We’re almost out of the post-Oscar funk and into Spring and Summer blockbuster season! As always, we’re bringing you our most anticipated films of the season (not counting films in limited release or documentaries-this is not a comprehensive list) so you can get as excited as we are-enjoy!
Ryan: Until the recent Roger Langridge written/Chris Samnee drawn series, I have never really gotten into Thor, the Marvel comics character, based on the Norse god of thunder, who is exiled to Midgard (Earth) and ends up becoming a hero. However, I am highly anticipating the film it really could be lighting in a bottle with Marvel’s god and Kenneth Branaugh. We just saw the new trailer (link above) and it’s really impressive. It doesn’t give too much away (if you’re familiar with the character) but it does show that like Faverau’s Iron Man, Thor will mix humor into the crazy action sequences. And unlike Iron Man, it may actually deliver some truly epic action sequences. The cast looks ridiculously talented, and I am especially excited for Natalie Portman’s take on Jane Foster. Portman has said, “What a great opportunity, in a very big movie that is going to be seen by a lot of people, to have a woman as a scientist. She’s a very serious scientist. Because in the comic she’s a nurse and now they made her an astrophysicist. Really, I know it sounds silly, but it is those little things that makes girls think it’s possible. It doesn’t give them a [role] model of ‘Oh, I just have to dress cute in movies.” Getting more and more excited for this one.
THE BEAVER (trailer)
Jill: The Beaver is a film that follows a mentally troubled husband (Gibson) and wife (Foster) as they attempt to save their marriage…with the help of a stuffed companion/therapist. The plot of this movie is a little out there, but kudos to both Jodie Poster and Mel Gibson for taking on the material in all seriousness. I’ve seen the trailer a couple times for this film and I have to say I’m a little intrigued to find out how Foster, as the director, makes this all work out. Hopefully this film can be a springboard for Gibson to rehabilitate his career and image.
SOMETHING BORROWED (trailer)
Jill: This film is based on a chick-lit novel series that I haven’t read, but the movie has John Krasinski so that’s really all I need.
Jill: I really want this film to be good. Like, really good. As much as I enjoyed The Hangover, it was a guy’s comedy. I long for the day when I can watch a comedy, about women, by women, and for women, that isn’t about getting married, and worrying about biological clocks. By the looks of this, I’ll have to wait some more, but again, here’s hoping Judd Apatow can make movie magic again. We’ll see.
Ryan: Agreed. This is my most anticipated comedy of the summer.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (trailer)
Ryan: I am definitely more excited about the fourth installment in the franchise than I was about the previous two. I felt that the Orlando Bloom/Kiera Knightley characters needing a story arc beyond the first film, combined with the odd need to ‘go bigger’ bogged down the second two films in a dense and unwelcome mythology. Pirates… should always have been more along the lines of The Continuing Adventures of Jack Sparrow (and Geoffrey Rush’s Barbossa), and I’m glad the franchise is moving in that direction. Also, mermaids seem like a cool addition.
May 26 (Memorial Day Weekend)
THE HANGOVER 2 (trailer)
Jill: When I heard they were making a sequel to the out-of-left-field hit, I wasn’t the least surprised, but I wasn’t exactly happy either. The beauty of The Hangover was that no one was expecting it to be the great success it was. And the trailer was actually quite brilliant. I saw the trailer for No. 2 recently…and it worries me. The plot seems to be the same as the first, only the location is a little more exotic and they’ve added an animal sidekick-never a good idea. Again, similar to Bridesmaids, I want this to be good because I had such a great time watching the first, but it’s rare for a movie to capture the magic twice. Again, I guess we’ll see!
THE TREE OF LIFE (trailer)
Jill: I don’t know a lot about this film, and I’m not sure I want to since I’d rather be surprised going into the theater. I saw the trailer, and it was beautiful, scary, strange, and confusing all at the same time. Can’t wait.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (trailer)
Ryan: Definitely going to see this, mainly on the combination of a superhero period piece (something we really haven’t seen before) and being a huge fan of the director, Michael Vaughn (Stardust, Kick-Ass). The idea of using a sci-fi infused 60s motif, a la Connery-era Bond films is intriguing, and this film could be a lot of fun. This will also be the second film of the summer co-starring Jennifer Lawrence of the upcoming Hunger Games film, though here she’ll be the villain Mystique in the role originated by Rebecca Romijn.
SUPER 8 (trailer)
Ryan: One of my most anticipated films of the summer, all we really know about Super 8 is that it’s J.J. Abrams’ tribute to the extraterrestrial films of Steven Spielberg, and that it has one hell of a trailer. Gives me goosebumps. This is a must-see.
GREEN LANTERN (trailer)
Ryan: I am really excited for Green Lantern, but this is probably the summer movie that has me the most nervous. The first trailer is decent, but the quality of a lot of the important details (effects, tone, dialogue, etc.) we won’t know until the film opens. What makes me nervous is things like Geoffrey Rush being cast a little over a week ago (and three months to go before opening) as the voice of one of the franchise’s central supporting roles. The cast list itself is bubbling over with DC characters, which as a fan is awesome, but I’m hoping this movie is a little more Iron Man and less Constantine. So does WB, as they hope to use this to launch an entire line of DC Comics based films (to replace the Harry Potter cash they’ll be losing after this year).
MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS (trailer)
Jill: Based on the beloved children’s book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins has two things I am sure to love-Jim Carrey and penguins!
Ryan: I loved the book as a kid, and this is an especially awesome poster. However the trailer reminds me of two many current kids movies, but perhaps with the charm of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins?
BAD TEACHER (trailer)
Ryan: Cameron Diaz is not anywhere near my list of favorite actresses, but the trailer for this movie is pretty funny, and it’s an interesting entry in the (emerging?) female driven R-rated comedy genre. And it has Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, and Molly Shannon in supporting roles, which tips it into the ‘see it’ column.
CARS 2 (trailer)
Ryan: Cars is my least favorite Pixar film to date, as I felt it was overlong and a weird mash up of Doc Hollywood and a baby boomer love letter, which is just not appealing to me. I was left so underwhelmed by Cars that the sequel was going to be the first ever Pixar film I did not see theatrically. However, the aggregate of my faith in Pixar, director John Lasseter, the addition of a James Bond sub-plot, and international characters has me intrigued enough to see this film. Plus it has a Toy Story short about Barbie and Ken going on vacation playing before it, which is probably going to be worth the price of (2-D) admission.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (trailer)
Ryan: Sitting here right now, I can’t exactly recall what happened in the previous installment in this franchise, but both films have been enjoyable theater going experiences. Sadly, there are still human characters in this film.
LARRY CROWNE (trailer)
Ryan: A recession comedy-drama starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. If that fact or the trailer doesn’t sell you on this, nothing will. Also, in an alternate universe, this was one of the highest grossing movies of 1991.
HORRIBLE BOSSES (no trailer yet)
Ryan: A black comedy about killing your boss starring Jason Bateman and Kevin Spacey. Directed by Seth Gordon, who directed one of my favorite documentaries, The King of Kong, as well as episodes of some of my current favorite TV shows: The Office, Parks and Recreation, Community, and Modern Family. But then again, he also directed Four Christmases. So let’s hope directing high quality TV comedy has been a learning experience for him.
HARRY POTTER and the DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 (trailer)
Jill: So excited. So sad it’s leaving. This is the final chapter in an epic series that has touched millions-and it needs to be AMAZING. I want action, I want fight scenes to end all fight scenes, I want a showdown, I want DRAMA!!!! I also can’t wait to watch this movie with other Pottermaniacs-it’s going to be quite the experience.
WINNIE the POOH (trailer)
Jill: This poster is adorable, isn’t it? I saw it at our local theater and squealed with glee. I looove Winnie the Pooh, and was excited to hear about his return to the big screen. Jim Cummings will return as Pooh, John Cleese is narrating, and Zooey Deschanel is contributing to the soundtrack! Can’t wait to visit the 100 Acre Wood again!
ANOTHER EARTH (Sundance First Look)
Ryan: This film premiered at Sundance this past January, and was very well-recieved. It’s also only one of movies from all the Sundance coverage that I felt was a must-see for me. Therefore it’s the only limited release on this list (we usually don’t include them because the date when we get to see them can be up to months later). The premise is that there is an alternate Earth that appears in our sky, and people wonder just how deep the parallels run. It’s a sci-fi premise, but really about people. Seems in the vein of Contact or Moon.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: The First Avenger (trailer)
Ryan: I’ve always thought Captain America could be a breakout character on film, and I think having this film be a World War II period piece is a very smart move. Here we’ll see the Cap in his element, punching Nazis and trying to win the War for the Allies. At first, I was skeptical of Chris Evans’ casting, but his excellent take on Evil Ex Lucas Lee in last year’s Scott Pilgrim makes me think he has the dedication to pull of being Steve Rogers. The director is also well suited for it, as Joe Johnston also directed the 1991 comic book film The Rocketeer, another WWII fantasy, and says he is aiming towards the tone of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS (trailer)
Jill: We’ve seen it before with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. Not sure why Hollywood felt we needed another one of these, but it will be interesting to see Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis continue their post-Oscar film success. And maybe a movie with an ending where the two actually stay friends…with benefits. The trailer, though very promising, does not seem to support this hope.
COWBOYS & ALIENS (trailer)
Ryan: This is one where the title pretty much says it all. I haven’t read the graphic novel, but in what now seems like a standard practice, the graphic novel seems like little more like a trial run of the film. However, Jon Faverau has a knack for bringing the ridiculous to the screen and make it seem cool, like Elf and Zathura. He has also assembled a great cast with Daniel Craig, Sam Rockwell (who can do no wrong), Olivia Wilde (the highlight of Tron: Legacy), and I am eager to see Harrison Ford as a scene-chewing villain. While the trailer has brought chuckles to some theaters I’ve been in, I think this could be a ton of fun.
CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. (trailer)
Jill: Crazy, Stupid, Love. is about one man’s journey as he simultaneously tries to deal with a marital crisis and manage his relationship with his children. This will be the first movie Steve Carell stars in after his departure from The Office. I want this movie to be a success for him because in the past I have been underwhelmed by his movie roles (although I enjoyed him in Date Night and Little Miss Sunshine). The film boasts a great cast including Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Julianne Moore.