Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jon’s Guide to Summer Movies

It’s Summer-time, summer-time, sum-sum-summer-time, summer-time, summer-time, sum-sum-summer-time, summer-time, summer-time, sum-sum-summer-time, summer-TI-IIII-IIIII-IME!

And that means: SUMMMER MOVIES! YAY!

Back again is a time of wonder and wishing, of anticipation and excitement, of supposition and usually, ultimately… disappointment, but also… there’s hope, because sometimes, every once in a great while, a big-ass, big-time, effects-laden and stunt-casted Hollywood Summer Blockbuster actually does deliver and when that happens, my friends, it reminds you why you go in the first place… Magic! (For the full effect of that last part, you should be doing a falling cascade of jazz fingers as you read it.) Lets try it again... Magic! (oooooh!)

So, anyway, with the summer season only now just starting to pick up steam, I thought I’d put out a handy-dandy little guide for you all to refer to now and then, should you find yourself suddenly wondering: “Hmmmm… I wonder what’s coming out in the next few months and if Jon is looking forward to it or not…”

Well, wonder no more, Gentle Readers!

Lets start off with May, the month of “the possibly sucky!”

1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I haven’t gone yet. I will eventually, I’m sure, but the stuff I’ve been hearing sounds terrible and I’ve watched enough trailers to put it all together and know that the reviews are pretty much right. Do you want to know how you can tell if a Super-hero film is going to suck ass? Well, number one, if its put out by Fox, as they are generally responsible for most of the worst kind of mouth breather stupid crap around these days. Number two, when it’s a non super-team centered film and yet it features a massive number of licensed characters. This film has Deadpool, it has Sabertooth, it has Blob and Gambit and Emma Frost. It has Wraith and Agent Zero. It has a young Storm and Cyclops and even Professor X, if I’m not mistaken. Here’s an idea… how about for Wolverine’s origin, we focus mainly on Wolverine? Even worse, from what I understand, it’s the same story as the Hulk Vs. Wolverine cartoon basically (minus the inclusion of the Hulk) and that one was actually done well and is fun. Now, granted, Marvel’s attempt to give Wolverine a cohesive and official origin story in the comics is mostly butt-hole stupid, but still, Wolverine himself is the type of character that you should be able to plop down into just about any kind of story, in any kind of local and end up with a good time. Hong Kong heist film? No problem. Battling ninjas in Tokyo? Easy-peasy Japan-easy. Post Apocalyptic America? Fuck yeah! Hunter/prey thriller in the Canadian Rockies? That’s his bread and butter, baby. WWII adventure? Affirmative. Anytime, any place, anywhere, Wolverine is a fit-able character, so how do you screw him up? Dumb question I guess, since they have managed to screw up the Punisher not once, not twice, but three times. So… in a nutshell, I haven’t gone, but I probably will and afterwards I expect to be ambivalent about the entire experience.

2. Star Trek

Saw it. Good time. Lot of fun. Great cast. Action/story didn’t really “wow” me, but it was good enough and actually left me excited to see the sequel now that the set-up has all been established and they can take the training wheels off.

3. Angels And Demons

According to legend, this is Dan Brown’s “good” book and I got to tell you, it certainly couldn’t be any worse than that Da Vinci Code crap. What a stinker. Ron Howard consistently makes films with a tolerable work-man like delivery and Tom Hanks is our generation’s Jimmy Stewart pastiche, but when your source material is this bad, what else can you expect but crap? I mean, you saw the Da Vinci Code, right? Terrible. Did you try to read it? Awful. I expect this to be as bad, if not worse. I like that Amelie girl, though.

