Summer Movie Preview 2013
By Matthew Yenkala
Info, opinion, trivia and speculation about some of the more notable films coming out this summer, from the "golden" days of May & June, through to the slightly overcooked July, and the dog days of August. Happy summer viewing, everyone!
MAY 03--Iron Man 3
Already breaking box-office records as this issue goes to press. See reviews elsewhere in this issue.
MAY 10--The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet) brings his high-gloss, rapid-cut style to F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic tale of life in the roaring 20s, in 3-D no less. Whatever would Andy Kaufman have said?
MAY 17--Star Trek Into Darkness
The next installment in J.J. Abrams' rebooted version of the classic series has the Enterprise crew battling a calculating and ruthless villain (Benedict Cumberbatch) who apparently comes from within the ranks of the Federation itself, testing Kirk (Chris Pine) & Spock's (Zachary Quinto) friendship and pushing the intrepid crew to its limits. Echoes of STAR TREK II abound, but still no official word on the villain's true identity....though by the time you read this, the Khat will doubtless be out of the bag....
A human girl finds herself shrunk down and fighting side by side with an army of Leaf Men--all in her own backyard.
MAY 24--The Hangover Part 3
The Wolfpack heads back to Vegas for what is promised to be its final installment, with everyone (including my future wife, Heather Graham) on board for one last hedonistic adventure. We can only hope, anyway.
MAY 24--Fast & Furious 6
The Rock, Vin Deisel, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez are all involved on various sides of an international plot, in a series that used to just be about illegal car racing. Evidently, this installment sets up not only the next film but the next several--and a spinoff franchise as well.
JUNE 07--After Earth
Will Smith and son crash on the uninhabitable remains of a devastated planet in the newest M. Night Shyamalan epic. What planet is it...? Why...Earth! What a twist!
JUNE 07--The Internship
It's Generations X vs Y as Vince Vaughan & Owen Wilson con their way into an internship at Google Headquarters.
JUNE 12--This Is the End
It's the end of the world, and a bunch of Hollywood actors aren't feeling fine about it at all.
JUNE 14--Man of Steel
Zack Snyder's much-anticipated reboot of the Superman franchise allegedly ditches all traces of the classic Donner/Reeve series, moving Supes (Henry Cavill) tonally in the direction of exec. Producer Christopher Nolan's DARK KNIGHT series as a misfit trying to find his place in the world. Warner Brothers and DC are hoping for this to be the cornerstone of their own long-term, integrated, cinematic universe a la Marvel, with a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie as the next stop on that road (almost the reverse of Marvel's approach). The solid supporting cast includes Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, and Kevin Costner & Diane Lane as Ma & Pa Kent.
JUNE 21--World War Z
Max Brooks' oral history of the Zombie War becomes a vehicle for Brad Pitt as he seeks to discover the cause and--perhaps--the solution to the plague of the living dead. If it does well, they hope to spin a trilogy out of the source material.
JUNE 21--Monsters University
Sulley & Mike's college days promises to be Pixar's answer to "Animal House"--minus the raunch.
JUNE 21--The Bling Ring
Sofia Coppola directs Emma Watson as the ringleader of a group of LA teenagers who make a habit of breaking into celebrity homes. Based on a true story.
JUNE 28--The Heat
Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy play a pair of mismatched FBI agents in this action-comedy. Trivia Note: it's being billed as the first pairing of its kind for the genre; obviously, someone forgot about Rebecca De Mornay & Mary Gross in FEDS from the late 80s. Then again, maybe that was on purpose.
JUNE 28--White House Down
The year's second White-House-Attacked actioner is the "Armageddon" to "Olympus Has Fallen"'s "Deep Impact". But Jamie Foxx (here the President) is always solid, and it's bound to do good business based on Channing Tatum's presence alone.
