After yesterday’s carpet bombing of the “Star Wars” franchise I thought I should try to make amends to Hollywood.
Summer movie time is quickly approaching. It’s that special time of year where Hollywood depletes most of its budget for the year in hopes that we’ll all line up at the neighborhood googleplex to see the latest spin on an old TV show or Previous Blockbuster Plus Number.
I love what we loving refer to around my house as “popcorn movies.” You know what I mean. They’re the ones you don’t have to think about. Familiar faces in familiar plots with lots of explosions. Popcorn movies.
For the first time in a long time, there are actually a lot of these I want to see. I ran through the summer months on IMDB and was surprised to find I could actually knock out a top 10 list.
So, with all apologies to Mr. Letterman, and in no particular order, here goes:
“The Dark Knight” – Any summer that features a Batman movie is alright in my book. I loved the jumpstart “Batman Begins” gave the franchise. With all the key players returning, and Maggie Gylenhall replacing Katie Holmes, I couldn’t be more stoked. Despite weirdness the untimely death of Heath Ledger is likely to throw over the movie, I think this one stands to be the summer box office champ.
“Iron Man” – I was skeptical to say the least when they announced a feature about the Crimson Avenger. Those were laid to rest when the trailers started popping up. Downey is perfectly cast a Tony Stark and I can’t wait to see Jeff Bridges chew scenery as Obadiah Stane. Finally, a comic book movie with big sets and a lot of explosions.
“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” – Despite the fact that they waited at least 15 years to long to make this movie, I’m going to buy a ticket. Harrison Ford still looks good in the fedora and they’ve surrounded him with a good cast. Cate Blanchett as an evil Commie? Tell me more. Sure to be a big hit, let’s hope Indy’s hips are up to the task.
“Kung Fu Panda” – I’ll admit, this probably wouldn’t be on the list if I didn’t have kids, but I do so here it is. Jack Black and Jackie Chan as foils? I wouldn’t pay for it if it was live action, but animated? Gold. I’ll gladly sit in the theater full of screaming kids to see it.
“The Incredible Hulk” – After the mess Ang Lee made of the Green Goliath the first time around, my wife swore off superhero movies (except for Spidey and, after Spider-Man 3, she may have sworn him off too). I don’t blame her. That movie was awful. Casting Edward Norton as Banner is sure to be a step in the right direction. Throw in rumors of a 26 minute Hulk/Abomination battle and you’ve sold this fanboy a ticket.
“Get Smart” – I loved the TV show. I hate TV show movies. I dig Steve Carrell. Advantage TV show movie. If Carrell can channel some of his “Office” and “40 Year Old Virgin” magic into Maxwell Smart this one could be huge. If not, well, “Dukes of Hazard” anyone?
“Hancock” – I was saying just last night I was ready for a funny Will Smith movie. This one could be it. Smith as an alcoholic superhero? Jason Bateman as a publicist trying to get him back on track? Charlize Theron as eye candy? Check. Check. And check.
“Hellboy II: The Golden Army” – Hellboy is cool. Let’s just get that straight right now. One of the most original and enjoyable comic creations of the last 20 years. The first movie was fun. I imagine they’ll have worked out a few kinks and this one will be even better. If not? It’s still Hellboy.
“The Pineapple Express” – Judd Apatow. Seth Rogan. James Franco. Done deal. These three were money in the bank in “Freaks & Geeks.” There is no reason to believe the roll they’ve been on will stop with the first “stoner chase film.” I like the cast. I like the premise. I like it’s chances.
“Wanted” – Another comic book movie? Sure why not. I recently read the source material and realize there is almost no way to give it a literal translation. They did however cast Angelina Jolie as the Fox (how hard was that?) so the fanboys will line up in droves. My expectations aren’t as high for this one. Its just a “big dumb action movie.” That’s alright. It is summer after all.
Honorable Mentions: The X-Files Movie and Speed Racer