Sunday, April 28, 2013

Summer movies I want to see, kind of want to see, and don’t want to see...Part 1/May 2013

By Steve Crum

As a film critic, I am supposed to view a film objectively. But I’m an opinionated, elderly human, filled with years of pent-up dislikes and preferences--explainable and unexplainable. Excuse me for baring my soul, exposing my prejudices, and parsing movies before viewing them. 

That said, if I had to pay to see summer movies, instead of screening them for free, I would avoid these bitter-to-my-taste film factors: coming-of-age/teen romance-sex “comedies”; animation; martial arts; anything Seth Rogen; sequels, particular the 5th or more; slasher horror; and zombies. Yes, I usually swim upstream instead of mainstream. 

Of 109 summer releases, my list happens to include 29 titles. Opening dates, in parenthesis, are subject to change. The May sampling:

To See
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS [May 17] 
Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are back as Kirk and Spock, respectively, battling mass terrorism. (A terrorist is currently the villain of choice in the entertainment media, reflecting reality.) The real plus here is the return of director J. J. Abrams. 
NOW YOU SEE ME [May 31]
An FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) chases magicians who are robbing banks. Tricky thieves, indeed. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are among the illusionists. This is a thriller, not a comedy. 

So-So's
IRON MAN 3 [May 3]
At this writing, I have not seen it, but scuttlebutt says this take has more action derring-do and laughs than IM2. The iron guy battles Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin, a super terrorist. 
THE GREAT GATSBY [May 10]
I am a so-so fan of Fitzgerald’s novel, and disliked Robert Redford’s 1974 adaptation, so this Baz (Moulin Rouge) Luhrmann version has nominal appeal. Add Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire as attractions. AND it’s in 3-D (?). My question: When is the 1949 version, reputedly superior to the ‘74 take, going to be released on DVD? It stars Alan Ladd. 

No-No’s
BLACK ROCK [May 17]
Three young ladies are sexually assaulted during a camping trip on a Maine island. So they unite as lethal revengers to attack, maim, and destroy. It sounds like The River Wild Meets Deliverance. Kate Bosworth is featured. 
BEFORE MIDNIGHT [May 24]
Since I dislike Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), why should I clamor to see this episode in the life of two talky lovers, again played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy? Please, nothing after this Before!
THE HANGOVER PART III [May 24]
Getting drunk, either in public or on a movie screen, is never funny for yours truly. This installment follows the hapless men-children on a knee-slapping, barf-filled journey that includes the accidental decapitation of a giraffe. Now, THAT’S entertainment. 
FAST & FURIOUS 6 [May 24]
I am neither a fan of cars nor Vin Diesel, so multiplying this dislike by six only accelerates the issue and fuels the fire. That’s the brakes. 
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PART 2, covering selected June releases, coming soon...
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Until then, here is the sobering trailer to The Hangover, Part III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96TelFMZwHc

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