Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day = Summer Movie Season

Summer movies are usually big-budget actioners with top-name stars, written directed by seasoned veterans who know how to attract audiences. This year... not so much. I can count on one hand the movies I really want to see this summer, and none of them star Russell Crowe, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jake Gyllenhaal or Tom Cruise.

Last year, I looked forward to seeing District 9; Star Trek; Orphan; Drag Me to Hell; Up; Zombieland and a slew of promising indies and foreign films like Thirst; Dead Snow; I Sell the Dead and 500 Days of Summer. This year... well... I do want see a few movies.

Four things will make me want to see a movie: an amazing cast; an amazing director; an amazing screenwriter and an original concept. That really leaves very few movies that pique my interest this summer.

First up, is next weekend's Sci-Fi/Horror flick from Canadian director Vincenzo Natali (Cube), Splice, starring Adrian Brody (King Kong) and Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead). It's a cautionary tale about two geneticists who perform an illegal experiment combining human and animal DNA.

As with last year's Drag Me to Hell, about half my JTMF cast will be joining me on Friday to see what could be either an awesome take on the "Frankenstein" mythos, or a completely lame FX-laden monster movie. The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding.

Then there is Micmacs, from French Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie; City of Lost Children). Micmacs a steampunkish fantasy about a rag-tag group of tinkerers who try to take down a major weapons manufacturer. The trailer looks amazing, and if it's anything like Jeunet's other films, I know I'm going to love it.

June 18th brings us Josh Brolin as Jonah Hex, an Old West gunslinger with supernatural powers, based on the DC comic from John Albano and Tony Dezuniga. With a cast that reads like a "Who's Who" list (John Malkovich; Will Arnett; Aiden Quinn; Lance Reddick). Hex could well be the next Iron Man, if director Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who) gets it right. My only concern is the presence of the less-than-talented Megan Fox.

The next "Must See" on my list doesn't open until July 16th, but as with The Dark Knight, I suspect writer/director Christopher Nolan will have quite a birthday present in store for me with Inception:

Normally, I'm not a Dicaprio fan. I find his looks to be on the creepy side and his talent modest, at best. But the rest of the cast, which also includes Ellen Page; Michael Caine; Ken Watanabe; Marion Cotillard; Cillian Murphy; Tom Berenger; Lucas Haas and Dileep Rao are all amazing and with Nolan at the helm, I'll probably be loving this movie.

Finally, August 3th brings us Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, another movie based on a graphic novel (by Bryan lee O'Malley). Indie darling Michael Cera stars as the titular character, who must fight off a series of supernatural villains to win the love of the girl he loves. My excitement for this movie comes from director Edgar Wright, whose Shaun of the Dead is one of the best (and funniest) zombie movies ever made.

Of course, the presence of Brandon Routh and Chris Evans does nothing to impair my judgment on this one...

So, those are the movies which I am most looking forward to seeing this coming summer. How about you?

More, anon.


Mrs. Pine said...

how could you forget joseph gordon-levitt in inception??? i just watched that trailer and altho i don't love dicaprio, it does look awesome! love that it's about dreams, too. would love to see at least one of these with you if life were perfect! :) xo muah!

Stephen said...

Always an interesting line up... what will thrill & what will disappoint & what is under the radar.
For me: Dinner for Schmucks, The Kids Are All Right, Cyrus, & Get Low

Prospero said...

I forgot about "Dinner for Schmucks."
That is on my 'want to see list.'