Saturday, September 08, 2007

A summer without sequels? Dream with me ...

I know, I know, there are two possibly perfectly good movies opening this weekend, "3:10 to Yuma" and "Shoot 'Em Up," and I do intend to see them both.

But with "sequel summer" finally behind us, I'd love nothing more than to speculate about what it might be like next year when, incredibly, there's only really big summer movie with a number in its title, and that one - Indy 4 - should just rock.

Here, as far as I can tell, is a week-by-week breakdown of the big dogs for summer 2008.

"Iron Man" and "Made of Honor" - Summer, of course, actually starts in Spring, and should get off to a great start with a new superhero flick from Jon Favreau starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard (huzzah!). The latter is some kind of romantic comedy starring Patrick Dempsey. Look for them May 2. Advantage "Iron Man."

"Speed Racer" and "The Day the Earth Still" - I find it very hard to believe that the Wachowskis' take on the TV cartoon starring Emile Hirsch and Scott Derrickson's remake of the 1960's sci-fi classic starring Keanu Reeves will open on the same day, but right now they're both set for May 9. They both kind of make me say meh, frankly, but advantage "Speed Racer."

"Indy 4" "and "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" - I guess you can call both of these sequels, but they don't really feel that way. It seems like 100 years since we've seen an "Indy" movie, and I'm certainly ready for more. And I at least loved the look of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe," so I say bring "Prince Caspian" on too. Right now, these are scheduled to clash May 22. Advantage Indy.

"Starship Dave" - A funny Eddie Murphy comedy? I'm skeptical, but right now this has the May 30 slot all to itself.

"Kung Fu Panda" and "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" Sheesh. Are pandas set to be the new penguins? I'd bet on it, unfortunately. And I once played a game of pool with Adam Sandler at Kitty O'Shea's bar in D.C. before he played a show at Catholic University. He was a nice guy, but I haven't seen any of his movies since "Punch-Drunk Love." These do battle June 6. Advantage Sandler, by a nose.

"The Incredible Hulk" and "The Happening" - I seem to be one of about five people who actually liked Ang Lee's Hulk, but the reimagining starring Edward Norton looks fairly intriguing too. And no one deserves or needs a winner more than M. Night, so he's at least got me cheering for him when these open June 13. Advantage M. Night and Markie Mark.

"The Love Guru" and "Get Smart" - Two rather tired looking comedies opening June 20. Mike Myers seems to be very selective in his movie parts, so I guess there's some outside chance "The Love Guru" won't just suck, but I seriously doubt it. I'm more likely to see "Get Smart" with Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway or, perhaps, just say no altogether. Advantage Mr. Myers, I fear.

"Wall-E" and "What Stays in Vegas ..." - Even if the first half-hour or so contains no dialogue, "Wall-E," Pixar's next flick about the space-travelling adventures of the titular robot, should just rock. And I have nothing at all to say about the latter flick. They clash June 27. Advantage Pixar.

"Hancock" - Surely there will be more comers, but right now the July 4 frame belongs solely to this very promising Peter Berg flick. Will Smith (heard of him?) plays a hard-living superhero who has fallen out of favor with the public. In the flick, he enters into a questionable relationship with the wife (Charlize Theron) of the public relations professional (Jason Bateman, huzzah!) who's trying to repair his image. I'm betting this will be a real winner.

"Tropic Thunder" - This Ben Stiller flick is about a bunch of movie soldiers who, through wacky circumstances of course, are forced to go into battle for real. With Steve Coogan, Jack Black, Bill Hader, Robert Downey Jr. and Jay Baruchel (but not Owen Wilson, unfortunately) this one might just have the best cast of the summer. Look for it July 11.

"The Dark Knight" - This and Indy 4 should be the biggest dogs at the box office, and why not? Though the action sequences in "Batman Begins" showed Christopher Nolan needs some work in that department, it was the only fault I could find with the flick, so this next installment should be amazing. Look for it July 18.

"Stepbrothers" - Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly back together again. Knock Ferrell if you want to, but I almost always find his movies to be very funny, and I'll watch Mr. Reilly in just about anything. This opens July 25.

