Summer Movies – May 2013

Iron Man 3 movie blockbuster

Last year anticipating the big-budget, high profile offerings Hollywood was going to dish out to moviegoers over the course of the hot summer months, I took a look at some of the big movies that were headed our way.

It was basically just a rundown of how the summer was looking and what flicks had me curious, excited and nauseous. I still have not nor ever plan to see That’s My Boy. Remember that was once a big summer film in 2012?

I figured that was kind of fun, so why not do it again for the summer of 2013! Here’s some of the movies headed our way in the month of May and my gut reaction to them. Here we go.

IRON MAN 3 – May 3, 2013

After co-starring in last summers biggest hit The Avengers, Robert Downey Jr. returns to his solo adventures as genius billionaire playboy Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.

Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man Marvel
Robert Downey Jr. returns in Iron Man 3

This time Tony is faced with battling a terrorist mastermind the Mandarin played by Ben Kingsley who apparently really comes close to destroying everything Tony has built. Between big action scenes I’m guessing Stark will share some quiet moments with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), trade friendly barbs with pal James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) flirt with Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), get introduced to Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and possibly bump into some fellow Marvel hero. Maybe?

I’ve been avoiding reading too much about this third installment of the Iron Man saga. Although I recently read that playing Iron Man has earned Downey approximately $50 million bucks! What a payday! I guarantee he didn’t make that much when he played Chaplin.

Right now I’m just hoping this will be better than the second film, which I didn’t much care for. Shane Black is taking over the directing duties from Jon Faverau, who will still appear as Stark’s loyal driver Happy Hogan.

This is sure to open huge. It’s going to be extremely popular, will be Marvel’s only entry in the summer season and there are high expectations that it will deliver. My nephew has already been running around in his Iron Man outfit psyched to get new Iron Man toys.

Based on the trailers it looks to be going for a bit more dramatic and darker tone. I haven’t heard if this will be Downey’s swan song for being Stark. He’s supposedly signed for The Avengers 2, but this could be his farewell to Iron Man in his own film series. If it is hopefully it will be a satisfying ending to a trilogy.

THE GREAT GATSBY – May 10, 2013

The Great Gatsby Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio as the rich Jay Gatsby

Baz Luhrmann adapts the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel for a new generation to discover. Or to those non-literature buffs it’s a remake of an old movie that starred Robert Redford. It’s a new version that kids will probably watch instead of reading the book for school book reports too. Why read an old boring book when you can go see a movie in 3D! I never imagined to hear the phrase ‘The Great Gatsby – in 3D’ before.

If I had to place money on this, I don’t think Gatsby will be as big as it’s being hyped as. Of course Luhrmann has had previous hits with Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio back in 1996 and of course Moulin Rogue! in 2001.

Since then he hasn’t directed anything except Australia. Gatsby looks to have a lot of the crowd-filled extravagant party scenes that marked his big success with Rogue. It has young stars who are capable actors in DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. It’s an extremely popular title and story. And I would expect with the talent involved it to be a well made entertaining film.

However, I don’t think DiCaprio and Maguire guarantee big box office anymore. Despite promoting it in 3D, I think much of the general audience will think of it as an old ‘fuddy duddy’ story and not be exciting enough for them. Plus, the hype of Iron Man 3 will still be hanging around when Gatsby makes its way to theaters the following week.

I’m thinking it will do much better financially overseas than in the U.S. If I was in charge of its release I would have slotted it somewhere in the fall, not at the start of the big explosive summer movie season. But maybe it will work out and be a nice alternative for moviegoers who aren’t interested in superheroes and Vulcans.

Star Trek Into Darkness – May 17, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness Khan Kirk Spock
Quinto, Cumberbatch and Pine engage in a staring contest

J.J. Abrams returns to direct an encore Star Trek film before going where no director has gone before – to then direct a Star Wars movie.

The original cast is back and this time the crew of the Enterprise has to stop a terrorist (Benedict Cumberbatch) that has targeted Star Fleet and is causing a heck of a lot of havoc. Our real world terrorism fears have really infiltrated the movies.

I enjoyed Abrams’ first Trek film, but I’m somewhat apprehensive about this one. From the trailers it really doesn’t feel much like a Star Trek movie. Like Iron Man 3 this looks to be a much heavier story and not as much of a fun, rollicking space adventure like what I associate with Trek.

