Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Summer Movies. Part One.

Some summers are packed with options. Others are not. At first, when I looked at the schedule for this summer, I thought, wow, there appears to be a blockbuster on every Friday. But we all know that's never how it goes. Many of those studio hopefuls turn out to be D.O.A., and after reconsideration, this year looks to be a long one for the studios' money men, sweating repeats of some of the higher profile nosedives of the past few summers.

Here are your TEN best bets for the summer of 2008...Enjoy.

Your Ten Best Bets:
10. The International [August 15]
The long-awaited English-language debut by Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer is an espionage action-thriller starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts as an Interpol agent and a NYC A.D.A., respectively, uncovering the illegal evils and conspiracies of a massive worldwide bank. Sounds like the Bourne films without the Kung Fu.

09. The Happening [June 13]
A lot of people are fed up with M. Night Shyamalan. I am not one of them. Unlike most sheep, I think Unbreakable is his best film, and I even liked both The Village and Lady In The Water. But even if you are not like me, you might concede that this film could be his "return to form".

08. Tropic Thunder [August 15]
I hate Ben Stiller, but damn if this doesn't look like a genius comedy. By all reports, this is the Robert Downey Jr. performance everyone will be talking about come the end of the summer.

07. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull [May 23]
What can I say really? It's Indy. I love him like an uncle I've never met. He nurtured me when Han Solo and Dr. Peter Venkmen weren't around . But alas, as much as I want to see this, and as inspired as I think Shia LaBeouf's casting is, the heavy dose of special efx and an Area 51 alien storyline make this smell more like the Temple of Doom than the other two. Besides, it has Lucas' prints on it, and after the last decade of disasters, that makes me very nervous.

06. Iron Man [May 2]
Here's why this is going to be good: At least a few people must have seen the finished product by now, and the promotion machine is ahead-full-steam. That equals confidence. That means they think it's good enough to lead off the summer. Jon Favreau has yet to direct a classic, but all his films have been very good, with Zathura looking to hold the most hints to this one. A superb cast can't hurt.

05. Pineapple Express [August 8]
Considering how untouchable the Apatow posse is right now, how can this possibly miss?? These films should be just more of the same old thing, and yet they're not. They have a human heart underneath all the fratboy excess. Oh, and M.I.A. rules.

04. Hellboy 2: The Golden Army [July 11]
Trailer 1 looked amazing enough, but with the recently released second trailer revealing all sorts of new, wonderful, and completely fucking crazy visions from Del Toro's warped mind, this is looking like one of the greatest fantasy films of all time. Watch both, compare and contrast.

03. Son Of Rambow [May 2]
It's a winner, in that it will win us all over. Garth Jennings, as much a fantastic visionary as Guillermo Del Toro, had the unenviable task of making the Hitchhiker's Guide movie, and I personally think he did a great job. Now what does he do for an encore? He updates the movies he used to make as a kid with his friends. This is a must-see, a film with a beating heart in the season of high-gloss.

02. WALL-E [June 27]
It's fuckin' Pixar, muthafuckas!! You better recognize!!
...robot voices by Ben Burtt, Oscar winner for "voicing" your last favorite robot.

01. The Dark Knight [July 18]
Hmmm...let's see...Batman Begins is the greatest superhero/comic book film adaptation of all time, no contest, by a fairly large margin. Christian Bale is easily one of the ten best actors around right now, while Christopher Nolan must be among the five best directors. No Katie Holmes; Maggie Gyllenhaal = upgrade. More Caine, Oldman, & Freeman. Aaron Eckhart is a great idea, and they're saving him, not putting him in the trailers. And of course, Ledger, you tragic man... your lost soul will leave us with what your peers are calling one of the most twisted, deranged, frightening, haunting performances of recent memory. I hope they're right. You're already going to be remembered, but if you do the nerd fanboy coalition a solid, and do an iconic favorite proper, they will make you immortal. Ask the Fellowship.

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