Sunday, May 11, 2008

Summer Movie Previews

Time for the annual Summer Movies Preview so grab your popcorn and leave your worries and brain at home.

IRONMAN – Already a monster hit. Audiences have really taken to this superhero who can stop crime and press clothes. Robert Downey Jr. goes from behind iron bars to Hollywood stardom.

SPEED RACER – Those nutty Wachowski brothers (or brother and sister, I can’t keep track) took a cheesy amine kids’ cartoon series and added adult confusion. Didn’t get to the first turn before crashing horribly, not just hitting the wall but explosions, wheels flying, everything. It's the summer disaster to beat.

SURFWISE – documentary about a doctor who left his practice to go to Israel in the 60s to be a surfer. Two shana maidels for every guy.

VICE – Michael Madsen/drug bust/cop /date movie.

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS – Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz as strangers who awaken to learn they’re married. Hey, Ashton, you’ve been punked!

BLOODLINE – Filmmakers discovers papers from a 19th Century French priest claiming to have evidence that Jesus did not die on the cross. The CSI Jerusalem gang is summoned to investigate.

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN – Adaptation of the epic fantasy novel that didn’t include Harry Potter or Hobbits.

NOISE – Tim Robbins as a Manhattan lawyer who goes wiggy because of all the noise in New York. If he takes a baseball bat and bashes in a car whose alarm has been blaring for five minutes, NOISE will be my favorite movie of the year.

THE HAPPENING – Not to be confused with the 1967 classic where hippies kidnap Anthony Quinn while the Supremes sing. This is M. Night Shyamalan’s movie about paranoia. I wonder if it’s about a brilliant but misunderstood filmmaker/self proclaimed genius who believes the world is conspiring against him because he hasn’t made a decent movie in about ten years.

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL – Indy better find that fountain of youth and quick!

GET SMART – Adaptation of the 60s Don Adams/Barbara Feldon sitcom. Now with Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway. I’m sure it’s hilarious. Would you believe funny? Would you believe if you’ve had four tequila shooters it has its amusing moments? I know one of the writers so I’m hoping it’s the first.

POSTAL – U.S. religious zealots take on Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Which side do you root for?

MEET DAVE – Eddy Murphy aliens-land-on-earth comedy. I read the script by Rob Greenberg & Bill Corbett several years ago and it was hilarious. Let’s hope Eddy didn’t “improve” it.

WAR, INC. – John Cusack portrays a trade show salesman who’s really a hitman. Wants to kill a Middle Eastern oil minister and looky-loo who never buys his line.

SEX AND THE CITY: THE MOVIE – They’re back and they’re old.

KUNG FU PANDA – No synopsis was provided so I have no idea what this cartoon is about.

MISS CONCEPTION – All the scenes and plot twists that were cut in BABY MAMA and JUNO.

THE PROMOTION – Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly are two schleppers vying for a promotion at a Walmart type store. Comedy in aisle five! More fun: wait till it’s on cable, gather your friends, and play the drinking game every time there’s a pratfall.

More tomorrow.

29 comments:

Charles Jurries said...

Get Smart may or may not have been a good television series, but this new movie looks like the American version of Johnny English. If the script is funny, the trailers are not doing the film any favors.

Christina said...

I have only three words for you:
Foot Fist Way!!

doggans said...

//MEET DAVE – Eddy Murphy aliens-land-on-earth comedy. I read the script by Rob Greenberg & Bill Corbett several years ago and it was hilarious. Let’s hope Eddy didn’t “improve” it.//

As a devout MST3K/RiffTrax/Film Crew fan, I think it's safe to say that anything with the words "Bill Corbett" in the writers section of the credits will have at least some hilarity. I'm just worried about the director and lead actor.

On the plus side, if the movie does suck, maybe they'll have a writer's audio commentary on the DVD...and let the co-writer bring his buddies Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy along.

Annie said...

If any of the movies are as smartly funny as your reviews are, there's hope. Clean and lean as usual, Ken.

TCinLA said...

Up until about 10 years ago, I used to go to the movies every Friday night, to see what was out there. The last time I saw a movie in the theater was November 2003 when I went to see "Master and Commander." Outside of the fact that the theaters are unbearable now with the ads and the tenth-wit bimbos selling real estate on their cellphones in the middle of the show, and the movies are quadruple-priced for their value even at half the price of the seniors matinee, I'm now convinced that studio movies really will rot your brain and lower your IQ.

But if you want to see a good movie, go rent the unrated/extended play version of "American Gangster." The original was about 2.4 hours, this is 3.6 hours, a completely different movie, about as much like the theatrical release as the final director's cut of Bladerunner (from the same director) has anything to do with the original release.

Every one of the movies listed here made me ashamed I still am stupid enough to think of myself as being part of "the business." The studios are minor corporate arms of Major Widget Manufacturers, run by Widget-brained turds, and turning out interchangeable worthless widgets.

Nowadays if I can find six movies a year on DVD that don't have me worshipping the Pordelian God in the bathroom, I think it's a successful moviemaking year.

TCinLA said...

"Worshipping the Porcelain God..."

I really do need to start using that preview function. :-)

Bitter Animator said...

