Friday, 25 May 2012

Summer Preview

June 1st is fast approaching and with it comes the summer blockbuster season. We’re always lead to believe that the most exciting films come out around this time of the year. As if to say, the weathers nice outside go and sit in a dark room and watch a film. Admittedly in England it’s just as likely to rain in July as it is any other time of the year.

Each year around this time we get a glut of big budget, “spectacle” films. The sort of films that scream "look at me, look at me" whilst waving their arms in the air, trying to get the attention of anyone and everyone. Getting our attention normally takes the form of posters, teasers, computer games, trailers, viral marketing campaigns on twitter and Facebook, merchandising, tie ups with fast food chains etc etc . You get to the point where you’re being sold Avengers Cologne and being pushed to wear Watchmen condoms (I shit you not, who wouldn’t want to smell like a 90 year old defrosted virgin, with a blue condom in their wallet?). The only time you don’t hear about a particular film is when you’re asleep, I guess the studios haven’t figured out how to force trailers into our dreams.................. yet. 

This year it looks like Prometheus will win the award for the cheapest girl at the party. She's giving it all away for just free, letting every have a peek up her skirt. The viral marketing campaign seems so intent on showing as much of the film as possible, I’ve imposed an embargo on myself from watching any of the trailers for the film. God forbid I might want the odd surprise when I see the film

The line up always seems exciting at first glance. “This year will be the best one yet,” the studios seem to tell us all the while, patting us down for our wallets and valuables. Forget about that year Tomb Raider was out, don’t think about The Green Lantern, and lets everyone pretend like Catwoman never happened, please God don’t anyone think about Catwoman. “We won’t do anything like that to you again” they tell us whilst releasing the usual line of prequels, sequels and reboots. This year exemplifies this perfectly, The Dark Knight Rises (Sequel), Prometheus (prequel sort of) and The Amazing Spiderman (reboot).

Having said all this, like a little child still believing in the tooth fairy, I still look forward to summer blockbusters! 

So this is my preview of the biggest releases of the next 3 months, not just the blockbusters but the films I’m looking forward to.

Prometheus (June 1st)

This is the first sci-fi film Ridley Scott has made since making two of the defining films of the genre, Blade Runner and Alien. That should be reason enough to be excited about Prometheus.

Originally pegged as an Alien prequel it’s now a story set in the ‘Alien universe,’ what ever that means. With Charlize Theron, Naoomi Rapace, Guy Pearce, Michael Fassbender and Idris Elba this must be one of the best cast lists outside of the Dark Knight Rises. With Scott at the helm we can be sure it’ll look bloody impressive as well.

There is a little part of me that is just that bit worried that this isn’t going to be as good as I hope, I’ve covered it in a previous blog here. Who cares though maybe, just maybe, it’ll all come together perfectly. I’m not linking to the trailer obviously, but I’m sure you can all google it.

A Fantastic Fear of Everything (June 8th)

Written and directed by Crispin Mills, formerly of Kula Shaker, for those of you who don’t know what a Kula Shaker is they were a rubbish band from the 90’s. It stars Simon Pegg as a children's writer who, in a move he probably regrets, decides to move into crime fiction. As the title suggest he then develops a fear of everything, but mainly the hedgehog from his children’s books.

Other than when directed by Edgar Wright, it seems no one can get the best of Pegg and present it on screen. He’s always very watchable in everything he’s in, but the majority of films don’t seem to make the most of his talents. Hopefully this will prove me wrong.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22nd)

If I’m honest I’m sold just by the title. Along with Zombies, vampires still seem to be the occult beasties of choice at the moment. Based on a novel of the same name, Vampire Hunter imagines the famous American President as the only thing that stands between the US and Vampire domination.

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, it’ll at least be entertaining. Possibly one to go in the guilty pleasures group. In a few years we might get David Cameron: Hoodie Underage Drinking Asbo Hunter (with Nick Clegg as his faithful Lackey).

Ted (June 29th)

A foul mouth teddy bear version of Peter Griffin, who wouldn’t want one of those for christmas? Imagine if you wished your teddy could talk and that came true, what would the adult version of the teddy be like? Well Mark Wahlberg stars as the grown up boy who’s teddy talks, swears and smokes weed. When he falls for Mila Kunis, it’s time for Ted to move out.

Written and directed by Seth McFarlane, I imagine this will be love it or hate it, as it is with his show Family Guy. Personally I’m a fan of Family Guy so I can’t wait.

The Amazing Spider-man (July 3rd)

It doesn’t seem that long since Spider-man 3 was critically mauled, effectively killing the series in its old guise. I have a lot of fondness for the first two spidey films, number 3 tried to do too much, introducing one of the key characters, Venom, but then barely doing anything with him. Out goes Tobey Maguire and in comes Andrew Garfield to start everything anew, or rather reboot things.

I’m a little unsure of what to expect with this film. Garfield looks a perfect fit for Peter Parker, Emma Stone is always very good and Rhys Ifans as Dr connors mean the cast is all in place. However early footage of the lizard was ropey to say the least, and the trailer doesn’t really seem as exciting as I’d like. Perhaps it’s just a crap trailer? I’d rather have a rubbish trailer and good film rather than the other way round (I’m looking at you Matrix sequels).

The Dark Knight Rises (July 20th)

This really is the film that I’m looking forward to above all others this summer. The conclusion to Nolan’s Batman trilogy, has had everyone holding their breath since the credits rolled on the Dark Knight. The cast from the previous films return with the addition of Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anne Hathaway.

The plot takes place 8 years after the event of the Dark Knight. Batman, now in exile, returns to go head to head with Bane. This is the Bane from the comic books, not the ridiculous bane from Batman and Robin (I just felt a shiver down my spine just saying the name of that Joel Schumacher piece of shit). “The legend ends” tagline give the impression that all bets are off in this one.

Chris Nolan has earned our excitement, producing a superhero trilogy that is darker than any that has gone before it. Batman Begins was good, but with the Dark Knight he raised the bar a long way beyond other superhero films. He’s shown he’s a safe pair of hands what ever film he makes, plus he hates 3D!

Brave (August 17th)

With the awful sequel to Cars, Pixar had a rare faltering moment. Unheard of for a studio who only seem to deal in critically acclaimed hits. Brave is the chance to correct that and get things back to their normal standard.

Brave tells the story of a princess who wishes to join the men of her country on the frontline as a warrior. It’s an unusually unoriginal storyline for Pixar, with more than a little nod towards Disney’s Mulan, but I’m sure they’ll put their own stamp on it.

Ignoring Cars every film they’ve made has been brilliantly original and well received, I’m sure this will get them back on that track.

Those are the films I’m looking forward to this summer, will some of them disappoint me? Almost definitely but who knows which ones!

Honourable mentions go to the Bourne Legacy, Lawless and ParaNorman.


  1. I think the opening sequence to Cars is amazing. It makes Nascar appear exciting, so it's doing something right. I also don't mind Cars 2, but think it's too complex a plot for younger viewers.

    1. If I'm honest my nephew absolutely loves McQueen. To him it's a talking car that drives fast. He doesn't care if the films not as good, he still sleeps in his McQeen PJ's.

      It's just that their other films were entertaining to both adults and children, in a way that the Cars films aren't. Still two films I don't like out of how many isn't bad going