June is a big one. There are seventeen releases over the month, thirteen of which are in wide release. Four of these releases are on the list to compete for tops of the summer. June will set records.
Get Him to the Greek
This is a sequel/spin-off thingie of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, reuniting director Nicholas Stoller with stars Russell Brand and Jonah Hill (Superbad). Hill and Brand had supporting roles, which were funny in Sarah Marshall, but I wonder how their characters will translate into leads, especially Brand’s strung-out-on-sobriety rockstar Aldous Snow, a one-note character if ever there was one. Hill’s Aaron Greenberg is an enterprising music industry wannabe, but in Sarah Marshall he was most effective because he was there to deliver one-liners and half-muttered zingers. Hill was an able funny man in Sarah Marshall but nothing about Greek’s advertising has convinced me he will be an entertaining straight man.
Katherine Heigl stars alongside Ashton Kutcher in this romcom about…wait. Katherine Heigl? Next please.
Owen Wilson voices the long-running comic strip Great Dane in this live-action adaptation. This movie offends me. I’m not sure why. I just know that I’m offended after watching the trailer. Maybe it’s the number of talented actors involved (Wilson, Steve Coogan [Tropic Thunder], Judy Greer [Arrested Development]) in obvious dreck, maybe it’s flashbacks to the horrors of Garfield. Can’t pin it down but something about this is terribly offensive. Like, Shrek levels of offensive.
Colin Farrell! Did you miss him? I missed him. He was everywhere, then he was nowhere, now he is reemerging, and he seems different. Calm, more stable, happy with his off-screen life—now a father of two and settled with his Ondine costar Alicja Bachelda–Farrell is finally realizing the promise he showed in 2000’s Tigerland. Ondine is a sorta-dark-but-not-really piece of whimsy about a fisherman who pulls a woman out of his net who may or may not be a mermaid. There’s a sickly daughter, a threatening past, and Farrell with some long sexy hair. I’m intrigued, but not enough to go out and spend $10. This is one goes in my Netflix queue.
I got halfway through this trailer before I realized it wasn’t for the Predator reboot but is in fact an entirely different movie which also stars Adrien Brody fending off some weird creature. What’s going on with Adrien Brody these days? He’s the youngest actor to ever win a Best Actor Oscar (for The Pianist), and he is undoubtedly talented, but he disappeared for a while and is now coming back as some kind of sci-fi/action guy? Is Adrien Brody poor? Surely there’s work more worthy of his talent out there. At any rate, Splice is Brody’s other sci-fi vehicle and I have zero interest in seeing it.
One of the most craptastic action movies to come out in a long time. This will be bad in the good way. Bad like Road House is bad. This trailer is insane. The movie looks nearly incoherent. No laws of physics appear to apply. Bradley Cooper is very handsome. Liam Neeson is clearly being blackmailed. I will totally go see The A-Team and I will love every shitty second of it.
The Karate Kid
What? No. Terrible. Who green lit this? If you’re going to remake a cheesy 80’s movie, please improve upon the original. Don’t make an even cheesier contemporary version. I realize that Jaden Smith is like seven years old, but he has no screen charisma. Pass.
This is a title I saw quite a bit coming out of Sundance back in January. Festival goers really seemed to like it. Winter’s Bone tells the story of Ree, a rural Missouri girl who must find her delinquent father or see her family evicted from their home. So she takes off into the Ozark Mountains to track down her dad, visiting her myriad backwoods relations in the process. Sounds kinda like a horror movie, but here the tension comes from the mystery of her dad’s disappearance and the basic creepiness of an inhospitable environment with inhospitable people. And they say Jennifer Lawrence gives a helluva performance as Ree.
I Am Love
Tilda Swinton is a great actress. That Oscar she won for Michael Clayton was totally bought, though, and that sucks because when she is in something fully deserving of her talents, she won’t get the Oscar she actually deserves because she’s already got a bought one and the Academy will have to give her real Oscar to someone who got shafted the year Swinton got her bought Oscar. Inevitably the person who gets the make-up-call Oscar gets it for a role they don’t really deserve it for either (see: Judi Dench’s Academy Award for Shakespeare in Love). Anyway—I love Tilda Swinton for being a mega-talented actress who doesn’t cater to the masses. I Am Love features her in a role she probably should win an Oscar for, playing the Russian wife of a wealthy Italian and head of her family. This family undergoes a series of upheavals surrounding their professional and personal lives, and Swinton knocks her adulterous matriarch out of the park.
Took long enough to get this trailer, didn’t it? Six weeks before theatrical release and we finally got a glimpse of Jonah Hex. What to say? Um…Josh Brolin looks amazing as Hex. A bunch of shit blows up, and Hex mounted a gatling gun on his horse. Please. Am sold. As for Hollywood Herpes Megan Fox, she annoys me to no end, but this is exactly the sort of role—that of a hooker—she should be playing.
This is billed as a “foreign-language Woody Allen film” and is described as a “dramedy of manners”. I understand that it’s counter-programming for the summer blockbusters, but really, you’re just sending this movie off to die, aren’t you?
Toy Story 3
And the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature goes to…
A Greek film that won the Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes last year, Dogtooth is about a family that keeps their kids locked in a bizarre and obnoxiously precious world. It’s creepy and strange and fucked up and it only gets worse when a normal person enters the children’s limited universe and introduces them to sex. PS: the “children” are actually aged 17-25, yet because they have never interacted with the outside world, they remain unbelievably clueless and naïve. Literally, the plot of this movie is beyond belief.
What is the age at which previously funny people suddenly become painfully unfunny? We need to pinpoint it exactly so we can stop crap like this from getting made.
Knight & Day
One time, driving down Sunset Boulevard at 2 AM, while stopped at a red light, Tom Cruise pulled up next to me. He was driving a Ferrari convertible with the top down, and his sunglasses on–at two o’clock in the morning. There was no one else at the intersection. The guy in the car with me at the time bears a striking resemblance to a young Nicolas Cage. Cruise looked over from his car and—we had our windows down, as the A/C was broken—said, “Are you?” while pointing at my friend. He responded, “No, but are you?” And Cruise did that laughing thing he does, which I’m sure he thinks sounds human, and went, “Oh YEAHHHHHHHH!” and peeled out of the intersection. The light was still red. Tom Cruise is a dork.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
I hate Wednesday releases. It’s cheating. It’s such an obvious money-grab to inflate box office numbers. Announce your movie is coming out on a Wednesday and I start picturing your studio as Scrooge McDuck. That said, OF COURSE Eclipse is coming out on a Wednesday. Twihards can’t wait till Friday, not when school is out and they can go to see it nine times a day, every day. Eclipse will be one of the biggest movies of the summer. The only questions surrounding it are, “does it come in number one for the whole summer,” and, “will it make more than New Moon?” Answers: No–I still think Iron Man 2 or Toy Story 3 will take top dollar honors for the summer–and yes. New Moon made $296 million domestically; with a summer release and no school to interfere with viewings, Eclipse should easily top $300 million. Oh and in case you live under a rock–Eclipse is the third entry in tween vampire franchise The Twilight Saga, starring Robert Pattinson (who may or may not be able to act), Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner. It’s directed by David Slade (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy), who I’m sure regrets this decision.