Scott tells you what to watch: Summer Movie Preview

Even though it is only just now spring, the big summer blockbusters are starting to came back to theaters.  In order to help stop disasters like last years Scott Pilgrim fiasco, I am going to tell you what to watch this summer.  Seriously, to everyone who did not go see Scott Pilgrim last year:  shame on you.  This is why we can’t have nice things.  By going through the coming soon section on IMDB I have pulled out about 20 movies coming this summer, some to recommend, some to ridicule and some to merely comment on.

  • Sucker Punch:  Zack Snyder has proven that he knows how to make entertaining and visually stunning movies.  His films might not hold up to close scrutiny, but as summer popcorn flicks go they are very good.  Sucker Punch looks to be in line with his other movies.  Most notably, it is an original movie (or at least an original combination of tired ideas)  I am very excited about this one.
  • Super:  I had not heard of this until I saw on IMDB, but a dark superhero comedy starring The Office’s Rain Wilson, Ellen Page and Kevin Bacon?  Sign me up.  It sounds like what if Kick-Ass wasn’t terrible.  Not that I’m sure this won’t be terrible, but at least it seems worth watching.
  • Your Highness: This can’t be as bad as it sounds, can it?  James Franco has me interested, and I like Danny McBride, but this sounds like Year One all over again.
  • Fast Five:  The trailer for this in The Adjustment Bureau nearly broke my brain.  Luckily, this is the kind of movie intended to be watched with the brain off.  If past Fast and Furious movies are anything to go by, this will be stupid and stupidly awesome.  Plus, it adds the Rock.  There is nothing the Rock can’t improve.
  • Thor: I won’t lie, I love Thor.  Thor is the best.  As long as he wrecks things with his hammer in sufficient quantities I will be satisfied.  The fact that Kenneth Branagh, known for Shakespeare films, is directing is a good sign for the right tone.  I will see this, possibly multiple times.  The trailers look good.  They do not appear to be shying away from the crazy Kirbyan Space-Asgard.  Highly Recommended.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides:  While the last Pirates movie was really tired, they seem to have jettisoned most of the baggage the original trilogy built up.  I hope this is a return to entertaining antics from Depp’s Capt. Sparrow.  I’m not too optimistic though.
  • The Hangover 2:  While I seem to be the only person who did not see the original, the universal praise it has gotten makes me interested in both remedying that oversight and seeing the sequel.  Even with a returning cast, comedy sequels are no sure thing, but this my be the best comedy of the summer.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2:  The first Kung Fu Panda was a pleasant surprise:  a really good non-Pixar animated film.  I see no reason why the sequel can’t be just as good.  Dreamworks is pretty hit or miss, but they have been on a roll lately with How to Train Your Dragon and Megamind. I can’t whole heartedly recommend this, but I really want a Jack Black movie I can like.  (Goddamn you, Year One)
  • X-Men First Class:  While I am a defender of X-Men 3, that movie seemed to have left the X-Men movie franchise scorched earth.  This prequel is reportedly set in the 60’s and looks to get he X-Men very right.  There is even a commendable lack of Wolverine.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Wolverine, but the original 3 movies might as well have been titled Wolverine and the X-Men.  This could easily be a train wreck or the best superhero movie of the summer.  Go see it.
  • Green Lantern:  This will likely be the best superhero movie of the summer.  It seems to be doing just about everything right.  Except the costume looks a little weird.  Ryan Reynolds is a good fit for Hal Jordan, and the Green Lantern is a different kind of Superhero, one with a distinctively sci-fi premise.  Maybe if it is really successful and I’m very lucky the next film will have Guy Gardner.
  • Cars 2:  Cars was not the worst Pixar movie–not that that is a very damning mark–but it was pretty far down the studios list.  But I expect the sequel to be nothing less than great simply because it is a Pixar movie.  I still wish this was Incredibles 2, but Pixar has earned my trust.  Recommended.
  • Transformers Dark of the Moon:  Michael Bay continues to rape your childhood and you continue to thank him for it.  Though I know my pleas will fall on deaf ears, but please don’t go see this movie. (A note to friends of mine:  by all means invite me to see this movie with you, but know that I will mock it constantly throughout, probably ruining your day.)
  • Horrible Bosses:  Jason Bateman and Charlie Day were all I needed to hear to be interested in this.  Put upon employees try to murder their bosses.  If the Hangover sequel does not meet expectations, this looks to be the next best comedy bet.
  • Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows 2:  The first part of this movie was pretty good, and I hope this series goes out with a bang.  The movies have always been a pale imitation of the books, but they have largely been entertaining pale imitations.
  • Winnie the Pooh:  Do you have a soul?  If so, then you already want to go see this movie.  I wouldn’t say I was excited for Winnie the Pooh, but I foresee nonoccurrence that keeps me from seeing this.  I am so glad Disney has returned to traditionally animated theatrical releases, even if I did not love the Princess and the Frog.
  • Captain America:  The fact that it is last to the party could be a problem for its box office take, but Captain America looks to continue Marvels solid job of putting it’s biggest characters on the big screen.  Chris Evans was great last year in The Losers and Scott Pilgrim, I have no doubt he will do great as Cap.  I am less excited about Captain America than by this summer’s other Superhero movies, but I have liked a lot more of the last decades superhero movies than I’ve hated.  Better enjoy it before the Avengers ruins things for everyone.
  • Cowboys and Aliens:  While the title is banal, Harrison Ford is action movie gold and Daniel Craig is no slouch.  Favreau did a great job with the Iron Man movies, I am eager to see is he can work outside that.  A sci-fi western mash-up could be great, or it could be a generic mess like the title.
  • Conan the Barbarian:  This claims to be less a revival of the Schwarzenegger Conan movies and more of a adaptation of Robert E. Howards original Conan stories.  Either way, it could be a very good swords and sorcery flick.  There have been too few of those of late, especially like those prevalent in the 80’s, like the old Conan movies, Red Sonja, Ladyhawke, Willow and Legend.
  • The Smurfs:  I’m seeing Garfield and Scooby-Doo here.  Looks like one to avoid, despite the presence of Neil Patrick Harris.  How many beloved cartoons from my childhood have to turn into horrible CGI travesties.

Yeah, my interests this summer lie mostly in the blockbuster and children’s fields, but there are an abnormally large amount of movies I’m looking forward to this year.  If there is anything coming I’ve missed, please point it out to me.  I don’t see myself having a free trip to the theater to see something picked at random this year, though that is how I saw RED and The Losers last year and they were some of my favorites.  It should be a great summer for movies.