I know that soon Jason will post the biannual poll for Top Movies of the Holiday Period......and I'm already looking forward to it.....
But, I looked ahead to next summer.....and if you thought this summer was tough. Man, oh man. Here are the movies coming out next summer
Iron Man 2
Star Trek 2
The Great Gatsby
Now You See Me
Man of Steel
X-Men First Class 2
World War Z
Kick Mass 2 (won't let me spell the words that rymes with mass)
Dispicable Me 2
The Lone Ranger
300 - 2
I mean, to pick the top 5 from that group? Are you kidding me? I think it would be tough to pick the top 10.....I see at least 7 movies that could end up #1 (Iron Man, Man of Steel, Hangover 3, Monsters University, Star Trek 2, Dispicable Me 2).....and that leaves a ton off that could all beat any of the ones listed above.
Next summer is going to be brutal...and it's going to blow away the box office records.
May 3 - Iron Man 3
May 10 - The Great Gatsby
May 17 - Star Trek 2 (Into Darkness)
May 24 - Fast & Fuious 6, Hangover III
June 7 - After Earth
June 14 - Man of Steel
June 21 - Monsters University, World War Z (which keeps on getting delayed and may move off this date)
June 28 - White House Down (Roland Emmerich)
July 3 - Despicable Me 2, Lone Ranger (have you seen Johnny Depp's Tonto makeup?!?!)
July 12 - Pacific Rim, Grown Ups 2
July 26- The Wolverine
Aug 2 - 300: Rise of an Empire
Sure, there are others that could be considered contenders -- a couple animated films (Turbo and Epic), a couple comedies (The Interns and End of the World), and a few sequels (Kick Mass 2, Percy Jackson 2, Smurfs 2, Red 2) -- but the reality is that none of those are going to beat the vast majority of films on the above list.
If you look at what typically does well in the Summer and which films have the right kind of track record, this is not that tough a list to figure out. I bet 3 or 4 of the top 5 come from Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Star Trek 2, Monsters University, and Despicable Me 2. I would rate the top other contenders as After Earth (Will and Jaden Smith... but can Night still make a decent movie?), Hangover 3 (did 2 leave a bad taste in everyone's mouths?), Lone Ranger (Pirates of the Carib on trains instead of boats), and Wolverine (we do love our superhero movies). I can make a pretty good case why all the rest will come up short... perhaps well short.
I don't think Now You See Me is much of a contender as it is not an established franchise and non sci-fi heist films typically do not do boffo boxoffice. I am not certain, but I believe the X-men First Class sequel is not until summer 2014.
--Jason "if there is a Ted/Hangover/Wedding Crashers type surprise flick, I would bet on the Interns over End of the World... but I could be swayed once we start getting decent trailers" Evans
So, when it comes to big summer "event" film, the ones that cost $150+ mil to make and another $100+ mil to market, you are going to see pretty much nothing but established properties.
However, the notion that there is nothing unique or original in theaters is just plain wrong. They just aren't the films projected in advance to make hume money at the boxoffice. Not counting smaller, art-house films, I would say that:
Ted was a pretty original idea for a comedy.
Haywire was a fairly unique take on the spy story.
Chronicle was a fun and different teen angst film.
End of Watch is a different kind of cop movie.
You all know how much I loved Looper, which I consider to be a brainy take on sci-fi.
Argo, which I just saw, is a fabulous film that does not comfortably fit into any of the cookie cutter blockbuster categories.
And 7 Psychopaths is a really fun dark comedy that is not really like much of anything I have seen before.
That is just a quick list off the top of my head. It is also a list of probably my favorite movies of the year so far. The bottom line though is that Hollywood does take some risks and make unique films -- it just doesn't like to do it in pictures that cost hundreds of millions to put in theaters. That is a bad idea.
-Jason "worth noting at this point that 'unique' films often do not translate well globally and forgoing the international market is not a way to make money any more in the movie biz -- everyone, everywhere, can understand an explosion... not everyone gets a nuanced line of dialogue" Evans
When should I start the Top Movies of Winter poll? No question that it needs to be closed by Nov 2 when Wreck-It-Ralph and Flight open.
I have great faith in JJ Abrams, so I think Star Trek 2 should be strong. Zach Snyder and David Goyer have produced plenty of quality stuff in the past so I think Man of Steel could be good. Pixar has had a couple down films recently, but giving up on them seems insane given their long track record of success. Gore Verbinski and his entire Pirates crew have done well together in the past so Lone Ranger might be ok. I worry about After Earth with M. Night but there is some pretty good buzz around this project. I like most of what Mark Forster has done and think he could make something interesting out of World War Z. I am sorely tempted to write off Hangover III but, despite it being a total knock-off, II did make me laugh and I was brilliant. We haven't seen a really bad Marvel comic book movie in several years and I think RDjr. is just fabulous as Iron Man. Pacific Rim reminds me of the horrid Battleship but Giullermo del Toro has done cool things in the director's chair in the past.
I could go on... it is too early to tell if any of these will be good or bad. Odds are some will stink, some will be average, and a few will be really good. That is how it works most summers. But, deciding in advance that they will suck because they have a 2 or 3 or even 6 after the title seems just short-sighted to me. There are plenty of reboots and sequels that are truly excellent films that everyone enjoys watching.
Here is a very incomplete list--
Empire Strikes Back
The Dark Knight
X-Men II & X-Men: First Class
Two Towers & Return of the King
The Road Warrior
Silence of the Lambs (Manhunter came first!)
Toy Story 2 & 3
Godfather: Part II
Back to the Future 2 & 3
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (last summer)
The James Bond franchise (some of them)
The Bourne franchise (but not the latest one)
The Harry Potter franchise
Rocky II and II
Mission Impossilble III & Ghost Protocol
The even-numbered Star Trek films
Son of Bonnie and Clyde (just kidding)
-Jason "I think I have made my point " Evans
Manhunter was the one with William Peterson playing the complete opposite of Grissom, right? And the awesome Brian Cox as Lector? I must say, I didn't realize this was a sequel until many years after Silence. Did they ever market it as being related to Manhunter? I was 10 when it came out, so it was sort of out of my movie wheelhouse at the time, but I think I would have looked it up when I saw Silence if it had been, cause I loved that movie.
LET'S GO DUKE!
Just received this e-mail from a friend, who hits the theaters alot:
"On the spur of the moment went to see a documentary called "The Other Dream Team" about the 1992 Lithuanian Bronze medal winning team. It was GREAT. You definitely should see it. Political, Cultural, Historical and Baskeball. GO SEE IT, now!!! You will love it."
After Silence was a huge hit, several years later Red Dragon was made into a movie with Anthony Hopkins as Lecter. That was quite clearly a prequel to Silence and was marketed as such. The only way one would know that Manhunter is in any way connected to the other films is that some of the Hannibal Lecter DVD boxed sets include it as one of the movies in the set.
-Jason "Manhunter is ok, nothing special. I think Red Dragon is probably a little bit better" Evans
For a current, tiny and non-traditional movie, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a remarkable film. It's art house in a way, and its presentation of Louisiana mouth of the Mississippi isolation and poverty is truly remarkable. And if one is looking for a child actor's AA award nomination, one might well consider then 5-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis as a candidate for her lead role as Hushpuppy.
It's already won a bunch of awards. It's a Sundance film. 'Nuf sed. Not close to Hollywood standard fare or risk-taking.
"Hey Stu, your rent's due, m---------r! Now don't be pulling that falling down the stairs s--t on me again, you hear! Now you conscious! Every month, the same d--n thang."