June 4th, 2009


Movies This Summer

I don't think I've done my usual Summer Movie Preview Gala. It's like the Academy Awards Brouhaha, but much more optimistic, as I leave your Nights at the Museum and your Harry Potters to the wankers who are into those kinds of filth flarn filth. The only massively superpopular movie you'll hear me talking about is the new Transformers movie, and that's about 95% the promise of more Megan Fox cleavage (and a -120% Michael Bay massive supercloseup direction).

I'd say up until I left the theater last weekend, Terminator: Salvation was probably my most anticipated blockbuster flick of the summer. Too bad it proved to be as entirely predictable as the last Terminator movie. Here's a spoiler: we get to meet John Connor's dad, Kyle Reese, as an older teenager; and we spend almost the entire movie trying to save Kyle Reese from human-kidnapping terminators. Best part: Nude Fake Arnold fights the latest incarnation of John Connor.

Also, a spoiler for whenever the next movie comes out; we find in the third installment that Arnold was sent back in time THAT time because John Connor's wife sent him to protect the two of them. That Arnold, in the future, ends up killing John Connor. Something to look forward to as this series staggers to a predictable Star Wars Prequels-like conclusion as we already know the bulk of the future details from the first three movies. Leave it to time travel to turn sequels into prequels ...

Now, the movie I'm most looking forward to is Bruno. Borat 2. Whatever you like. There's absolutely no way it'll be as good as Borat, because let's face it, we're on the same pony ride with a different character. And, in Da Ali G Show, Bruno was the least funny of the three characters. Still, you can say a lot about this movie, but you can't say that it'll be predictable. There will be shockingly hilarious moments, and that's why it's tops on my list.

As far as other comedies go, there's The Hangover - out this weekend - and Funny People - created by Judd Apatow, starring Adam Sandler. I guarantee The Hangover will be comedy gold and I hope to recreate this movie in about 15 days, 9 hours, and 44 minutes. Zach Galifianakis alone - in a movie people will actually see and enjoy - will prove to out-Ferrell the Will in Old School (which had the same director as this movie). Funny People I'm a little more dubious about. First, Sandler? He hasn't been funny since The Waterboy and hasn't been good since Punch Drunk Love. And from previews, it looks like Apatow is taking yet another pull from the same formula well. Hire your buddies, feature a down-on-his-luck main character/loser, pit him against a breathlessly beautiful and witty and cool chick, ups and downs ensue, until finally we all delight in the positively happy ending. Oh, and throw just enough raunch in there to make it palatable for the 20-something crowd. What gives me hope is that this movie actually follows through on its title: it HAS funny people in it! I want to see it for Aziz Ansari's character Randy alone. Then you've got Seth Rogan, Johan Hill, Sarah Silverman, Norm MacDonald, Andy Dick, Maria Bamford, and Dave Attell in various roles (most probably cameos, I'm assuming). This could be better than Knocked Up and 40 Year Old Virgin combined, or worse than I could possibly imagine; I'm seeing no middle ground here.

Let's talk Action Flicks.

Public Enemies. Directed by Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider, Last of the Mohicans, Miami Vice, Collateral), starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, in a based-on-truth film about old time gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd. First of all, can I talk to you about how many huge movies Christian Bale has been in recently? This one, Terminator, The Dark Knight, and 3:10 to Yuma. Who saw this when they saw American Psycho? Anyway, you could do much worse in the acting and directing department. The supporting cast looks good too (Billy Crudup, Channing Tatum, Leelee Sobieski, Giovanni Ribisi, Stephen Dorff).

Inglourious Basterds. Quentin Tarantino directing. Brad Pitt starring. Jews killing Nazis during World War II. I don't think I need to say anything else.

The Hurt Locker. Quite possibly my new favorite movie title ever. About a guy who disarms bombs for the US Army in the Middle East. Just saw the preview last night, could be very, very good.

District 9. Sci-Fi with a twist. Looks like it's done in faux-documentary form, about an alien spaceship hovering over Earth. The previews don't really give a whole lot away (which I like), but apparently humans are tired of putting up with the aliens, and the aliens aren't being allowed to leave because of the government. Again, this is either going to be the best sci-fi movie ever or suck harder than Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Finally, we'll take a look at (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (best actor under the age of 30 by a hundred million miles) and Zooey Deschanel (the most strikingly gorgeous actress who actually has abundant acting ability I've ever seen). This would be a romance movie (of sorts), but not your formula Date Movie, Chick Flick, Romantic Comedy, etc. Saw the previews for this as well last night and I'm impressed. This one could definitely leave a mark.