This is a pretty big year for movies so I figured I’ll do a rundown of a bunch of flicks headed to the theaters until the end of the year. Let me just point out before we get started that I didin’t mention every single movie that’s coming out, I’m just going through the major ones and the ones that fought my eye and I feel like thu deserve your attention (and ones that don’t). Frankly, if it doesn’t interest me then I’m not going to mention it and before I start to ramble on, let me just get into the meat and potatoes of the article. I’ll do it month by month, in the order of the release date
Now I realize this has already come out, but since we’re still in about the middle of May, I’ll include the movies that have come out this month. If you haven’t already heard, The Avengers is a huge success and it deserves every single record it has broken because the movie is absolutely incredible. Joss Wheadon, the director of The Avengers and the creator of such TV gems as Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Firefly, had a huge task in front of him and he pulled it off flawlessly. This is by far one of the most entertaining things he has ever created and I truly belive the reason The Avengers is as good as it is because of Wheadons background as a comic book writer. He has a knack for being able to juggle and mix different personalities within a team and making it work, jut look at his run on The Astonishing X-Men to see how great he is at how skillfully he is at working with team work dynamics. He balances every member of The Avengers with art-like precision and the end product is a perfect balance of drama, humor and action. It never feels like its an Ironman movie, a Captain America movie or a Thor movie, it just feels like an Avengers movie. The scenes with the Hulk completely out shine the previous two movies the green Goliath previously starred in and Whedon makes The Black Widow’s storyline play out so perfectly that fans are already clamping for a solo movie starring the Russian assassin who is played to perfection by the big boobied Scarlet Johanson (we were all thinking it, I just said it). Do yourself a favor, see the movie in the theaters in IMAX and if you feel like you wasted your money I’ll buy you lunch
Men In Black 3
Loved the first one, disliked the second one and don’t really care about the third one. Look, when MIB came out in the late 90s it was fresh, Will Smith as as an actor was new and the special effects were pushing the boundaries of those times. The script was original (even tho it was based on a comic book) and everybody fell in love with it, besides, how could you forget the theme song performed by the fresh prince himself? When MIB2 came out, it was a natural response to the success of the first movie. MIB made a huge impact at the box office and people loved it and wanted more so the studio did exactly what a studio does in that scenario, they rushed the sequel out sacrificing quality in order to get it out sooner. Did MIB2 make money? Of course it did, but not as much as the first one and it wasn’t as well liked as the first one. Now this is what gave the studio pause on the third film: Although MIB2 made its money back, the fact that not as many people liked it increased the risk of people not seeing the third one, therefore making it a financial loss. Basically, the cons outweighed the pros and the third flick was never made. Fast forward to about 10 years later, this time the studio is betting on the nostalgia factor and the return of Will Smith after a 4 year absence from the theaters to help out with the gross of the movie, but count me out. I’ve always felt like this was a one movie premise, the whole point being someone who has no idea that this stuff exists being thrown into a world full of it. The sequels are unneeded and uninspired so the only way I’ll see this in on HBO in about 18 months
Yet another movie starring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton….color me unimpressed. Don’t get me wrong, Depp is a great actor and Burton a pretty good director, but it seems like they are both stuck in the same place when they get together. It just seems to me like all their movies look and feel exactly the same, with Depp playing the weird, quirky character and Burton shooting everything to look like an Emo kids dream. It’s just that after “Edward Scissorhans”‘, “Sweeny Todd”, “Alice in Wonderland” and now “Dark Shadows”, Burton and Depps collaborations feel stagnant. Scorsese knew when to bail on De Niro, Burton should know its time to bail on Depp.
Snow White and The Huntsman
As soon as I saw the trailer for this a few months back I knew I would be seeing this in the theater. I love movies that are filled with visual flair and imagination going wild, and this film definitely hits those spots. The special effects seem incredible, and the dark twist on an old story seems to work (although purists will know that the original Snow White story is even darker and more sinister then this). I know that all the twilight haters will refuse to see this because Bella is the main character, and admittedly I am one of those haters I’m willing to give the girl a chance. Thor’s in this as well wielding an axe instead of a hammer and the film also stars some of my favorite actors form the UK as the dwarfs. The directing seems really good, the score is amazing, the……..who am I kidding? I’m on board because Charlize Theron is in it. I am absolutely in love with her, like not healthy in love with her. I could watch her reading a phone book and it would be the most entertaining thing I’ve ever seen. Wanna hear something gross? ……I’m not going to tell you but for all the guys reading this: Watch the trailer again. You know the scene with Charlize? What would a perv say about that? Yeah…..that what I was going got write.
