Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Movie MoJoe's 25 Most Anticipated Summer Movies

All right, people.  I've always wanted to do a list of what I've wanted to see in the summer, so let's just dive in.  If the reception is good, a seasonal series will be considered.

I didn't think I was going to feature Kick-Ass 2 on my list either, but I rewatched the redband trailer and I was reminded of what a good time I had the first time around.  Also, the sight of Aaron Taylor-Johnson (the countdown to that divorce has been ticking for a whiiiile) shirtless like this definitely doesn't hurt matters, either.  Costumed hero Kick-Ass teams back up with Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) and a band of other do-gooders when The Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) threatens revenge for the murder of his father.  Red Mist has adopted a new name, however, and I think it's hilarious. 

Jim Carrey pops up and it makes me wonder just how much he doesn't care about pleasing everyone with his career choices.  Need a baseball bat wielding vigilante?  Call Ace Ventura.  Sign me up, please.  

Check out the red band trailer below:

Sliding right on into the number 24 spot is In a World..., a comedy written and directed by Lake Bell (nope, that's NOT Amanda Peet).  Bell also stars as an unmotivated vocal coach who tries to make her own way as a movie trailer voiceover star.  She faces sexism and her own pride to follow in her father's footsteps.  A trailer has yet to be released (I am shaking my fist at yooouu!!!), but apparently the movie was a hit at Sundance this year.  Hopefully a trailer will drop soon.

Lovelace seems like it could go either way.  It could be a Striptease like failure, but, perhaps, it will launch Amanda Seyfried into the awards circuit.  Seyfried plays the infamous Linda Lovelace, America's first real adult film celebrity.  My, my.  Seyfried has come a long way.  First, she was feeling her own boobs, and now we might get to see someone else feel them.

The film chronicles Lovelace's skyrocket to fame and her ultimate downfall.  The supporting cast includes Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Chris Noth, James Franco, Juno Tempe, Bobby Cannavale, and Chloe Sevigny.  

Could Byzantium bring the sexy back to the vampire genre?  Directed by Neil Jordan, Byzantium centers on a mysterious mother and daughter (Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan) who seek refuge in a quiet, coastal hamlet.  Jordan directed Interview with the Vampire back in 1994, so there will be no chaste love glittery restless hair tossing.  Just blood, sex, and violence.  Don't act like you're not excited.  If you need convincing, please refer to this orgasmic waterfall of blood.  

Violet & Daisy is, sadly, NOT a biopic of Violet and Daisy Hilton, the conjoined twins who became a vaudeville sensation (go listen to Side seriously, go buy the album on iTunes right now).  Geoffrey Fletcher nabbed an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Precious back in 2010, and he makes his directorial debut about two teenage girl assassins (Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan, good to see you again) who accept a seemingly easy assignment.  Their target, James Gandolfini, is anything but an easy mark.  Mariane Jean-Baptiste (why hello there!) costars. 

Word on the street is that Gandolfini shines in a different, gentle role, and Ronan is one of the best (and busiest) young actresses working today.  Hopefully, Fletcher will deliver with his first film.  Considering there is no trailer anywhere (trust me, I scoured the web), I have a feeling this might get pushed back to the fall.  It might get lost with all the other standard, action movies. 

All the promotional photos for We're the Millers convinced me that it was going to be some feel-good family road trip movie.  It's a good thing I read up on it, because I am not really looking forward to it!  Jason Sudeikis (love love love him) stars as a small-time pot dealer who gets in over his head and has to deliver over 1,000 kilos of marijuana to the Mexican border.  In order to confirm his story, he hires complete strangers to pose as his family and they all pile into an RV to fool border patrol.  Jennifer Aniston plays Sudeikis's stripper neighbor and poses as his wife.  Emma Roberts is a homeless girl that hangs out down the block and is now a moody daughter, and the lonely guy who lives down the hall (Will Poulter) becomes the Millers's son. 

Millers is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber who helmed Dodgeball (yay!) and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (bleeecchhh).  In my humble opinion, Aniston works best out of her comfort zone.  Horrible Bosses was her best work.  She and Thurber worked together in Wanderlust which wasn't my cup of tea.  That Redbox rental sat untouched on my desk forever.  Hopefully, the combination of Aniston, Sudeikis and costar Ed Helms will pull together a fine, little comedy.

What if one night a year, all crime was legal?  Would you participate?  Would you live in a society with record low unemployment and miniscule amounts of crime if an annual violence free-for-all was allowed?  That's the question posed in The Purge.

A normal family (headed by Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey) prepares themselves to stay in their heavily-guarded home while the world outside goes utterly berserk for twelve hours.  Their precocious son (Max Burkholder) sees a man outside desperately looking for shelter, and he compromises the security of the house by letting the stranger in.  The individuals hunting this man soon descend onto the house bent on murdering the stranger in the name of the annual purge. 

