The 2011 Release Calendar (July & August)
Wow, this seems fucking light. I like it. Feels like it’s gonna be a limber summer. Not many things I need to pay for. Usually there are multiple studio films packed into the same weekend over the summer. This summer feels like it’ll be nice and – oh, who am I kidding? I know Friedberg and Seltzer have a robot film or some such shit to unleash – but even so, I still think this summer might not be as terrible as summers past. Which is either because the money is more tightly compacted in certain films or (gasp) is put into some end of the year films too.
Whatever. My job here isn’t to think. It’s to berate. Let it begin.
This is the second film directed by Tom Hanks (not to be confused with India’s Otm Shank), the first being That Thing You Do! Just in case you’re really too lazy to go look it up.
This one is about a middle-aged man (guess what his name is), who is fired from his job and goes back to college, where he “unexpectedly forms bonds with his fellow students and a romantic relationship with a professor.” The professor is Julia Roberts. Hanks knows how to make money.
Hanks co-wrote the movie with Nia Vardalos, that Big Fat Greek bitch, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. The fact that he is writing and starring, and that his co-writer is only good at picking out stereotypes in character and making it seem novel to the more stupid of the population (i.e. most people), I’d expect this to not actually be a good movie.
But, Hanks is likeable and rarely makes an out and out bad movie. Seriously, go through Hanks’ filmography and find a movie that wasn’t at the very least tolerable. I know Polar Express was creepy as fuck, but that’s because Bob Zemeckis hadn’t perfected the technology yet, so slightly off-color man in the corner was still full-blown pedophile back then.
Check this list of movies since he made it big: The Toy Story franchise, Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code (DVC (that’s how we call it in the hood) wasn’t incredible, but it’s a solid movie), The Great Buck Howard(cameo role, essentially. His son is the real star, and Malkovich has a nice flashy part), Charlie Wilson’s War, The Polar Express, The Terminal (not amazing, but Spielberg, so, watchable), The Ladykillers (Coen brothers, and a great performance by him), Catch Me If You Can, Road to Perdition, Cast Away, The Green Mile, You’ve Got Mail, Saving Private Ryan, That Thing You Do!, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, Sleepless in Seattle, A League of Their Own, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Joe Versus the Volcano, Turner & Hooch, The ‘burbs, Punchline, Big.
See that? The only questionable movies here are ones he made before his Oscars. Not to mention, there are a few really underrated films on here like The ‘burbs. The man makes eminently watchable movies. So this should be a matter of what gives.
3 stars. Let the movie decide if it’s made for money or quality. Or both. I can accept both.
Uh oh, we got an unforgivable watch here. We have to, when your stars are a Disney channel teen, a Gossip Girl, and Dead Best Friend from Taken. It’s a “comedy,” don’t get me right. I’m just hoping all three of these characters end up like that bitch from Taken – or any of the ones whose father wasn’t Liam Neeson.
This movie is about “three young girls” – have to specify the word young, don’t you? The fact that all three of the stars are under the age of 25 isn’t enough – who, “use their savings” – what savings? Is this another movie where they’re all rich for no reason other than it’s convenient? – for a “dream trip to Paris which turns out to big a big disaster.” – for them, or for the audience? – “When they decide to break from their lousy tour” – did they really plan a trip to Paris and then do tourist shit? Stupid Americans. – and “sneak into the lobby of a 5-star hotel” – wait, wait, wait, wait…so many questions from those 8-9 hyphenated words. First – why is it required to sneak into the lobby of a 5-star hotel? Is this like a Dunston Checks In kind of hotel? It must be – everyone is a huge stereotype who is really into their job and takes shit like that seriously. Now, two – why are they nowhere near a 5-star hotel? I ask this because, even if the movie does treat them like real people…you know, living in middle class homes, saving up shit tons of money, bargaining with mom and dad that you’re doing this instead of that car you wanted, and staying in a hostel during the trip (though I’d wager this movie has them staying in a hi-lariously cheap hotel where they have to share a bathroom with a fat man who takes up all the shower room and takes really loud shits in the morning)…even if the movie has them doing this, these three look like they’re fucking rich! They’re all going to be wearing designer clothes! How about you cunts sell the shit off your backs in exchange for a habitable room! Anyway, while sneaking into the hotel – “one of the girls is mistaken for a spoiled British heiress” – I hate it when that happens. I almost mistook all three of them for spoiled American cum guzzlers – and “before they get the chance to reveal their true identities” – naturally. This is always how it works. “We were gonna reveal our identities, but you see, what had happened was…” – “the girls are wrapped in a whirlwind of paparazzi, private planes, couture gowns, storybook romances and living the glamorous life of Monte Carlo – oh sweet Jesus, she has a penis. No, not the actresses…well, who knows…but oh dear god, this is going to suck. What makes it even worse is that the main guy from Glee is one of the love interests. He’s playing, surprise surprise, a football player. Shows you his range, doesn’t it? Gas range. This one goes up to 1.1.
