Summer movie preview 2012

Sarah Posted by Sarah at April 17, 2012 19:43:46 April 17, 2012 19:43:46

ItΓÇÖs almost here, my favorite time of year. Summer movie season is a four month holiday for industry watchers. ItΓÇÖs all insanity and nervousness. ThereΓÇÖs so much on the lineΓÇöso much money, so many connotations for peopleΓÇÖs careers. If youΓÇÖre into blow-by-blow previews, I do monthly rundowns on Cinesnark that cover every single movie coming out, but for now, hereΓÇÖs the highlight reel for summer 2012.

Summer of the Superhero part 2

The Avengers ΓÇô May 4
The Amazing Spider-Man ΓÇô July 3
The Dark Knight Rises ΓÇô July 20

Last summer was the ΓÇ£summer of the superheroΓÇ¥ because there were four superhero movies. Well, weΓÇÖve got three this year. We start with The Avengers, the culmination of MarvelΓÇÖs nine-year plan to launch a massive franchise with a nearly unlimited potential for spinoffs. Critic screenings have begun for Joss WhedonΓÇÖs take on the Avengers universe. The early word has been amazing though reviews are embargoed, and even non-nerds like Lainey are into it. The projections are for a $150+ million opening weekend which is astounding. IΓÇÖve been following this project for a long time and am excited for The Avengers to live up to the hype.

IΓÇÖm a little worried about The Amazing Spider-Man because the buildup for it seems a little flat. A while ago I was told that Sony was concerned about the lackluster response to early marketing for the film so they recalibrated their marketing plan but even after the re-launch it still doesnΓÇÖt feel like thereΓÇÖs much buzz. And finally thereΓÇÖs The Dark Knight Rises, which is going to be one of the biggest films of the year. And very probably one of the best.

Alien invasion

ΓÇô May 18
Men in Black III ΓÇô May 25
Prometheus ΓÇô June 8

This is also a big summer for alien invasions. First out of the gate is Battleship, which is already going gangbusters overseas. Next is Men in Black III and it will likely be a giant mess but I never want to underestimate the sell power of Will Smith. And Josh BrolinΓÇöI love him. I will see it just for his Tommy Lee Jones impression. Ridley Scott returns to the Alien universe with the prequel/not-prequel Prometheus, which is one of the most mysterious films of the summer; the trailer is solid and people are really into it.

Not your average princess

Snow White and the Huntsman ΓÇô June 1
Brave ΓÇô June 22

There are two revisionist princess movies this summer, the first of which is Snow White and the Huntsman. The marketing has been pretty spectacular and first-time features director Rupert Sanders looks to be a major new talent in the visuals arena. HereΓÇÖs hoping the film lives up to the early hype. Then Pixar offers their take on the animated princess tale with Brave. Set in Dark Ages Scotland and ΓÇ£starringΓÇ¥ Merida, a princess determined to control her own destiny, this is the hardest sell Pixar has faced since Wall-E. The animation looks gorgeous and Pixar often does its best work on these left-of-center movies. I wouldnΓÇÖt bet against Brave. Pixar is very proud of it.

The Yuck Yuck Club

The Dictator ΓÇô May 11
Dark Shadows ΓÇô May 11
Rock of Ages ΓÇô June 15
Neighborhood Watch ΓÇô July 27
ParaNorman ΓÇô August 17

It seems like it might be a rough summer for comedies. The Dictator looks promising but Sacha Baron CohenΓÇÖs appeal is not mass market. Going up against it is the Burton/Depp Dark Shadows, which I think looks kind of like Beetlejuice and while Depp definitely has the mass market on his side, people seem a bit over his constant parade of whackadoos. Is Rock of Ages supposed to be a comedy? I hope so, because it looks hilarious. But IΓÇÖm slightly worried about Neighborhood Watch since the movie is about a group of guys who appoint themselves guardians of their neighborhood and wander around, spotting troublemakers. Errrm, maybe not the best timing. Finally, the animated ParaNorman is an intriguing propositionΓÇöitΓÇÖs about a kid who can talk to the dead and tries to break a curse on his town.


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ΓÇô June 22
The Bourne Legacy ΓÇô August 3
Total Recall ΓÇô August 3

If you prefer your action of the non-superhero flavor, youΓÇÖve got few options. Abraham Lincoln is adapted from a really solid book which I enjoyed very much, and IΓÇÖm looking forward to the movie, but it seems like people canΓÇÖt get past the inherent silliness of the title. ThereΓÇÖs a strong chance this might be the dud of summer. Jeremy Renner steps up from sidekick to chief-in-charge ass-kicker in the Bourne spin-off. IΓÇÖve heard itΓÇÖs a pretty solid movie, but will audiences buy a Bourne movie with no Bourne? Coming off a huge Avengers win wonΓÇÖt hurt RennerΓÇÖs chances. And Colin Farrell stars in Len WisemanΓÇÖs remake of Total Recall, a cheesy Schwarzenegger action flick ripe for updating. The trailer is pretty sweet. And Farrell is gorgeous, so thereΓÇÖs that.


Moonrise Kingdom ΓÇô May 25
Safety Not Guaranteed ΓÇô June 8
To Rome, With Love ΓÇô June 22
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World ΓÇô June 22
Magic Mike ΓÇô June 29
Savages ΓÇô July 6

If superheroes and sh*t blowing up aren’t your thing, there are some solid counter-programming options. Wes Anderson has his first live action film in five years with Moonrise Kingdom about a small town that spirals out of control when a young couple runs away. (Lainey: it’s also set to light up the Croisette as it will open Cannes.) Saftey Not Guaranteed has gotten mixed reviews, but it’s about that legendary classified ad looking for a time travel companion, which is an awesome premise. To Rome, With Love is Woody Allen’s follow up to Midnight in Paris. It looks very…Woody Allen-y. I’m most interested in Seeking a Friend just to see how the odd couple vibe between Steve Carell and Keira Knightley plays out, and while male-stripper movie Magic Mike might as well be called Beefcake: The Movie, it is earning positive buzz in early test screenings. Matthew McConaughey in particular is getting a lot of glowy remarks and Channing Tatum’s acting is described as “almost natural”. And to cap it off is Oliver Stone’s Savages, which despite a Blake Lively voice over, looks pretty good.

So, whatΓÇÖll it be this summer? Superheroes, aliens, princesses, none of the above?

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