JULY 03--The Lone Ranger
Tonto (played by Johnny Depp) takes center stage over the title character (played by Winklevi alum Armie Hammer) in this retro-western. Unlikely to be faithful either to its source material or to history, but hopefully it will at least be fun--and also hopefully, Depp won't just phone in another lazy, monotone performance and count on the hair, makeup and costume to sell the character. Regardless, its positioning as the 4th of July tentpole speaks of the studio's great confidence in its box-office potential.
JULY 03--Despicable Me 2
The minions are back to wreak more havoc!
JULY 12--Pacific Rim
Guillermo Del Toro's sci-fi epic pits giant robots versus giant monsters--and it will likely be better than every TRANSFORMERS flick put together (though it's no Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus).
Have you heard the one about the snail riding on a turtle's back and telling it to slow down? How about a snail that's given "turbo" speed and races against cars? Yeah.... Burth Reynolds voices the title character.
JULY 19--Girl Most Likely
More wacky shenanigans from SNL/"Bridesmaids" alum Kristen Wiig...
JULY 19--Grown Ups 2
Speaking of SNL alums, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and Farley-substitute Kevin James are back for another summertime adventure with the families. I don't know if it's a good or a bad sign that Rob Schneider is apparently sitting this one out...
JULY 19--Red 2
The first "Red" assembled possibly the most impressive cast ever for what was essentially a fun paycheck movie. The followup has Bruce Willis & co engaged in still more international intrigue and...oh, what the hell. They blow stuff up.
JULY 26--The Wolverine
Hugh Jackman is back for the sixth time as Logan in the latest installment of the non-consecutive X-Men franchise. Set largely in Japan following the events of X3, it explores what happens when Weapon X is suddenly deprived of his mutant abilities--and meets the woman of his dreams.
JULY 31--Smurfs 2
The Little Blue People are back. The final screen credit for the late Jonathan Winters, who voices Papa.
AUGUST 02--300: Rise of An Empire
A parallel story to the first film tells the story of Xerxes vs. the Queen of Sparta. Original 300 director Zack Snyder wrote the script based on author Frank Miller's unpublished followup, but its August placement indicates no one has very high hopes for its commercial prospects.
Dystopian class warfare in 2159 from District 9 creator Neil Blomkamp. Will probably worth a look.
AUGUST 09--We're The Millers
The latest entry in the "nightmarish family road trip" genre is here to help us kill time while we wait for the VACATION reboot. They just couldn't quit after RV, could they?
Amanda Seyfried stars as porn queen Linda Lovelace in this biopic set in the early 70s heyday of the adult industry. Not likely to be a barrel of laughs.
AUGUST 16--Kick-Ass 2
The title character and Hit Girl team up with Jim Carrey's "Colonel Stars & Stripes" in the followup to the 2010 deconstructionist comic book sleeper hit.
AUGUST 16--Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Logan Lerman follows up his acclaimed performance in The Perks of Being A Wallflower in the second movie based on the YA "Olympians" series. Well, a multi-film-contract is a multi-film-contract. On the other hand, the first Percy Jackson flick did treat Greek mythology far more respectfully than both of the recent "Clash of the Titans" movies did...
AUGUST 16--The To Do List
It's the 90s and the class valedictorian wants some wild action...except defying the conventions of the teenage raunch genre, the randy virgin is...a GIRL! (Oh, how shocking!)
AUGUST 23--The World's End
Five old friends embark on the pub crawl from hell. Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost & Martin Freeman, this is sure to be a hit with Anglophiles everywhere.
AUGUST 23--The Mortal Instruments: City of Bone
Another second installment in another popular YA series, this one about a young girl immersed in a supernatural world. Sounds original...
Ethan Hawke & Selena Gomez must follow the orders of a mysterious man (Jon Voight) to save Hawke's kidnapped wife.
August 30--Drinking Buddies
Olivia Wilde stars in a workplace rom-com, this one set at a brewery.
And we'll see you here in a few months for the fall preview, with everything from Riddick to Catching Fire, Sin City 2 to the Carrie remake, Thor to The Hobbit, and the year's most anticipated film--the Anchorman sequel. Happy summer viewing, everyone!