Most Anticipated Summer Movies
With so many films planned, I bet you’re all wondering what I’m most looking forward to at Electricity and Lust and well, I’m going to tell you. So here’s the five films I’m most anticipating across June, July and August along with some honorable mentions. (UK release dates)
5. Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr playing an actor who dyes his skin to play a black soldier. Tom Cruise doing comedy. A du jour cast of comic luminaries. Ben Stiller is notoriously unreliable as a director and performer but he’s due another brilliant work (it’s been 7 years since Zoolander) to keep him in stead and this looks like it could be it. I may even go out on a limb and say that this will be the downright funniest film you see all year if Stiller can just allow the cameos to breathe rather than deliver expected moments of absurdity.
4. Hellboy 2
Although the original is flawed (the villain isn’t good enough and his sidekicks don’t provide much to the story), I’ve grown in anticipation for this squarely because of the blooming love, yes love, I have for Guillermo del Toro. Following Pan’s Labyrinth, for me the finest movie since the turn of the millenium, I’ve awaited his return with baited breath. While he’s now attached to everything from The Hobbit to 3993, the completion of his Spanish trilogy (Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth being the first two), Hellboy 2 still seems to have his attention and the trailers seem to hint at yet more comic book fun. It may not be perfect, but it will aid Iron Man and the rest in creating a summer of comic-book adaptations you might be able to sit through without demanding a refund.
3. Pineapple Express
The crack team behind Knocked Up and Superbad working with the semi-indie-darling director of All The Real Girls on a stoner buddy action comedy. It has the potential to be a blinding ride even if this may be the apex of the Apatow/Rogen journey. If the schtick hadn’t got tired up to this, I can’t see them being able to continue in the same vein after this one. But with James Franco pepping up the team and Gary Cole playing a bad guy, the guys have shown a nous for strong casting. So while this may end the schtick, it could point a new way forward for the Apatow clan’s next move. And it’s a step in some direction from Green, whose previous film’s have dealt in pinpointed naturalism, to move into a mainstream directing crowd and be able to gain financing for new and exciting projects he hadn’t been able to get off the ground. Finally some film philanthropy outside of the Freaks and Greeks crew from Apatow.
2. The Dark Knight
The hype machine has been turning over extra hours to keep this one in the mainsteam conversation but from trailers it looks like Christopher Nolan may have fixed some of the flaws of Batman Begins. I was pretty indifferent to that film but I’m really looking forward to this which will give more to Gary Oldman and adds Aaron Eckhart and Maggie Gyllenhaal to the cast. Obviously the centre will be Heath Ledger and his interpretation of the Joker in the previews is pretty terrifying. It’s likely to have meta-significance and power coming out of its ears but I’m going to do my best to take it on merit. It gets kept off number one due in part to Batman Begins but also because of exposure fatigue. The marketing camaign for this has been going since last year and by the time it comes out, so much will have been read on the film that any mystique will have started to die. That, and the trailer, like so many nowadays, is too long.
Many folks, including myself, were pretty dismissive of this little picture when the trailers first turned up last year. I’m a huge Pixar fan anyway so the hype was always inside somewhere but rumours that the first forty minutes are totally free of dialogue and that the rest of the film isn’t far off silent movie-style expressionist emotion… I’m sold. It does require a lot of trust to be placed in director Andrew Stanton to emerge as Pixar’s new Brad Bird and control the cute to imbue his characters with a sense of human emotion. He did a great job with Finding Nemo so my fingers are very confidently crossed.
Other honourable mentions: Hancock could be good but the trailers are giving me goosebumps. As a general thumb rule though, I’ll watch Will Smith do anything. Mad lo-fi visionary Guy Maddin returns with personal documentary/autobiography My Winnipeg which has received mucho love from all who’ve seen it. Tom (The Station Agent) McCarthy’s new film The Visitor looks like a slice of low-key wonder.
On the other side of my anticipation coin, Tom Cruise gets his Nazi on in the delayed and likely shitty Valkyrie while Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway will do their best with Get Smart. Again, looks like it’s going to bomb. Neither as much though as The X-Files: I Want to Believe which seems totally wrong for Duchovny just after he’s reinvented himself with Californication and totally wrong generally as a sequel to a movie of a TV show that was popular ten years ago. Possibly the disaster of the summer. The Wackness could go either way but early buzz says this is a hipster fave to avoid. Finally, You Don’t Mess With The Zohan looks to me like it could be the most offensive, shockingly unfunny film to emergy for the sesspit of Adam Sandler’s career for some time. I literally could not physically want to see this film any less.