This looks absolutely terrifying to me.  All those exaggerated smiling face masks are surely going to give me nightmares.  It totally gives me a Shirley Jackson The Lottery vibe.  English class nerds unite!  

Who doesn't love magic?!  Yes, you do.  Shut up.  Now You See Me is a heist thriller with a magic show twist.  A group of magicians steal millions of dollars from a bank in France without ever leaving their elaborate stage show.  Is it all a hoax or is it truly a fantastic magic trick? 

Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco (bestill my loins), Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher are The Four Horsemen, the magicians who rob from the rich and give to the poor.  Mark Ruffalo and Melanie Laurent (she's the main reason I am razzamatazzed to see this) are the cops trying to figure out how they pulled a rabbit out of their hats.  Something about the trailer makes me wary, though, but since I can't put my finger on it, I am just going to dive right on in. 

The smallest movie on this list is probably Fruitvale Station

Station tells the true story of Oscar Grant, and how, in 2009, he was shot by an Oakland transit cop on a BART train station platform.  Footage of Grant's shooting was made public and caught the attention of filmmmaker Ryan Coogler.  The Wire's Michael B. Jordan stars as Grant.

Fruitvale Station debuted at the Sundance Film Festival where it was critically praised.  Todd McCarthy from The Hollywood Reporter says it is a "powerful dramatic feature film" and compares Jordan to a young Denzel Washington.  Coogler filmed the movie in actual Oakland locations including the train station where Grant was shot. 

Could this be this year's Beasts of the Southern Wild?  A small, emotional picture that goes all the way to the Oscars?  Producer Harvey Weinstein is behind the film, so keep an eye out for it. 

Did anyone else see Take Shelter?  Michael Shannon starred as a man who starting having horrible nightmares and visions about the end of the world, but he wasn't sure if they were real or the beginnings of schizophrenia.  It was one of the best movies I saw in 2011, and Shannon was ROBBED of a Best Actor Oscar nomination that year.  This scene gives me chills EVERY.  TIME.

I am just a big advocate for Michael Shannon right now, and his newest leading role in The Iceman hopefully brings him more attention.  Iceman tells the true story of Richard Kuklinski, a contract killer who balanced his home life so well that neither his wife (Winona effing Ryyyyder) or daughter knew about his secret life until he was arrested in in 1986.  The movie looks dark and moody and features supporting work from Sam Rockwell, Chris Evans (all chain-smokey and scruffy...still hot) and Ray Liotta. 

The film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival in 2012.  Shannon's performance garnered his usualy praise. 

There is something about Austenland that intrigues me.  It stars Keri Russell...ok, I like her.  I am down with watching Russell in a feature film.  She plays Jane, a woman so enamoured with Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice that she visits a attends a Jane Austen re-enactment event at a theme park designed for bonnets and sharp wit. 

I fluctuate between feeling delighted and nauseous at the premise.  It co-stars Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour and Georgia King.  All pluses, in my book.  The downside?  It's being produced by Stephanie Meyer, author of Twilight.  She is responsible for a legion of stupid young women.  Is it possible for Meyer to attach her name to something worthwhile?  Doubtful, but can you suppress chuckles while thinking of Coolidge spouting off Austen-isms?  Definitely not. 

Man of Steel, one of the summer's biggest tentpoles, is the first Superman flick since 2008's Superman Returns, and I am sure it doesn't need any help from me.  British actor Henry Cavill is stepping into the iconic boots and flowing red cape, and he told Entertainment Weekly that Steel focuses more on Superman's emotional journey.  "With someone who has that much powert and responsibility, the answers are going to be more difficult.  Although he is not susceptible to the frailties of mankind, he is definitely susceptible to the emotional frailties."

The look of the film is really striking and it isn't trying to be very comic-book-y.  Comments online noted the striking cinematography looked more Tree of Life than Man of Steel.  I remember seeing the trailer in the theater, and someone whispered, "Wait, that's the new Superman?"  Steel is directed by 300 director Zack Snyder.  Now, if you know me, you will know that I hate his directorial style.  He's all visuals and, to me, he just wants to make everything look like a video game.  And the slow motion.  My God, Snyder's movies would be paced a hell of a lot better if they didn't feature a collected 20 minutes of slow-motion shots. 

The look of this movie is really beautiful though.

What is also very striking to me is Mr. Cavill...

Save me Superman!  Save me!

It also doesn't hurt that Amy Adams is co-starring as Lois Lane.

LOVE her!

One of Man of Steel's eight thousand trailers. 

One of the great things about Joseph Gordon-Levitt is that he is up for trying new things.  He dabbled in sci-fi (Looper) and action (The Dark Knight Rises) last year, and this year he will make his directorial debut with Don Jon.  Most actors want to direct, but they probably wouldn't try to do it at 32 years old, and I'm sure they wouldn't also have the balls to star. 

