It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
The Summer Movie season seems to begin before even Memorial Day. I remember a time when the 4th of July and Will Smith opened the blockbuster months but in this economic time, we see Christmas decorations being put up while kids are still trick-or-treating in the mall. It all must start earlier. Let’s be honest – we all saw Iron Man 2, Robin Hood and Toy Story 3 (while sleeping on the excellent Kickass). What really is there left? Well, let’s take a gander, shall we?
1. The Last Airbender: Okay, okay. I still have hope for M. Night Shyamalan, and the trailers I’ve been subjected to don’t seem terrible. Actually, the SFX looks like some of the most amazing I’ve seen since The Watchmen, and it might be the first flick I shell out $12 to see in 3D. It’s standard fantasy – the elements are warring and only one can bring peace to our time. Summer Blockbusters of my youth were often big, dumb, special effect laden spectacles and if this is just that, then I won’t complain. My childhood was a simpler time – Who Framed Roger Rabbit was considered ground breaking and raunchy. And maybe with a successful movie under his belt, M. Night won’t be made fun of on It’s Always Sunny anymore…
2. Predators – Whoa, what?! While the above selection was a bold and daring choice for a potential phenomena potentially missed by most, this choice seems like a perfect storm for a blockbuster. And you’re right – Adrian Brody, Lawrence Fishburn and Topher Grace all team up in the re-boot on Predator, the less interesting and less intellectual evil alien eats people franchise. But what makes it to this list is that Robert Rodriguez directs. You know, the guy who did Sin City and helped out with Grindhouse. Yeah, that guy.
3. Countdown to Zero – The guys behind An Inconvenient Truth might have the new best documentary with this one. It’s about the arms race and nuclear proliferation. And it’s real and it’s more frightening that any face-sucking aliens, elemental wars or mad geniuses trying to steal the moon.
4. Scott Pilgrim vs The World – At one of the opening weekend screenings of Kickass at Crossgates Mall, there was a loud squeeing sound from the middle of the theater. Someone referenced Scott Pilgrim. Bryan Lee O’Malley is the Canadian genius who took the art-form of manga and westernized it for us. Scott Pilgrim is the dorky loser who must defeat aRamona’s seven evil ex’s in order to win her heart. We don’t get to see the last comic until July; the movie’s release date is set in August. Michael Cerra plays Scott Pilgrim, and Beck – yeah, Beck – helps out on the soundtrack. All those hipsters in Toronto are totally going to get some girls soon.
So fear not, even though the big hits of summer have come before the solstice, there’s something in those dog days of August worth paying $8 for a few hours of air conditioning.