1 star. Possible, and almost definitely to be shortlisted, unforgivable.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Easily one of my top five most anticipated movies of 2011. This will be the first 3D movie I see in theaters since Avatar. Why? Because Bay has earned it. He knows “you can’t just shit out a 3D movie.” The man will make this worthwhile. He acknowledges the second one wasn’t up to snuff, and, given the man’s nature, will give us something awesome to end the franchise with.
This interview alone tells me the man will make this more than worthwhile. I won’t bet against him. The man shoots panties really well.
4 stars. The last one was like a 3. The first one was like a 5. Let’s play the odds. Evens. 4 is an even number. Fuck you, semantics. Look at me….being so Anti-Semantic.
One for the Money
(This is the subtitle to Katherine Heigl’s career.)
Due to a lack of picture availability, I will be posting one from Two For the Money, which I’m sure will prove to be twice the film this one turns out to be.
Here is a movie I can almost guarantee you will be shortlisted for (and likely make) the unforgivables list come January. It has to. It just has to.
Why does it have to, you ask, naysayer? Because the film stars Katherine Heigl, who is perhaps one of the top five people you can guarantee to make a bad movie. And not only that, the book it’s based on is a “mystery” novel written by a female “author” who, before that book wrote (this is straight from wikipedia) “11 marginally successful romance novels published in limited amounts per month.” Puts a new spin on Dickens, doesn’t it? There is no way both the books and the movie will, and do, suck. How do I know the books suck? They’re targeted toward women and are consistently on the New York Times Best Seller list. Also, I can guarantee you that whatever “mystery” is, in fact, in this book, will be downplayed for the “comedic” and “romance” angles in the movie. Essentially this will become just another shitty Heigl movie where there’s another one of those “comedy” moments where she has to chase down an evildoer while wearing really expensive heels. You know there will be. She does about as much for feminism as a nice blowjob followed up by a sandwich.
Still don’t believe me? Check the plot – “Unemployed and newly-divorced Stephanie Plum lands a job at her cousin’s bail-bond business, where her first assignment puts her on the trail of a wanted local cop from her romantic past.”
I rest my case.
0 stars. You know how they force retire old executives when they stop being useful? Actually, better yet, do you know how they euthanize pets?
So, here’s the unofficial sequel to Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
Let’s hope he gets fucking mauled.
This is gonna have to fight real fucking hard to not make an unforgivables list. Listen to this fucking synopsis.
“The animals at the zoo adore their overweight caretaker Griffin Kayes (Kevin James), an amiable but lonely guy who’s never quite fit in. Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides he should leave the zoo and get a life.”
First off…you have to specify how overweight he is? Is this all Kevin James exists for? To be called fat for humor? Also, fit into what, pants? Hey, you started it, synopsis. Also, does this mean he likes to fuck lions? Is this Madagascar with a fat person?
“When the zoo animals discover his plan, they decide to break their code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk! Now they won’t shut up and they’re teaching Griffin nature’s best mating rituals. To help him win the girl of his dreams (Rosario Dawson) and save their happy family, they’re willing to do — or say — anything.”