And, though they're not scheduled yet as far as I can tell, it wouldn't be summer without two more movies from the Apatow Mafia. Apparently all the "Freaks" get to write their own movie in this club, so Jason Segel steps up next with the rather unfortunately titled "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." Fortunately, the titular Ms. Marshall is being played by Veronica Mars, so I don't see any way this could suck too much.

The second is "Pineapple Express," another flick written by the team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and directed by David Gordon Green. This one is about (shock!) a slacker pothead (Rogen, of course) and his pot dealer (fellow "Freak" James Franco) who have to go on the run after witnessing a cop commit a murder. Familiar, yes, but I'm still betting on very funny. And Rosie Perez is somehow in this one too. Welcome back.

And surely there will be many more, but those are the big titles I could find, and that was a lot longer post than I ever intended for a Saturday morning. Please feel free to add any I might have missed. Peace out.


Mercurie said...

Of next summer's movie's I am probably looking forward to Iron Man, Speed Racer, Indy 4, and The Dark Knight. I'll probably pass on the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. There are some movies that should not be tampered with!

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm definitely with you there ... I'm more than a little scared of what the Wachowskis will do with Speed Racer, but if they do open on the same weekend, that's the one I'll be seeing

Jonathan said...

It's funny that the Will Smith movie was originally titled, "Tonight He Comes," which sounds like a porn title, and changed to "Hancock," which still sounds like a porn title. Very curious indeed. I think Peter Berg is underrated though (The Kingdom looks awesome), and so I have high hopes for this. I really hope the M Night movie is better than his last two, and as for Indy, I'm still up in the air. But it's kind of like the Star Wars prequels, how can you not go see them?

Reel Fanatic said...

You're certainly right about the Indy movie, Jonathan ... I'm more confident than you that it will be fairly great, but there is no way in the world I won't go see it, even if the reviews are some how atrocious

Ashok said...

Hey saw "3:10 to Yuma" and "Shoot 'Em Up" and my reviews are there. Let me know what you thought.

Reel Fanatic said...

I haven't made it to them yet, Ashok, because yesterday I went to see our Film Guild presentation of "The Lives of Others," which was just sensational .. I'm going to see "Yuma" today, and and gonna check out your reviews now

Metalic Man said...

VERY excited to see WALL-E. It will be Pixar's best film yet based on what Ive seen and read. The Comic Con coverage looked amazing, plus excited to see Jeff "Curb" Garlin as a voice in the film -

Terry said...

The first Narnia flick kicked major ass, it was a pleasant surprise as it did the book justice. They are making all the books into films, which I'm sure most fans already know. Prince Caspian is my favorite of the books and I will def. be going to see this opening weekend. The reports of set visits that have been posted online had some stunning footage and set pieces.

Fletch said...

A few comments:

1. How dare you not mention Jeff Bridges as one of the stars of Iron Man. He's my favorite of the big four that are starring!

2. I guarantee either Indy of Narnia 2 will move. No way they open on the same date.

3. Haven't seen a trailer for The Love Guru, but Get Smart looks awful just from the teaser. Like, Pluto Nash bad.

4. If there must be sequels, The Dark Knight looks to be a great one. I'm on board.

5. Also on board for Stepbrothers. Ferrell and Reilly worked well together, and Reilly showed more at the Oscars that he has some comic chops.

Great post.

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks Fletch .. And I certainly share the love for Jeff Bridges, so that was definitely an egregious snub on my part!

Chalupa said...

Looking forward to Iron Man. Even if it's not that great, the trailer looks cool AND Jeff Bridges is in it. I'm always willing to give any movie that "Dude" is in a chance.

I just got back from LA yesterday. We saw some of the shooting for Hancock on Hollywood Blvd in front of the Chinese Theater. Will Smith was doing some scenes. It was kinda cool to see something being filmed, but at the same time it was very annoying trying to get around with streets and sidewalks closed. We couldn't get to any of the restaurants we wanted to eat at and ended up just walking down to the IHOP.

Reel Fanatic said...

I've yet to come across an actual movie being filmed, Chalupa ... Once we thought we had found a possible Spike Lee shoot in Brooklyn, but it was just a street closed for some kind of community event with lots of security

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