Summer Movies – May 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2

As  reliable as the sun rising everyday, the summer months will be packed with big-budget dazzling spectacles hoping to capture audiences attention and more importantly their money. Hollywood will once again be hoping the added presentation of IMAX screenings and the novelty of 3D (which I’m waiting for audiences to completely reject – it has to happen very soon) will add to the anticipated dollar haul of their flicks.

Studios are awaiting to crow about their weekend takes and bragging their movie is now the highest grossing movie release for a May three-day weekend that’s Friday fell on an odd number on the calendar and the movies poster used a red color motif. Hey, a record is a record. They have to find something to toot their horn over.

So what are some of the things we’ll be seeing filling theaters this summer?

May 2, 2014
The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Andrew Garfield sequel
Garfield’s Spider-Man is back

Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s sequel to his 2011 reboot.

Parker has settled into his life balancing his web-shooting superheroics and his less adventurous life as Peter. Things start to heat up when Peter uncovers some secrets about his parents deaths and his own connection to the mysterious company Oscorp. New York becomes a battleground with all manner of villains popping up and it’s up to Spidey to save the city and his gal Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).

I haven’t liked a Spiderman movie for quite some time so I will sadly say my reaction to this one so far has been indifference. There were a few things I liked with Webb’s reboot, but overall I thought it was a bust.

This sequel looks like it’s going to pile on the action and CGI spectacle. The villain count seems like it goes up every other week, complaints about surprises being ruined in the story have been lobbed at the studios own marketing of the movie and some fans are still miffed at the darker direction and changes to their beloved Marvel wall crawler that has been done.

Electro Rhino Green Goblin Amazing Spider Man 2 villains
Plenty of villains to fill the screen

The studio doesn’t have to worry however. The movie will do great business and sell lots of toys. I have yet gotten any excitement for it and to me it doesn’t look like anything special will come from it.

I predict a lot of overblown CGI destruction and fights, a pack of villains that are fighting for screen time who end up being thinly drawn and a story that fans have already gotten the cliff notes version thanks to the trailers. I hope I’m wrong and there are a few surprises left. At least they went back to having Peter wear a more classic looking Spidey costume.

May 9, 2014
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

Legends of Oz Dorothy Return
Yeah I know none of my readers will be seeing this

Dorothy returns to Oz as the title indicates. She meets her old friends, makes new ones and has to stop an evil jester or something.

I bet the makers of this were pissed they couldn’t just call it ‘Return To Oz’. It would have saved them some space on the poster, but since that 1985 movie already used that title they were out of luck and had to settle for calling it Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.

There’s no point in going on with this. I watched the trailer for this and it’s hysterical how much it came across as a straight-to-video movie from the mid-90’s. Even the voices they use – Jim Belushi? Martin Short? Maybe this was actually made twenty years ago and they just got around to releasing it. Little kids might like it I suppose, but this will be forgotten in a month.

Neighbors

Neighbors Zac Efron Seth Rogen Rose Byrne
This is looking to go either way

Speaking of similar titles how about Neighbors? For years I’ve associated that name with the disappointing 1981 Belushi/Aykroyd comedy. Now there’s a flick on the block that’s going to use it.

Remember when Seth Rogen was the sloppy, lazy, wise-ass guy? Well, this Neighbors looks like it’s another step he’s taking of leaving that onscreen persona behind and playing a slightly more mature character. Slightly.

Rogen and Rose Byrne are a mild-mannered, quiet married couple with a new born baby. Their suburban existence is upended when a rowdy fraternity moves next door. A war ignites between this square couple and the frat president Zac Efron. But Rogen and Byrne surprisingly become more dangerous adversaries than Efron had anticipated.

I’ve become extremely jaded with Hollywood comedies. Most of the newer ones I’ve seen recently seem to rely on gross out gags and unfunny sophomoric humor. Even the ones with a funny sounding premise never seem to capitalize on it and in the end become eye-rolling experiences.

With Neighbors I’m on the fence. The premise does look like it could potentially yield a funny clash between these two warring parties with this suburban neighborhood being turned upside down. With some creativity, some biting scenes and a smart script it could be a fun little movie. But then I see the trailers with the couples baby picking up used condoms and I take a step back and any optimism I have for it fades. If that’s the best the movie can come up with I’m not really interested.

May 16, 2014
Godzilla

Godzilla movie 2014 big budget
Godzilla is sure to open big just based on all
the CGI destruction audiences are being teased with

This time there’s no Matthew Broderick. No Raymond Burr. There’s not even a guy in a rubber costume!

After some very irresponsible nuclear testing the famous lizard monster is born and begins wrecking havoc all over the place, having actors stare open-mouthed at his appearance and making scared citizens run for their lives, along with rumors of him duking it out with another monster.

What can you say about this. The trailers show off massive scale destruction of a whole lot of stuff burning, collapsing and exploding. It shouldn’t be a surprise they’re using that to whet audiences appetites and get them eager for Godzilla’s return. Bryan Cranson continues to show up in all sorts of movies by playing I’m guessing a scientist or maybe a government dude. I’m not sure what else one can play in a Godzilla movie.

This could be all dumb fun and there is no doubt audiences will love gazing at the CGI destruction the movie will gladly throw at them. Longtime fans will probably also be more receptive of the look of this Godzilla than Roland Emmerich’s 1998 one.

May 23, 2014
X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men Days of Future Past cast
The X-franchises will collide

Director Bryan Singer returns to the world of X-Men to helm an epic fusing between the young and old mutant characters.