It could be the way they’re marketing it or it could just be the sign of the times and where these Trek films are headed. Although I like the cast and their interpretations of these famous characters, I’m much less charged about this sequel than the first.

I remember something Roger Ebert said about the Rocky film series – a successful film franchise hinges on the second one. If the second one is good and gets an enthusiastic response, than audiences will be excited to return for more. If it’s lousy they’ll feel burnt and get disinterested. I’m not saying this is gospel, but I think there might be some truth in that for this Star Trek series.

Erased 

Aaron Eckhart tries his hand
at being a super agent

Aaron Eckhart is a CIA agent who finds himself on the outs with the agency as they erase all records of his existence. Now he and his daughter are running for their lives when they’re targeted to be eliminated permanently. So what does any tough secret agent who can kill with his bare hands do? He takes the fight to them of course!

You’re probably not going to see this on many upcoming summer movie lists – most folks will probably walk right past posters for it in theaters without it ever registering – but I decided to throw it in here since it’s probably the only attention it will get here on out.

I like Eckhart, but I don’t think this flick looks any good at all and all the trailers had me thinking – Bourne/Taken knockoff – predictable – uninspired – cliched. I predict that’s what most people’s reaction will be.

Apparently it’s already been released in Belgium, so it’s been sitting around for awhile before we’ll finally get a chance to see it. I don’t think many people will, especially with all the other big flicks coming out this month. This looks like it will get most of its attention in Redbox’s and from Netflix. Maybe it could be a decent Saturday night action flick, but I’m leaning towards probably not. It will come and go without anyone noticing.

Hangover Part III – May 24, 2013

The Hangover 3 Wolfpack
The Hangover Part 3 – they’re journey concludes

The funny continues with everyone’s four favorite party animals. Actually I think it’s just the three guys everyone likes right? They’re the ones who really get to hang out. That fourth guy always gets tossed to the side I think.

I’ll cut to the chase with this. I didn’t think the first Hangover was particularly funny and in the end couldn’t figure out why it was so popular. Yeah, the premise was good, but after the guys woke up and started running around Vegas it all went downhill for me. A taser demonstration? A Chinese gangster? A cameo by Mike Tyson? Ummm…..ok. I don’t get it. Was this really that funny?

Obviously, I didn’t care to see the second one, which I heard was pretty awful anyway. I guess Ebert’s second film theory doesn’t work here – or maybe it doesn’t apply to trilogies.

One thing I do find funny is how they’re promoting this as the finale to the trilogy. The ads try to make it sound like it’s this important conclusion to some epic story of the Wolfpack or whatever they call these guys. What is this Return of the King?

By the way I don’t think these three actors have much chemistry together and aren’t fun to watch play off each other anyway. Like, they’re not even in the same league as Murray, Ackroyd and Ramis. Now there was a comedy trio! Maybe they’ll include the fourth guy and he’ll help things out this time. I’m sure it will be a huge hit and folks will be filling the theaters for it opening night. I won’t be one of them. I’d rather be watching Erased.

Before Midnight

Before Midnight Ethan Hawke Julie Delpy 2013
Hawke and Delpy in Before Midnight

Another sequel of sorts. Richard Linklater’s ongoing romantic story of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy). In 1995 these two characters first met in Before Sunrise where they roamed the sites of Venice. Then they met up nine years later in Paris in Before Sunset taking in the city and once again enjoying each others company. Now when we catch up to them they are married and are walking and talking again, this time in Greece.

This series of films has become Linklater’s Seven Up series. I really enjoyed the previous two entries and I’m expecting the same kind of quality from this one.

I’m usually hit or miss with Hawke. Sometimes I feel he comes off too arrogant and artsy in films, but he does a nice job with this role. Same with Delphy who has a likable presence onscreen. It’s funny, although I know I’ve seen other movies she’s appeared in, I can’t remember her in any of them. So these ‘Before’ films are really the only ones I associate her with.

If you haven’t seen the two previous strolling films with these characters you really should. They’re really worth checking out.

Fast & Furious 6

Fast and Furious 6 Vin Diesel Paul Walker Dwayne Johnson
Walker, Johnson and Diesel in Fast and Furious 6

Ah, another sequel I don’t care about. Ok, I saw the first Fast and Furious and only took away with – Jordana Brewster was hot and that Paul Walker might be the most boring leading man ever.