I love movies that fall into the category of “So Bad it’s Good”, even more so I love “So Bad it’s Good” movies that know that they fall into that category and embrace it. I didint see the first “Piranha 3D” until it showed up on HBO, and even then i only saw it at my friends urging. I expected it to be bad, but I didint expect it to know it was bad and that’s what made it so great. The creators behind this knew that all people were expecting when they saw this was boobies, blood and killer fish and that’s exactly what they gave us and for that they are geniuses. I truly belive that it’s harder to make a “So Bad it’s Good” movie than an actual good movie, there’s a by fine line you have to walk, a perfect balance you have to hold between cheesy and serious. You don’t want to go too cheesy because then it will just become a parody, and you don’t want to go too serious because then the movie will go from “So Bad it s Good” to just plain old bad. I can’t wait to see this sequel, although I won’t waste $13 on a theater ticket I might be willing to drop $4 on it when it shows up onDemand.
Let me just say this right off the bat since a lot of people seem to still be in the dark about this fact: “Prometheus” is a prequel to “Alien”. In the original movie, the crew of Nostromo received an SOS signal and went to help which is what started the whole thing. The ship that sent the SOS signal was Prometheus. I really can’t write a lot about this movie because I have purposefully kept myself in the dark as not to get spoiled on anything and to be totally surprised when I see it in the theaters. I did see a couple of trailers for it, and I just have to say that I love the vibe of the movie, it has that 80s vibe. Aside from “District 9″, we really haven’t had a good Sci-Fi movie in a long time, I guess we had “Star Trek” a few years ago but I don’t consider that Sci-Fi, it’s too well know and too ingrain in our pop culture. A true Sci-Fi movie should be very unfamiliar, when you enter the theater you should have that “into the unknown” feeling and Prometheus has it and that’s why I’ve avoided spoilers like e plague. The late 1970s and the 1980s were the prime of Sci-Fi movies with classics like “Mad Max”, “The Terminator”, “Escape From New York” and “Blade Runner”. Ever since CGI became more affordable then practical effects, Sci-Fi movie have been slowly diluted into all out action extravaganzas. With a few exceptions like “District 9″, Sci-Fi became and excuse to blow stuff up in cool ways by cool characters, like “Transformers”. They became a perfect example of style over substance, they all became action movies at their core without any effort to use the technology if CGI to make an interesting story. For example, if you took out CGI and could only use practical effects (ie. puppets, miniatures etc) how do you think any of the “Transformers” movies would have turned out? They would be horrible because they are all about the special effects. Now on the other hand take “District 9″, even without the special effects it would have been a great movie because they storyline is exceptional. That’s what I’m hoping “Prometheus” is; an amazing movie with amazing special effects.
That’s My Boy
A lot of people have been disappointed with Adam Sandler in the past few years, and yes, I somewhat do fall into that category although not as deep as others do. Obviously, his first movies were the best, “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore” are classics and “Big Daddy” was great, but movies like “Mr. Deeds”, “50 First Dates”, “Anger Management” and “The Longest Yard” are utterly forgettable. I think around the Zohan movie is when most of his fans gave up on him, and you can include me in that category. However, about a year ago I was channel surfing and happened upon “Grown Ups” on HBO (yes, I watch HBO a lot) and found myself laughing, I realized that Adam Sandler hasn’t really changed since “Billy Madison”. His comedy stayed the same throughout all these years and it was me who has gotten older and doesn’t find that kind of humor hilarious anymore, funny but not hilarious. I watched “Billy Madison” recently and recognized the fact that if it came out yesterday I might have not even seen in. I find it hilarious because when I was a kid watching it I found it hilarious, I guess you could call it nostalgic humor; finding something funny because you used to think it was funny. There’s still some missteps once in a while like “Jack and Jill”, which I don’t think I’ll see unless it’s free on cable and I’m drunk, but the recent “Just Go With It” wasn’t as bad as critics made it out to be. Anyway, I’m looking forward to “That’s My Boy” because I like Andy Samberg and it seems like a return to an R rated comedy for Sandler which I can’t wait to see.
