Friday, May 1, 2009

May Preview

May marks the official beginning of the “summer movie season” which is both a good and a bad thing. It’s good, because even though I act like a movie snob, I truly do still enjoy blockbusters if they are done well. It’s bad because, studios seem to conspire to stay out of each other’s way, so we get fewer movies in wide release. In the five weeks of May, we only get 9 new wide release movies. Here is how they break down.

May 1st
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Is there a more vacant actor alive than Matthew McConaghey? Seriously, the guy is about as deep as a puddle, and his rom-coms are always insufferable. With the exception of Juno, I’ve never really liked Jennifer Garner either. The whole movie, which has a terrible preview, would be a complete pass for me, but I do love the adorable Emma Stone (Superbad, The House Bunny), so maybe I’ll check it out on video. Anticipation Level: 2.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
I’m not really sure we needed a Wolverine Origins movie, especially since X2 already kind of gave us one. But I do love Hugh Jackman as the character, and Liev Schreiber and Danny Huston are personal favorites of mine. And I always did love Gambit, so I’m excited to actually see him in a movie. Having said that, is director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, Rendition), really the best choice? And word has leaked that the movie isn’t exactly a masterpiece. Still, I can’t wait to see it. Anticipation Level: 8

May 8th
Star Trek
I don’t think I’ve watched a whole episode of any of the Star Trek movies in about 20 years. And I’ve only ever seen one of the movies – and I really wasn’t a fan of that one either. Having said that, JJ Abrams is a talented guy, and the trailer does look really impressive. So while it’s hard for me to get over excited about a Star Trek movie, I admit that I am intrigued. Anticipation Level: 7

May 15th
Angels and Demons
I hate The DaVinci Code – both the book (which I never actually finished, it angered me so – not because of the subject matter, but because it was so poorly written that my brain rejected it) and the movie. But I did actually enjoy Angels and Demons (not a great book by any means, but compulsively readable), and I still believe that this type of story works better as a movie than a book. The cast – Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Armin Mueller Stahll and Stellan Skasgaard among them – is quite good. I am not expecting the movie to be that good – but if it’s not better then The DaVinci Code, then I will be disappointed. Anticipation Level: 6

May 21st
Terminator Salvation
If this movie had not been directed by McG, my anticipation level would be even higher. Terminator 2: Judgment Day remains one of the best action movies ever made, and the first installment is also a minor masterwork. I am even one of the third installments few defenders. I have always liked this series, and I cannot wait to see what they do with this one. Christain Bale is a great actor in this type of role, and the previews so far have been great. Anticipation Level: 9.

May 22nd
Dance Flick
It was only a matter of time before someone made one of these damn spoof movies on all the dance movies in we’ve seen in the last few years. The Wayans brothers are behind some of the best this genre has produced – I’m Gonna Git Ya Sucka! Don’t Be a Menace While Drinking You’re Juice in Da Hood and the original Scary Movie – and also some of the worst – Scary Movie 2. But this movie looks downright horrid, and I’m still trying to figure out why they are using Save the Last Dance – a movie made a decade ago – as it’s blueprint. Anticipation Level: 1.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
The first Night at the Museum movie was hardly a masterpiece, or even that good, but it was an amusing little diversion. Ben Stiller can play this type of role in his sleep, but I’m hoping he doesn’t this time around. And I am glad that they are bringing back Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan – who were after all the best part of the original, and I’ll watch anything with Amy Adams. But I can’t say I’m overly excited about this one. Anticipation Level: 4

May 29th
Drag Me to Hell
Sam Raimi returning to horror movies for the first time in more than a decade? I am there, no matter what. Raimi is a gifted director, and some of the best moments in the Spider-Man series come when he let his inner horror maven out. I am glad he’s doing something other than a Spider-Man movie this time around. I love Alison Lohman, and the trailer is genuinely creepy. I cannot wait. Anticipation Level: 10.

4 of the 6 Pixar films this decade have ended up on my top ten list at year’s end, so how can I not be anticipating this one? The first trailer was great, and although I am a little disappointed in the subsequent trailer, where we find out that they actually GO somewhere, I have faith that Pixar has made another great film. Out of everything this month, this is the one I most want to see. Anticipation Level: 10.

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