Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eimer’s Most Anticipated Summer Films of 2012

There’s that certain je ne sais quoi when the flowers begin blooming, the sun is warming up the northern hemisphere, the young'uns anxiously awaiting the final school bell, the beer distributor's stocking up the Speedway's with Mickey's Malt Liquor …

….and let’s not forget the annual line-up of summer movies.

Yes, my fair reader, it's that time of the year when everyone from 5- to 500- years old can act like a kid again and be wowed by insane special effects, snarky dialogue and big-ass explosions.

So without further adieu, here are my personal most-anticipated summer films of 2012 (in order of premiere)...

Oh, just a word, although my list has included some of the top special-effects-laden-bubble-gum-popcorn-stuffing-in-your-mouth picks that all of you have been accustomed to for so many summers of yore, I thought I'd also toss in a couple, under-the-radar films that you may want to toss into your Netflix queue.

HULK SMASH!!! I just saw this film last night. If you like summer movies, superheroes or simply film theory in general, just go see this movie. It’s fun, smart, witty and action-packed. It’s, dare I say, the prime prototype of how to create a fun, special-effects-laden summer movie. Joss Whedon has done the film geeks good! This one is worth every penny for a babysitter. Or, hell, if they're over 7-years-old, bring them along. They'll only have nightmares for only a couple weeks.

Bobcat Goldthwhait (yes from Police Academy 2 fame) writes and directs this dysfunctional film about a man who’s pissed off with the world and is not going to take it anymore. And, judging by the trailer, it looks a lot more fun than Kevin Smith’s DOGMA. And, by judging from Bobcat’s previous work (including WORLD'S GREATEST DAD and SHAKES THE CLOWN) this road trip, violent, dark comedy-esque NATURAL BORN KILLERS looks like a helluva ride. Starring Joel Murray, Bill Murray’s brother who made his big screen acting debut in another Goldthwaite vehicle…One Crazy Summer.

After tackling animation two years ago with the superb THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX, Wes Anderson is back with a live-action film (his last was 2009’s THE DARJEELING LIMITED). In my opinion, this film – a Romeo and Juliet love story set amongst summer camps - looks fun, fresh and entertaining. However, one of my buddies sent me a post on Facebook that read: ‘OK, Royal Tannenbaums was a surprise. But then, the Life Aquatic got boring, quickly. Rushmore virtually unwatchable. From the looks of this trailer, it's an uninspired hodgepodge of quirky characters all acting like all the other characters in Anderson's films -- so, so predictable. And not funny. Seriously not funny. Poker faced kid actors repeating droll, witty lines ad finitum? Seen it once, got it. Not again and again.’ Meh. Although it’s a funny manifesto, I’m going against his better judgement and going to see this film. But that's just me. Truth be told, I would like to live in a world created by Anderson.

In a slight twist to the fairy tale (and the Disney animated classic), the Huntsman, who is ordered by the Evil Queen to take Snow White into the woods and kill her, instead becomes her protector. Directed by relatively unknown Rupert Sanders (Just how unknown is he? Check out his IMDB file) the movie looks like a mix between the look and feel of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, the action of CLASH/WRATH OF THE TITANS and the fantasy-mystique of the Tony Scott/Tom Cruise fantasy vehicle LEGEND. And the trailer seems to be hiding the dwarves. There are seven dwarves right? The art direction looks fantastic by the way.

An Alien prequel from the guy that directed the original ALIEN (Ridley Scott), written by one of the guys that brought us LOST (Damon Lindelof)? Excuse me, but I’m scheduling a babysitter right now.

After seeing the trailer, I’m thinking a mix of BACK TO THE FUTURE, HAPPY ACCIDENTS and RADIO FLYER – the movie is about a reporter and two interns who head out on an assignment to interview a guy who places a CraigsList Ad seeking a companion for time travel.

You can’t deny Woody Allen is on a roll. Hell, the man has been on a roll for the past 25+ years cranking out one superb movie (well, that’s debatable) after another every single year…and then some. In any event, not only is Woody behind the camera, but he also wrote a little something for himself as well. After the success of last year’s Academy Award-winning MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (Best Original Screenplay), I’m looking forward to this film immensely. And, hey, did I see Academy-Award winning actor Roberto Benigni in the trailer as well?

Okay, this movie could really, really suck. Or really, really be a lot of fun. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (who directed the NIGHTWATCH/DAYWATCH movies as well as WANTED), I’m putting this on my B-movie selection of possible dark-horse, break-out summer movie candidate. Judge for yourself. Daniel Day Lewis, eat your heart out!

