If you didn’t know the date and you saw that a big Tom Cruise Sci-Fi Action/Adventure movie was opening this weekend wouldn’t you assume it was the middle of summer? What about a Michael Bay Oblivion and Pain & Gain (both of which are good, by the way) are serving as great reminders that the Summer movie season is coming up fast. What does the Summer of 2013 look like? Here is all you need to know:
movie starring Mark Wahlberg and The Rock? Well, we are still very much in April but
The Summer Of The Geek Part 3*
Iron Man 3 May 3rd
Can Tony Stark beat The Avengers all by himself (all due respect Roady and Pepper)? No, probably not. The Avengers was not only a terrifically fun movie it also had the advantage of coming out on the heels of the worst April for movies perhaps of all time. We were, as a movie going public, starving for something to see and that helped fuel The Avengers to shatter all sorts of records. Then The Avengers took advantage of one of the worst May movie line-ups in recent memory to keep on going. Iron Man 3 is following one of the best April’s in recent memory and a May slate that seems loaded. Having said that this is still Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark and that means Iron Man 3 will almost certainly be the biggest movie of the summer and the year (unless Catching Fire can build upon The Hunger Games and at this point it is scary to bet against Jennifer Lawrence). So, we can expect a box office behemoth that is a lot of fun and will remind us why sits atop the geek world now and for the foreseeable future.
Man of Steel June 14th
Can it finally be happening? 33 years after the last good Superman movie. 35 years after Richard Donner’s Superman became the first great comic book hero movie. Could we actually see a good Superman movie again? I don’t want to jinx it but I would be lying if the trailers aren’t really starting to make it look that way.
Wolverine July 26th
X-Men Origins: Wolverine gets unfairly labeled as a creative disaster. It wasn’t. However, like Ed Norton’s The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine’s stand alone debut was only entertaining and entirely forgettable and extremely profitable. Now comes the second go at making a Wolverine movie and it sure looks like they did everything right. The trailers have looked really cool and they seem to be embracing a Wolverine who isn’t for kids, a necessity if you want to stay even a little bit true to the comics.
* The original Summer of the Geek was 2008 when Iron Man got the summer started and The Dark Knight blew everyone’s mind. Each of the summer’s between 2008 and 2012 had a lot of geeky stuff to be sure, particularly the summer of 2011 which brought us seven major releases based on comic book titles (Thor, X-Men First Class, Priest, The Green Lantern, Captain America, Cowboys & Aliens and Conan the Barbarian) plus a Planet of the Apes movie, the problem with 2011 was that it was a summer owned by the last Harry Potter film meaning the geeks can’t claim it as their own. The Summer of the Geek Part 2 was 2012, The Avengers would have made it that all by itself but when you add The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man it becomes indisputable. 2013 is looking more like 2011, just without a Harry Potter movie to steal the geeks thunder and comic book films that are bigger than anything that came out that year.
Wait! What If I Am A Sci-Fi Geek?
Star Trek Into Darkness May 17th
As if to prove my point about May’s movie line-up we get the next Star Trek movie only two weeks after Iron Man 3. I thought J.J. Abrams last Star Trek was not only the second best Star Trek movie it was one of only two good Star Trek movies (Wrath of Kahn is still the best). The previews make this seem like it may be even more action heavy and anyone who watches BBC’s Sherlock (and you all should) is excited about seeing Benedict Cumberbatch play the villain. It seems a reasonably safe bet that this will be the third good Star Trek movie.
- The Last Airbender
- The Happening
- Lady In The Water
- The Village
- $241 million (the last Pirates movie)
- $334 million (Alice in Wonderland)
- $309 million (Pirates 3)
- $423 million (Pirates 2)
- $206 million (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
- $305 million (the first Pirates)
NEVER underestimate an African American themed movie that has Tyler Perry associated with it in any way. And this might play more broadly since Mr. Perry isn’t in it and instead it stars Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington and David Allen Grier. Those are three really talented, and in the case of Robinson and Grier really funny people. I’m not saying it will be great, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was really good (something I have never said about anything involving Tyler Perry before).
The Hangover Part III May 24th
Ah, the original blockbuster “R” comedy. I think most of us felt like the second one was going back to the well once too often, so what could a third installment be? There are some rumors that it will surprise people (I don’t know how), that it won’t just be a re-do of the original and that this will remind people why they liked the wolfpack so much. I am dubious (and, for the record, I loved the first one).