Rock of Ages
Go ahead, laugh at me if you wish, but I’m a sucker for a good musical and I’m not ashamed to admit it. “Grease” is one of my all time favorite movies and the 1980 are one of my favorite periods in musical history, a movie that combines the two cant go wrong in my book. I’m usually not a fan of the “Glee” type of a musical were they take great original songs and give it a tweak here and there. The song was great for a reason so why the hell are you changing it? I’m also not a fan of musicals not having their own material and using existing songs,(one of the reasons I love “Grease” do much is because all their songs were original and they were all great) but I’m willing to give “Rock of Ages” a pass since it would be damn hard to recreate incredible songs like Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”. I’ll most likely not see this in the theaters’ either out of embarrassment or the fact it’s so expensive to see a movie nowadays, but I’ll definitely catch in on DVD or onDemand. It’s a musical based in the 1980s with licensed music starring Tom Cruise, it’s going to be like a 90 music vide with a storyline and great tunes….how can you go wrong?
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
If you don’t roll your eyes after reading or hearing the title of this movie I’m pretty sure theres something wrong with you. I mean, seriously? Honest Abe hunting vampires? I know it’s a movie, I know it’s based on a really good comic book and I know that vampires a “in” these days but COME ON! If the title of a movie makes you laugh and it’s not a comedy, you have a serious problem on your hands. When I first heard of this I honestly though it was a joke, and to be perfectly frank, I still kind of do. I’m not sure why Timur Bekmambetov agreed to do this movie after his success with “Wanted” because he could have picked any action movie he wanted. I’m familiar with his previous work in Russia, and for any film fan out there that doesn’t mind reading subtitles I highly recommend “Daywatch” and “Nightwatch”, he is truly a skilled director but his choice to do this movie baffles me. I’ll tell you right now: this movie will be a massive flop. I know that it only cost $70 million but I doubt that in a summer of blockbusters people will want to spend their money on something that makes them scratch their head and think to themselves “Is this Serious?”
In my humble opinion, an opinion that is absolutely not shared in the movie geek community, PIXAR and their films are extremely over rated. The “Toy Story” films were good with only “Toy Story 3″ getting into the great category. “Finding Nemo”, ” The Incredibles”, “Monsters Inc” and “Ratatouille” were entertaining, both “Cars” films were terrible and “Wall-E” and “Up” we’re so unjustifiably praised that it makes me question people’s sanity. I mean for a kids movie, “Up” was so depressing that it would give “Requiem for a Dream” a run for its money. I find myself enjoying the Dreamworks animated films, like “How to Train Your Dragon” and all the “Ice Ages” and “Shreks” more then the Pixar animated outings. It’s like Dreamworks makes these movies for kids with multiple tongue in cheek references for adults while Pixar makes these semi-kid/ semi-adult movies that are not really sure who their audience is. Reading this, you probable already know my view on “Brave” but I’ll say it anyway: I’ll wait to watch 15 minutes of it on cable in 5 years.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
A lot of people don’t know about this movie, at least not yet, and it’s totally justifiable. It’s one of those major studio productions that tries to any it off as an independent movie to make the audience think that it’s some fancy art house film. If you’re one of those people, the basic plot outline is that the world is about to end and Steve Carell is looking for someone to enjoy his last moments with. I love Steve Carell but I hope this isn’t one of those roles where he is playing it straight and realistic because after years of seeing him as Michael Scott on “The Office” and Rick in “Anchorman” I can’t take him as a serious actor. I hate to pigeonhole an actor into one type of role, but he played Michael Scott so well for so many years that whenever I see him in something serious all I can think of is him calling Dwight an ignorant slut. Aside from Steve Carell, this cast includes a whole lot of funny guys like Rob Huebel and Rob Corddry and I’ll hold my judgement on this movie until I know more about it but I’ll have a feeling I’ll avoid this one just like I did with “Dan in Real Life” and “Little Miss Sunshine”‘ the latter, by the way, being the most over rated movie of the last 10 years in my personal opinion.
GI Joe: Retaliation
When I originally started working on this blog “GI Joe 2″ was still scheduled to be released in July of this year, however around 3 weeks ago Paramount Pictures pushed the movies release date all the way back to summer of 2013. They said the reason for the change was to give the special effects team more time to convert it to 3D, but over the last couple of weeks various sources have come out and said that when the movie was shown to test audiences the results were very negative. Apparently the reason for that being is that Channing Tatum’s character dies in the first 10 minutes of the sequel and the test audience wasn’t a very big fan of that. The problem is that this move is going to cost Paramount a huge amount of money since not only will they have to add an additional year of shooting which includes paying much more money to the actors and crew, but also in terms of marketing. Paramount has spent tens of millions of dollars advertising the movie with the release date of 2012 and now all that money has gone down the drain. Basically if you break it down it goes like this: Officially the budget for the movie is $125 million and that’s not including the marketing budget. It’s usually a pretty safe bet to estimate the marketing budget and around half of the production budget, in this case let’s say $50 million and that brings us to around $175 million before this faux pas. Let’s just say that the additional year of filming is going to run them $35 million, and that’s me being very generous since its probably closer to $60 million. Now, they are going to have to market the movie from scratch so there goes another $50 million, so now were adding a total of $85 million to the budget that was originally green lighted for only $175 million and this brings us to a total budget of $260 million. Budgets like that are usually reserved for guaranteed hits, movies like “The Avengers” or “Transformers” not semi-successful, barely-made-their-money-back movies like the original “GI Joe”. This is a huge risk for Paramount and they stand to loose a huge amount of money if this film is incredibly successful when it’s finally released which I really doubt it will.
