Friday, April 25, 2008

De's Summer Movie Preview

Good gravy it's been a pretty hectic week. So hectic that I didn't have time to put up pictures of apes. Well, your patience is about to be rewarded with my first installment of what I hope will be my annual Summer Movie Preview. Let's not mince words any longer and get this show on the road...

First up is Iron Man, based on the eponymous comic book character. I've read the comics off and on for years and liked the technology aspect of the stories quite a bit. We'll get the origin story (updated for today's modern age as Vietnam was 40 years ago) and an armor-to-armor face-off. While it probably won't make Spider-Man money, I'm sure it will do quite well. It's also directed by Jon Favreau, Mikey from Swingers. Who's the big winner? Mikey's the big winner!

Speed Racer opens the following week, based on the 1960s cartoon series. I bought the first volume Speed Racer DVD several years ago and thought it was okay. The characters are certainly iconic though the stories are somewhat repetitive. The film's storyline will have a little more meat to it than the cartoon and looks like it will be the Moulin Rouge of car racing movies. I'm surprised people haven't complained of seizures watching the busy, garish-colored trailer. Christina Ricci is Trixie and that's reason enough to watch.

May 16 will bring us The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, based on the book by C.S. Lewis. I guess this is supposed to be the Two Towers installment of the Narnia series. I never read the books and I didn't see the first movie either. However, the trailer looks kind of interesting and I'm told Peter Dinklage plays one of the two dwarves in the film. If you want to see how awesome Peter Dinklage is, check out his outstanding starring role in The Station Agent.

May 22 is when we find out if the near 20-year wait was worth it as we all turn out in droves for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The movie is set in 1957 so it doesn't look like we'll be seeing any Nazis this time around. The MacGuffin of the crystal skull is certainly in line with the other supernatural artifacts in the other films. Although Spielberg's track record lately has been a bit disappointing, I have a feeling we'll get our money's worth and be treated to a fun movie.

It looks like the end of the month is a bit of a skip week unless you really want to see Sex and the City or The Strangers. I think you can figure out what Sex and the City is about but here's a brief recap: Vapid whores afraid of aging. The Strangers is about a group of people terrorizing a newly-married couple. You can see why I called it a skip week.

So that takes care of May, which is now the official start of the summer movie season. I'm not sure how many of these I'll see in a theater given that ticket prices at the local cineplex are now $10.50 a pop. But it looks like we have a fun start to the season.


Allyn said...

Admittedly, it's been a long damn time since I read Prince Caspian, but I don't recall it being anything The Two Towers-like.

I remember it being a book in which pretty much nothing happens. The Pevensies walk around. They find Aslan. They discover there's some sort of dynastic struggle. The Penvensies and Aslan show up, turn the tide, and then they go home.

The issue I have, thinking back on it, is that the interesting ideas that Lewis introduces — a lot of years have passed in Narnia — are dealt with perfunctorily. The world has changed, so much so that it doesn't seem like the same Narnia.

And the one issue that is interesting — what was it like to grow to adulthood and rule the world, and then be forced out of that world and back into childhood — is an issue that Lewis doesn't deal with at all.

Supposedly, the screenwriters intend to deal with both issues, which may make the film deeper and more interesting than Lewis managed.

I really have to reread the book and make sure that I'm not completely misremembering. I'm pretty sure I'm not.

smacky said...

"Although Spielberg's track record lately has been a bit disappointing..."

Couple that with George Lucas's HORRIBLE dialog writing from his last three Star Wars flicks, and I'm hoping nothing too groan inducing happens. But Karen Allan is still a cutie, so bless her.

Chris said...

I know I'm doing myself a disservice here-- what with all my Greys Anatomy Twittering today and all.

"Vapid whores afraid of aging."

That's cold-- Knocked me out of my chair funny... but still cold :)

P.S. That't the only other "girl" show I follow. Honestly... Everything else: Sci-fi and Crime dramas. ;)

De said...

Allyn: Thanks for the insight on Prince Caspian. The Chronicles of Narnia (and stuff like The Lord of the Rings) never appealed to me very much growing up since I wasn't into the "sword & sorcery" genre. The fantasy genre still doesn't quite sing to me but I'm a bit more open to it now as an adult. Maybe I'll pick up a set to read with Cora and Miriya.

Smacky: Personally, I was hoping for the return of Short Round in a Sallah-like role but I'm told that's not happening. I agree that Karen Allen is still a cutie :-)

Chris: Sex and the City bothers me on a number of levels, but mostly because it has become some kind of guide to life for women here in the DC area. This aspect is incredibly ironic considering that most of the series was written by men. At some point (probably around the film's premiere date), I'll write an entry detailing why I despise this series with such fervor.

Bill D. said...

I think the only one of the 4 we'll actually make it to the theater for is Indy 4, since that's the only one the wife also wants to see (though she may cave on Iron Man if I pester enough, thanks to the cast), but I'm really looking forward to seeing IM, Speed Racer, and Prince Caspian somewhere down the line.

Siskoid said...

Iron Man: Well the trailer had me at Stark building his first armor in Osama's cave.

Narnia: I was very impressed with the first film and find that most people's complaints about it are on the order of "it's not LorR". Nor should it be. I think I'll give it a shot in theaters this time.

Speed Racer: I wasn't really interested before, but the trailer made sur of it. Like the cut scene from a video game.

Indiana Jones: A classic Lucas-related trilogy +1? It's a proven formula for disaster... Too early to tell but the trailer did nothing for me.

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