“Code of silence?” They’re making them talk? Oh, no. Also, must there be an exclamation point after talk? This sounds like the back of a bad children’s book (and believe me, I know how a bad children’s book reads). Also, teaching him “nature’s best mating rituals?” This is The Animal part 2, isn’t it?
Oh, dear god, the apocalypse is upon us.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
I just want to remind everyone that this happened. So did this:
Also, remember when Dobby got knifed? That was fucking funny, wasn’t it?
I mean, objectively, a house elf got prison shanked. That’s fucking hysterical.
Let’s not sugar coat this. I want to see it, you want to see it, we’re all going to see it. Ice cream.
I just hope it turns out better than the last one did.
(Apparently this is the only picture anyone has of this movie.)
At first glance, this sounds like it’s going to be a terrible movie.
“The plot is about a male student, who got suspended from university, is lured into babysitting, but is woefully equipped to do the task this evening.”
The Pacifier all over again. But with Jonah Hill instead of Vin Diesel.
However, here are three points of hope for this movie. One, the script was on the Black List. I know that’s never a guarantee anymore (judging from where that list has popped up on these blog posts), but it’s a start. Two, it’s starring Jonah Hill. Also not a guarantee, since he was pretty vanilla in Get Him to the Greek. But, three, it’s being directed by David Gordon Green. This is a man who has directed, George Washington, All the Real Girls, Snow Angels, Pineapple Express and Your Highness. So the man can direct suburban family dramas and dark/stoner comedies. Nowhere in there suggests this movie will become an over-the-top bad studio movie. I’m not ruling it out, but, there’s hope for this, is what I’m saying.
3 stars. Possible 4, possible 2. So I guess we’ll just see, won’t we?
Winnie the Pooh
Add this to my list of most anticipated movies of 2011. Oh my god, this is the best news to come out of Disney since they went back to 2D. This movie has a legit shot of hitting all points in the Disney Movie Venn Diagram. That’s a rubric I came up with to base the quality of Disney movies.
The three that I have (I’m sure there are actually more, but…low-tech operation), are “hand-drawn animation,” “good movie,” and “not that racist.” All Disney movies fit somewhere within the diagram of these three categories. For example, Fantasia. Fantasia is a great movie, and it’s a perfect example of hand-drawn animation. However, it’s racist as hell. So it fits in the sweet spot (since it’s not completely racist … I mean, it’s no Dumbo), so it fits in that middle area, further away from “not that racist,” but closer and equidistant to the other two. All the best Disney movies fit in that sweet spot where the three overlap.
This movie I’m expecting to possibly hit all three of those spots. I mean, it’s Winnie the Pooh, how racist can it be? We’re not dealing with New Orleans here. Plus, it’s definitely hand-drawn animation (and it looks gorgeous), and it should be a pretty good movie.
Best thing about this? Eeyore is voiced by Chuckles the clown from Toy Story 3.
5 stars. Go Disney. More of this. It’s okay to stick with things you know now. Soon you get back into the original material, like Tangled, and do that in hand-drawn … oh, man, you might be bringing the 90s back. Except this time, everyone won’t hate each other.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Oh boy, another superhero. Now I know why Hollywood has backed off the number of sequels. They’re coming up with superhero movies instead. I mean, this is mostly Marvel, but still, when is enough enough? There is no way all of these can succeed.
Have you seen the pictures of Chris Evans as Steve Rogers? He looks like he was named in the Mitchell Report. And it’s being directed by Joe Johnston? Really? This is a man fresh off sloppy seconds from the Wolfman, and the best movies he has under his belt are Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer, The Pagemaster, Jumanji and Jurassic Park III. I mean, he’s not terrible, but he’s not exactly Mr. Style, now, is he?
Iwill say, though, that of all the superhero movies, this is the one that intrigues me the most. Probably because this is the most realistic of the bunch. This is a dude that’s not (that) genetically mutated. I mean, he gets super fit and shit, but he’s still a regular dude. Thor is the son of a fucking Norse god, and…well I guess Green Lantern has a ring, but his weakness is the color yellow, and that’s just pussy.