The Amazing Spider-man
One of the most annoying trends going on in Hollywood right now is the remake trend, taking basically every movie from before the year 2000 and giving us a remake of it or a really crappy sequel (I’m looking at you “Live Free or Die Hard”). Making remakes of older movies is one thing, but taking a movie from 2002, a movie that we all saw and remember very well, and remaking it is really pushing it. If it was at least a semi-sequel like “The Incredible Hulk”, were it kind of follows the original but not really, that would be fine but Sony decided the go full remake on old web head, treating it like its a brand new movie. I’m a huge comic book fan and Spidey is one of my favorites, I make sure I see all the comic book movies out there but I refuse to sit through another movie of his that spend half of its running time explaining his origins. Everybody and their mom saw the original “Spiderman”, when it came out it held the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time, we don’t need another explanation of how he got his powers. He got bitten by a radioactive spider, even if you never read a comic book you know that, spidermans origin is part of pop culture. Aside from that, just looking at the trailers makes me think that this is aimed at the twilight crowd which is basically the opposite of the comic book crowd this movie should be for. The director, Marc Webb (I swear that’s his real name) only has one semi big budget movie under his belt and its “500 Days of Summer” which is a teen romance movie. I think I’m going to sit this movie out and wait for the DVD unless I hear it’s amazing from my fellow geeks.
Not many people know about this movie and I don’t blame them, the movie has kept a very low profile and the expectations for this one are very low. If you don’t know, the plot centers about two California marijuana growers who battle it out with a Mexican cartel when one of their girlfriends is kidnapped. The way I see it, this movie is going to either be terrible or very good and I’m basing that simply on the director and the cast. When it comes to me, Oliver Stone is a hit or miss type of guy and so is John Travolta, Benicio del Toro and Selma Hayek. If they pull it off this could be a fun action thriller, the sort we have sorely missed the last couple of years. Aside from that I kind of feel bad for Taylor Kitsh who is the lead in this one, so far the guy has been the lead in two major productions: “John Carter” and “Battleship”. Both of those movies have been complete and utter failures, literally costing the studios that produced them millions and millions of dollars. If Kitsh doesn’t get a hit on his resume soon he’s going to be viewed as box office poison and his next starring role will be in “Do You Want Fries With That?”.
Finally, after spending more the 10 years of making America laugh on the small screen, Seth McFarlane is bringing his type of humor to the big screen, how awesome is that?….If you couldn’t tell, I was being sarcastic in the previous sentence. I haven’t watched “Family Guy” or any of McFarlane’s othe animated shows in years. I found the one note, one joke premise of his style of comedy played during the 4th season of “Family Guy”, but I’m not judging those who do. After all, I am the guy who still finds “The Simpsons” and “Seinfeld” funny although I’ve seen every episode at least twice, all I’m saying is that’s just not my brand of humor. However, I can’t say I’m not intrigued by what McFarlane is going to do on the big screen, I’m not expecting much but I hope to be pleasantly surprised. The premise of the movie is the same as his TV shows with a kind of a dumb slacker being best friends with a talking pot head animal that no one finds weird it can talk. Well, I guess there is a difference because this time the animal is a stuffed bear!!! I know I sound like a hater here, but I’m really not, I just think its fun to laugh at a lack of creativity displayed in everything McFarlane does, but I can’t say I blame the guy. He found something that works and is running with it. Also, from what I’ve seen from the trailers, the movie might be kind of funny and I’m hoping for the best since this summer is seriously lacking any high profile comedies.
