I’m starting to get summer movie fatigue, and I live for this shit, so the average cinema-goer must be half-dead with it by now. And we’re only halfway through, guys. Half. Way.
Despicable Me 2
We now live in a world where it’s okay to use an Eminem song in a trailer for a kid’s movie.
The Lone Ranger
Predictably, this is getting killed by critics for being big and dumb and loud, and too long—so basically, everything all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are.
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
Kevin Hart is dead funny, but I don’t love comedy concert films. Too often they’re edited with non-performance segments that interrupt the flow of the set. The bits about Hart traveling around the world are funny in the trailer, but if they’re intercut with the actual performance footage—yuck.
That bit about the pointless fire is solid.
The Way Way Back
This was a big hit at Sundance back in January, and the trailer is totally charming and I’m really into it. Written and directed by the Oscar-winning duo of Jim Rash (Community’s Dean Pelton) and Nat Faxon (RIP Ben & Kate), The Way Way Back is a coming of age story set during an awkward summer vacation and featuring a water park. Starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Maya Rudolph, Liam James (2012), and Sam Motherfucking Rockwell, this is a hella loaded cast with some very talented comedic actors, plus Sam Motherfucking Rockwell. I don’t see how this movie could possibly suck, in this or any other possible universe.
Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, Friday Night Lights) is drawing a lot of critical praise for his performance of Oscar, a young man on an inauspicious journey through Oakland on New Year’s Eve, 2008. This is based on a true story, is backed by Harvey Weinstein, and it’s pretty sad, which means it’s a shoo-in for Oscar consideration.
Grown Ups 2
Adam Sandler movies = Explosive diarrhea.
And the winner of the 2013 Crispin Glover Award for Creepy Fucking Actors Who Always Play Creepy Fucking Characters goes to…Mads Mikkelsen!
Everything the Transformers movies should have been, plus Idris Elba and Charlie Day. Alternately, Cloverfield 2. Also one of the only original blockbuster releases this summer.
A sequel to the horror hit V/H/S, this is an anthology of found-footage shorts directed by different horrormeisters. Totally not my bag but the horror crowd was pretty into V/H/S, so if that’s your thing, maybe give it a shot? I leave the horror reviewing to my brother because these movies give me night terrors.
Racing snails. Racing snails, racing in the Indy 500. RACING. SNAILS. IN THE INDY 500.
I know kids are dumb, but surely they aren’t this dumb?
Nope. Nope. Nooooooope.
Only God Forgives
Nicolas Winding Refn’s ultra-violent follow up to Drive didn’t wow critics at Cannes, though this does look more in line with Refn’s pre-Drive Danish work, particularly the Pusher trilogy. I’m wondering if going in knowing it’s not going to be like the oddly elegant (albeit, very violent) Drive will make a difference in how I view it. I think a lot of the critics at Cannes expected the same kind of artistry as Drive but got something much more stripped down and raw and didn’t know what to do with that disparity. I wouldn’t say my expectations are lowered—I happen to like Refn’s Danish movies—but they are changed. I’m open to this being not-Drive.
The Dependsables are back in this sequel to Red, a movie about aged hitmen and spies who just can’t seem to stay retired. In their second outing, the aged hitmen and spies still can’t seem to stay retired, now with the addition of pseudo-witty banter with younger competition and former lovers. I wish I could muster more enthusiasm for a movie that unites Mary Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Bruce Willis, but I can’t.
Ryan Reynolds is batting a thousand with summer action movies. Maybe he should try not making one of these turds for a while.
The To Do List
Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation) fronts this teen sex comedy written and directed by Maggie Carey, a veteran of Funny Or Die and In the Motherhood. The plot revolves around Brandy, an antisocial high school senior who feels like she needs to get in some sexual exploration before leaving for college, and so sets out to do just that. The cast is loaded with prime comedic talent including Alia Shawkat, Bill Hader (husband of Carey), Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Donald Glover, Andy Samberg, plus Connie Britton and Clark Gregg, both of whom are underrated as comedic performers. On the heels of The Heat, I’m hoping this can prove to be a second win for female-driven movies, but the marketing effort is…haphazard. Hard to win the race when you’re hamstrung from the start.
I keep forgetting this is coming out.
The follow-up to the execrable Wolverine: Origins has Logan in the…present? The 1980’s? World War II? All of the above? I can’t tell. The X-Men cinematic timeline is completely fucked. At any rate, it’s now-ish and he’s in Japan. The “Wolverine is a samurai” comics were always cool, and the trailer is pretty decent, so maybe this will be great. But I worry that I can’t remember this movie is happening. I think we’ve already hit the superhero threshold for the summer, and this late release date is going to damage, if not outright kill, The Wolverine.