The cast is also the most intriguing. I like Chris Evans. I think he has personality. I don’t think he’s amazing, but I think he gets the job done in a fairly likeable manner. The man helped save the Fantastic Four movies. Now I think he’s going to show what he can do. And casting Hugo Weaving as the villain is always a good idea. Especially if he’s going to have a big red fucking head. If anyone can pull that off convincingly, Hugo Weaving can. And Hayley Atwell is a good choice too, because no one knows who she is. Basically the opposite of the Natalie Portman choice.
Also, the reason I’m digging this is because it’s a period piece, set in 1942, and Red Skull is actually Hitler’s head of advanced weaponry. When Hitler is involved in a superhero movie, I’m all in.
4 stars. I’m saying this is the best superhero movie of the summer. In the winter.
Friends with Benefits
I won’t say anything about this movie at all. Only, watch this trailer:
Then watch this one:
Which one you wanna see?
Cowboys & Aliens
It’s pretty much that simple. Who said the best concepts are high-concept? Though technically this is high-concept. This is how Hollywood works. Snakes on a Plane was considered high-concept. Maybe this is why creativity is lacking in storytelling.
Basically, aliens show up, cowboys fight them. This is all we know. Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, and — some other people. Who cares, really? I’ll see it.
I’ll call it 4 stars. But, this really has a chance to go down to 3. Why? Because I don’t trust this film. Something tells me it might not work with Favreau. I want to know the first Iron Man wasn’t a fluke. #2 didn’t really do anything to help his case. I like westerns. I hate aliens. So, let’s hope the western wins out.
Okay, here’s a movie that I can’t see being good. Why? Because it’s Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. Again. Jesus Horatio Christ. Not only that, they took the exact two supporting guys from Going the Distance (the two most over the top caricatures in the movie) and made them co-leads. Oh boy.
The only thing that intrigues me about this are the fact that the bosses are played by Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. I would assume. They’re all in the cast, and if they’re the bosses, then I’ll go in mostly hoping for good things. Donald Sutherland is in it too, but I doubt he’s a boss. The two things that further intrigue me are the fact that Jamie Foxx’s character is called “Motherfucker Jones,” and what Colin Farrell looks like in this. Going all Les Grossman with it.
The plot is about three friends who all decide their bosses are getting in the way of their happiness (yeah, that’s what it is. the horrible bosses are you sons of bitches), and they all decide to kill them. From the director of that masterpiece Four Christmases.
2 stars. Those bosses earn two. Everyone else earned -3. If this movie cannot earn 2 stars, with those supporting characters, it is exponentially more likely to be unforgivable.
Crazy Stupid Love
I hate Steve Carell. Do not like him. Do not find him funny, don’t think he’s all that entertaining to watch. That said, I liked him in Little Miss Sunshine. So, chances are, I will find this movie unbearable because of him.
It’s about Steve. He’s living the dream (Whose dream?). He’s got a good job, nice house, kids, a wife. Well, scratch off wife. Julianne Moore wants a divorce. She’s his wife. So, now his life unravels. Because now — drumroll please — actually fuck it, someone just hand me a couple of frag grenades to head this shit off at the pass — he becomes single again. Basically he goes to find someone, can’t, because, you know, he hasn’t done it in 20 years. Then he’s taken on as a wingman by Ryan Gosling, who “open’s (Steve’s) eyes to many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style.” And, in what must be a sign of bad things (or good things, depending on how it’s played. You be the judge on how you think this is gonna be played), a parallel is shown in Steve’s 13-year old boy, who’s got a crush on his babysitter, who, has a crush on Steve. Yeah, it’s one of those. Could have been okay without the last part (and a lot of miracles), but, no. This will suck. Or, at least be marginally intolerable.
2 stars. Why not 3? Because this last line of the synopsis.
“And despite Cal’s makeover, the one thing that can’t be made over is his heart, which seems to keep leading him back to where he began.”
Hang on while I go find a rope.
