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The 2017 Film Release Calendar: May

Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for the year. I go through the existing release calendar, month by month, and guess how much or how little I’m going to like each of the films.

The major benefit is that it allows me, come the end of the year, to see which movies ended up surprising me for better or for worse, or which ones I had wildly disproportionate expectations for. It also gives me a chance to know what’s coming out and what to look forward to.

I also take all the films that are filming or in post and theoretically able to come out that year and preview those too, along with all the films from the previous year(s) that have yet to come out that I’ve been tracking. In all, I end up previewing more films than pretty much anyone else, I’ve been told.

May

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

The first one was a really nice surprise. This one won’t have those kinds of surprises in it. It should still have the fun aspect, but I don’t think it’ll have things we don’t quite expect. Which should prevent this from going 4 stars like the previous movie did.

3.5 stars seems like it’ll be an exact guess. Marvel, even the mediocre ones, get 3.5 stars out of me most of the time, even if I don’t particularly like the films. I thought Doctor Strange was mediocre, and I gave it 3.5 stars. So I’m assuming I’ll get 3.5 out of this, unless it’s some severe disaster. 4 stars is not out of the question, but I can’t assume a sequel will be as good as the first film. 3.5 just seems obvious with this. Especially with a trailer that wasn’t particularly great. Just okay.

The Dinner

A look at how far parents will go to protect their children. Feature film based on a novel by Herman Koch.

Always terrible loglines this early in the year.

Oren Moverman is directing this, and so far I’ve liked his three previous movies. In fact, they’ve all been 3.5 stars.

From what I’m gathering, this sounds a lot like the movie/play Carnage, where some couples meet at dinner to discuss some fucked up shit their kids did. Richard Gere and Laura Linney star, which is nice. And Rebecca Hall and Steve Coogan and Chloe Sevigny. So nice cast all around.

Fuck it. 3.5 stars. Trust the director and the cast. The date feels like the spot for a 3.5 star indie film being released under the nose of the major blockbuster.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Feature film version of the classic King Arthur story.

Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie finally comes out after being pushed and pushed.

As much as I love Guy Ritchie, I don’t know what to make of this. The first half of the trailer looks like Guy Ritchie said, “Fuck telling this the regular way,” and threw his style on it and livened up what is otherwise something nobody cares about. But then the second half looks like a big CGI mess that nobody cares about.

My history with Guy Ritchie says go 3.5 stars, but I have to say 3 stars here. I know I’m getting 3 no matter what, but I can’t assume 3.5 stars with something this big. The amount of possibility for reshoots (especially given it being pushed) and the studio taking over and making it less Guy Ritchie and more generic swords and creatures is just too great for me to ignore.

I’d like this to be good, but I can’t assume it’ll be.

Lowriders

A young street artist in East Los Angeles is caught between his father’s obsession with lowrider car culture, his ex-felon brother and his need for self-expression.

I see what this is trying to be. I’ll give it a shot.

3 stars.

Doubt I’ll love it, but I’m sure it’ll be respectful enough.

Snatched

When her boyfriend dumps her, Emily, a spontaneous woman in her 30s, persuades her ultra-cautious mom to accompany her on a vacation to Ecuador. At Emily’s insistence, the pair seek out adventure, but suddenly find themselves kidnapped. When these two very different women are trapped on this wild journey, their bond as mother and daughter is tested and strengthened while they attempt to navigate the jungle and escape.

I saw a trailer for this.

This looks really bad.

Like, Unforgivable bad.

The writer wrote The Heat (Unforgivable) and Ghostbusters (not her fault, but also not something that works in her favor).

The director actually made some stuff I like. The Wackness was good. 50/50 was good. Warm Bodies was fine. The Night Before I enjoyed. So that gives me a little bit of hope, but not enough to overcome the rest of it.

This will make a lot of money and I will hate it. Like all of these movies.

2 stars.

Paris Can Wait

Anne is at a crossroads in her life. Long married to a successful, driven but inattentive movie producer, she unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with a business associate of her husband. What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a carefree two-day adventure replete with diversions involving picturesque sights, fine food and wine, humor, wisdom and romance, reawakening Anne’s senses and giving her a new lust for life.

The synopsis doesn’t sound great, I know. But Eleanor Coppola wrote and directed this, and I’m gonna give it a shot because of that.

You should know who she is by the name, and also know that Hearts of Darkness… that’s all her.

It stars Diane Lane and Alec Baldwin, which is cool.

I’m gonna go 3 stars here. I won’t say I’ll love it, but I think it’ll be watchable.

Alien: Covenant

The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

I wasn’t excited for this for the longest time.

That trailer, though.

That trailer makes it look like we’re getting back to some real Alien shit.

Though… the trailer makes it look like we’re getting back to some real Alien shit.

It looks a lot like the first movie… but also in that Force Awakens kind of way, where… we may just be remaking the first movie.

I like (most of) the cast (Franco), and I think that ultimately this will be good.

4 stars.

I want this to be 4. I will accept 3.5. Anything less will be a huge disappointment.

Simply repeating the original model will also be a disappointment. But as long as it’s fun, it won’t be a huge disappointment.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

Greg convinces his family to take a road trip to attend his great grandmother’s 90th birthday as a cover for what he really wants: to attend a nearby gamer convention. Unsurprisingly, things do not go according to plan and Heffley family antics ensue.

I’ve seen exactly none of these movies, and will not see this one.

This is a year where all the skips fell. Shit happens.

2.5 stars, just because. But unless I see the first two, this ain’t happening.

Everything, Everything

A teenager who’s lived a sheltered life because she’s allergic to everything, falls for the boy who moves in next door.

K.

3 stars.

I’m sure it’ll be passable young adult stuff.

Bonus points for female director, black female lead and mixed race romance at the center. That alone is gonna get major credit from me in the rating.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

Following the events of the first film, Surly and his friends must stop Oakton City’s mayor from destroying their home to make way for a dysfunctional amusement park.

I will never begrudge a film for a pun subtitle.

2 stars.

This will be a piece of shit, but major points for the pun subtitle.

I also may be, at the end of this year, one of about 2% of the population that is caught up on the Nut Job franchise.

The theatrical Nut Job franchise. Not the one that includes Nut Job 7: Anal Smorgasbord.

(Though I’m also caught up on that one too.)

Baywatch

Two unlikely prospective lifeguards vie for jobs alongside the buff bodies who patrol a beach in California.

Hoo, boy.

I was content to let this one fly under the radar, but I happened upon a trailer in a movie theater, so I now know what I’m getting with this.

And it’s not good.

2.5 stars.

This is on Unforgivable watch. Even with Dwayne Johnson.

This looks like they took the 21 Jump Street model, but had frat bros write it without any of the sense of irony. I’m really dreading this one now.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.

It’s Pirates. I don’t give a fuck what it’s about at this point. I know what I’m gonna think, whether it’s a piece of shit or not. (And the last one, as much as I enjoyed it, was a piece of shit.)

Depp will do his Sparrow thing, Geoffrey Rush will be awesome, Javier Bardem will be generic and evil, and there will be more fun moments than not.

Hopefully they figure out the key to this franchise is smaller, more punctuated Sparrow and more ambiguity as to his motivations. But I’m guessing they won’t.

Either way, 4 stars. Gotta say 4 because I need to feel the sense of disappointment if this sucks. I should, by all accounts, say 3.5 stars, but this is where we’re at. Even if this sucks, I’m more forgiving on this franchise than most.

Because, what the hell else do we have to look forward to, summer franchise wise?

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