Week 1: Let The Summer Begin

I Am Back In The Game

For those of you who have been long time readers of this blog you probably remember that I used to do weekly movie previews for all the films being released each week. Generally I have not seen the films and sMinerva, available at Amazon.com) and I was unable to pick it back up again as I worked on my second novel (Effectively Schizo out sometime in 2014, hopefully). But I love the summer movie season. I love tracking the box office performance, seeing who bombs and who surprises. I love the popcorn/disposable entertainment of it all, I just love it. So, for at least the next 12 weeks, I am back in the preview game.
o I grade them on my interest level (a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the Gods themselves couldn’t keep me away and 1 being those same Gods could not drag me to see it) based on things I’ve read and the trailers I have watched (and a lifetime wasted watching movies). I stopped doing these every week last year when I was finishing my first novel (

Please do enjoy:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Interest Level: 8
Interest Level of my 10 year old son and all of his friends: 9, not The Lego Movie degree of excitement, but they all want to see it.

Buzz is a tricky thing to gauge. You could feel the excitement and anticipation building around The Avengers, same the with The Hunger Games and The Dark Knight trilogy and certainly with the last Harry Potter. There was an energy around those films, a need to see them and see them as soon as possible, that felt palpable. Do you feel that about The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Sure, we are all going to go see it and I’m sure enjoy it because Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have crazy amounts of chemistry and its a Spider-Man movie, but do we feel like we need it? I don’t think so. But we’re getting it, so we might as well enjoy it *.

Geeky spoiler comment: If they are doing what I think they are going to do (and they are) this could be a really different and powerful story, emotionally. How this one goes will tell us everything we need to know about whether or not future installments are worth out time.


Interest Level: 7
Art House Buzz Rating: 10
Gugu Mbatha-Raw is one of those actresses that has been waiting for the right thing. You know how you’ll see an actor or an actress in something that either isn’t very good or isn’t really using that person correctly and you think to yourself ‘put him/her in the right thing and they will be huge/awesome/unforgettable’? Go watch Larry Crowne (the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie that you never watched) or Undercovers (the sexy TV spy drama you never watched) or Touch…wait, I can’t ask you to do that last one, Touch was impossibly dull (and I’m saying that after suggesting you watch Larry Crowne). The point is Gugu has it, whatever it is. Belle, the story of an illegitimate mixed-race girl who is raised in aristocracy by her great Uncle, is the kind of art house movie that certain people are already going a little cuckoo for, like already talking about Oscars for the movie and claiming Gugu is destined to be next awards seasons Lupita. Are they right? I don’t know about that but I do that anything that gets Gugu Mbatha-Raw more attention is a very good thing.

Walk of Shame

Interest Level: 8
How Sure Am I That The Quality Will Meet My Interest: On a scale of 1 to 10 I’d say about a 3
Elizabeth Banks and James Marsden. Right there, you are either in or disinterested. If you tell me (or my wife for that matter) that we get to sit around and watch Elizabeth Banks and James Marsden be funny for a couple of hours, we’re in. Heck, we both watch 27 Dresses just for James Marsden. I think either one of us can quote ever line Elizabeth Banks had in Pitch Perfect. I mean, we watched Zack and Miri Make a Porno just because we like her so much and Hairspray is my wife’s favorite movie and Corny Collins is about her favorite character in it. Will Walk of Shame live up to all that goodwill? Of course not, at least not for most people, but I am a big believer in the watchability of certain actors. Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs, these are watchable people.
Oh, the story is about a news anchor, Banks, who gets dragged out for a night on the town by her girlfriends and ends up having a one night stand with a likable guy, Marsden. She freaks out and leaves the likable guy sleeping and then gets lost in LA on the way home. Think After Hours meets Bridesmaids.

The Protector 2

Interest Level: 8
Chances of Seeing It In A Theater: 0.00%
I love, LOVE a good martial arts movie. Do any of their plots make sense? As a rule, no, but I don’t care. And if you are into martial arts movies then you know that Tony Jaa is THE martial artist of the moment. His three Ong Bak movies are simply insane, as was the original The Protector. This one has been championed by The Wu Tang Clan’s Rza (who may love martial arts flix even more than me) and a lot of this is in English. Expect stunts and fights that are mind blowing, because Tony Jaa is mind blowing.
No, I’m not going to tell you the basic plot because it doesn’t matter. IT’S A KUNG FU MOVIE!!!


It’s good to be back and while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 may not be the most exciting way to start the summer any week that has 4 movies that I really want to see is pretty terrific by my standards.
But, hey, what do I know? I am still very fat.
P.S. If you like box office discussions read on about the opening weekend of summer box office implications. If you don’t, don’t.

*Box Office Talk

It Has Been 5 Years Since Marvel Didn’t Kick Off The Summer


2013: Iron Man 3
2012: The Avengers
2011: Thor
2010: Iron Man 2

2009, that was the last time a non Marvel movie kicked off summer. That movie? X-Men Origins: Wolverine (for those of you who are curious 2006 Mission Impossible III was the last non comic book movie to kick off the summer. And that is a trend that won’t be changing any time soon). Marvel hasn’t just opened the summer movie season, they have opened them with style, box office wise anyway. Look at these opening weekend numbers:

2013: $174,144,585
2012: $207,438,708
2011: $65,723,338
2010: $128,122,480

Those are some big numbers. Some of the biggest box office numbers of all time. Big enough to make Thor’s $65 million in 2011 seem downright disappointing. By the way, that $65 million is bigger than the opening weekend for The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012. Does it matter? Does it matter if the summer starts with a record shattering box office behemoth? Well, Thor led off a summer that, at the time, was the biggest summer ever with over $4.3 billion, a number that 2012 couldn’t catch. 2012 was launched by The Avengers. The year X-Men Origins: Wolverine kicked things off ended up being a record breaker too, as did 2007, the last time your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man launched the summer season.

So, I guess Hollywood is in good hands after all. As for us, the movie going public, well that is an entirely different question.