Then the sequels started. The original actors thought they were too good for this series, particularly Vin Diesel. Then I guess there weren’t too many scripts being offered up to him after The Pacifier and he reconsidered his participation in these flicks. Everyone apparently did. Since then they’ve been even bigger successful crowd pleasers.

I never saw any of the sequels and really don’t plan on starting now. I thought these folks started as street racers, now they’re like the A-Team that go on any mission that involves four wheels. I guess there will be lots of shiny cars whizzing around, grumbling by Diesel and hip hop blasting on the soundtrack. Fans of this series go have fun, enjoy yourselves and prep for the seventh installment next summer. Diesel is already signed for it.

Now You See Me – May 31, 2013

Now You See Me cast
The pack of criminal magicians in Now You See Me

A group of illusionists are not only pretty good at card tricks, but during their live performances commit bank heists, which they then reward their awestruck audience with the loot. Now that’s being generous to your fans! I’d kill for a ticket to that show!

This is sounding like a really cool movie and the trailer has got me really excited for it. The resumes of the director and writers have me a bit nervous, but with the cast they have lined up I hope there was something special in the story that got them to commit to this very intriguing premise.

Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and the ever-adorable Isla Fisher (Wow, she looks really cute in the pictures I’ve seen from this flick!) are the mystical Robin Hoods. They’re much more hip than Doug Henning.

Morgan Freeman is a famed veteran magician and Michael Caine is a pissed off banker. Mark Ruffalo is the confused cop trying to get some proof in this world of magic to put them away and stop this group before they accomplish one big mysterious final trick.

I love heist films and this is looking to be quite an original and exciting one. This cast and the idea has gotten me psyched for it. Damn I hope it doesn’t disappoint.


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5 Responses

  1. spaceodds says:

    You forgot Only God Forgives. Can't believe that movie is getting a July release in the U.S. Then again Gatsby getting a summer release has also raised eyebrows. Only God Forgives was one of my most anticipated movies of the year, now after having seen the new trailer that was released today, it has become my most anticipated film. Any film from the director and star of Drive was always going to grab my attention, but from the trailers I can only say…wow. I absolutely loved Drive (it was my favorite film of 2011), and this film has a high ceiling to reach since the bar was raised phenomenally high with Nicholas Winding Refn's last film.

    Also Man of Steel, can't wait to see that also.

    • I'll definitely be commenting on both of those films when I get to them. I figure I'll go through the summer month by month. Saw the trailer for Only God Forgives and visually it looks like a gorgeous film. Man of Steel of course everyone is excited for and I'm with everyone else really hoping it's great.

  2. As a big fan of your Bond series (also loved Dalton, disliked Brosnan) and finding myself in agreement with almost all of your movie reviews, I just have to ask: What would you consider the absolute worst film adaptation of a television show? In my mind, it's a tie between The Avengers and The Wild Wild West. I'd include Dukes of Hazzard but at least that was a horrible movie based on a bad tv show, whereas the other two were wretched movies based on beloved classic shows. What do you think?

    • That could make a fun premise for a review series. It doesn't seem like any shortage of bad movies based off of television shows. Even completely forgettable ones like Car 54, McHale's Navy, The Mod Squad. Not that I've actually seen those, but I've heard pretty universally they're awful.

      I would be tempted to say The Beverly Hillbillies, but I knew that was going to be garbage before I even watched it. So I might have to agree with you on The Avengers. It had a good cast (although I thought Elizabeth Hurley would have made a hotter Emma Peel) and could have been a fun flick, but it turned out to be an utter mess. I remember staring at the screen when Connery was talking to a bunch of guys dressed as teddy bears. I still don't get what was going on there.

      I've only caught pieces of Wild Wild West and none of what I've seen looked appealing. I've never seen the original show, but have heard it was pretty good. Apparently the movie didn't capture anything that made it special though. So it just ended up as a big messy nonsensical special effects movie. I can see how it ranks so high on worst TV show movies. That still doesn't make me want to watch it though. :o)

    • I'm amazed that you never saw the tv show, which was brilliant and way ahead of it's time, a perfect combination of James Bond and Westerns (like Get Smart was a well-done combination of James Bond and the comedy genre.) I thought about including The Beverly Hillbillies but that was just a stupid, guilty-pleasure show turned into a stupid, guilty-pleasure film while Avengers and WWW took works of art and handed them over to writers who apparently wrote their scripts using crayon (and who clearly had only the most superficial idea of what the original shows were.)

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