Jul 14 2010

What Movies are Left That Can Save This Terrible Summer?

Published by at 4:15 pm under Lists,Movies

inceptions.jpg

It’s hard to remember a summer this devoid of good movies. Nearly every supposed “blockbuster” has been a underwhelming wreck, and whether it’s Clash of the Titans, Alice in Wonderland, Robin Hood, Prince of Persia, Jonah Hex, Knight and Day or The Last Airbender, all could have been worthwhile, but none were anywhere close to good.

Outside of a few kids movies, the summer has been devoid of quality like none I can remember living through before. There’s only about a month and a half left of summer, so I wanted to examine which titles yet to be released might combat this summer of massive disappointment.

There’s one favorite and a few longshots, go below to see them all.

1. Inception – July16th

inception1.jpg

The patron saint of good movies, Christopher Nolan is mercifully returning this summer to save us from this abyss of horrible movies.

It’s already clear that Inception will be stunning, as it’s scored a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes so far, which is a score usually reserved for the latest Pixar adventure, not psychological action thrillers.

Unlike The Prestige or The Dark Knight, I have not been particularly excited by the trailer, as the entire idea of “dream theft” is still pretty murky in my head, but I have to imagine that it all makes sense in the film. Or at least will make sense after I see the movie three or four times.

Odds of Goodness – 1:2

Trailer:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66TuSJo4dZM

2. Salt – July 23rd

salt1.jpg

Angelina Jolie as the female Jason Bourne might sound like a good idea in theory, and though there certainly is ass kicking and hotness abound in the trailer, I’m hesitant to believe this will truly be worthwhile.

It’s from director Phlilip Noyce, who hasn’t really done anything you’ve heard of since The Bone Collector, and even that wasn’t that good. It’s written by Kurt Wimmer who has split between decent screenplays (Law Abiding Citizen, Equilibrium) and bad (Street Kings, UltraViolet). Somehow he’s also the rumored director of the Metal Gear Solid movie. Uh huh.

I just have a feeling this is going to be a massively forgettable film, and Angelina Jolie would have been better off reincarnating herself for a Wanted sequel instead.

Odds of Goodness – 10:1

Trailer:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ40WlshNwU

3. Dinner for Schmucks – July 30th

dinner-for-schmucks1.jpg

I bet a lot of you haven’t even heard of this movie yet, which features a contest where employees must bring eccentric individuals to their boss’s house, and I’m pretty sure it’s a remake of an old comedy from way back when.

Why should you care about it? Well, it’s got Paul Rudd and Steve Carell starring, with Jemaine Clement and Zach Galifianakis backing them up. It’s directed by Jay Roach, who is behind the entire Austin Powers and Meet the Parents series. People thought those were funny right?

The bad news is, judging by the trailer it looks pretty damn terrible. The concept is absurd to say the least, and not in a good way, and the plot is clear cut as it’s obvious Paul Rudd will pretend to be friends with Steve Carell’s weirdo, then he will find out it’s all a big joke, then he will be sad, then they will be friends in the end.

Odds of Goodness: 20:1

Trailer:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FHlvEc3vaE

4. The Expendables – August 13th

the-expendables1.jpg

After Predators, it’s clear that old action franchises can be worthwhile once more. So is the same true for old action heroes? That’s what The Expendables aims to find out.

The plot is pretty much a bunch of mercenaries played by every action hero/fighter/wrestler you know band together to overthrow an evil dictatorship in some country which will surely remain unnamed. Stallone is leading the charge and it is clear the man still knows action and how to kick ass.

But the question is, is this really going to be worthwhile, or just a martial arts show cobbled together around a mundane plot? I’m not sure if pure testosterone is enough to make a movie great, but I guess we will have to see.

Odds of Goodness – 5:1

Trailer:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xaw_BcpLvjw

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – August 13th

scott-pilgrim1.jpg

On the same day as The Expendables, we’ll be treated to a very different sort of adventure in what’s perhaps the most literal comic adaptation ever created.

Michael Cera is Scott Pilgrim, a guy who falls in love with a girl but first must fight her seven evil exes in order to be with her. It’s heavily manga and video game influenced, and that’s clear from the visuals. It’s from Edgar Wright, who has yet to make a bad movie, but I’m not sure, the entire thing feels kind of like Speed Racer meets Looney Tunes meets an acid trip to me.

