Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Movie Preview

Granted, we're a bit late to the party- we've already seen the good (Iron Man) the bad (Indy 4) and the disturbingly sexy (Zohan) sides of what this year's summer blockbusters have to offer. However, seeing as how summer isn't yet upon us from a technical standpoint, here's a look ahead at films you should definately check out- or avoid. One thing's for certain; after last summer's record-breaking parade of threequels, it's kind of refreshing to see some new franchises emerging- or rebooting, in the case of The Incredible Hulk

Most Anticipated Movie: The Dark Knight

As with Tim Burton's original Batman film, the star here is not the caped crusador, but the main villain. Heath Ledger's startling take on the Joker, a role that may have in fact led to his death, has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz, and based on trailers it's easy to see why. Through stained facepaint and a knowing grimace, Ledger's Joker is a far cry from Jack Nicholson's legendary portrayal, and a closer representation of the comic-book version of Batman's nemesis. Which isn't to say that Christian Bale's been completely sidelined; he should continue developing Bruce Wayne, a protagonist established with a darker origin in Batman Begins. We'll also get treated to the origin of Harvey Dent, with all signs pointing towards him becoming Two Face for the final chapter of Christopher Nolan's trilogy. But for a superhero franchise that didn't have enough humor in its first installment, Ledger has given us a villain we can root for. As he says himself- "why so serious?"

Least Anticipated Movie: The Happening

Early buzz indicates that Shyamalan's latest is anything but happening. With a twist-less plot that seemingly revolves around evil trees, zero suspense, and an uninspired performance by Mark Wahlberg, it seems that the gifted Shyamalan may finally be done. I stood up for Unbreakable and Signs- hell, even The Village wasn't that bad- but if what critics say are true, this is going to be his second straight serious bust in a row. After Lady In The Water failed to gross more than 45 million, M. Night really has to hope the moviegoing public has nothing better to do on Friday the 13th and suddenly hates seeing Hulk movies (not going to happen- get it? Happen?)

Most Anticipated Comedy: The Foot Fist Way

With all due respect to Judd Apatow products Pineapple Express and Step Brothers, Danny McBride is about to become one of the biggest names in comedy. Coming off a hilarious role in Andy Sandberg's equally hilarious Hot Rod, McBride finally gets to see the release of this film, which originally premiered at Sundance in 2006. As long as its limited release doesn't bomb, it can only be a matter of time before this martial arts parody makes its way to multiplexes.

#1 Reason Everyone Loves Pixar: Wall-E

If Wall-E isn't the most adorable thing ever created, robot or otherwise, then I don't know what is. The concept seems to be slightly more daring for Pixar- less dialogue, less markatable characters aside from the protagonist- so don't be surprised if it doesn't make the big bucks (in Pixar standards- it will still come in at a comfortable number one, but I don't see it chasing Finding Nemo's enormous 340 mil), but once word of mouth spreads, it should see its fair share of green. Ratatouille, for example, had the second worst opening weekend of any Pixar Movie, but fell behind only Nemo and The Incredibles when all was said and done.

Most Under The Radar: Hellboy II: The Golden Army

In this summer of big-name superhero flicks- Iron Man, Batman, Hulk- it's easy to forget the little guy. This little guy, however, just happens to come from the mind of coveted director Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, The Orphanage). Hellboy 1 was entertaining enough, but here, Del Toro looks to incorporate more of the whimsy that made Pan's Labyrinth such a classic to Hellboy's styalized action scenes. Seeing as how far he's come from his days directing the original and Blade II, and taking the inspired performance of Ron Pearlman into consideration, Hellboy 2 could sneak up and become the film of the summer.

Also worth attention: Hancock, The Promotion, Midnight Meat Train

Avoid: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Disaster Movie, Beverly Hills Chihuahua


dc said...

andrew, is midnight meat train a porno?

Andrew said...

Haha, I recommended that movie for two reasons. 1, the title, and 2, it stars Bradley Cooper, who's the man. The trailer sort of sucks though.

Ethan Stevenson said...

no chihuahua love?

dan said...

No mention of The Love Guru?! Andrew, are you high!?