RottenTomatoes recently came out with a very nice feature on the upcoming feature films for the period of May to August 2008 (referred to as “summer” in other countries, although it’s decidedly a bit more wet than that here). The article linked above is a lot more comprehensive than this one, but I’m a busy guy and I’m assuming that the people that read this blog will not have the time to watch every single summer movie coming out this year. So below is my list of must- and will-probably-see movies over the next four months, compressed to suit my tastes and summarized to fit your available time:
Iron Man, May 2nd.
Not much to say about this one other than it was a high watermark for superhero movies, and kicked off the season with an arc-reactor-powered bang.
Speed Racer, May 9th.
The only reason why I even mention this movie is because I thought I’d give the Wachowskis another chance and saw Speedy on his opening night. This movie is about as bad as it gets — cliche-ridden (or I should say, driven) plot, seriously bizarre production design, camera work that tries to be funky and just ends up clunky … the list goes on. The races themselves are alright, but I can’t say they’re any more or less memorable than your average Fast and the Furious fare.
Prince Caspian, May 16th.
The sequel to Narnia has been thus far getting some pretty good reviews, and although I didn’t love the first picture, I’m willing to give this one a shot. (Note that the Philippines will be getting this movie a few weeks late; possibly after Indy IV.)
Indiana Jones IV, May 22nd.
I have already made up my mind that I will love Indy IV, and I am counting mostly on Steven Spielberg to bring this one home. (George Lucas, you better not screw me again.)
Postal, May 22nd (likely sometime in mid-June over here).
I’ll see this one if I can drag some friends along with me. I played the video game for all of 30 minutes before getting tired of the tongue-in-cheek political-incorrectness but maybe Uwe Boll can come up with something witty and compelling. Or, more likely, something totally insipid and obtuse, and I’ll laugh my ass off watching it.
The Happening, June 13th.
M. Night Shyamalan’s latest twist-fest should be interesting to see. Say what you will about his recent self-indulgences (The Village and Lady in the Water were twisty piles of crap), but all Shyamalan movies consistently have really great acting and really stellar cinematography. Sometimes, it’s enough.
Incredible Hulk, June 13th.
Please, oh please, Edward Norton, don’t let me down.
Wall-E, June 27th.Pixar makes a sci-fi. How can I not love this?
Wanted, June 27th.
Angelina Jolie as an evil Lara Croft. Well, not exactly, but she holds her guns exactly the same way. The comic this was based on was a brilliant piece of nihilist writing, but I don’t really expect any of that to translate to the movie. Mostly you’ll watch this for the stunts and some snarky dialogue between Jolie and James McAvoy.
Hellboy 2, July 11th (probably on the 16th or 23rd here).
Director del Toro has been churning out some real gems since the first Hellboy (he directed Pan’s Labyrinth in 2006 and produced The Orphanage in 2007) so I’m expecting this sequel to top the first. Mignola’s comic books have always been a bit of a strange brew and del Toro shouldn’t find himself bereft of weird story material to throw at us.
The Dark Knight, July 18th.
There are a couple of things I was hoping for with Chris Nolan’s sequel: 1) Better action sequences (you could tell that Nolan had never previously directed fight scenes in Batman Begins), and 2) No more Katie Holmes. I already got the latter.
X-Files 2, July 25th (probably in early August here).
I remember watching the pilot episode of X-Files on RPN 9 back when I was in grade school (this was in 1993), and it scared the living crap out of me. I followed the show for about 4 seasons before it started to really meander, but I dutifully watched the movie like any loyal fan when it came out in 1998. Now it’s 2008, a whole decade later, and Mulder and Scully have returned. I am awed more by the passage of time than anything else, which is why I’ll see this movie no matter what.
Midnight Meat Train, August 1st (probably on the 6th here, if this ever makes it past the MTRCB)
Clive Barker’s serial killer short story is brought to the screen by Ryuhei Kitamura (known to geekboys as the director of Versus). A match made in heaven? We’ll see. Personally, I’m happy to see this as an uncut, extended bittorrent edition if the local movie review board blocks it.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, August 15th.
There are a couple of reasons to watch this movie, and I’m going to completely avoid the obvious “Because It’s Star Wars, Stupid.” The first is that I seriously love Kilian Plunkett’s character design (I first noticed his work on the graphic novel back in 98, and again in in 2004). The second reason is that the Clone Wars movie is essentially a 90-minute commercial for the animated TV series starting in October this year, which will be followed by a live-action TV series in 2010. Hey, and we like commercials right?
The International, August 15th (probably on the 20th or 27th here).
Clive Owen as an international secret agent. Naomi Watts as his damsel-in-distress. Seems like a winning combination to me.