Summer Movie Preview, Part 1 May 5, 2011Posted by Matt in movies.
Tags: Bridesmaids, Cars 2, Everything Must Go, Green Lantern, Hobo with a Shotgun, Kung-Fu Panda 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Priest, summer movie preview, Super 8, The Beaver, The Hangover Part II, Thor, X-Men:First Class
That time is upon us again, when big budgets and on-screen explosions and CGI effects and scantily clad women seem to take over the entertainment industry. Yes, it’s the summer movie season! As a public service, each year I take a look at the upcoming movies, read their descriptions, watch their trailers, and give you my verdict on whether or not they will be watchable. Today we will look at some of the coming films to be released in the months of May and June.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Plot: The warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastical realm of Asgard by his father Odin for his arrogance and sent to Earth to live among humans. Falling in love with scientist Jane Foster teaches Thor much needed lessons, and his new-found strength comes in plan as a villain from his homeland wends dark forces toward Earth.
My Take: My familiarity with the Thor comic book character is basically nonexistent, so this one does hold some intrigue for me, particularly because of the presence of Branagh, whose directorial work has mostly been in Shakespeare adaptations. The trailer looks promising and if the reviews are decent, I’ll probably check it out eventually.
Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin
Director: Jodie Foster
Plot: A troubled executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating with his family and colleagues.
My Take: So, apparently Mel Gibson’s comeback from hate speech and insanity is to play Mr. Garrison from South Park. Um, okay, I guess. We’ll see.
Hobo with a Shotgun
Starring: Rutger Hauer
Director: Jason Eisener
Plot: A transient looking for a fresh start in a new town instead finds himself in the middle of an urban wasteland run by a notorious crime boss and crooked cops. Fed up with the violence around him, he grabs hold of a pump-action shotgun and begins to dole out round after round of civilian justice.
My Take: Why include this one? Because it’s about a freakin’ vigilante hobo with a shotgun and the director’s last work was on a short film about murderous Christmas trees fighting back. Awesome.
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne
Director: Paul Feig
Plot: Picked as her best friend’s maid of honor, lovelorn and broke Annie looks to bluff her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals with an oddball group of bridesmaids.
My Take: The trailer looks better than expected from the plot description and the comparison to Judd Apatow is promising. We’ll see.
Stars: Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Maggie O
Director: Scott Charles Stewart
Plot: A priest disobeys church law to track down the vampires who kidnapped his niece.
My Take: A vampire hunting priest? Eh. Whatever.
Everything Must Go
Stars: Will Ferrell, Rebecca hall, Christopher Jordan Wallace
Director: Dan Rush
Plot: After Nick Halsey loses his job, the rest of his life begins to crumble as his wife leaves him and he starts drinking again. Oddly enough, selling his worldly possessions on his front lawn with the help of two neighbors might be the key to his preservation.
My Take: I tend to be a Will Ferrell fan, so I’m looking at this comedy-drama with a great deal of interest, maybe even more so since it co-stars the Notorious B.I.G.’s son. I’ll see it at some point
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Stars: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane
Director: Rob Marshall
Plot: After crossing paths with a woman from his path, Captain Jack Sparrow is swept aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard, on an unexpected mission to find the elusive fountain of youth.
My Take: I wasn’t terribly enamored with the last two Pirates sequels and I don’t recall ever seeing them more than once, but I’m sure I’ll watch this one as well. You have to wonder if director Rob Marshall, best known for his work on Chicago, will add in a song-and-dance scene.
The Hangover Part II
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms
Director: Todd Phillips
Plot: Right after the bachelor party in Las Vegas, Phil, Stu, Alan, and Dough jet to Thailand for Stu’s wedding. Stu’s plan for a subdued pre-wedding brunch, however, goes seriously awry.
My Take: Again? The first was a lot of fun, but I can’t imagine doing it over will hold the same appeal.
Kung Fu Panda 2
Stars: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan
Director: Jennifer Yuh
Plot: Po and the Furious Five venture to China to battle a villain and uncover the secrets of Po’s mysterious origins.
My Take: There’s no escape. This will be a must-see for my kids.
X-Men: First Class
Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lowrence
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Plot: Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr are two young men discovering their powers. Banding together with fellow mutants to stop a threat to the world, a rift grows between the two forces, leading to the founding of Professor X’s X-Men and Magneto’s Brotherhood, and the beginning of their eternal war.
My Take: X-Men 3 was a big letdown after the classic second chapter, so I’m a bit iffy about this prequel. It has a good cast, an interesting director, and an appealing trailer, so I’m sure I’ll see it at some point.
Starring: Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka, Kyle Chandler
Director: JJ Abrams
Plot: Ohio, 1979: When kids shooting a super 8 movie witness a train crash, their shock soon turns to feelings of suspicion and horror after disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town.
My Take: JJ Abrams struck gold with his incredible relaunch of Star Trek, so I would be watching anything he does with interest now. This teaming with producer Steven Spielberg, though, looks like a revisit to the 1980’s, so much so that in the trailer I almost expected to see bikes flying by the moon. Probably a must-see this summer.
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Starsgaard
Director: Martin Campbell (Edge of Darkness, Casino Royale, The Legend of Zorro)
Plot: When he’s granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, test pilot Hal Jordan becomes the first human to earn membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe. His mission: to combat an enemy called Parallax, which threatens to destroy the universe’s balance of power.
My Take: In a summer jam-packed with comic book movies, Green Lantern is one that stands out and definitely one the studio believes will be huge. I’m sure I’ll see it at some point.
Stars: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy
Director: John Lasseter (Cars, Toy Story, Toy Story 2), Brad Lewis
Plot: Lightning McQueen, pit boss Mater, and the rest of Lightning’s crew enter the Race of Champions, a multi-national event taking place in Japan, Germany, Italy, France, and England.
My Take: The kids will definitely see to it that they win this round, so I’m sure we’ll see it at some point.
What about you? What movies are you looking forward to? I’ll post part 2 later when I have time.