I'm hearing good things about that Speed Racer from just about everyone who isn't a reviewer. Who do I trust? Who?! Whoooooo?!!!!

la.guy said...

"SPEED RACER: It's the summer disaster to beat"

Based upon the trailers it looks to me like WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS has it beat by a mile.

Get Smart is the one I'm looking forward to, (which means I'll eventually see it on Cable), I'm guardedly optimistic it will be good.

Speaking of writers, how would you like to be the word smith's behind Ironman and then watch this appearance of Robert Downey, Jr. on Letterman? I guess humility isn't one of the nine steps?

Richard Jensen said...

Ken Levine wrote:

"POSTAL – U.S. religious zealots take on Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Which side do you root for?"

The side that gets to Uwe Boll first.

Bitter Animator said...

Wow, that Downey clip makes him look like a complete and utter prick. What an asshole.

rob! said...

Ironman was great, a solid action movie with some laughs and decent characters.

Downey carries the whole movie on his shoulders, and it all would've collapsed if he hadn't been so good in it. shouldn't they give Oscars for stuff like that?

Anonymous said...

Downey carries the whole movie on his shoulders, and it all would've collapsed if he hadn't been so good in it. shouldn't they give Oscars for stuff like that?

In this case, the MTV Movie Awards serve that function.

benson said...

Which to the average Joe and Jane are more relevant than the Oscars.

A. Buck Short said...

tc, thank heaven you caught that in time. Worshipping a Porcelain God can be purgative in either direction; worshipping a Pordelian God is just plain blasphemous. Of course Summer Movie Previews always mean: Free Association Monday

Am I wrong or was Speed Racer the movie ironically in development, first with Disney, for like 10 years. And speaking of Disney, is it just me or does Orlando Seale, starring in Miss Conception, sound like a performer at a Florida theme park? Enough already with the double meaning titles: Miss Conception, Miss Guided, Miss Match, Miss Fortune. Next thing you know Xerox will be sponsoring a Miss Feed pageant at our Texas state fair. If I’m not mistaken, ironically Shymalan-lan-lan was a Supremes' scat lyric in The Happening. OK that may not actually be irony, but something about Kung Fu Panda makes me think you were droll before droll was cool. Crap, this is another one of those five minute rushes I finish and realize basically I had nothing to begin with either. Arrrggghh.

Anonymous said...

The women from Sex and the City are "old," Ken? Really? I guess women in their 60's, 70's, and 80's and up are walking mummies, huh? You've been in Hollywood for waaaay too long.

Anonymous said...

The Promotion is Steve Conrad directing his own script, so I have high hopes for it.

Elbow P. Murderpants said...

Speaking of Iron Man here's a chuckle:
http://www.bitstrips.com/read.php?comic_id=44779&feed=c_1

Annie said...

This just in - the bagger at my grocery store this morning has seen 'IronMan' 3 times (birthday, date, and a bris, I think). He said Speed Racer is garbage. So there you have it from the trenches. Back to you, Ken.

P.S.- I want to ball up Bubba Downey, Jr. and throw him against the side of my trailer.

Ken's Damn Friend said...

I await your word, o wise one, on what looks like the first Adam Sandler movie we might actually pay for to see in a theater.

benson said...

OT...

TV Guide.com reporting that Fox has canceled "Back to You".

Anonymous said...

Back to You - A mercy-killing.

I agree, re the "old" comment. Cracks against age... that's what's getting old.

ajmilner said...

GET SMART looks semi-interesting; I think Steve Carrell can rebound from EVAN ALMIGHTY and Anne Hathaway is almost unfairly gorgeous. OTOH, the various GET SMART reunions usually sucked even when they HAD Don Adams, so I don't know whether a hip big- screen update will funny young stars can succeed (Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell in BEWITCHED, anyone?)...

Anonymous said...

Sex in the City Women old? And how are you feeling, Ken?

Anonymous said...

When has Shyamalan EVER made a good movie? He's made a career out of selling pretentious crap.

jbryant said...

Without knowing much about the development history of Iron Man, I'd say the most objectionable thing about Downey's comments is a lack of tact. There's no telling how many scribes worked on that script, nor what kind of notes they had to deal with. Two writing teams are credited, and undoubtedly many other hands were involved. So I wouldn't be shocked if the shooting script were indeed markedly inferior to the final product. But Downey's been around long enough to know that the writers are often the least blameworthy in such cases, especially at the blockbuster level.

Anonymous said...

Sex and the City woman, old? Not any older than you. Quit being such a chauvinist.

Tom Quigley said...

RE: "SURFWISE – documentary about a doctor who left his practice to go to Israel in the 60s to be a surfer. Two shana maidels for every guy."...

Sung by that rockin' Israeli surf duo: Ya'akov and Sh'mu'el....

Tom Quigley said...

...Or for our Hebrew surfin' friends: יַעֲקֹב and שְׁמוּאֵל

Anonymous said...

Eddy Murphy is still doing PG comedies? I thought after that whole illegitimate baby scandal he'd go back to doing more adult stuff.

who do you have to bastardize to get a decent Eddy Murphy cop comedy around here anyway?