This summer, like every summer, features week after week of blockbuster releases. However, this year is special.
By September, we will have seen the end of Christopher Nolan’s epic trilogy (The Dark Knight Rises), the culmination of five seemingly unrelated Marvel superhero films (The Avengers), the revitalization of arguably the greatest horror franchise ever (Prometheus) and the movie version of everyone’s favorite mock historical fiction (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). Oh, I almost forgot, The Amazing Spider-Man also adds to the superhero centric summer blockbuster lineup.
The Avengers (May 4) ties together the story lines of Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk (the Ed Norton one, not the Eric Bana one), Thor and Captain America. The Avengers are the superhero equivalent of a super band, led by Nick Fury (portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson). Marvel has proven that they know what it takes to make a good superhero movie, and this time they pull out all the stops. The script is written and directed by nerd-favorite Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog). Judging from the trailers and initial reports coming out of pre-screenings, The Avengers will be a fun-filled, action-packed thrill ride.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter shows our sixteenth President as he embarks on a quest to eliminate a group of vampires that are trying to take over the United States. Based on the book of the same name, it is produced by Tim Burton and written by the same people that did the first Sherlock Holmes. Finally Hollywood is releasing a vampire movie where the protagonist isn’t agonizing over whether to choose the sparkly one or the hairy one with great abs.
Prometheus is the reboot of the greatest horror franchise, Alien. A group of interstellar travelers go searching for alien life. Produced and directed by Ridley Scott, the director of Blade Runner and Gladiator, Prometheus looks to be a worthy addition to the Alien franchise. While horror movies generally wait until October, Prometheus has enough star power to rank it as one of the most anticipated movies of the summer.
Keeping with the trend of summer of superheroes theme, The Amazing Spiderman can go one of two ways. Since it is made by Sony Pictures instead of Marvel Comics, there is less incentive to make it a good movie. However, Spider-Man 3 was one of the worst movies of 2007, and they might be reluctant to trot out another load of shit of that magnitude. Starring Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) and Emma Stone (Easy A, Zombieland and Superbad), The Amazing Spiderman certainly has the actors to draw in a big crowd. The only question mark here is the script, seeing as how the same person wrote the aforementioned putrid sinkhole of a movie that was Spiderman 3.
The finale of Christopher Nolan’s epic trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, will assuredly be the best movie of the summer. The Dark Knight barely missed out on an Oscar nomination for best picture, and Nolan didn’t back off for his finale. This trilogy is the first time that a superhero franchise has been loved by both the public and cinemaphiles alike. This is the one can’t miss film of the summer. If you miss this movie, then you are saying that you hate puppies. Don’t be that person. Don’t hate puppies.
That doesn’t mean that all movies this summer will be good. As a self-proclaimed aficionado of bad movies, Piranha 3DD, Battleship and The Expendables 2 beckon to me like a siren’s call to my wallet. Each of these offers something different in the bad movie department. Expendables 2 will be exactly what you think it is: an attempted remake of the 1980s super action hero movies, filled with copious violence and little plot. As opposed to Battleship, which will have more special effects than Transformers 3 and an even more tenuous connection to the Hasbro game. Piranha 3DD is what a Syfy channel original movie would look like if it had a real budget and kind of real actors.
So don’t let the dog days of summer get you down. Go see a good movie. Or a ridiculously bad one.