It’s got great source material, a capable cast and a solid director, but is it just going to be too damn weird in the end?

Odds of Goodness – 2:1

Trailer:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0HUH_JZKKQ





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27 responses so far

  • Blake

    Dude, you really need to get out of the multiplex, and into an art house.

    Yes, mainstream movies suck.

    But, you should see “Cyrus,” “Winter’s Bone,” “I Am Love,” “Dogtooth,” “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” “Girl Who Played with Fire” and several other truly rewarding films. Movies like those save summer every year.

  • J5

    I think the Expendables is gonna be good either way. Either it’s gonna be a badass action movie or laughably bad, which, to me, is sometimes better than a movie being good. (see: Roadhouse)

  • CrazyBlue

    Well I frankly can not wait for Scott Pilgrim to be released! Judging from the trailers I’m amazed at how close the scenes are to the books! Should be epic!

  • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Blake! You read my site? haha.

  • J5

    @Blake

    The Girl Who Played With Fire is the follow up to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, right? I’ll probably see it for myself, but from the reviews I’ve read it’s like a low budget version of the first film.

  • Online9

    Crazyblue? You dawg. I’m also looking forward to Scott Pilgrim an INSANE amount after watching the two trailers… twice.
    And dinner with schmucks, i’ll see mainly for my massive man crush on paul rudd.

  • Parker Jammstein

    The Expendables will be entertaining. It’ll be absolutely dumb as shit whenever there’s dialogue, but hopefully there won’t be that much dialogue.
    Inception looks amazing. I hope Chris Nolan kills Freidberg and Seltzer, and then comes out with 85% of movies yearly.
    Oh, Edgar Wright can keep making movies too. Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are the shit.

  • Gill

    Scott Pilgrim’s gonna rock. You wait and see.

  • Madison

    Looking forward to:

    Expendables
    Cyrus
    Inception (duh)
    Scott Pilgrim
    Step UP 3D (for serious)

  • http://nerdaverse.com theButterFly

    I had to step in here just to back up Madison on his “Step It Up 3D” love!

    Also, Scott Pilgram looks like it could be pretty darn awesome. I am moderately interested in “Inception”. I think what has me the most intrigued by it is the fact that the trailers don’t really get me excited, and I am still not really sure what to expect of the movie, and I think I like that. The last time I was so unsure of a movie based on the trailers it was called “The Matrix”, and I think that one worked out well for all involved.

  • Guy Incognito

    “Outside of a few kids movies” It’s pretty difficult to call Toy Story 3 a kids movie. First of all Pixar always writes in two levels of comedy, one for the kids and another for the adults. Second, think about it, all of the kids who watched the first 2 are adults now, maybe (gasp) with their own kids. Who really is the target audience?

  • Alex

    I hope that Salt does good as well, however even if it sucks on Ultraviolet level it would still be much better then her taking on a Wanted sequel. That movie was just horrendous

  • Sean

    SCOTT PILLLLLLLLGRIM!
    Yes, I am very excited for that movie.

  • chrystani

    All of Jolie’s roles are the same…

    *squint eyes*
    *pout lips*
    *Say something that could be a double entendre*
    *smirk over shoulder and then proceed with jumping through: window, off building, through glass*

    I’m tired of that dried up hussy…

  • Sam

    What, no love for The Other Guys? Will Ferell schtick can get old but not when he is working with Adam McKay. They are always gold when they get together. Plus it has a solid cast, Samuel L Jackson, the rock (I refuse to call him Dwayne Johnson), Mark Wahlberg and Steve Coogan. Plus it comes out the same day as Scott pilgrim and the expendables. Looks like I’ll have a busy weekend at the theater.

  • J5

    @ Sam

    Good call, that movie looks F’in hilarious. I forgot about it until now.

  • MR

    I dont know why people freak out on heavy visual effects movies like scott pilgrim, or speed racer. People like Tim Burton and Stanley Kubrick make trippy looking moves all the time, and nobody so much as raised an eyebrow. The Important part is the substance of quality.

    Any anime manga/videogame movie can be a big hollywood blockbuster hit if they just follow this simple formula:

    The shorter the plot is to explain, the more likely it will be better.