JGL stars as a womanizing juicehead (obviously, the title is a play on the clasasic Don Juan) who objectifies women far worse than any of the cast members on The Jersey Shore.  He calls himself Don Jon because he is so successful in his weekly conquests.  His parents (Glenne Headly and Tony Danza) don't offer much insight into healthy relationships, but he gets a wake up call when he encounters two very different women: Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore.  Is it weird that I think he should end up with Moore? 

Can Joseph Gordon-Levitt score behind the camera as well as on?  Fingers crossed for an array of ass shots. 

I will admit something about The Way Way Back.  The trailer gives me a case of the Jekyll & Hydes.  When I first saw it, I hated it.  It looked like a greatest hits version of every quirky indie coming-of-age comedy.  When I saw the trailer in theaters, though, I really liked it.  Since it holds a place almost in my top ten, I am loving it right now. 

Way Way follows a young man named Duncan (Liam James) coming into his own while spending his summer break at a beach house with his mother Pam (Toni Collette) and her dickhead of a boyfriend Trent (Steve Carrell).  He sets his eye on a pretty blonde named Carrie Bradshaw Susana (AnnaSophia Robb) who is staying at another house nearby.  Duncan also sparks a friendship with a water park employee (Sam Rockwell) who begins to turn Duncan from an introvert into a teen who just might enjoy his summer. 

The Way Way Back features a really great cast and is the co-directorial debut of Jim Rash, Oscar winning screenwriter and star of Community.  The film debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival and sparked a bidding war.  It was sold to Fox Searchlight for $10 million, a near-record. 

Three reasons to see Pacific Rim:

1.  It's directed by Guillermo del Toro who gave us Pan's Labrynth.  I will follow that man anywhere. 

2.  Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba. 

Ebony & Ivory & Robots & Monsters

3.  It is about giant robots versus giant alien monsters.  It is the simplest plot of the summer, and it looks like pure popcorn porn.  Just think of all the ridiculous Asian gay porn jokes we can make!!!

I wrote about The Conjuring one before, but I am still so excited to see it.  A family (headed by Lili Taylor, always a pleasure) moves into a New England farmhouse only to discover that there might be a supernatual presence lurking.  Sounds pretty standard, right?  The family calls upon a married pair of supernatual investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) to find what's going bump in the night.  Reactions from test audiences were so strong that Warner Bros. bumped the movie to July from an early 2013 release date. 

The poster even freaks me out!!!

Who loves a good Woody?  I love a good Woody!  Woody Allen, you perverts!!!  There isn't much to go on for Allen's latest project, Blue Jasmine, but it features a knockout cast.  Don't his movies always feature a knockout cast?  

Allen's last three movies (To Rome with Love, Midnight in Paris and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) all took place in Europe, but he's returning to America for his latest feature.  Sorry, he's not treading back to the streets of New York.  Woody set Jasmine in San Francisco, and this time his muse is Cate Blanchett.  Blanchett stars as a NY housewife going through a personal crisis.  Alec Baldwin (back for seconds after Rome) plays her husband who traded her in for a younger model. 

Can Woody capture another hit after To Rome with Love's failure?  Doesn't matter to me.  I always look forward to a nice Woody. 

Ryan Gosling, you sexy motherfucker. 

Everything that I see for Only God Forgives makes my eyes pop out.  The colors, Ryan Gosling, the cinematography, Ryan Gosling, the music...Ryan Gosling...

Gosling took over the part of Julian for Luke Evans when he had to drop out.  Evans is hot as hell too, but Gosling will probably make the small movie more money.  He teams back up with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn in this revenge flick.  Julian's family runs a small drug smuggling ring that is covered up by a Thai boxing club.  Julian's brother is murdered and his mother (Kristin Scott Thomas, goddess) arrives and forces Julian to hunt down his brother's killer. 

I should not want to see This is the End.  On paper, the movie seems like a frat boy circle jerk.  It starts Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Chris Robinson, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Emma Watson.  Yes, Hermione Granger is starring alongside all these oafs.  I am pretty sure she just has a glorified cameo, but I am glad she is branching out and doing new things. 

The premise is simple.  A bunch of guys are throwing a party in Los Angeles when the end of the apocalypse crashes.  The unique thing about the movie, however, is that all the actors are playing themselves.  They poke fun at the public personas of one another, and it makes the movie look really hilarious. 

If you weren't sold, check out the redband trailer.  And, yes, Emma Watson is feature in the best part.  Suck it, Ron Weasley! 

Please don't let this be Cars.  Please dear Pixar gods, don't let this be Cars.