A catastrophe is brewing that could potentially end the existence for humans and mutants. To prevent this from happening time travel is a necessity and the cast of X-Men: First Class and the original series actors must join forces to change the past in order to save the future.

You might want to look at Days of Future Past this way. Since the X-Men films are outside the hands of Marvel Studios with 20th Century Fox controlling them, this is their way of connecting their two separate series in an all-star film. It’s the X-Men series version of The Avengers. But will it be as good?

Singer was a great fit for the first two X films. First Class was enjoyable. All the rest, including Wolverine’s solo adventures can be cast aside. The only good thing about The Wolverine was the ending tease setting up to this. So the components are all here to make a top-notch X adventure.

All the actors know their roles, there will be some new mutants, and let’s face it Singer has something to prove here and win back the hearts of fanboys. It’s been a long dry run for him since directing X-Men 2 way back in 2003.

I have high hopes for this. I’m hoping for a movie that will deliver on its large premise, remind everyone that Jackman as Wolverine is cool (and hopefully make everyone forget his two dismal solo outings) and will be a worthwhile swan song for many of the original actors who I suspect this will be the last time we see them in these roles.

Blended

Adam Sandler Drew Barrymore Blended
Barrymore and Sandler – some reason audiences
like when they pair up

Oh goody, goody….this century’s Hepburn and Tracy return in another classic pairing!

Sorry, I zoned out there for a second. It’s actually a movie with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

Comedy ignites as they start out as two single parents who dislike each other and then sparks really fly when they both happen to vacation in Africa with their kids and start to dig each other. Funny culture clashes commence, hilarious sight gags will have you howling at the screen, you’ll be won over by adorable kids saying the darndest things, a bunch of zany supporting characters chewing the scenery and all with a heartwarming message about the importance of family to top it off.

$%*# this movie!

This is the same old crap Sandler has churned out for a long time. It’s not like he took the money he made from Grown Ups 2 and decided to use it to make a more personal story he felt strongly about, that was a little riskier and would challenge him. Granted this might be better and more well received than his last few flicks – but really topping the quality of Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy is not something that’s a huge accomplishment.

I only hope it gets awful reviews that will be amusing to read.

May 30, 2014
Maleficent

Maleficent Angelina Jolie witch Sleeping Beauty
Will Angelina be a big enough draw for audiences?

What is up with all these fairy tales being made into big-budget movies? Jack and the Giant Slayer, Red Riding Hood, Ever After, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror, Mirror, Hansel and Gretal. I understand when they do hit with audiences they rake in a lot of cash, but were any of them actually any good?

Now it’s Sleeping Beauty’s turn to get something of a prequel or backstory. Angelina Jolie wearing wild costumes and shifting her eyes into menacing stares stars. We learn how the evil witch became such an evil dark witch and her motivations as to why she doesn’t like Sleeping Beauty or something.

Although the trailer showed off some impressive imagery I’m just not interested in this. It looks very much like that Huntsman movie except it has Jolie and not Charlize Theron. Unless I hear some great things about it I’m probably never going to watch it.

Plus, I’m not a big Jolie fan, never have been, so her being in this means nothing to me. The budget is rumored to be around $200 million bucks! That’s an awful lot of loot to throw at this story. I never viewed Jolie as a major box office draw and am curious to see how audiences respond to this.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

A Million Ways to Die in the West Seth McFarlane Charlize Theron
Theron and McFarlane

Seth McFarlane follows up his success with Ted, his awkward hosting of the Oscars and the continued success of Family Guy (which I still have never found funny – it’s all just pop culture jokes) with this western comedy.

I don’t know. I’m not a big Seth fan. Charlize Theron in a comedy doesn’t make me aching to see it. A cadre of supporting parts and cameos seems more like a novelty. Liam Neeson getting to have a little fun and taking a break from thrillers seems like the most interesting thing here. Somehow I suspect he’s not going to be in it very much though. I’ll probably be skipping it and never feel I missed much.


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3 Responses

  1. spaceodds says:

    Godzilla is one of my most anticipated movies of 2014. Say what you want about a guy in a rubber suit, the original Godzilla is still far better then the Emmerich/Broderick 1998 version, which was just awful (that scene of Jean Reno chewing gum to make him his look and sound more American still haunts me to this day) The fact that its being helmed by Gareth Edwards is a major reason why I'm looking forward to it, his debut feature, Monsters, was one of the biggest cinematic surprises I had in recent years and it became one my favorite films of 2010. Even if it doesn't turn out that great, Godzilla has certainly had, so far, the best cinematic ad campaign of 2014.

    The Amazing Spider Man 2: I was on the fence about whether to see this or not, but curiosity has gotten the better of me, and I've decided to spend my hard earned cash for a ticket to see it. I found the first film of this series very underwhelming, despite the good performances from Garfield and Stone.

    A Million Ways to Die in the West is one I'm seeing also since I was a big fan of Ted. Both Family Guy and American Dad have suffered but I'm still in hope that McFarlane can bring back some humor to his films.

    • Capt. Nemo says:

      Oh, Please! Don't bring up that movie anymore. Too many bad memories associated with it.

      I remember the hype they built up for that 1998 Godzilla movie. It was supposed to be the heir to Titantic's throne after Hollywood's successful year in 1997.

      What they gave us was something close to criminally insane. Most of the destruction wasn't caused by Godzilla. There was a scene that aped the Raptor sequence in Jurassic Park. This movie had New York run by Mayor Ebert for Christ sake!

      A definite sign that the filmmakers had zero interest or respect for the material. Makes you wonder why they even bothered.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I do not care about any of the movies you listed. Five are remakes or sequels and the rest (especially Sandler) you couldn't pay me to see.

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