The Internship June 6th
For all of the love The Hangover gets, and even though I literally just referred to it as the original, the truth is in 2005 Wedding Crashers was the movie that showed hollywood raunchy and blockbuster could go together. Now we have a re-teaming of many of the people involved in Wedding Crashers with The Internship. The previews make me chuckle, I am a little worried they don’t make me laugh.
This Is The End June 14th
Oceans 12 often gets killed by reviewers for feeling like you are watching George and Brad and Matt’s vacation video. This Is The End is taking that to a whole other level. James Franco has a party at his house and all of the celebrities you’d think would be there are there…and then the end of the world happens. Yup, that’s the whole movie. This could either be hilarious or a disaster of epic proportions. I got to say, I am really looking forward to finding out which one it turns out to be.
Grown Ups 2 July 12th
Was the first one a hit? I always thought of it as kind of the beginning of the end of the box office dominance of Adam Sandler. Maybe I am wrong, let me check…yup. I was wrong. Grown Ups was a $162 million hit. Kind of shocking. And I didn’t hate the first one, like many a Sandler movie I kind of thought it was what it was. I guess you just can’t bet against the sandman.
We’re The Millers August 9th
Will Jennifer Aniston ever be a real movie star? What about Jason Sudeikis? It’s funny because I, like most people, like them both very much but they never seem to fit quite right into the movies that bring the masses to the multiplexes. Here they aren’t even trying to. This is one of those Breaking Bad/Weeds stories where the all-American looking family are pot dealers. It might be funny, it might even be really good, but what it wont be is a HUGE hit.
The To Do List August 16th
Hey, it’s August, that means it is time for another raunchy comedy, set in a high school, that has heart. Superbad, Easy A, now The To Do List. Feeling pressured to be more sexually experienced before heading off to college, Brandy… you know the rest.
What About Some Good, Old Fashioned, Hollywood Blockbusters?
Fast & Furious 6 May 24th
Look, by the time any franchise reaches #6 everyone knows whether they are in or out. I am in. I am 1000% in. It is impossible for me to be any more in. In, in, in. The mere thought of this movie puts a smile on my face. Did I mention I was in on the whole Fast Furious thing? Well I am.
The Heat June 28th
This movie was supposed to come out in March. Then Identity Thief became the unlikely hit of the spring and it seemed insane to not put a movie with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock into the summer rotation. To be honest, the trailers don’t really work for me, but hey, what do I know, I didn’t think the Identity Thief trailer looked all that great either.
White House Down June 28th
On the one hand you have a red hot Channing Tatum, a red hot Jamie Fox and the director who brought us Independence Day making a big action movie. On the other hand this is the director that gave us 2012 and we just saw the White House go down in Olympus Has Fallen (which was quite entertaining, by the way). So, where does that leave us? With an entertaining “popcorn” blockbuster, that wont challenge Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel for the box office crown but will have enough people show up to make everyone happy.
That’s All Fine and Good, But I Like My Movies To Mean Something, To Be Art…
The Great Gatsby May 10th
My wife and I were talking about this just the other day, is The Great Gatsby part of everyone’s high school curriculum anymore? From people I have talked to it doesn’t seem like it or has been for many years. If you are my age (in your mid 40’s) or older you have either read or were supposed to have read The Great Gatsby. But if younger people haven’t or were never even supposed to, I have to wonder how many are going to want to see it in stunning 3D. The second and in many ways more pressing problem is that The Great Gatsby has never been made into a good movie and anyone that has read it can kind of see why (some books read like movies, some don’t, The Great Gatsby really doesn’t). I guess all I’m saying is that I am dubious. Maybe they pulled it off. Maybe the spectacle will be engrossing. Maybe they found a way to translate one of the five greatest American novels of all-time** into something worthy of the book. Maybe, maybe, maybe…but I kind of doubt it.
**In no particular order, The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, To Kill A Mockingbird, East of Eden and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Before Midnight May 24th
For a certain segment of the population checking in on Jesse and Celine every so often represents one of the great simple joys of their lives. It has been 18 years since Richard Linklater had those two crazy kids meet on a train going to venice and 9 years since they ran into each other again on Jesse’s book tour and for many they will anxiously wait another 9 years to see what happens next. By the way, if you haven’t seen Before Sunrise and Before Sunset you really should, they are both charming movies, as I am sure Before Midnight is as well.
Much Ado About Nothing June 7th
Joss Whedon does Shakespeare. That either sounds awesome to you (as it does to me) or silly. Of course Much Ado About Nothing is, on some level, a silly play, so it all works. And if you were a fan of Angel the tv show than this will really be the movie for you when you see who the players are.