La, la, la, la, la, la — who thought up this abortion?
I guess this could be entertaining if it’s not a fish out of water comedy with Alvin and the Chipmunk situations.
Oh, wait, that picture….so, they just stole the plot of Enchanted and put smurfs in it instead?
Yeah, I’m sure that will work.
Don’t tempt me with Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays, I won’t give in.
Ah, the body swap comedy. A staple for the ages. Those ages being 13-17. When’s the last time one of these movies was any good? I mean, this picture intrigues me, what with Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde and all. Reynolds has a habit of either choosing good material or being the best thing in the movie. One example: The Proposal. Here’s a shitty Sandra Bullock rom-com that could be terrible. And it is pretty bad all around — except for the fact that Ryan Reynolds provides so much chemistry and character in his exchanges with Sandy the Bullock that I actually enjoyed parts of that movie. I actually really liked their bickering. The rest of the movie was for shit, but their bickering was really well done.
Aside from that, Reynolds generally chooses good projects. So, this brings me hope that this movie won’t be so bad. Plus, Olivia Wilde is awesome, and Leslie Mann is awesome. I can do without the obvious baseball metaphor or whatever in the title, but we’ll go with it. My one problem, the one thing that makes me think this movie will be pretty bad, is the film’s other co-star — the one who’s swapping shit with Ryan Reynolds — and that’s Jason Bateman.
I know, I know, I think we should kill this fuck too. Well, not kill him, just retire him to TV. Get him out of my movies. This title is so close to The Switch I can’t help but assume the quality (or lack thereof) of that film rubbed off and ejaculated onto this one.
My other problem with this film is the synopsis: “A comedy in which a married guy ((da na na na na na na na) Bateman) switches bodies with his best friend (Reynolds) in order to woo his co-worker.”
So, he’s switching bodies on his own accord? This is like, some standard thing? Just switch bodies when you need to accomplish something? Want to take his face….off? What the fuck is this movie?
2 stars. Assume the worst.
The Darkest Hour
+1 star if the sequel is called “The Dawn.”
Why this intrigues me more than that other bullshit like Skyline: It’s about an alien invasion, in Russia. Not in an American city. Why that’s good? None of those bullshit stock characters that you want to see die. At least I hope.
Plus it stars Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby. Plus Australian chick from Transformers is in it and so is Max Minghella, son of the late (meaning dead) director Anthony Minghella (no relation. Aside from father), and star of Art School Confidential, which I’m guessing most of you haven’t heard of. He was also in Social Network as that vaguely Indian guy that hung out with the twins and was like, “This fucker stole our idea!”
I have hopes that this isn’t that bad.
3 stars. My hopes aren’t that high.
No, this is not a comedy about the waiters, doormen and housekeepers that work at a fancy hotel. That’s what you think it would be, right? Wrong. This is about black maids working for white people. Couldn’t you tell from the picture.
Viola Davis is a maid who spent most of her life raising white children, and just lost her own son. Octavia Spencer is another maid, who keeps getting fired despite her family needing money and her needing jobs. Emma Stone (one of these things is not like the other) is a white girl (I was surprised too), who comes home from college to find out her childhood maid has disappeared. The three stories (naturally, this is Hollywood) intertwine and revolve around how white people in Mississippi need “the help.” And it’s about racial lines and shit, but I think the south needing “the help” pretty much covered it. This is why I like puns. They take care of two races with one Stone.
3 stars. I like Emma Stone.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Man, does Jim Carrey need this movie to succeed. Big time. He has not had a hit in seven years. Which basically makes him dead in this industry. This seems like a good film to help him do it.
Basically, he’s a rich businessman who inherits six penguins. The book had a poor painter inherit twelve penguins. Sometimes these things get lost in rewrites. Both times the men’s lives change for the better.
Carla Gugino’s in it. I like her. The director leaves much to be desired, though.
3 stars. I’ll see it. But I’ll probably end up indifferent toward it, or at best think, “Meh, it wasn’t bad.”