4. Terminator Salvation

I discovered the other day, that this is the movie I have been looking forward to the longest, not the Clone Wars, not Indiana Jones’ further adventures, no… The War with the Machines. I saw Terminator on VHS in 1984-85 and ever since then, I’ve dreamed about the war with the machines. The accompanying apocalyptic imagery has clearly been influential on me. (along with Mad Max…) I even gave Terminator 3 a pass based simply on the ending, despite the presence of the Clare Danes cry-face! So, obviously… there is ZERO chance in HELL that this film will even come CLOSE to satisfying me, but I accept that. You have to accept this fact as reality if you are any kind of fan of A. Sci-fi/fantasy and B. Summer Movies. That’s just the way it is, there will always be something, big or more likely, really, really small, that will stoke your Nerd-fires of Rage into a mighty flame or be a plain old Geek-irritant. BUT! But, there is something else, too. There is some poop included here, something so incredibly foul that there is no denying its power to make things craptastic… McG. McG is the director. McG is what he calls himself. McG is obviously an asshole. And then there’s his films and TV shows, his awful, awful, awful films and TV shows. I’m not going to list them here, because they are awful. Feel free to look them up on IMDB and then go: “Oh… yeah, he sucks.” You see, McG used to be a music video Director, so all his stuff LOOKS great, that’s how he tricks you, it all looks awesome, but then, up close, its actually just crap. Anyway, McG is directing this movie. That’s the first bit of bad news. The second? Well, I read a spoiler a while back that is SO STUPID that there is no way that it is not true. I’m going to just say it out loud, so if you don’t want to know, turn away. Spoiler: Basically, I read that John Conner (Christian Bale) dies and the main friendly-Terminator (Sam Worthington) has them PULL OFF John Connor’s skin and attach it to his exo-skeleton, so that John Connor can live… Oh. My. God. He’s become the one thing he hates! Oh, my… what a bunch of assholes. Anyway, the only glimmer of hope is that a possibly true advanced review has the Terminator instead donating his heart to an injured John Connor, which is a little less stupid, but still leaves open the whole “I’ve become the one thing I hate” angsty emo storyline that will be the pinnacle of lame…. Le sigh… There is no way this film is going to be any good. So, yeah, I’ll go and then I’ll be sad.

5. Night At The Museum 2: Battle Of The Smithsonian

…I can’t believe they’re advertising this movie as if people should be excited about it.

6. Pixar’s Up

Oh boy! I love Pixar. They are consistently awesome. If you don’t agree, then I’m sorry to break this to you, but you are dumb and have bad taste. Really. I mean, even at their worst (Cars), they were still better than average and the rest of their library? Great. Great story. Great animation. Great fun. Great job. The Pixar films have all consistently been shining examples of what movies should be. Now, I am the last person to applaud something that could be considered “fun for all ages” but shit, Pixar, man… Pixar. I’m not even entirely sure what this film is about, but from what I’ve seen, I am totally there and you should be too.

On to June! Are you ready for the Summer?

1. Land Of The Lost

When he’s good, Will Ferrell can really make me laugh (Zoolander) and Land of the Lost is a truly cherished childhood memory. This film looks to be slap-sticky and may quite possibly be awful, but it has Danny McBride and Sleestacks, so it can’t be all bad. I mean, even Starsky and Hutch had funny parts… a few… really. Plus, the trailer makes me laugh in a dumb comedy way. I might see this in the theatre, I might wait.

2. The Taking Of Pelham 123

Oh… a remake of a decent 70s era film where current technology might end up rendering the plot a little silly… Oh… and it stars John Travolta…oh…

3. Year One

Despite the inclusion of Jack Black and Michael Cera, I can see no way that a wacky comedy about two lazy cavemen can be any good at all and besides, does anyone out there really think there’s anything left to say in the wacky caveman comedy genre after Ringo Star made his mark in 1981’s Caveman? Yeah, me neither…

4. Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

There’s this one shot of Megan Fox, in the trailer, where she’s bent over a motorcycle, “fixing” it, in a pair of Daisy Dukes that is sooooooo unbelievably dirty, that it about gave me a stroke. So, yeah, I’m sure I’ll go at some point, even though the rest of the movie will most likely be nothing but a bunch of crappy, barely discernible nonsense and stupid garbage that you can’t follow with your eyes, and all of it written and directed by a boob and a hack.

Next up: July. Celebrate America’s birth by supporting ridiculous wastes of money!

1. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Huh… I didn’t know they were still making these… I’ll be damned…

2. Public Enemies

Hey now, here’s something. Johnny Depp and Christian Bale squaring off in a movie based on John Dillinger and the rise of the Bank robbers, like Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie and Clyde, that used getaway cars and, as a result, are directly responsible for the formation of the modern day FBI? Suh-weet! Its based off a book by Bryan Burrough by the same name that is a pretty good read. Plus, its directed by Michael Mann, so yeah, a possible bright spot mid-summer.

3. Brüno

I’m for this, because I really believe that the only way most “good” people will ever actually learn to behave is through public humiliation and shame and Sasha Baron Cohen dressing up as a flamboyantly gay man and then tricking bigots into revealing the depths of their bigotry, so that the entire world can ridicule them for their back-woods, mouth-breathing, moron, bullshit, simply and totally wrong motherfuckers that they are, to me, is a good thing. I'm always for embarrassing jerks. So, I’ll go. Plus, while I didn’t find Borat to be as amazingly funny as some thought it was, it still contained insanity on an amazing level, so… I’m going.

4. Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince

I still haven’t read the last book and I haven’t liked any of the movies that much, either, but little Ms. Super-cute Fiancée always wants to go these and Senor Fancy-pants and The Michelopedia might be out here about the same time, as well, so I’m sure I’ll go at some point, but its definitely in my “whatever” category.

5. G-Force

“A team of highly trained Guinea Pigs are dispatched to take down an evil billionaire who wants to destroy the world with household appliances.” Wha…? I saw the trailer, witnessed the stupid jokes, heard the celebrity voices and, man… I just don’t understand how these type of things happen…

August is next, the month for movies not good enough for the rest of the summer!

1. G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra

Are you kidding? Come on. Come on. Didn’t you see the trailer? Its directed by Stephen Sommers, the guy who directed the Mummy and Van Helsing, are you really confused as to whether or not this movie will be suicide-inducingly horrendous? Come on. COME ON! This movie is going to be so stupid that it will give you cancer of the eyes. It will turn your brain to diarrhea. This movie is going to be so bad, the people responsible just might be brought up on charges. This movie is going to be sooooo bad, people will refer to the Transformers movie in a positive manner. This movie…My God! What the fuck!?!?! COME ON! NO! WHAT THE HELL, MAN!?!?! Ugh…

2. Inglourious Basterds

I read the script for this film and I had the same reaction to it that I did with Kill Bill. Meh… Parts of Kill Bill were fine, sure, but often… meh… I mean, it wasn’t as self-indulgent as Grindhouse, but its close. Plus, I hate Eli Roth with a passion and he’s Quentin Tarantino’s new butt buddy, so there’s that. The trailer looks fine, I guess, I like Brad Pitt and WWII, especially Dirty Dozen type WWII flicks, its just… much like the basic story of Kill Bill (Betrayed assassin is left for dead and goes on a trail of bloody revenge)… the idea of a group of Jewish American Soldiers in WWII, deep behind enemy lines and fucking up Nazis without mercy makes me sit up and go: “Oh really? Why yes, I AM interested, please tell me more…” but then it just kind of goes off in another direction and meh…

So… all in all, barring the possibility of a few bright spots, this summer looks to be shaping up as pretty ho-hum. Lets hope for a few surprises.


Michel said...

I am waiting for District 9, Moon, and 2012. Shut up, you know I love disaster movies! And also Thandie Newton.

But I would set Inglorious Bastards on fire before I would watch it. Tarantino/Roth fails like a failing thing.

Jon said...

True dat on District 9 and Moon, I didn't mention them because I didn't feel as if they were really Hollywood Summer Movie in the traditional sense, but usually that also means that they will be awesome.

Here's the problems with 2012.

1. Its been moved to November, so... no really relevant to the whole Summer Movie thing...

2. Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin... Ahhh.... Godzilla, anyone? The Day After Tomorrow, perhaps... Independance Day? Welcome to Erf, indeed...

3. See reason #2 (and by "2" I mean "poop")

As for Inglorious Basterds, the script will drive you insane. Its like Tarantino sat down and said: "Hmmm... How could I make Michel hate me more." Honestly, that was the main feeling I took away from it.

Jon said...

Also, for naked Thandie Newton, see Gridlocked. Be warned... its kinny junkie naked, but still...

Anyway, here's my problem with her. She was in Mission Impossible Two and in a movie so uniquely loaded to the brim with crap and badness, she was particularly mentionable for sucking...

Michel said...

Any sucking was not Ms. Newton's fault.

And 2012 got moved to November? Just the other day it said it would come out July something! If they make me wait I'll lose interest.

Also, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. It's going to be at Cannes, so that counts as big. Will Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell do Heath Ledger impersonations? Will it make Baby Heathus cry?

Jon said...

Oh yeah, Dr. Parnassus... Is that this summer? This film, much like Spike Jonz's Where the Wild Things Are, makes me very happy, excited and curious, because I've seen practically nothing and know little more about them, but I love what I have heard and the folks involved. I'm not sure of their release date, though. They're just two examples of the type of movie that I'm waiting for, I'm waiting for, I'm waiting for... and then its suddenly out. Its like surprise-christmas.

2012... dude.... ROLAND EMMERICH!

I'm more looking forward to Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's next film World's End, which is their Sci-fi Doomsday film.