    Ex: airbenders first season cant be squeezed into a single movie.

    The closer to the source material, the more safer it will be. If the moves does not attract everyone, It will at least still attract fanboys.

    Ex: Dragonball Evolution fighting words for DBZ fans everywhere.
    Speed Racer still holds an argument to fans based solely on how well the brothers stuck to sources, going so far as using memorable villians as henchmen.

    Casting, directing, and good writing are still essential.

    Duh

    Character developments are needed no matter what.

    The fans may know them but what about everyone else? Do you really want to hear the five year old in the theater explain to his parents whats going on?

    Creative liberties should only be made if they provide good explanation or remove the need for it.

    Remember in spiderman when peter just suddenly finds out he can shoot web? We all know he made his own web shooters in the comics, but try explaining in a movie how a high schooler although brainy somehow creates a web-like substance scientists never could make that not only shoots out miles and miles of web, can carry the load a steel cable carries and then-some, stays only sticky on its ends and not on the line itself, and can all fit in a container the size of a wrist watch and never get in his way when lifts things and fights bad guys. simply adding it to his list of powers he wakes up with eliminates this headache entirely.

    NEVER NEVER NEVER leave the movie on a cliff hanger in the first movie.

    Max Payne, Super Mario Brothers movie, Alone in the Dark, the list goes on. You can still end a movie without a cliff hanger and still create a movie latter. Hollywood always finds a way. Moreover when you put on a cliff hanger, you make an almost arrogant assumption people will automatically believe the moviegoers will be demanding a sequel. Movies that explore a genre that is unfamiliar territory is a big risk in itself. remember the ending to the first star wars? Lucas had plans for more movies even back then, but knew better to end the first movie as a one shot rather then leave everybody on a cliff hanger.

    We realize making movies is hard work, but all the things I mentioned are addressed in the pre-production of movie making not during or post production. I’d be foolish to think Hollywood would be listening to me a commenter on a blog, but if nobody ever complains, nobody knows anything is wrong.

  • Ant2206

    “I dont know why people freak out on heavy visual effects movies like scott pilgrim, or speed racer. People like Tim Burton and Stanley Kubrick make trippy looking moves all the time, and nobody so much as raised an eyebrow. ”

    I guess it’s because we’ve been burned by special effects bonanzas more often than impressed by them. I mean, for every Matrix or Inception there are 10 Clash of the Titans or Alice in Wonderlands (a Burton!). So it’s easier to begin with eyebrow firmly pre-raised.

  • jaromir

    Well gotta say that the only movies left that I’m looking forward to, are “Inception” and “Dinner for Schmucks” already seen “Toy Story 3″. So that rounds up the summer.

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  • Sean

    see, Edgar Wright is just adapting Scott Pilgrim faithfully.
    he’s taken the source material, worked his own flair into it and lets still have it’s own voice.
    yeah, the visuals help make it interesting, but i’m into it because i’m a huge fan of the series and i love the cast and the music selected.
    imo, Scott Pilgrim > Inception.
    but we’ll see what happens once they are both out in theatres.

  • Blake

    Absolutely Paul,

    Where else am I gonna get my “Expendables” fix?

  • gilles

    “Dinner for Schmucks” is a remake of the 1998 French movie “Le diner de cons”.

    Believe it or not, it is based on a very real (and very stupid) tradition well anchored within the French and mostly Parisian “elite”.

  • Orleanas

    “Michael Cera is Scott Pilgrim.” That alone stopped me. I skipped that portion of the article and will likely skip this movie. MC irritates the hell out of me. Always plays the same dumb character. SMH that did dude seems to be getting leading roles.

    Salt is the only other summer film I’ve been looking forward to, and I hope to God it doesn’t disappoint as much as Airbender did. I plan on seeing Inception and hope that it turns out to be a fulfilling surprise.

    Like you, I agree that the so-called summer blockbusters of 2010 have been not only weak but also quite lame.

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  • Riffta

    I’ve already Dinner for Schmucks twice – once in French “Le dîner de cons” (The Dinner Game, 1998) and once in Hindi “Bheja Fry” (2007). Both were good, but I’m thinking the Hollywood version is gonna suck despite its terrific cast.

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