Ice Age: Continental Drift
I mentioned before, when I was talking about Pixar’s “Brave”, that I wasn’t a huge fan of the Pixar animated movies, but in all honesty that’s not really true. I’m not really fan of many animated movies, especially most of the animated features that are released these days. I’m not sure whether it’s just me getting older, It’s just I don’t feel the same about animated movies like a did years ago, but if you were to throw “The Lion King” in the DVD player I’d sit there and love every minute of it. I know that it takes the same amount of work to make a computer generated image as it does to draw one, perhaps even more, but I just can’t connect to the characters the same way. There’s just something special to me about drawing artists slaving over hundreds of pieces of papers, drawing a two hour movie frame by frame. I’m getting way off topic here so let me just double back, although I prefer classic animation to CGI I still enjoy the current trend of animated films. If I had to make a choice, I’d go with “Ice Age” rather then any of the Pixar film (except for “Toy Story 3″), it just seems to me like Pixar tries too hard and Dreamworks has fun with it.
The Dark Knight Rises
Much like “Prometheus” I’ve kept myself in the dark about the upcoming Batman threequel, and yes that is an actual word. No matter how hard you try tho, with a movie of this proportions, with this much hype and popularity you’re bound to find out more than you’d like. Before you continue reading, I just want to let you know that I have no real (read:confirmed) spoilers for this movie, but I do have some plot and character details that I will go into here so if you want to go into the movie completely in the dark STOP READING NOW! Is everybody gone? OK, let’s continue. We know that this is the last “Batman” movie for Christopher Nolan and its the end to his batman trilogy. What I mean by the end is that this batman, in this universe, is finished after this one. Whether that means that Bruce Wayne dies or retires is still a well guarded secret by the production team. This time old Bats is squaring off against Bane, a very formidable villain in the comics,and from what it looks like, as well as onscreen. We get the addition fans have been clamoring for since Nolan started with the Bat-films and that is adding Catwoman to the cast, but I have come to find out she is never referred to as “Catwoman” in the film. The new cast member whose presence is puzzling every fan out there is the role Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays. All we know is that Appearantly he plays some sort of law enforcement agent by the name of John Blake, a character that has never existed in the comics. Now Nolan went on record many years ago that he will never have a “Robin” in his batman movies, but (and this is fan speculation only) there are people out there that belive Bruce Wayne will die in this one only to have the mantle of the Bat taken over by John Blake. All of this is simply fanboy speculation and nobody will know exactly what happens until the movie is released, Nolan is good like that when it comes to keeping the plot under wraps. All we know for sure is when this movie hits, it’s going to hit hard and I believe box office records broken by “The Avengers” will be broken again. Nolan is coming off a string of super successfull films (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception) and because of how good his previous Batman film was, the anticipation for this one is sky high.
Before I start on this, you guys want to hear another example of political correctness going to far in America? OK. “The Watch” used to be called “The Neighborhood Watch”‘ but because of the whole Trayvon Martin case they changed it because it might offend people. Yes, unfortunately we live in a time and place where stuff like this happens but enough about the name change and let’s talk about the movie. The movie stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn Jonah Hill as a group of dads that start a neighborhood watch group and fight off an alien invasion. I had no idea about the alien angle until I saw a trailer for this a few weeks back, I just thought this was a run of the mill comedy where they’ll end up fighting a cartel or something. I was pleasantly surprised by the alien reveal, but also a little worried because mixing Sci-Fi and comedy is much tougher then it looks. I really hope they can pull it off and I really hope the stars of this flick step up to the plate, because when it comes to the two main actors in this they really need to prove they still have it. Stiller used to be funny (check out “The Ben Stiller Show”) but he hasn’t made a good movie in years and in my eyes, Vaughn was never really a comedy genius. He pretty much played the same cynical asshole in everything he’s ever been in, but if you make his character feel like he belongs in said world he’ll at least be entertaining.
Step Up: Revolution
I’m not really sure why I’m including this movie on this list, the target audience that reads this is definetly not the same target audience that goes to see Step Up movies. Honestly, I beg you (and I’m 100% serious about this), if you’re planning on seeing “Step Up: Revolution” please leave a comment on here because I would love to have proof that you exist. I’m not sure what I can say about this movie because the deciding factor of you seeing it is very simple: Do you like dancing? Then go see this movie. If I may just give you a warning, because it happened to me a couple years back, if you’re going to see this movie in 3D with a girl make sure that the theater has a 3D screen before you purchase you tickets. Otherwise, you might be stuck like I was, watching “Step Up 3D” without the “D”.
Thank you very much for reading part one of “2012 and the Rest of it’s Movies (PART1)”. Part 2 will be up shortly.