Thursday, April 8, 2010

Nerdlinger's Most Anticipated Summer 2010 Films (Pt. 2)

On with the list! Here are the top five summer schlockbusters I'm looking forward to.

5 - Robin Hood (May 14) - Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott are a hit and miss combination, literally. The first time they teamed up resulted in Gladiator. The second resulted in A Good Year. If you can't differentiate between the hit and the miss, you're on the wrong site. Still, this type of film looks like it's right in their collective wheelhouse, with a gritty realism evident in the trailers that is usually missing from Robin Hood films of the past. The only thing that makes me pause is the fact that we've seen this story before, many times. Will Scott and Crowe (not to mention Cate Blanchett) make it feel fresh enough?

4 - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (August 13) - Director Edgar Wright has been behind some of the most ingenious mash-up comedy of the last decade or so, with the cult TV show Spaced and the awesome features Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz under his belt. Star Michael Cera burst onto the comedy world with the legendary Arrested Development TV series, then cemented his buzz with his star-making turn in the sleeper hit Superbad. With all the action and high-concept stylistic touches, it might give Cera a chance to play around a little bit with his awkward nerd screen persona (something that he did in Youth in Revolt, creating the best parts of the film). The trailer looks great, being based on the cult comic about the trials of a young man who has to defeat the seven evil ex-boyfriends of the girl he loves. Could be really fun.

3 - Toy Story 3 (June 18) - It's been over a decade since Toy Story 2 (!), and it seems the latest installment takes that long stretch of time into account; Andy is gown up and leaving for college, prompting his mother to donate all his old toys. What happens to Woody and Buzz and the other toys; indeed, what happens to all toys, when their beloved kid owners no longer want to play with them? This story has always been about Woody and his devotion to Andy, so it'll be interesting to see how the film makers tackle the issue of letting go. Pixar, as I and others have marvelled, seems incapable of making a bad film, so I'm betting this one will be their customary mixture of heartfelt sentiment, smart humour and tight plotting.

2 - Iron Man 2 (May 7) - The first Iron Man film was not only a incredibly fun film powered by the outstanding free-form performance of Robert Downey Jr., it also heralded a bold attempt to replicate the shared Marvel comic book universe on-screen, an experiment that continues here. Aside from that, the upcoming film just looks plain fun. You've got Downey back in the role that seems to fit him like a glove. You have Don Cheadle stepping into the role of Rhodey and the War Machine suit. You've got Mickey Rourke chewing the scenery as a Russian Whiplash, aided and abetted by a rival of Tony Stark named Justin Hammer (played by Sam Rockwell). You've got Samuel L. Jackson reprising his cameo as Nick Fury, and ScarJo sexing it up in a skintight suit as the Black Widow. What's not to like?

1- Inception (July 16) - I can't really tell you what this film is about except it seems to be about industrial espionage taking place in people's minds. It's directed by Christopher Nolan, and it looks like he's combining his big budget style of The Dark Knight and Batman Begins with the mindfuck small scale storytelling of Memento and The Prestige, all wrapped up in the neo noir approach he explored in Insomnia. The cast, which includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy and Tom Berenger, may be the best assembled this year. The trailer is baffling, but somehow that only seems to make people want to see it all the more. I think this could be the most exhilarating experience I'll have at the movies this summer, a film that leaves you amazed at the possibilities of film itself. Then again, maybe my expectations are too high.

So, that's it. Could be a great summer at the movies!

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