I remember seeing Monsters, Inc. and not loving it at first.  I thought the story got too crazy by the end.  Clearly, I have come a long way, and I LOVE the movie now, and that is why I am anxious and terrified of the prequel, Monsters University

We meet fresh-face Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal taking time out of his schedule of becoming bitter) and James P. Sullivan (or Sulley, voiced by John Goodman, taking time out of starring in Best Picture winning films) when they are college roommates at Monsters University.  They are both "scare" majors, and things get pretty competeitive pretty quickly.  Ultimately, I'm sure, they will discover that their differences are each others' strengths.  I am sure I will cry because it's Pixar. 

Why am I nervous?  Pixar was a studio known for its originality and heart, and I fear it is becoming a studio that churns out sequels.  I loved Brave and Up, and Pixar's sequels are usually more superior than seriously lauded art films.  I want to love you Monsters University...but there is a twinge of fear there...

When you were a teeenager, did you ever want to just run away to make a house of your own?  Set your own rules and get away from your crazy parents?  Three young guys go to live off the land in the offbeat coming-of-age comedy The Kings of Summer.

The movie stars three relative unknowns, but the supporting cast is full of dependable comedic actors like Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.  The Hollywood Reporter and Variety both gave the film praise out of Sundance, and any movie that can be called "Superbad meets Stand by Me" is a must-see.

You've seen Before Sunrise, right?  Or Before Sunset?  If your answers to one or both of those questions is no, you MUST Netflix them or buy them on Amazon immediately.  

Allow me to educate you.  Before Sunrise came out in 1994 and starred Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as a strangers who meet on a train and spend an unforgettable night in Vienna.  It was one of those gems that you bond with over people.  The chemistry between Hawke and Delpy is one of the best I've ever seen in a movie.

In 2004, Hawke and Delpy teamed up with director Richard Linklater again for a sequel, Before Sunset.  I actually saw the sequel before the first one.  Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) happen to run into each other nine years later when Jesse is in France promoting a book he wrote.  I love this one even more because it's about missed love and reminiscing about the choices you made in your life when you were younger. 

The trio is reuniting yet again for this summer's Before Midnight.  Nine years after their encounter in Paris, Jesse and Celine are living together in Greece with their two twin girls.  As Jesse continues to find success as a writer, Celine struggles with her professional life.  

Before Sunset was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2005.  Can Before Midnight find the same success, or more?  Since the Academy expanded the Best Picture category to more than five nominees, Before Midnight could easily take a lot if well received.  

Is that not one of the gayest pictures you have ever seen?  I am currently in the middle of watching Pedro Almodovar's filmography, and he seems to be going back to his wacky roots with his newest romp, I'm So Excited!

After a mechanical malfunction, a plane is grounded and no one can get off.  Screwball comedy ensues!  According to reports, there is a drug-fueled orgy and a random musical performance of The Pointer Sisters' I'm So Excited.

How can you resist how crazy this looks?!  

My anticipation  of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby is overwhelming.  It's sad really.  Every time I go see a movie and the trailer comes on, I pump my fists and tell the person I am with that I CANNOT wait to see this.  

The costumes!  The production design!  The cinematography!  Leo!  

Let's hope that this is more Moulin Rouge! than Australia (I shouldn't complain, though, because Austrailia gave us this image of Hugh Jackman).  It looks that way.  I don't need to delve into the plot.  I just bought the book, so I am sure I will devour it before the this comes out (it's like what, 150 pages?).  All my friends say it looks like a great adaptation. 

Brooks Brothers even designed a clothing line inspired by the costumes from the movie.  Check out the entire collection here.


What's my most anticipated summer movie of 2013?!?!  I am glad you asked!

Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring.  

Ok, ok, it is obvious that I have a love affair with Emma Watson.  You should, too, and you know it!

The Bling Ring tells the true story of how a bored group of teenagers used social media to ensure celebrities like Paris Hilton weren't home so they could break into their houses.  In 2009, the teens stole over $3 million from celebrities like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and Megan Fox.  

Coppola excels at telling stories that somehow center on the famous (Lost in Translation, Somwhere) and the rich (Marie Antoinette).  She also excels at using music in her films, so I am looking forward to seeing what she is going to sample.  Bling is set to open the Un Certain Regard section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.  One of the real-life thieves, Alexis Neiers, took to Twitter recently to voice her dislike of the film's new trailer.  Drama already!!!

1 comment:

  1. Really interested in The Purge. Not usually a horror/thriller buff, but it looks good!

    Is that Glados from Portal as the computer's voice in Pacific Rim?!

    The End looks so bad is has to be good. Kind of the fantastic shit-show that was The Hangover.

    Great Gatsby I'll see just because it's an adaptation of a classic book.

    I've heard nothing about The Bling Ring, I'm hesitant, because it doesn't look like my kind of movie, but if it gets great reviews, I'll bite.