Despite what most TV spots would have us believe, summer is made up of more than just explosions and people in costumes. The “hidden gems” are often the victim of less advertising, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out.
Safety Not Guaranteed is a comedic drama about a small group of magazine reporters who investigate a man who posts a classified ad looking for a partner to time travel with. He claims he has done it before, and from the looks of the trailer, the movie seems to play with the audience’s mind as to whether or not he is crazy. Mark Duplass, mumble-core writer and director and star of The League, plays the supposed time-traveler. Early buzz suggests this one will be worth seeking out.
Moonrise Kingdom is the newest Wes Anderson directed film. For some, that is all I have to say, as Anderson has earned a cult following from his always quirky and oddly charming films like Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. His awkward humor and child-like characters might not be for everyone, but Moonrise Kingdom looks like it could rank among his best works with a star-studded cast and fun visuals.
The “mindless popcorn” movie is about as American as apple pie and this year looks to have enough to open a bakery. Unfortunately, it might not pass health inspection as it feels like underneath that deliciously flaky crust is nothing but lard. Then again, that might just sell even better.
Battleship is not, as the title would like to imply, a movie about two close friends dueling it out in the classic plastic naval warfare board game by the same name. Instead, Hollywood is serving up yet another movie about Earth being turned into a battlefield on the brink of destruction as alien robots pop out of nowhere to wreak havoc on an American city. As surefire as that plot has been business wise, Battleship seems to be drowning in military clichés (Get it? Cause of the water? I crack myself up). Also, early reports from international screenings say that Liam Neeson doesn’t even say “You sunk my battleship.” If that is true, then we as a nation have already lost.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation wins the stupidest looking sequel of the summer in my book, and considering it had to contend with Expendables 2, that is really saying something. I would like to think movie audiences have moved past the plot-less, barely-acted, CGI-filled crapfests that seem to hit this time every year. Then again, the third Transformers made over a billion dollars (of which I wrote a positive review of at the time — whoops). At least this one offers up Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Bruce Willis as compromise. Ah, what the heck, maybe it will be fun.
It’s become customary to spend at least a few nights out with superheroes these past few summers, and this year looks to be no different.
The Avengers is set to kick things off with a bang Friday with its team of heroes working overtime to take down an alien army run by Thor’s scheming pseudo-brother Loki. Marvel basically set up their movie studio just to get to this moment, with many of its previous releases acting as part promotional material for this film. And while it faces some stiff competition for the title of “best” superhero blockbuster, it easily wins in the “most superheroes” category.
The Dark Knight Rises marks the final film in the Christian Bale-as-Batman trilogy. What it lacks in a creative movie title, it looks to make up for with plenty of tense, realistic-ish terrorism of Gotham City with its fierce new villain, Bane. Comic readers know how dangerous Bane can be and anyone who saw last year’s Warrior knows how scary Tom Hardy can get, so the two seem like a lethal combo. It will take a lot to dethrone Heath Ledger’s Joker as the series’ best villain, but director Christopher Nolan seems like he can do no wrong behind the camera as of late, so anything is possible.
The Amazing Spiderman is the only reboot of the bunch, but it is welcome to have our friendly neighborhood web-slinger back in action on the big screen. Trailers have shown Andrew Garfield’s version of Peter Parker to be closer to the comic book character than any of the previous three movies achieved which could bode well with fans. When it was originally announced, it seemed way too early to bring Spidey back, but after re-watching Spiderman 3, it might be nice to have something to wash that bad taste out of fans’ mouths.