We all know the trend. Summer movie marketing causes a Pavlovian response in you to go see this week’s blockbuster the second it’s released. After the two hour shit fest, you’ll start to regret most of your life’s decisions, and wish you had another $11.50 to spend on a bottle of chloroform. Well fear not. Here’s 10 summer movies that probably won’t suck all that much.
Moonrise Kingdom – May 25
I personally can’t stand Wes Anderson and his stylish, quirky, utterly self-indulgent and superficial filmmaking. But I’d be an idiot not to recognize his influence and popularity. The dude has both a cult following and a style many filmmakers have tried to emulate. His newest film is about a pair of love-stricken children who run away together, prompting a search party to hunt after the little fuckers. Hipsters, rejoice. This one was made specially for you.
Brave – June 2
Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
It’s Pixar. Excluding the two Cars movies, Pixar might be the only studio that has an unblemished track record. It sort of looks like the video game version of Braveheart, with a cute red-haired girl replacing the Jew-hating Mel Gibson. So while it doesn’t look like it’ll stand next to the Pixar greats like Wall-E and Ratatouille, at least it won’t have any talking cars.
Prometheus – June 8
After a 30-year absence from sci-fi, Ridley Scott returns with his third film of the genre, Prometheus. Scott has made a lot of awful shit in that time, but when your first two sci-fi films are considered a couple of the greatest ever made, with Alien and Blade Runner, you command a bit of respect. Prometheus is a prequel to Alien, and based solely on the myriad of excellent trailers and clips out there, including a future TED talk, I’m willing to put my money on Prometheus as the movie of the summer.
To Rome With Love – June 22
Woody’s last effort, Midnight in Paris, was a charming little picture featuring Owen Wilson doing his best Woody Allen-character impression, Dali appearing in one scene, and Rachel McAdams playing a slightly older version of her Mean Girls character. It also ended up being the highest grossing film he’s ever made (and he’s made a shit-ton). So Woody is cooking up the same recipe for his next film. Set it in Europe, put a city in the title that people find endearing, load it with big name stars, and watch the cash roll in. And if this doesn’t sell you, how does Penelope Cruz in a tight red dress sound?
Beasts of the Southern Wild – June 27
It won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year, and will be playing at the world’s most prestigious film festival, Cannes, later this month. I don’t care if this means nothing to you. Watch the trailer and try not to hug your computer screen.
Savages – July 6
Oliver Stone is one of those hit-or-miss kind of guys. But the thing about ol’ Oliver is that he hasn’t hit a damn thing in about 15 years. And while I’m not ready to board the Stone bandwagon yet, which probably has a lot of vacancy, his new movie looks good enough to make me momentarily forget the atrocities that were Alexander and World Trade Centre. Savages looks like a return to the pulpy crime genre that he never should have left.
Ted – July 13
Ted is about a man and his relationship with his teddy bear, who came to life as a result of a childhood wish. And yes, this from the same guy who gave us Family Guy and American Dad. MacFarlane’s beat-a-dead-horse brand of comedy has grown a little old, so I don’t know if I have much faith that his first venture into live action features will be much different. But perhaps I’m just a little jealous that Mark Wahlberg’s character is living my dream. Mila Kunis girlfriend? No. My teddy bear coming to life? Yes.
The Dark Knight Rises – July 20
With the wild popularity of his first two, I highly doubt anything I say here will either convince or deter you from seeing the third in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. And if it does, you are a weak, feeble-minded individual, who preforms poorly in bed. Watch the trailer again and try not to cream your pants.
2 Days in New York – August 10
I’m not going off much on this one. The refined and elegant Julie Delpy partnered with Chris Rock (no adjectives necessary) is enough of a strange pairing to intrigue me. There’s a few short clips out that sell it terribly well, so just watch this short teaser and imagine the comic hijinx.
The Campaign – August 10
A North Carolina congressman (Will Ferrell) becomes embroiled in a sex scandal, causing an unlikely outsider (Zach Galafianakis) to run against him. Accompanied by Jason Sudeikis, Brian Cox, John Lithgow and the side-splitting Dan Aykroyd, this might be one of the better comedy ensembles we’ve seen in a while. No trailer out yet, so if you’ve got a hankering for some Ferrell, watch the clip below. No word yet if the now unoccupied Newt Gingrich will be making an appearance.