Summer Cinema 2012: Season of the Geek

So I saw The Avengers last week (two armoured thumbs up—fun movie with some actual story and a bit of character development), and there were a bunch of trailers on the front of it.  Those trailers got me thinking a little bit about the genre movies coming up this summer.  Counting up major releases, there were initially more than I thought even though I’d heard something about all of them.  Maybe I had a couple in my head as not being any time soon, or maybe I’d just hoped.

Either way, here’s an in advance roundup of genre Movies coming this summer and whether or not I intend to see them.

Battleship – 18 May 2012

Yup, this released this weekend.  I honestly have no idea how this got made into a big blockbuster movie.  And not that I think Liam Neeson has been all that discriminating in his choices of roles in the last few years (yes, he’s done some really good work, too), but even with a truckload of money to back it up, the only reason I can think of for him to have taken this role is if he gets to shout, “You sank my battleship!” at some alien monstrosity.  It’s the only scene I want to see.  Basing a movie on an 80 year old board game is just more proof for me thatHollywoodis full of fear when it comes to trying something new.

Men In Black 3 – 25 May 2012

I’m actually probably going to pass on this one completely.  It’s possible that it might be well written and entertaining, and it’s possible my wife (who’s a huge Will Smith fan) might get me to rent it.  Left to my own devices, I’ll never see it.  Sequels shouldn’t take ten years, especially when I think the primary reason they waited so long is that they wanted to give me time to forget how bad the last sequel was.  The original Men In Black, way back in 1997, was a fun movie.  I wish I’d never seen the second one and it’s spoiled me for the third.

Prometheus – 08 Jun 2012

I want to have high hopes for this one, and I’ll probably see it in the theatre but that’s mostly because I’ll see it with my teenage son (I’m thrilled he and I have some similar tastes).  Yes, I know it’s been reworked a bit so that it isn’t an Alien prequel.  That would probably be a good thing if it were true, but no one believes it (including me).  There are too many things in the trailers that scream “Alien” in spite of all of the protestations that it’s just a story set in the same universe.  Another problem: it’s another case of far too long since the last movie (unless I count AVP: Requiem which was a mere five years ago).

Brave – 22 Jun 2012

This one actually looks good.  Not just because I’m a Pixar fan (which I am) or a Billy Connolly fan (ditto), but because it seems to promise a good story and it’s got a strong, non-stereotyped female lead character.  I’ve got daughters, and that’s important to me.  This is definitely a theatre movie.  Opening weekend?  Well, that will depend on my schedule at the time.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter – 22 Jun 2012

I’m getting tired of the classical literature-genre mash-ups (yes this is a bit different but it absolutely fits into the same category), but I have to admit this has some potential even if it doesn’t quite speak to me.  I’m familiar with President Lincoln, but only in the way of a few bits and pieces of historical fact as taught in a different country.  Throw in a little pop culture and an original series Star Trek episode, and I have a hard time with a late 19th century US president hunting vampires with an axe.  Still, no one was born in a stovepipe hat with a chinstrap, and he’s hunting vampires with an axe so that’s got to be cool, right?  Not sure how well it will play outside the US, but I think I’d like to see this one.  Probably can wait for the bluray release, though.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation – 29 Jun 2012

Okay, so the first G.I. Joe movie wasn’t exactly spectacular, but this one looks like it could be better.  Why, you ask?  Well, they’ve spent the money to get Bruce Willis to join the cast.  If they spent a little money to get some good writers, this could turn out to be a pretty good flick.  Mr. Willis improves every movie he’s in, so that boosts the potential of this movie for me.  However, it will probably have to stay in theatres past opening week for me to have a hope of seeing it there.  Otherwise a rental.

The Amazing Spider-Man – 03 Jul 2012

Really, a reboot?  Wasn’t Spider-Man 3, train wreck though it was, only five years ago?  Do we need a reboot already?  Comic book wise, my feet are firmly in the Marvel universe, but I find it disappointing that they need to rework and retell Spidey’s origin story again already.  Do something new.  Oh, right.  I forgot.  New is scary and so to be avoided at all costs.  Rental at best.

The Dark Knight Rises – 20 Jul 2012

Debating this one in my head.  I found certain events in “The Dark Knight” a little disturbing and I’m normally looking to be entertained by a movie rather than disturbed, never mind that the PG-13 rating was a joke so they could sell movie-themed toys to kids who shouldn’t have been able to see the movie.  Is this one going to push even more in that psychological direction?  Probably.  I didn’t see “The Dark Knight” until it reached TV.  I can probably wait for this one to do the same.  Never mind the rampant rumours of a reboot scheduled for 2015.  <sigh>

Total Recall – 03 Aug 2012

This almost has to be better than the movie it’s a remake of.  No trip to Mars and it looks like this story might be a lot closer to the Phillip K. Dick short story it’s based on, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”.  If you haven’t read it, you should.  Fair chance we’ll see this in the theatre.  We as in Gamer Boy and me.  He’s already expressed interest.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green – 15 Aug 2012

On the surface of things, this looks like the story of a real live cabbage patch kid.  Maybe he’s actually an alien or fey or some other strange creature, but by the teaser, he appears from the garden covered in dirt and adopts a pair of sweet but infertile adults.  Hijinks ensue.  This might actually have a little bit of originality in it.  Probably a rental, but we’ll see as we get closer.

Dredd – 21 Sep 2012

This is hard to judge without some kind of trailer.  I was never a big Judge Dredd fan back in the day, and I don’t think I’ve ever managed to sit through the Stallone movie adaptation from the mid 90s.  My impulse is that I’ll have no problems waiting for this one.  That may change.

Looper – 28 Sep 2012

The premise here isn’t new, although it is a bit risqué for Hollywood.  Time travel can be fun when it’s done well, although it isn’t often, even in Star Trek which seems to dominate the sub-genre pretty well.  Being sent back from the future by the mob in order to be executed in an out of the way untraceable fashion is a good start to things.  Throw in Bruce Willis (have I mentioned I love his work?) and what look like they might be some solid action sequences, and you’ve got some potential.  The end of September is a long way off, and I’ll wait to see a little more detail, but this has the potential to be a theatre viewing for me.

The final tally for summer genre films I’m aware of:

Theatre: 5.  Prometheus, Brave, G.I. Joe (maybe), Total Recall, Looper.  More than I expected.  It takes the promise of a good story and good special effects to get me into a theatre these days, but the kids get me to go to things I wouldn’t otherwise just so I can share the experience with them.  Really, left completely to my own choices, Brave and Looper are the only two I’d personally pick, and without kids I’d wait for Brave as a rental.

Rental: 3.  Abe Lincloln, Spidey, Tim Green.  Actually, I might even be able to wait for Spider-Man to reach cable.

TV: 2.  Dark Knight Rises, Dredd.  And likely only if I happen to run across them while surfing.

Pass: 2.  Battleship, Men In Black 3.

Did I miss any?


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