Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nerdlinger's Most Anticipated Summer 2010 Films (Pt. 1)

Believe it or not, summer is fast approaching, which can mean only one thing; the blockbusters are coming! Usually, I look at the films released in the summer with a mixture of dread and excitement. There is always a hodgepodge of empty-headed schlock (hello, Transformers!), fun big-budget spectacle that remind us how much fun movies can be (cheers, Iron Man), supposedly simple entertainment that winds up surprising us with its depth (think The Dark Knight) and actual great movies (Up, The Hurt Locker).

o, it surprised me that this summer, I would feel much less ambivalent about the films coming out, and find much more of interest. So, without further ado, here's the first five of my top 10 most anticipated films of summer, 2010.

10 - The A-Team (June 11) - I'm in my mid-thirties, so it's fair to say that I was obsessed with this show when I was a kid. Every kid I knew watched this series, though like Knight Rider, it is almost laughably juvenile when you look at it now. Still, there's something relentlessly cool about the concept; a covert military black ops team wrongly convicted of a crime that goes underground as mercenaries helping underdog causes. It's pretty much designed to appeal to boys of all ages. The film version has been on the docket for some time, but it was only once Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin' Aces) became attached that it actually got made. This film would rank a lot higher, but the trailers made it look like everyone is trying a bit too hard to capture a madcap sense of adventure, creating an air of total ridiculousness. Still, I love it when a plan comes together, so let's hope this one works out.

9 - Salt (July 23) - She keeps trying, but I'm still not buying Angelina Jolie as an action star. It would help if she weighed more than 85 lbs. Remember Tomb Raider? Remember when she actually had some curves like a normal person and looked unbelievably, unreasonably sexy? That was a long time ago, my friends. I think she's still a solid actress, and she is unquestionably a presence on screen, but this whole movie hinges on whether we really buy her as a super-spy, and it's possible we may not. Still, there's a great supporting cast, and the material may be cliched, but it's still captivating. Once again, like The A-Team, the action looks borderline ridiculous, so that may hurt what is clearly trying for the "smart thriller" tag.

8 - Get Him to the Greek (June 4) - There's really not a whole lot of solid-looking comedies coming out this summer, and this one could really go either way. But there's something about the trailer that keeps me laughing, no matter how many times I see it. The two leads obviously have chemistry, and while Jonah Hill and Russell Brand pretty much do the same thing all the time, I like the idea of throwing them together. On the other hand, the trailer could just be all the funny bits.

7 - The Expendables (August 13) - Sylvester Stallone. Jason Statham. Jet Li. Dolph Lundgren. Eric Roberts. Mickey Rourke. Cameos by Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Up and comer action guys like Steve Austin, Randy Couture and Terry Crews. The film looks basically incoherent, yes, it's true, but the trailer effortlessly captures the fun, wise-ass, badass, over the top insanity that the one for The A-Team falls all over itself trying to manufacture. And, I've said it before, Stallone has talent. He falls back way too much on some pretty lazy qualities, but when he's cooking in things like Rocky, First Blood, Nighthawks, Copland; hell, even in cheese like Cobra or Tango and Cash he's a hoot to watch. Lately, with Rocky Balboa and Rambo providing him with a new comeback opportunity, he seems renewed and here's hoping he serves up one explosive slice of 80s action excess.

6 - Splice (June 4) - Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley star in this creepy sci-fi film that has been well-received at a number of film festivals. It tells the tale of two renowned scientists who have successfully created a new creature that secretes profitable proteins for pharmaceutical purposes. Things spiral out of control when they secretly embark upon the next stage; creating a hybrid using human DNA. The cast is great, the direction looks stylish and the subject matter is certainly original. It could be a real thinking-person's sci-fi film.

, there's the first five, see you soon for the final five!

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