Summer Movies – April 2012

The big, exciting summer movie season is almost upon us. Soon we’ll be deciding what extravagant and dazzling blockbusters will be granted the gift of our attendance and our money.

Every year the summer movie season seems to come earlier and earlier. Flicks hoping to get a head start before real heavy hitters dominate the summer months have expanded the summer movie season into May and April. So I thought it was time to start taking a look at some of the stuff headed our way and some of my reactions to the trailers, buzz and whether they look worth checking out.

Wrath of the Titans – March 30

Before April arrives, the sequel to the remake of Clash of the Titans will arrive. We’ll see the return of Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson and Sam Worthington, who seems to have carved out a successful career being the blandest leading man in films today.

I was actually surprised to see they were even doing a sequel to Clash. I’ve only seen parts of the original and really wasn’t that impressed. I hadn’t heard anything really that glowing about it from folks who saw it, but it did make some decent change and the CGI monsters, mythical characters and battles excited audiences enough that I guess a sequel was inevitable. I prefer the stop-motion 1981 film to this stuff. The original Medusa scene still gives me the creeps.

Titanic 3D – April 4, 2012

From the visionary director of Avatar and Titanic. It kind of strikes me as somewhat ironic how James Cameron who jump started the 3D craze with Avatar, a film that was designed for the 3D experience has taken the route that so many films have done in its wake by retro-fitting a 2D film for 3D and cashing in on the jacked up ticket prices. comes….

If you weren’t around for the first time for Titanic hysteria in 1997, then here’s your chance to live a fraction of it.

I actually flipped past it recently on cable and watched a bit of it and I still think it’s a pretty good film. The soap opera-y story gets a bit much – I don’t think I’ve ever heard two characters scream each others names so much in a movie – “Jack!”, “Rose!!”, “Jack!!!”, “ROSE!!!”. And Billy Zane’s character might as well be twirling a long, black mustache.

But once the iceberg shows up it’s a pretty entertaining show. Entertaining enough for me to see it in 3D? Nah. really was a beloved film by all ages. I remember going to the theater and seeing audiences ranging from teens to senior citizens getting swept up in the whole craze.

I will say it should be a pretty effective game plan releasing it on the 100th anniversary of the disaster. That should pay off more than a fast food tie-in. Still I’d rather check out one of the documentaries on that historic event that I’m sure will be showing up on cable that week.

American Reunion – April 6

American Pie Reunion cast comedy

The American Pie series returns.

I was a big fan of the first two films. Then American Wedding just made me yawn and I thought, “well it was fun while it lasted”. BUT THEN the series evolved into a series of direct to video sequels falling under the banner of ‘American Pie Presents”.

They got further and further away from original series and characters and worst of all – they became less and less funny – Band Camp, The Naked Mile, Beta House, The Book of Love. Were they hoping to make the title a new cinematic National Lampoon? It became more like Police Academy.

Now the original cast is back and are all meeting up for their reunion. I think it has the potential to be pretty entertaining and Seann William Scott’s Stifler has always been the standout funny character in the cast (I could really care less about Tara Reid returning – it’s not like she brings much to the table).

With some luck the filmmakers will get the guys into some uncomfortable raunchy, funny situations and this film will actually pay off and make us remember why this series became so popular in the first place. Is that too much to ask?

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope – April 6

Comic Con documentary A Fan's Hope

I love me a fun documentary and director Morgan Spurlock has made a career out of that starting with his first doc Super Size Me. Although everyone was talking about this guy going on a thirty-day McDonald’s diet, the most interesting thing to me in the film was everything else. Spurlock’s Big Mac diet was simply a gimmick, the real key to the film was the examination of fast food and how’s it’s made, marketed and how it’s affected society.

Now Spurlock is casting an eye on the much lighter topic of Comic-Con. Initially I would suspect an easy, silly documentary detailing all the crazy people who go there and dress up as fictional characters.

However, after seeing the trailer that aspect of the con seems like it will be used as a colorful decoration framing stories of artists who go there in the hopes to get into the business by showcasing their work and meeting other artists.

That’s just me speculating. It could very easily turn into a ‘let’s mock the silly fanboys’ flick (with Kevin Smith adding his jokes – I’m not surprised to see him here, although it would have been refreshing not to).

It looks like Spurlock has wrangled up a number of people who are revered and respected at the Con – Stan Lee, Joss Whedon Frank Miller, Guillermo Del Toro. So they should be able to offer up some amusing insights and stories about it and the fans.

Plus, Spurlock stays behind the camera the entire time, not trying to crowd in on the story he’s telling. It doesn’t sound like any Spurlock stunts this time.

I’ll be curious to see what the general consensus is after folks have seen it. Hopefully it will be something similar to Trekkers – a light, amusing look at the fans and their passions. Come on, it can’t be too deep, so you can’t expect too much from it. It’s a documentary about a comic book convention!

The Three Stooges – April 13

The Three Stooges 2012 comedy

Oh yeah….the Stooges. I’ve talked about this film before and my apprehension with it. After seeing the first trailer for it, the film looked like it could potentially be a painfully unfunny cash grab that uses the Stooges recognizable name and simply be an uninspired imitation of the performers with some added gross out humor thrown in to attract the kids.

Now having seen the second trailer and a very unusual commercial that was sort of a paranormal activity spoof…my opinion hasn’t changed. Although I suspected that they would start to downplay the fact that Snooki was in the film after the outcry from fans over it.

This film might have been doomed with the initial idea of making a Stooges movie. I’ve been hearing about a proposed Stooge film when the Curly Shuffle was still a popular novelty song in the 80’s. Now finally after all this time and seeing how it looks, this Stooge movie seems like even more of a bad idea than it ever did.

Could it be a surprise and shock fans that it is actually be funny, be a great homage to the original boys and create a whole new generation of Stooge fans? It’s possible, but I think pretty unlikely.

I will say the actors all look to be doing some pretty good impressions of Moe, Larry and Curly. I appreciate the Farrelly brothers wanting to bring their idols back to the big screen and despite my apprehension I know I’ll eventually watch it someday. I think I could of done without the fart jokes though.

Lockout –April 13

Lockout sci-fi Guy Pearce 2012

This is a film that I haven’t heard much talk about it, but when I saw the trailer and the fact Guy Pearce is the star it’s gotten me intrigued.

The premise sounds pretty familiar. A bleak future setting, a huge remote prison filled with dangerous inmates, things go wrong, an important government person stuck in the middle of it all, no choices left, but to send one of the most dangerous men in to rescue them.

Nope it’s not another Escape From New York, but it certainly looks like it could be just as entertaining. This time an orbiting space prison breaks into a riot while the President’s daughter is visiting. As things spiral out of control the President recruits an earth-bound prisoner whose the “one man who can get her out”. “He’s the best there is, but he’s a loose cannon”. If he’s successful, he’ll get a full pardon! What a sweet deal!

Yep, it sounds very ‘been there, done that’ and with dialogue like that it sounds pretty cliché, but I have to admit the trailer looked pretty entertaining. Perhaps this could be a thrilling, sci-fi/action B-movie. Pearce looks like he’ll be a pretty cool hero spouting out some amusing one-liners, Maggie Grace looks cute and the space prison inmates look to be an eclectic mix of strange looking bad guys.

If it’s as good as the trailer makes it out to be, Lockout could be one of those surprise flicks that results in a very satisfying Saturday night at the movies.

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1 Response

  1. Numinous says:

    Thanks for the heads up on 'Lockout'. While I'm glad to see Guy Pearce is staring (and featuring in 'Prometheus'), I think I'll skip this one. Looks too familiar ('Con-Air' also springs to mind).

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