember the exact moment I stopped. I was sitting on the toilet and I literally threw the book across the room in disgust. The book was more disgusting to me than the pile of crap I was creating. Worse than shit. The movies are even worse than that! I am so sick of seeing these pale kids with stupid hair and their Zoolander poses and being told they are the most beautiful people ever. These movies are dumb, If one more person compares them to Harry Potter, we are going to have serious words!
The Last Airbender: I think this will be pretty good. A lot of people are up in arms about the fact that there are absolutely no Asians cast, despite the fact that the original show celebrated different Asian cultures. I can see why people are upset by this, but it's really nothing new.
It could be worse...
The thing is, I think M. Night Shyamalan is a very talented director. It's too bad that he seemed to have pigeonheld (pigeonholded?) himself in the twist ending plot device. This seems to be his attempt to escape that. The thing is, his annoying tendency to seemingly try to outsmart us began to overshadow the fact that his movies were pretty well made. I think this one will be pretty good too, if people can get past being offended.
Predators: I love the original Predator movie. It remains one of my personal favorites. I enjoyed the sequel, and choose to ignore the glaring flaws. I even liked the first AVP, if only because of the concept (I did not see the sequel). I think Robert Rodriguez is a good fit for a director and will do the franchise justice. I like the concept behind it: a group of the worlds most dangerous people find themselves on a planet that serves as the Predator's hunting preserve. I have a few misgivings; the fact that there is only one woman always bother me. It makes it seems like she's a token, the damsel in distress. Also, the one asian in the group is proficient with a sword, of course. Isn't that cliche by now? Another thing, second billed on imdb is Topher Grace. I haven't noticed him in the previews so I don't know his role, but I doubt I could buy him as one of the most dangerous men on the planet. Apparently he's a serial killer or something. I am looking forward to this. I noticed that there wasn't a lot of CGI in the trailer, which is heartening. We shall see.