odds & ends: summer movie preview

I did something I have gotten well out of the habit of doing this weekend- I went to the movies. In the not-too-distant past, I was a weekly moviegoer, but becoming a parent has effectively cured me of that pursuit. I’m sure somewhere down the road I’ll start going to the movies more regularly, but right now it’s fairly hard to carve out a few hours to sneak away to see a flick.

This looks to be a jam-packed summer for movies though. I’m sure I’ll get out to our cineplex a time or two more before fall. What I thought I’d do today is rundown all the BIG summer movies and talk about whether or not I’ll get out to see them in the theaters. That’d be fun, right?

For the record, the movie I’m most looking forward to this summer is one that I don’t think stands any chance of coming to Cincinnati- Miranda July’s sophomore feature-length, The Future. I’m a tremendous fan of Me and You and Everyone We Know and I’m excited to see any movie that July makes. Of course, as I said, The Future will likely play in big cities on the East and West Coast, and possibly in Chicago… but it’ll never make it to my neck of the woods until it’s on DVD. Sad, that.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Let me stress, I have no real rooting interest in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, other than an appreciation to the titles for finally teaching me how to spell “Caribbean” without using Spellcheck. I found the first one to be quite fun thanks to Johnny Depp’s colorful choices with his besotted Captain Jack Sparrow, but a bit long. The second and third movies were even longer and less fun than the first Pirates flick- Cap’n Jack started to wear thin for me.

SKIP.

The Hangover, Part II As a moviegoer, I’m quite wary of sequels to films that IN NO CONCEIVABLE way were planned to be sequelized. They’re usually blatant rehashes of the first movie with no real originality. That being said, I thought the chemistry between the three leads of The Hangover was the best part of that movie. I could be persuaded for another one of these movies if the reviews are OK.

WAIT FOR THE REVIEWS.

X-Men: First Class I pity the X-Men franchise. The first movie was a surprise. The second flick was absolutely amazing, a far better entry into the superhero movie genre than I believe most fans realize. The third movie was pretty lame and dampened my enthusiasm for any future X-movies. That being said, I can appreciate the experiment that the filmmakers are doing here, doubling back and telling an origin story with younger actors in the roles of Magneto, Professor X, and company. I’m also intrigued by the idea of firmly rooting the flick in real world events, as the trailers seem to indicate.

WAIT FOR THE REVIEWS.

Super 8

A alien invasion flick by way of the sensibilities of an early 1980’s Steven Spielberg flick, I’m pretty excited for Super 8. It’s a bit sad that the most original big budget summer movie is blatantly ripped off (in tone, at least) from flicks like The Goonies and E.T. Still, the movie looks awesome from the previews and I’m always up for some Kyle Chandler as a father figure/person of authority.

SEE IT IN THEATERS.

Green Lantern

I am torn on this one. On the one hand, I haven’t been totally bowled over by the trailers for Green Lantern. On the other hand, I’ve been wanting to see a Green Lantern movie since I was a kid. For this fact alone, I’ll probably SEE IT IN THEATERS, regardless of the reviews. I will likely avoid the 3D however.

Bad Teacher

I don’t find Cameron Diaz to be as super hilarious as the rest of the world. True, she was in There’s Something about Mary, which was one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen in theaters… but she was the person around who most of the comedy revolved, rather than the originator of the funny. I don’t know if that makes sense. That being said, I’m on the hook for this movie eventually because I find the majority of portrayals of teachers in movies and TV shows to be beyond awful and unrealistic… Half Nelson, notwithstanding. This movie seems to be making fun of that trope. I know know if that’s enough to get me to a multiplex, but I’m interested.

WAIT FOR THE REVIEWS.

Cars 2

Elliot enjoyed the first Cars movie, so this one is a likely candidate for being seen in theaters before the inevitable thousands of viewings on DVD. The first Cars flick was pleasant enough, but I’m more excited about the Toy Story short.

SEE IT IN THEATERS.

Larry Crowne

This looks like a return to comedy for Tom Hanks and I guess I’m down for that. Hanks remains an appealing actor and although this is a “big” movie, it’s definitely one of the flicks this summer on a smaller scale. That being said, Larry Crowne looks like it will play well as a rental, and as a guy with two kids and not a whole lot of disposable income, that will often be the tact I take with movies.

SKIP.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

SKIP. Just… SKIP.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II

I’m genuinely interested to see what the reaction to this movie will be, especially in talking with my 9th graders this year. I come at the Harry Potter phenomenon from the perspective of discovering the books when I was in my twenties, and enjoying the movies as a secondary pursuit My students grew up with these characters. The last movie should be really cool, although you could not PAY me to see it in 3-D. The Potter flicks are dark enough as it is. I don’t need dark glasses obscuring what is already assuredly going to be a dark picture… even if it will provide me with the third dimension.

SEE IT IN THEATERS.

Winnie the Pooh

Most won’t see this as a major release this summer but my son LOVES Winnie the Pooh. This all but assures my attendance to this movie. I suppose it’s not all bad- John Cleese gives voice to the narrator. I love John Cleese.

SEE IT IN THEATERS.

Captain America: The First Avenger

The movie I saw this past weekend was Thor and I enjoyed it far more than I anticipated. Although the two movies are only tangentally related, I have to admit, my interest was piqued by how fun the first Marvel superhero movie of the summer was. I’m also a big fan of director Joe Johnson’s first superhero movie, The Rocketeer. I’m fairly certain I’m going to give this one a SKIP, but if the circumstances are right, I might get into theaters for this one. We’ll see.

WAIT FOR THE REVIEWS.

Cowboys and Aliens

I think this one might be fun. Jon Favreau has made some good movies in the past- Iron Man certainly exceeded a lot of folks’ expectations, and I think his work with Will Ferrell on Elf is classic. I’ve heard good things about Harrison Ford in this flick too. As a child of the 1980’s, I love Ford… but he seems like he’s been sleeping through most of his major roles in the past 10-15 years. Hopefully Favreau can wake him the heck up!

WAIT FOR THE REVIEWS.

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