I asked our summer interns if they like the blockbusters that typically dominate the theaters at this time of year. In this post, Josh Cameron–who readily admits to loving the explosive mayhem of blockbusters–picks his favorites slated to be in theaters this summer and fall. Later today, an article from intern Claire Woodcock, who takes a different approach to summer movie watching. –Ellen
I apologize if this is a little biased toward superhero or action films. My inner superhero geek completely comes out when it comes to cinema and I’m a sucker for a really good or even really campy action flick… A man with simple tastes. Big explosions (no matter how realistic) excite me. So here is a list of the movies I am most excited about–all slated for releases anywhere from now through sometime in 2014. In no particular order…
- Finally, a visual for the famed novel by Orson Scott Card. This one has me excited because the book was one of my favorites when I was in high school. It’s always exciting when a novel you have read becomes a film. It lets you compare your visualization and understanding of a text with someone else’s. It will be really nice to see director Gavin Hood’s take on the classic.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- Another classic novel made into a film, part II of the Hobbit trilogy is set to debut this winter. The latest trailer promises more action than seen in the first film. Though the first had its fair share, it was more of an adventure than action film. We also catch a glimpse of Orlando Bloom’s Legolas. I never read the books, but from what I understand, he was never mentioned in the novel. Any hardcore LOTR’s follower who can help me out with this one? Beyond that, it looks promising and should be a powerful sequel to the first installment.
- Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy has been popular since its debut in 2004. Who can forget the jazz flute!? Its perfect compilation of cast and hilarious back and forth banter made for a great laugh out loud comedy. Well, now America’s favorite news team is back! It will be interesting to see the plot development of this film. Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint.
- Don’t even get me started on this one. This is a film I’ve been waiting for since 1998, ever since Roland Emmerich’s Americanized take on the famous monster. (Because we are going to pretend Toho’s Godzilla: 2000 does not exist). Now, I have to say, when I was younger I liked watching the 1998 movie. I mean… it was a huge dinosaur running around Manhattan destroying anything in its path, but I think Emmerich tried to personify the monster a little to much. He gave it feelings and emotions. At the end of the movie you almost want to cry when they kill Godzilla. Even when the old Godzilla was in battle with a more sinister monster, he was still not a hero and the only time people felt bad for him was if another monster capable of destroying Tokyo was whooping Godzilla’s butt. Godzilla is supposed to be a ruthless creature set to wreak havoc. Also, I’m pretty sure Godzilla has always been a boy… In this movie, “it” has the ability to lay eggs… and we never really find out the gender (assuming it is a female). Another questionable move by Emmerich. So, that brings us to Gareth Edward’s take, set to hit theaters in 2014. (And no, this will not continue where the 1998 movie left off… I know we all wanted the egg to hatch and for there to be a sequel about the same monster in the same city… Personally, I think Matthew Broderick took the egg and kept the baby Godzilla as a pet, but hey… who knows?) With today’s special effects and a good plot, there is no reason this movie shouldn’t be spectacular. I really hope he can give this franchise some new life, allowing it to grow and leave room for possible sequels. There is no trailer yet, but here is a link to a pretty decent fan page that carries constant updates on the film’s production.
- Pacific Rim
- Coming off of Godzilla, here is another monster movie I am pretty excited about. Is it kind of a Godzilla/monsters destroying the world knock off? Yes. I think the title could more or less be called, Power Rangers v. Godzilla. My hope is that there is a good plot and that this isn’t just a sequence of Mortal Combat battles. Beyond all that… There are huge robots designed by “us” pummeling monsters trying to destroy our planet… what’s not to love about this?
- Thor: The Dark World
- How can you not be a Thor fan? I mean, he is the god of thunder for crying out loud (no disrespect to Gene Simmons). The teaser for this film did not provide us with very much… beyond Thor’s poor judgement–as in, you probably shouldn’t bring your Earth lover to your home planet in the wake of a giant alien attack–but we all make mistakes. I’m sure there will be more details when a new trailer surfaces. From what I have read, Natalie Portman apparently becomes a target. We catch a glimpse of the new baddy, who is most likely responsible for all this chaos, Malekith the accursed. Malekith is a master of sorcery and the ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, one of the nine worlds of Asgard. Hopefully this one will stay away from planet Earth (unlikely though, because what would a movie be if the Earth wasn’t in peril?!*mild sarcasm*) The surprise at the end of this trailer is the best part… If you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t spoil it for you, but you can watch it right now to find out!
- Despicable Me 2
- Honestly, Despicable Me has to be one of my favorite animated films. It has the perfect blend of heart felt moments and pure comedy. It is such an interesting twist to take a villain and make him a hero. And the minions… don’t even get me started. In my opinion, besides Steve Carell’s awesome performance as the voice of Gru, they make the movie. Very excited to see what they do with the sequel and for some more classic moments.
- The Wolverine
- Oh no they didn’t! Yep… they did… they took away the Wolverine’s (a ripped to pieces Hugh Jackman) immortality. This should really make things interesting… In the past, Logan has always relied on this to get him out of tough situations. But now, he is fighting not only to save the day, but for his life. This film will take place after X-Men: The Last Stand and will also be introducing a formidable adversary in the Silver Samurai. Though the Silver Samurai is CG in this film, I don’t think it will take away from it. It would be pretty challenging to have an actor walk around in a big, clunky, samurai suit (although they could take some tips from Robert Downey Jr. and probably do alright). It looks like there will be many acrobatic, nail biting action sequences in this one, so be sure to claw your way into theaters (insert laughter and/or sigh due to word play) to see this one on July 26th, 2013!
