Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summer Movie Preview 2016

            Movie studios make their money during the summer. Fall is for the Oscar contenders, the late winter is for terrible movies (we haven’t forgotten you Batman v Superman). None of those movies make much in terms of profit, so summer is where the money is. The weather is too hot to stay outside (especially if you live in Louisiana) and children need something to do, so why not go to the movies? With all this in mind, let’s preview the summer’s biggest upcoming movies and see if they’re worth your money.

May 27
X-Men Apocalypse: The latest installment in the X-Men franchise is set in the 1980s with a new generation of younger mutants set to join forces with Professor X (James McAvoy) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) against the forces of Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac made up to look like an eggplant). Oh and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is floating around somewhere too. The early reviews on the movie have been fixed. The franchise’s last outing Days of Future Past was a cleverly handled time travel movie that reset the X-Men continuity so that director Bryan Singer can keep making these movies for as long as he wants or so that the movie rights won’t revert back to Marvel.
Verdict: Pass

June 24
Independence Day: Resurgence: So, they made a sequel to Independence Day? That 1996 movie starring Will Smith and a bunch of aliens who are undone by a computer virus from a mid-90s Macbook? Yeah, that’s not a great start. The movie’s trailers and marketing material, however, suggest that this might actually be good. Set 20 years after the events of the movie, planet Earth is ready for the next alien attack. Basically they’ve jerry rigged all that alien technology and created a global defense force. Most of the cast has returned including Jeff Goldblum and his off-kilter line deliveries, Bill Pullman as the former president of the United States, and even Commander Data as that weird scientist everyone thought had died in the first movie. Sadly there’s no wise-cracking Will Smith since he forgot that he used to star in entertaining movies and not piles of steaming crap (we haven’t forgotten about or forgiven After Earth).
Verdict: Go see this movie   

July 15
Ghostbusters: This rebooted version of the Dan Aykroyd-Bill Murray-Harold Ramis comedy classic from 1984 has gender flipped the cast and set the story in the present day. The film is directed by Paul Feig (director of all the recent funny Melissa McCarthy movies) and stars McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. The film’s trailer is the most disliked video in the history of Youtube. How much of that is a sexist backlash against the premise of the movie is unclear (though that’s responsible for a huge chunk of it). There seems to be little middle ground for Ghostbusters. It will either be hilarious or horrible. Either way, it’ll be worth seeing.
Verdict: Go see this movie

July 22
Star Trek Beyond: The third film in the revived Star Trek film series comes out this summer. After the pleasant surprise that was 2009’s Star Trek and the disappointing Star Trek Into Darkness, this film hasn’t gotten much attention. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg (who co-wrote the film), Karl Urban, Alice Eve, and Zoe Saldana all return as the starship Enterprise has finally embarked on its famous five year mission. Idris Elba stars as the film’s yet to be revealed villain. Fast and Furious director Justin Lin takes over the director’s chair from J.J. Abrams (who left to pursue his true love, Star Wars). With a new Star Trek series set to launch on CBS next year, this film will go a long way to seeing whether Star Trek remains a viable franchise.
Verdict: Go see this movie

July 29
Jason Bourne: The last Bourne movie came out in 2012—The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner as a knockoff Bourne. Renner seems to be playing second fiddle to someone else in different franchise movie series. He’s Hawkeye in the Marvel movies, he shoots a bow! Face it Marvel, no one wants to be Hawkeye. This year’s Bourne movie sees Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass return to the franchise that began as a straightforward action series and over the course of three films questioned the morality of expansive government power in the age of global terrorism. What else Damon and Greengrass have to say remains unclear. Is it worth checking out, especially if Damon fights another guy with a rolled up magazine or a pen? Absolutely.
Verdict: Go see this movie

August 5
Suicide Squad: The DC-Murderverse finally expands to something beyond Superman and Batman killing people and Zack Synder’s love of fascist imagery. Unfortunately, this movie looks a lot like a teenage boy’s comic book fantasy taken to an uncomfortable extreme. Just look at the costuming of the characters, especially Jared Leto’s clichéd ridden Joker. Look he has tattoos! And green hair! And a grill in his teeth! The movie ostensibly is about a bunch of criminals recruited to perform secret missions for the government. I saw this movie before, it was called the Dirty Dozen and at least that movie had Jim Brown and Lee Marvin chewing up the scenery and killing Nazis.
Verdict: Pass 

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