Yes, I’ve been kind of a lazy blogger recently, mainly because of being busy at my day job, but also due to being uninspired by what the entertainment world has been offering lately. I haven’t been to a live theater show in awhile due to the astronomical cost of tickets and the theater district’s reluctance to give me free seats (which they should, since I would gladly write something about their show). Movies are also getting really expensive to go see (thanks 3D! Asshole!), and the last movie I paid to see in the theater was the tearfully disappointing Alice in Wonderland. There are always new movie trailers available to pass judgment on, but after awhile, they all start to look the same. Raunchy comedy! Girls planning weddings! Ethnic movie! Overwrought drama! Nicholas Sparks!
But now we’re in the month of April, which means May comes next, which means Memorial Day Weekend, which means…the start of summer movies! For reasons that I’m sure make sense to them, movie studios tend to stockpile their good stuff for release during two key parts of the year: Oscar time and the summer. Why any of us bother to go see movies any other time of the year is beyond me, as nearly all movies released at any other time of the year run the gamut of terrible to just plain forgettable.
So in the spirit of forgetting the cinematic tripe that’s been shoveled out over the past few months, here are some of the summer flicks I’m looking forward to seeing (and feel free to check out the full list of upcoming summer releases to create your own list):
Get Him to the Greek – Opens June 4
I’m not necessarily a big fan of Russell Brand, but I loved Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It’s one of those movies where if I see it on TV (and HBO likes to play it pretty often), I’ll put it on and tune out the rest of the world for the next two hours. Brand’s character, the libidinous rocker Aldous Snow, was a highlight of the movie whenever he appeared onscreen, so I’m curious to see how basing an entire movie on him will work out. It may very well be a disaster, but I’m willing to take that chance.
Toy Story 3 – Opens June 18
Even while I found Cars and Ratatouille to be no better than “just OK,” Disney-Pixar movies really have yet to take a misstep. The first two Toy Story movies were excellent; cute, funny, original, and touching, all without being too cloying or precious (a territory Disney has wandered into on its own many times before). I actually enjoyed the second one slightly more than the first, and can’t wait to see if the third installment continues to exceed its exceptional predecessors.
Dinner for Schmucks – Opens July 23
The 40 Year Old Virgin’s costars Steve Carell and Paul Rudd team up again for this comedy, and that’s all I needed to hear. Rudd is a businessman whose boss invites him to a dinner where every guest has to bring along the biggest idiot they can find. He who brings along the biggest loser is declared the winner, and is possibly the next in line for a promotion. Yes, it sounds mean-spirited, but when you have Carell playing a bumbling IRS employee who creates taxidermied mice dioramas for fun, it kind of puts everything into perspective. Plus, if you think the idiots don’t come out on top at the end, you clearly haven’t seen enough movies.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Opens August 13
Unlike Oscar time, when movies are all about the drama, summer movies are all about the action, which usually means a lot of comic book-inspired flicks. Unfortunately for me, these movies really aren’t my cup of tea (no, I don’t care about Iron Man 2, which opens on May 7 for those who are interested). But the trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World actually makes the movie look kind of awesome, and a lot of fun (which is exactly what a summer movie should be). It’s based off a comic book (excuse me, GRAPHIC NOVEL) that I have no knowledge of, but it stars Michael Cera as an unlucky in love 20-something who meets the girl of his dreams. The only catch is he has to battle her seven evil exes before they can be together, thus creating a bizarrely campy romantic comedy/action-adventure hybrid movie. It’s directed by Edgar Wright, who directed Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, both excellent comedies. And there are those who like to argue that Cera plays the same “awkward dorky guy” in every movie he makes. But he does it so damn well, I really don’t care.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – Opens June 30
Haha, no, just kidding. Twilight is obviously the worst thing ever.