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- So, you think Captain America is the only man who can crash, blow up, freeze and then be brought back to life?? False! Remember Bucky Barnes, Cap’s pal who died near the beginning of the first movie? Well, according to the comics, he froze too, except he wasn’t found by the right people. He was found by the Russians, of course, with a complete loss of identity. So, they reprogrammed him to be an elite cyborg assassin. This seems to be where this movie is headed. Later on in the comics, Bucky becomes Cap’s sidekick and even takes on the Captain America role himself. It will be interesting to see the direction they take this film and how many more Captain Americas they have in the works. No trailer has been released yet for this film, so… I have another IMDb page for you.
- 300: Rise of An Empire
- So, I guess I am a little disappointed, but also thrilled with this one… I assume most of us have seen the first film and the unfortunate perish of Leonidas and the brave 300… So my question is… why another movie with the same title? I just think this series should have been left alone after the first movie. It had a good solid ending. They were all killed except one, Dilios returns to tell the story of the brave 300, and it ends with them going into battle. It was somewhat similar to the end of the movie Braveheart. William Wallace dies, everyone hears the story, and then the Scots fight and win their freedom. But I don’t see Braveheart 2 coming out. Oh wait, that’s because William Wallace is dead. Well… Leonidas and the brave 300 are dead so… I disagree with it being made, but it will not stop me from seeing it. Movies taking place in ancient times are always interesting. Throw in a war and I’m sold. I’m sure this will be another great from Zack Snyder, with incredible special effects, great action/battle sequences, and plenty of gore. I would not recommend it for the faint of heart.
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- Though everyone thought it was a little soon for a Spider-Man reboot, I think that Marc Webb (insert pun about his last name being Webb here) did well with it. In my opinion, Andrew Garfield kills Toby Maguire’s Peter Parker. I mean, Garfield just has the look and that puny high school kid appeal. I think the Lizard man looked a little funky with the flat face, but hey… what do I know? There is still a lot of mystery surrounding this film. We know that the new villain will be Electro (the blue man group version) played by Jamie Foxx, with an appearance of the Rhino (played by Paul Giamatti?) as well. Norman Osborne will also be in the mix. Mary Jane Watson has apparently been canned from the script, but not from the series. Yes, they already have plans to make a third installment (and a fourth). I have also heard rumors of the Vulture possibly making an appearance. This all sounds fantastic, but I just hope Webb doesn’t do to this what Joel Schumacher did to “Batman and Robin”. Too many villains, with too many things going on, and goofy casting. I love Arnold Schwarzenegger and his movies, but when the only thing you take out of a Batman movie is the catch phrase “TIME TO FREEEZZEE!! (with heavy Austrian accent), we have a problem. No trailer has been released, so I’ll provide the IMDB page.
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Honestly, I am not familiar with these characters or this comic. I continue to follow updates on the film. Beyond a cast list and a minimal plot description, they continue to keep any details sealed tight. However, it is a Marvel film, separate from the characters we are all familiar with right now. It will give us a look at what else is going on beyond planet earth and is set to continue Marvel’s genius vine of tying together their films. From what I understand, this will set up the second Avenger’s movie.
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
- I never read the books, but I was forced to go watch the first movie. Honestly, I loved it. It was a thrilling and suspenseful film with just the right amount of action. It was very easy to connect with the characters and just knowing they were all going to die expect for one kept you on the edge of your seat. If you read the book, you already knew what would happen, but I had no idea. You love to hate the villains and fall in love with the heroes. I am excited to see how the story continues to unfold. For those of you who read the books, it is always exciting to see what a director does on screen with a famous novel. The first time I saw the trailer for Catching Fire, I got goosebumps (mostly from Donald Sutherland’s evil President Snow). Take a look!
- Insidious: Chapter 2
- The follow up to one of the best horror flicks from the last decade. Insidious is one of those horror films that actually has a pretty decent plot and is actually scary. For one, the famously eerie string chord of the movie is enough to make your heart race. Though the demon from the first movie looked like Darth Maul’s evil twin sister, it served as a very creepy, dark antagonist. The second movie seems to promise more haunts to the same family, which is trying to recoup after their last encounter. This time it appears it will be the father who suffers most of the spirits’ wrath. And of course, this one hits theaters on Friday, September 13th! (“Insert Dramatic Re-verb Here”)
- Lone Ranger
- “There come a time when good man must where mask,” says Johnny Depp’s Tonto, in the trailer for one of the most anticipated action films of the summer. Usually anything Johnny Depp touches becomes gold, even though sometimes it can get a little weird. In this one, he seems to be playing his Indian, non-alcoholic, version of Jack Sparrow, a character who means serious business, but is always there to provide some comedic relief when necessary. The special effects in the trailer look great and it seems to have outlined a pretty solid plot. As a lover of good western style movies, I can’t wait for this one to hit theaters.
These are the films I’m looking to seeing. What’s on your list? Do you agree with my take on these upcoming releases? Weigh in!
This post can also be found on Napoleon’s Nook, my personal Google blog!