So, it comes but once a year is gone before you know it: blockbuster season. Yes, ever since Jaws made such a huge splash with its, at the time, unorthodox release in the summer months, studios save the best they have until these hot months to lure us out of the sun and into the AC ventilated theaters. So, I’m going to take a look at this year’s lot and discern whether it’s going to be a smash hit or a crash and burn.
Some rules: I am only looking films from today’s date through the end of August, only those that have been heavily advertised, and those available nationwide, so no Moonrise Kingdom or Ice Age: Continental Drift, sorry.
Rock of Ages
Plot: A rock and rock club is in danger if shutting down thanks to the unwanted attention of a church group, and young musicians look to live out their fantasies in a new and exciting era of popular music.
Pros: Great music, some good actors, musical adaptation by the guy who successfully did Hairspray. This looks like another high energy film looking at the rock and roll era rather than the pop one.
Cons: Tom Cruise. Cause I’m pretty sure he can’t sing that great…and it’s Tom Cruise for goodness sake! Weird, short, crazy man playing a rock God? I’ll believe it when I see it.
Verdict: Why not? This movie, all things aside, looks to be a whole lot of fun, even if Cruise gives a laughable performance, and hey, who doesn’t love to rock and roll?
That’s My Boy
Plot: A young successful business man, the result of an inappropriate student-teacher relationship, is on the verge of getting married when his party-crazy father comes into his life, needing money.
Pros: Andy Samberg, just off his incredibly popular stint on SNL, is making a major motion picture playing a straight-laced business man. Not to mention, it actually looks like there could be some laugh involved.
Cons: Adam Sandler hit his peak a long time ago, and I just don’t think he’s ever going to turn it around. Plus the premise is clichéd and there’s not enough here to justify spending money on a ticket.
Verdict: Wait for the reviews. If it gets raved about, then go, otherwise just wait for the DVD, if even then.
Plot: It’s about a medieval Scottish princess, who makes a deal with a witch that has something to do with fighting against the traditional role of the woman in Celtic life…and that’s about it. Unless you go looking for spoilers…but don’t.
Pros: It’s Pixar – there are 10 very good reasons to see anything they make, and it’s incredibly likely this is going to be reason number 11. You just can’t beat a studio that has consistent quality.
Cons: We don’t really know a ton about the plot so I’m wondering exactly what’s going to happen, but that’s just Pixar’s style.
Verdict: TAKE ME TO THE THEATER THIS INSTANT!!! It’s Pixar, it’s going to be good! Are there any other arguments?
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Plot: Abraham Lincoln fights vampires in the antebellum period, leading up to take them down in the Civil War.
Pros: Period pieces can be fun, especially if they go all out and the action looks pretty decent.
Cons: The Civil War? Lincoln? Vampires? Umm…
Verdict: Thanks but no thanks. Here’s the thing – when Inglorious Basterds used historical inaccuracy to make the movie more awesome. But Lincoln? One of the most tragic and infamous presidents of all time? I just don’t think it’s a good match so unless it turns out to be a stellar success, this one’s just going to be a pass. But if you’re looking for a weird action flick, this could be the one to see this season.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Pros: This movie has a good plot with some genuinely touching moments and a not totally clichéd plot: what would you do if the world was ending? Plus it looks like a solid cast.
Cons: Talk about a distressing and depressing movie unless it has the clichéd ending where the world actually doesn’t end, which sucks both ways.
Verdict: If you’re into it, see it. This kind of film just doesn’t seem like something I’d be interested it – but I can’t in good conscience say it’s a bad looking movie, cause it’s not. I’d use your personal discretion.
Plot: A man lives with his childhood living, talking teddy bear and is caught between his fiancé and his best friend as he must grow up and face adulthood.
Pros: If we want to talk about originality then this is definitely a fun twist on the old best-friend-growing concept. And considering the popular of all his animated shows, it’ll be interesting to see what MacFarlane can do with a feature length film.
Cons: It does seem a little juvenile a premise and with some people not thrilled at MacFarlane’s brand of humor, so I have heard.
Verdict: Maybe? Seth MacFarlane can be funny, but he’s been pretty hit and miss lately so looking down at what else is coming out that weekend, it could be the only movie worth seeing, depending on the reviews.
Pros: If you are really bored and you are of the female gender, at least the guys are really good looking.
Cons: It looks a lot like the male version of Show Girls, except more uncomfortable and with a lot less cat fights.
Verdict: Oh God No. This just…looks really, really stupid…who would agree to act in this? Who thought it was even a good idea to fund and release? This just screams terrible idea.
People Like Us
Plot: A young businessman finds out his dead father left him $150,000 … to give to the step-sister he never knew he had. Now he has to struggle with revealing himself to his sister and giving her the money she desperately needs, or keep it for himself in order to get out of debt.
Pros: Great cast, amazing script, and honestly it looks like the kind of film that become a classic just for handling a tricky subject matter with heart, and understanding…
Cons: It’s could also be another pandering feel-good movie for sappy parents everywhere and could wind up as just another sad depressing film.
Verdict: Give it a shot. I think that this could be very worth taking a look at, considering that it looks like a strong film without relying too much on the sap-factor, and could really be a good date movie that’s not to chick-flicky, or if you’re the type of person who likes to go to the movies alone and weep silently in the back.
Be sure to come back next week, same time and same place for Prometheus, and come back all this week to see my July and August previews!