30 Minutes or Less
This film was ranked (high) on last year’s black list. This is once again either a legit good thing or studio rigging. Either way, this could still suck, either because of studio rigging or studio interfering. Basically I now assume all high ranking Black List scripts that aren’t the ones that sound amazing, aren’t.
It’s being directed by Ruben Fleischer, who directed Zombieland, so that’s a plus. Jesse Eisenberg is also in it. Another plus. His costar is Aziz Ansari. That’s not a plus. Based on what I’ve seen him in, I don’t like him. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong in this, though. Danny McBride is in it. He usually helps things. Also, the script does sound like it can be really good.
Danny McBride and his partner want a guy killed. They want access to Danny’s father’s insurance money. To do this, they need to hire an assassin. But assassins are expensive. $100,000 expensive. So, instead, they decide to kidnap a pizza deliveryman (Eisenberg) and force him to rob a bank with a bomb strapped to his chest that’s set to blow in 8 hours. So, for the next eight hours, Eisenberg and Aziz need to get the money to pay for the assassin so Danny McBride’s father can be killed before the bomb strapped to Eisenberg’s chest goes off. Sounds like fun.
Conan the Barbarian
The rare breed of the sword and sorcery film (is there any other kind?). The remake of the Arnold Schwarzenegger film from the 80s. I, for one, cannot wait.
Conan will destroy shit. It will be glorious. His supporting cast is Rachel Nichols (green woman in Star Trek and Scarlett O’Hara in G.I. Joe), Stephen Lang (badass dude from Avatar, Mr. I Can Hold My Breath For Minutes While Shooting At a Helicopter), Rose McGowen, Saïd Taghmaoui (who is awesome. You may remember him as the guy who takes Marky Mark hostage in Three Kings. He was also the G.I. Joe communications officer.), and, Ron Perlman. So, this will be awesome.
4 stars. Probably more like 3, but I’m assuming this case scenario will be met:
+1 for Conan uttering the immortal line (when asked “What is best in life?”), “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!”
That is good.
This is a remake of the 80s film. Anton Yelchin (Chekov from Star Trek) is a teen convinced his neighbor is a vampire. He is. Colin Farrell is the vampire. Toni Collette is the kid’s mother who doesn’t believe him but nonetheless falls under the vampire’s spell. David Tennant (one of the Dr. Whos, and Barty Crouch in Order of the Phoenix) is a magician (I mean, look at him up there. What the fuck else could his occupation be? Mason?) who claims to be a vampire expert. The kid solicits him for advice. He’s not. Also, McLovin’ is the kid’s best friend who’s pissed the kid left the nerdy ways and joins the vampire’s coven.
So, this is a movie. I’m guessing it won’t be as campy as the 80s one. 3 stars. Lack of camp is not a good thing. This is the summer.
Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World
Does anyone even know where they got the title from?
Any help? Didn’t think so.
This movie is named after the Bond song Louis Armstrong song sung over the end credits of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I know, that was gonna be your next guess. Why Robert Rodriguez picked such an obscure subtitle is beyond me. The reason they have all the time in the world is because she’s dead. Then again, maybe it’s a fitting state of the franchise.
This one is about Rebecca and Cecil whose stepmother is Marissa Cortez (apparently related to Ingrid Cortez, Carla Gugino in the first three movies. This one is Jessica Alba), who married their father, a “spy-hunting reporter.” He’s played by Joel McHale. She is a retired spy from the Spy Kids organization thing. Whatever it is. The world then gets threatened by Jeremy Piven. He tries taking over the planet and shit. Then Jessica Alba gets called back into action. So, the kids, in order to save the world, give up their hatred of mother to join the cause. I hate it when that happens. Then they get help from the original spy kids, who act as Q and give them gadgets and shit.
3 stars. Why not? Though this is obviously a 2. But why not? Let’s assume it’ll suck normally and not majorly.
Final Destination 5
Clear end of the summer movie. I don’t give a fuck. I haven’t given a fuck for four films now. Just end this shit and get it out of my theaters.
2 stars. Fuck you. Use a goddamn GPS and find out where you’re going already.