Two of this summer’s movies, Rock of Ages and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, will be released on DVD this month, and while on the surface they have nothing to do with each other, I’ve been describing them by comparison all summer.
These two movies have one important thing in common: cheese. Big, gooey globs of cheese. Rock of Ages isn’t good–it’s gouda. I’m pretty sure Tom Cruise’s fake gun-in-the-pants tattoo would shoot cheese curds. Instead of film reels, it was distributed on wheels of cheddar. It’s that cheesy. But I love it.
As I sat through a half-hour of trailers at The Hunger Games this past weekend, I realized how many geektastic movies are coming out this summer that I’m going to want to see. Seriously. It’s absolute madness how many geek-appealing movies are crammed into the next few months. I’m already behind, having not yet seen John Carter or Mirror Mirror yet. And since it’s not often an easy task to get out to a movie when you have small children, that means it’s time to make a list and start prioritizing! Bookmark this post with what’s coming between now and September, and let’s make a pact together to see as many as we can. Who’s in?
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope (April 6)
This one came out a few days ago, but that means you’ve still got a chance to see Morgan Spurlock’s shot at a documentary of the con-fan experience.
The Cabin In The Woods (April 13)
I was lucky enough to see this at SXSW. As I told you then, don’t watch the trailer, but if you’re a Whedon fan, don’t let this one out of the theaters without seeing it.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (April 27)
A PG rating for Hugh Grant’s first animated role means you can take some of your kids to this swashbuckling flick based on Gideon Defoe’s books. The cast also features David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, and Martin Freeman.
The Raven (April 27)
For the high school Poe nerds. John Cusack.
The Avengers (May 4)
May the fourth be with you… no, wrong movie franchise. Couldn’t help it. But this is really the summer blockbuster we’re all waiting for, isn’t it? And when I mean waiting, I mean four years since the first teaser at the end of Iron Man. No pressure, Whedon.
Dark Shadows (May 11)
Frankly, I’ll see anything with crazy Helena Bonham Carter being crazy. This Tim Burton take on the late-60s TV show looks fun, but maybe dollar-theater fun.
Battleship (May 18)
When I heard they were making a movie based on a board game, I imagined a two-hour long version of the old commercials. The trailer looks fun after all (and Alexander Skarsgård? I’m there…), but this movie better feature the line, “You sunk my battleship!”
Men In Black III (May 25)
Really? Sigh. But… who among us of a certain age doesn’t have quite fond memories of the first two? So you know you’re going to have to see this one too.
Snow White and The Huntsman (June 1)
I admit to derisively referring to this as “Snow Twilight.” The movie still looks good, as long as I can get over the casting. Or I could just see Mirror Mirror and call it good on summer doses of that particular fairy tale.
Prometheus (June 8)
This was originally meant to be a two-part prequel to Alien, but has become more of a same-universe story than a prequel. Still wouldn’t hurt to re-watch Alien beforehand.
Safety Not Guaranteed (June 8)
This movie based on a classified ad in The Copenhagen Post seeking a time travel partner (Know your meme!) was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
World War Z (June 21) Correction: This one won’t be out until 2013.
Post-apocalyptic horror based on the book by the same name. I’m not a Brad Pitt fan, but I do like zombies and Matthew Fox. I’m making a note to read the book first.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22)
Based on the novel of the same name, this can go only two ways: really good or really bad. There’s no middle ground in a Lincoln/vampire mashup.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (June 29)
Just in case your childhood hasn’t been sufficiently relived and/or slaughtered by movies in the last few years, here’s one more dose.
The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3)
Here’s how this reboot happened: “No Spider-Man 4? Whatev. Guess we’ll just start over.” But it’s Spider-Man, so of course we’ll all see it. The sequel is set for release May 2, 2014.
Ted (July 13)
The quantity I can qualify this as “geeky” is low, but it’s Seth MacFarlane as a talking teddy bear in the story-after-the-story. What happens when the lights go down on a delightfully warm Disneyesque animated flick? This. I saw parts of it at SXSW, and it looks hilarious, as long as you like bong-smoking teddy bears beating up Mark Wahlberg.
Total Recall (August 3)
By August, we may feel like we’ve seen it all before… comic-book reboots, eternal sequels… And a remake of Total Recall, this time with Colin Farrell instead of Arnold Schwarzenegger and no trip to Mars.
The Bourne Legacy (August 3)
Bourne movie #4, with no Matt Damon. But it’s not a reboot, and he hasn’t been replaced. It’s simply a whole different movie set in the same universe, but with no Jason Bourne. (I think we can safely put it on the wait-for-dollar-theater list.)
ParaNorman (August 17)
An animated movie with zombies and one kid who can talk to them. Oh, and the witches and ghosts too.
Whew. That gets us through the summer. And if you survive these blockbuster sequels, prequels, and remakes, you’ll be rewarded this winter with The Hobbit in December and (at some point) Mass Effect.
Did I miss any? What are your top three must-sees?
Next, Grahame-Smith wrote Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Finally, it’s explained that when young Lincoln discovers his mother’s death was caused by a supernatural predator, he begins a lifelong vendetta against vampires and their slave-owning allies. The story is revealed through a newly discovered journal and recounted in a quasi-sonorous style, complete with disturbing sepia toned photographs. However it’s an ugly stretch to explain slavery away as the method plantation owners, er, vampires, use to keep a ready supply of delicious blood even if the implication may be that slavery was monstrous. Nonetheless the book is bloody, witty, and trots off in all sorts of unexpected directions. It certainly honors our 16th president’s remarkable ax-wielding skills.
The movie, if the trailer gives any indication, dramatically departs from the grandiose yet sly tone of the book. It looks identical to today’s action flicks, with lots of explosions and slow mo airborne fighting, like a Blade remake in Civil War era costumes. Whatever happened to dignified vampire hunting?