Eight Summer Movies I Want To See

         
 

20 April 2011| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

I am almost more interested in writing about movies I would rather not see, but that would just be too snarky. Indulge me though when I say the answer to that is any animated movie in 3D. Let’s move forward.

Not going with hype here. I don’t care what is going to be most popular, i.e., I don’t have an interest in past their welcome pirate and vampire movies. But sure, I have picked several bona fide popcorn movies because in the sweltering heat of summer I want to get into an air-conditioned movie theater and not have to think on occasion. A few good thinkers are good, of course. Fall season will always be my favorite. But in the summer I want to scarf down popcorn. On this list is one unmistakable art film. Titles listed alphabetically:

30 Minutes or Less – It’s the one movie on this list in which I have not seen the trailer. I want to see it because it’s Jesse Eisenberg’s first role since he played Mark Zuckerberg. The summary sounds like a goofy comedy, so it’s a step backward from major film cred. Or is it? It could be a longshot, but I’d like to see Eisenberg score. Two inept criminals kidnap pizza delivery boy Jesse and force him to rob a bank within thirty minutes. I hope this means that it runs in real time. Probably not. But it’s got Danny McBride as one of the criminals and the pairing with Eisenberg promises oddball chemistry. There is no movie poster online yet. But here’s an image:

Beautiful Boy – Harrowing art film with Michael Sheen and Maria Bello as parents who will fall from the breaking point. There has been a school shooting massacre at their son’s campus. They can’t get a hold of their son on his cell. They wait for word that he’s safe but hear nothing. Then two law enforcers come to their door. He’s dead. But there’s more. Their son was the shooter that took away 17 lives. This is the kind of headline grabber we see ever so often and you can’t help but wonder about the insight into the unassuming parents whose kids have gone evil. Sheen and Bello will surely act up a firestorm, in fact to make it work, they have to. The only thing that irks me is that damn misleadingly ironic title.

Cowboys and Aliens – Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in a high-concept crossbreed of western and sci-fi action invasion. Craig, this time with a 12 o’clock shadow, looks ready to fight in any attire. Ford is in his grumbling mode again as if he’s annoyed to be riding a horse. Perhaps he is unhappy because he hasn’t had a hit other than “Indiana Jones” in the last several years. But it’s exactly that don’t mess with me attitude that might work for it. Alien invasion movies are a dime a dozen, but they always attack the contemporary world. Kind of wild that aliens are annihilating the old west. Jon Favreau of “Iron Man” is directing and he knows how to put on a wide-angle action bonanza.

    

Crazy Stupid Love – Perfectly inspired neo-real comedy with Steve Carell and it’s-about-time-you-did-a-comedy Ryan Gosling. Unhappy forty-something Carell gets dumped by his wife Julianne Moore and looks totally unprepared for the dating scene again. Gosling is a sex magnet who will mentor Carell and insist he gets a haircut and brand new clothes. “You’re sitting there with a Supercuts haircut, and you’re wearing a 44 when you should be wearing a 42 regular,” Gosling instructs. “Starlight” by Muse plays on the trailer soundtrack and in this case it’s made to fit. Not just hilarious looking, but poignant.

The Hangover Part II – I don’t know how they did it but at least the trailer is made to look rowdier and more rambunctious than the first one. It’s a shameless rehash of the plot of the first one, yet in this case that not only seems okay but is as enticing as a [bang] bang. We want more. And there is nothing more inspired than taking the characters to Bangkok, the real sin city. The controversy right now is the monkey grabbing onto a phallic lodged inside a man’s pants which is being judged in the media as obscenity in a general coming attractions trailer. That goes over kids’ heads. That really did it for me. I’m in.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Nobody is more wildly paradoxical than James Franco who can be either amazingly touching or just plain awful. In this reboot of the classic sci-fi franchise, he looks awful. I still want to see it. 20thCentury Fox has made news that Tim Burton’s awful remake from 2001 will be forgotten. This time, it’s not only a reboot but a prequel to the events of the 1968 Charlton Heston classic, and what a childhood classic that was for me. Set in contemporary San Francisco, Franco plays a doctor-scientist (he’s hambone awful, more daffy than intellectual) who creates a potion to enhance Simian intelligence. There is a fantastic shot of monkeys breaking out of the science lab. I’m not kidding, I’m excited.

Super 8 – J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek”) has finally made something thatlooks as good as early Steven Spielberg, or at least the Spielberg of “War of the Worlds.” What makes his writer-director effort look even better is that the trailer looks far more mysterious, with stranger and more elusive powers at play than the typical extra terrestrial movie. That I can’t describe it anymore than that says something about how the advertising has successfully teased and hooked me. What you can glimpse at is how Abrams gratefully has also gotten the perfect small town feel going on. Cinematography looks so top-notch that it could be as dazzling as “The Dark Knight” or “Inception” to look at. The music that accompanies the trailer is borrowed from Ron Howard’s 1985 film “Cocoon.” This could be my #1 must see pick.

Winnie the Pooh – I remember the cartoons from childhood, and so I have genuine nostalgia. Those cartoons seemed to have disappeared from the face of the Earth. I haven’t bothered to check out to see if there are any DVD’s of the old cartoons, and I have decided to wait for the movie first. What’s special is that it is classically drawn 2D. The only way to ruin this for me is to put it in retro 3D. That won’t happen. Disney should have been proud and titled it “Winnie the Pooh 2D.” But what makes it look different from the rest of the pop culture-laden animated movies of today is its genial, old-fashioned approach with no modern intrusions. This one truly does look like an unadorned fairy tale. The result, I hope? Feel-good entertainment without an ounce of cynicism.

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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