Today is the first day of summer and I’m normally geeking out with anticipation over at least one upcoming movie (or seven) by now. This year is definitely different though. I really couldn’t give a flying frick about any of them – and that’s not a good feeling. It makes me long for the summers of my childhood when there’d only ever be one or two huge movies released. I blame CGI for the big-budget overload every year. And Jar-Jar Binks.
It’s a weak, weak year for the summer flick. With only two possible exceptions, as I see it. The first is the reboot of Conan the Barbarian out on August 19th and creatively entitled, “Conan”. When I heard about it a year or so ago, and found out Jason Momoa would play the title role, I was unimpressed. After seeing Momoa on Game of Thrones, however, I warmed up to the idea. After seeing the red-band trailer which was released a few days ago – I take it all back.
The second is Cowboys and Aliens. I dig Daniel Craig and love Jon Favreau as both an actor and a director. The real reason I’m amped to see the movie, however, is that there’s a direct link back to my summer movie nirvana of yesteryear to consider – Mr. Harry Ford. He’s playing a villain but I will take what I can get in these strange, digitally enhanced times.
Thor was a good flick, but its release date on May 6th makes it a stretch for inclusion as part of the season. It’s also unbelievably difficult to get excited about superhero movies anymore. It’s like the little boy who cried “wolf”, but instead of warning villagers about an impending attack by a lycanthrope – he’s just standing up there on the hill beside pastures full of tasty sheep yelling, “Superhero movie! Um, superhero movie! Superhero movie?” The villagers quickly learn that the little jerk is full of shit, possibly autistic, and then stop listening.
The little guy just keeps on screaming: Thor, X-Men, Green Lantern, Captain America – and that’s just this summer. Over the next 2 years we can look forward to no less than a half-hundred-dozen additional Marvel/DC/etc. properties hitting the big screen – Deadpool. Ant Man, another Kickass, another Batman, un autre Spiderman, an additional Superman, one more Wolverine – but in terms of anticipation the queen mother of them all is undoubtedly The Avengers which is due for release on May 4th, 2012. That kid who’s supposed to be watching the sheep is going to be a little horse. I wonder if he also knows a little german?
So, yeah - Hollywood’s current summer movie output is completely overwhelming. This year alone there are about 20 big-budget potential blockbusters shipping in a 4-month period. We have all of the aforementioned plus Harry Potter, Planet of the Apes, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Smurfs, Transformers… and I wouldn’t cross the street to see any of them. What about you – seen anything good so far?