Saturday, June 28, 2008
2008 Mid-Summer Movie Guide
It’s been a pretty good summer at the multiplex thus far. There have been some surprises and some real solid storytelling. For my money and as of today I’d have to say that “Iron Man” is the best summer movie I’ve seen this year. “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” would be number two and “The Incredible Hulk” would be number three. There’s a huge piece of nostalgia that comes along with an Indiana Jones movie. There was some negative spin but I believe the movie delivered – it furthered the story of who Indy is and who he is becoming. Mission accomplished. I can only hope that they (Spielberg and Lucas) will make another. “The Incredible Hulk” was infinitely better than the last film. The filmmakers’ chose to Ed Norton delivered as Bruce Banner too. Marvel is setting us up for a glorious geekfest with a major “Ultimate Avengers” movie. I will be apoplectic with joy. They will have to wheel me into the theater – I’ll be the one with the drool cup.
The summer has had its share of flops too. “Speed Racer” and “The Love Guru” got the smack down. I was surprised that “Speed Racer” didn’t perform better. I thought that kids would flock to it bringing their parents along for the popcorn buying ride. I was wrong. Now I have not seen “The Love Guru” but by all I’ve read, surmised, and seen in the titanic ad campaign it looks as though that same joke that Mike Meyers has been telling for the last 6 films or so has finally caught up to him. I’ll wait for the rental – maybe.
But enough of looking backwards; what’s done is done – lets move on, shall we? So what’s next? Will the top three (my three favorites thus far) be steadfast or will they tumble too? Here’s what’s on deck…
1. Wall-E. Opened 6/27/08. When I grow up I want to work for Pixar. All spin I’ve read says that they have done it again. This one is in our future – the kids are jazzed and so am I. Chicken Little says that she would like to “Huggle him.” I have a sneaky suspicion she’s not going to be alone in that sentiment. Pixar – if you’re out there, I can provide a resume at your request.
2. Wanted. Opened 6/27/08. I never read the comic but I have read other stuff by the man who created the property, Mr. Mark Millar. His Kung-Fu is good. I have always enjoyed Angelina Jolie’s body of work, as well. I don’t know if I’ll be seeing the movie in the theaters but it might be worth a look see. This film has the misfortune of sharing the same opening weekend with “Wall-E” and Wall-E is going to mop the floor with Jolie. Hey – that rhymes!
3. Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Opens 7/11/08. Guillermo del Toro is the man. This’ll be a fun night at the movies. I don’t think I’ll be taking the younger kids though – too many monsters. Hey, is it me or does the creepy leader of the Golden Army look like Tom Cruise? Del Toro’s next project is a little film called “The Hobbit”. I can’t wait.
4. The Dark Knight. Opens 7/18/08. This is the one to watch. If anything could face Iron Man for the Number One spot – this is it. The cast is impeccable. The filmmakers get it. This is THE BATMAN on the silver screen and opening night is a given.
5. The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Opens 7/24/08. Mulder & Scully together again? Yeah – I’m there. This is a golden opportunity for Chris Carter and fans to pretend that the last season of X-Files (TV) didn’t happen. Will this be the beginning of a film franchise? I hope so – I want to believe that will be the case.
6. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Opens 8/1/08. This looks like a good bookend to the summer movie season. It occupies an August opening and while that is not necessarily a harbinger of doom it shows that the studio strategically placed it here – the end of the summer, so that it didn’t have to compete with the big guns. It will do well and it will sell popcorn. The trailer looks better than I thought it would be and I just might have to check it out.
7. The Clone Wars. Opens 8/15/08. This too occupies an August opening but this one’s a little different; “The Clone Wars” almost wasn’t a movie at all; it was designed to be an animated TV show (and it will lead to an animation series that will kick off sometime in the fall). The story goes like this (thank you Wikipedia): upon seeing a few episodes on the big screen Lucas said, “"This is so beautiful, why don't we just go and use the crew and make a feature?" Hey – why not? It’s Star Wars on the big screen once more. I’m there.
So there you have it, the shape of things to come. Can the Christmas movie season be that far behind? Oh no, Gentle Reader… oh no. I sense visits from Bond and Potter in the future…
See you at the multiplex!