BRAVE (June 22)
After a Cars2 debacle, PIXAR looks to be back to form in what appears to be an interesting film with a female protagonist leading one of their films, which – correct me if I’m wrong - hasn’t happened in a Pixar film to date.

Every year, I take off my birthday and go on a long early-morning run to think about the year that was Then, I get some lunch at a local BW3, get half-in-the-bag drunk and go see a movie in the afternoon. This year, I'll more than likely go see BRAVE. However, Writer/Director Oliver Stone’s newest movie that isn't an biopic will be second on my list during my big 4-0. Hopefully it’s a return to vintage Stone. With a talented cast, it looks fairly interesting. The movie looks like some sort of TRUE ROMANCE redux...not that there's anything wrong with that.

On the opposite end of spectrum in comparison to THE AVENGERS is this little film that could. Directed by first-time feature director Benh Zeitlin, Beasts tells the story of a young girl named Hushpuppy who goes on a fantastical adventure in search of her mother all the while dealing with prehistoric creatures, her ailing father and the end of the world. This movie has been winning every major award on the film festival circuit. And, judging by the trailer, could be really, really great…or a really, really big letdown. I’m foreseeing the former.

Thought I would choose one documentary to highlight. And thisone, sort of, looks like a doozy. It follows the highs and lows of a billionaire couple (Jackie and David Siegel) who live in a 90,000-square-foot mansion, which was built on money funded by the time-share industry.

Christopher Nolan. Christian Bale. Bane. A naked Anne Hathaway (just kidding.). How can you not have this final Batman installment from one of the best directors of our time on your list? Also if you're interested in looking at a nude Hathaway, check out BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS and RACHEL GETTING MARRIED. (I’m sure there are others, right Mr. Skin?).

360 (August 3)
This movie takes a 360-degree look (get it?) at what happens when partners from different social backgrounds engage in sex. Acted by top names including Anthony Hopkins, Rachel Weisz and Jude Law. Directed by the guy who brought us CITY OF GOD, THE CONSTANT GARDENER and BLINDNESS. Written by the guy who brought us FROST/NIXON, THE QUEEN and THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. Could be a downer of a movie. But a helluva downer of a movie.

THE CAMPAIGN (August 10)
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis come together to make fun of politics. Written by EASTBOUND AND DOWN scribers Chris Henchy and Shawn Harweel and directed by Jay Roach (MEET THE FOCKERS/PARENTS and MYSTERY, ALASKA). Could be funny like STEP BROTHERS. Could not be funny, like SEMI-PRO.

PARANORMAN (August 17)
Another possible stop-motion visually masterpiece, this time directed by Chris Butler (who worked next to master animator Henry Selick in the animated gem CORALINE as well as CORPSE BRIDE) and Sam Fell (who did the underwhelming FLUSHED AWAY and THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX).

I’m a sucker for fish-out-of-water dysfunctional family road trip movies such as ABOUT SCHMIDT, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, THE FAMILY STONE and let's not forget PIECES OF APRIL. That’s why this film, about an uptight lawyer (Catherine Keener) who takes her two teenagers to visit her hippie mother's (Jane Fonda) farmhouse in upstate New York, looks so damn fun. I’m thinking ON GOLDEN POND meets WANDERLUST meets FLIRTING WITH DISASTER. The actors look top notch. Plus it’s directed by Bruce Beresford who brought us DRIVING MISS DAISY.

Well, that’s the list. I’m curious of which films you're looking forward to seeing and which films can be thrown into the proverbial dirty diaper bin (aka Your Netflix Queue).

Oh, what's that you way?

How can a superhero-loving movie nerd leave out THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN on his list? Well, truth be told, I'm actually not looking forward to this new Spider entry at all. Matter of fact, when I was viewing the trailer for the new SpiderMan prior to the Avengers, my buddy yelled out 'SPIDER-EMO!' in the theater. Well, not really, he whispered it to me. But he should have yelled it. However, I do agree. This movie is just a mindless rehash to make more money for the Marvel universe and the SpiderMan franchise. Nothing new here. Screw The Lizard, and definitely screw SpiderEmo.

Also, if you liked this post, check a couple somewhat-related blog entries:


Bill Melville said...

Brad, I believe the studio rebooted Spiderman to keep the rights from reverting to Marvel Studios. I won't see it anyway for most of the reasons you mentioned.

Your Finest Eimer said...

Bill, thanks for the response. For some crazy reason, that makes a lot of sense. Why the speediness of making this? Makes total sense that studios would crap this out. Because it's a money maker.