Sequels, superheroes and stud muffins: It’s time for our annual summer movie preview
Hey, it’s like, the middle of spring. That means its summertime at the movie theaters for people who want you to shell out for big blockbusters so they can buy boats and planes and things.
The following list is but a sampling of what May through August will have to offer. I happily report that this stretch will not include a Twilight movie or another chapter of Sex and the City. It will, however, have a Transformers movie, so God isn’t totally letting us off the hook. Thanks a lot, God.
Thor: I will have seen this film just shortly after turning this article in for deadline. In fact, I have seen the movie for this week’s paper! Go ahead, turn to the movie review (page 24) and see what Mr. Grouchy Pants thought of the Viking hero film. Wait … is he a Viking? Just what the hell is Thor, anyway? (May 6)
The Beaver: Mel Gibson acts and Jodie Foster directs for this story about a depressed guy (Gibson) using a beaver puppet to communicate with people. Judging by those phone calls Gibson made to his ex, I’m thinking that beaver has a foul, disgusting potty mouth and should be shot. (May 6)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: If you were feeling all cool and confident that you wouldn’t be seeing Johnny Depp’s increasingly tiresome weird pirate act anymore, get ready for a few more Captain Sparrow films. This is allegedly the first part of a new series, which means Depp will be doing his whole “Keith Richards as a pirate” routine for many more years to come. (May 20)
The Hangover Part II: The concept for this follow-up to the seriously funny story about four boys and the penalties they pay for heavy partying looks kind of stupid. Then again, the first one sounded moronic and turned out to be a lot of fun. The boys go to Thailand, get themselves in a similar post-partying mess, and a monkey is now involved. I can’t wait. (May 26)
The Tree of Life: I don’t really know what this one is about, and I don’t want to know. I want to go into the latest Terrence Malick flick knowing next to nothing. Little has been said about the plot, so I’m not holding out on you or anything like that. It stars Sean Penn and Brad Pitt, and I have a funny feeling it will be terrific. (May 27)
X-Men: First Class: An origin movie that shows Magneto before he went bad. It has something to do with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Let’s hope it gets the X-Men back on track after that mediocre third film. (June 3)
Super 8: J.J. Abrams directs his first motion picture since his incredibly entertaining reboot of the Star Trek franchise. While he’s been secretive about the plot, it’s apparently some sort of alien movie that’s an homage to Steven Spielberg. My hopes are very high for this one. My hopes are so high they are hallucinating, dropping loads of money at hydroponics stores, and constantly attending overlong Phish concerts. (June 10)
Green Lantern: Hey, I’m a straight man, but let’s face facts here … RYAN REYNOLDS IS SUPER HOT! I’ll see that guy in anything, especially if he’s wearing a green, super tight outfit that shows off those streamlined abs. Drool. (June 17)
Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Jim Carrey shares the screen with penguins. There you have it. (June 17)
Cars 2: This year’s Pixar offering is a sequel to what is probably my least favorite of the Pixar films. I liked the original just fine, but it gave Larry the Cable Guy a showcase, which just pisses me off in general. We’ll see if this is an improvement on the OK first. (June 24)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: While I have a deep, molten hatred for the Transformers movies, Michael Bay has got to get it right at some point—right? It’s OK of me to think this could actually be good … right? … huh … I dunno. (July 1)
Larry Crowne: Counter-programming Transformers will be this affable-looking film starring Tom Hanks riding around with Julia Roberts on a scooter. For those who hate Michael Bay on July 4th weekend. (July 1)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2: This is it, kids … the final showdown between Harry and Ralph Fiennes. Once this one plays out, there will be no more Potter for you. This one is in 3-D, which means there will be a lot of pissing and moaning on ticket lines. (July 15)
Winnie the Pooh: This looks to be an old-school, classic type Pooh movie—and I’m stoked! Zooey Deschanel sings on the soundtrack … Yippee! (July 15 )
Captain America: The First Avenger: When I first heard a Captain America film was being made, my first thought was, “Ya know, for all I care, Captain America could just go on a long vacation in France, get kidnapped by terrorists who taunt his earlobes, and then he could rescue himself, only to be blown up in a mysterious mining accident!” I was in a cantankerous, confused, albeit fascinating mood at the time. Now, after seeing the trailer, I’m kind of looking forward to this. (July 22)
Crazy, Stupid, Love.: Steve Carell stars, with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, in his first film after his exit from The Office. (July 29)
Cowboys and Aliens: It’s exactly what the title implies. Costars Daniel Craig and—yes!—Harrison Ford as cowpokes who find themselves in defense mode against alien forces. If Harrison Ford protects himself from aliens by getting into a refrigerator, there will be geek riots everywhere. (July 29)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: James Franco stars in a remake of the Ape movie where Roddy McDowall’s chimp got all fed up with being a slave and started a revolt that led to humans going down a few pegs on the evolution scale. Franco snuck this in between astronaut classes, 12 doctorates, playing shortstop for the Oakland A’s, mentoring a goat and mowing his lawn. (August 5)
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: This is a remake of a TV movie made back in the ’70s that scared the living shit out of me. The preview for this one, where you see a split second of a demon monster type thing under a bed sheet, tells me that producer Guillermo del Toro and his crew might’ve made something as scary as the original. In which case, don’t sit anywhere near me during this one ’cause I’ll probably soil myself. (August 26)
Our Idiot Brother (August 26): Paul Rudd plays a stoner in this one, and Adam Scott is in it, too. That’s all I need to know.