I realize I’m about a week late for the start of the month, but I just bought a baby bulldog, so when you have your own poop factory to take care of, feel free to criticize. Lots to like here: a summer tentpole, a B-movie starring Roy Batty; even a Terrence Malick sighting. Perhaps even more incredible is that someone hired Mel Gibson for something.
Those in major cities gets first crack at Jodie Foster’s dark comedy about a man who has a mental breakdown and begins to wear a beaver hand puppet to speak for him. Foster directs Anton Yelchin (Like Crazy), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) and lead Mel Gibson who himself has had a decades long mental breakdown. But instead of wearing a piece of decorated fabric, Gibson thought best to rant against homosexuals, Jews, African Americans, then threaten to kill his girlfriend and mother of one of his children. Tough to decide which one sounds crazier.
Hobo with a Shotgun
Anyone familiar with 1986’s The Hitcher know what kind of monster Rutger Hauer can portray. Just say his name outloud. Rutger Hauer. Gives me chills. Here, he’s a homeless guy carrying heat, but what’s even cooler is that this film stemmed from a trailer (and a public outcry) shown in between Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s grossly underrated Grindhouse. The trailer below is red-band, which should be a requirement for all R-rated works. Note: Hobo with a Shotgun was released in Canada on March 25.
Marvel’s Norse God gets his crack on the silver screen, in what’s to be the first of many comic book adaptations seen this summer. It already made 25 million on Friday alone, proving that there’s an apparent audience for mythology. Thor, along with Iron Man and Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22), serve as a precursor to the much ballyhooed Avengers film which will land in just under a year (May 4, 2012). Note: You can read our reviews of Thor here and here.
Kristen Wiig gets a crack at headlining a film for the first time, and from the look of the trailers she’s hit it out of the park. Early buzz from festivals has been extremely favourable, and not for nothing, but I’ll never think of the word ‘undercarriage’ the same way again.
Midnight in Paris
I’ll watch any new Woody Allen film, even though he may have peaked in the late 70s. He’s had way more misses than hits in his later years with the exception of Match Point (great story with Scarlett Johansson) and Vicky Cristina Barcelona (decent story with Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz). Paris is a romantic comedy, and Allen’s first foray into the city of light/love. As usual, the cast is stellar: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams (!), Marion Cotillard (!!), Adrien Brody, Michael Sheen, and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy – rhe first lady of France.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Even though Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley have shoved off, the Pirates gravy train will continue to roll as long as Johnny Depp remains as Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp is joined by series newcomers Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz as various parties search for the location of the Fountain of Youth. In my book, the only good film in the series so far was the original. Is it any coincidence that it’s the only one that featured Zoë Saldaña? I’m just saying.
The Hangover II
My buddy Zed remains the only person in the western world who still hasn’t seen the 2009 comedy about a dentist, a school teacher, and a halfwit who black out and must find the groom-to-be before his impending nuptials. The original struck a chord with audiences to the tune of a $460 plus million gross. Not too shabby on a budget of only $35 mill. That being said, the looks we’ve seen for this one seem to be an exact clone of what worked the first time. Most definitely a smart move, but not the bravest.
Kung-Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom
A surprise Dreamworks animated hit; one that somewhat halted the mammoth entity that is Pixar. Jack Black voiced the titular bear in the film that mixed a perfect blend of comedy and ridiculous martial arts. All of the voice talents are back (Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Dustin Hoffman), while Dennis Haysbert (Far from Heaven), Michelle Yeoh (Super Cop), and Jean-Claude Van Damme (JCVD) join to try to recapture that spark.
The Tree of Life
Easily one of the most anticipated releases of this or any recent year. Terrence Malick is notorious for taking his time between films – his last being 2005’s The New World. Brad Pitt is the father (who plays an asshole) of a nuclear family in suburbia, whose grown up son ends up being Sean Penn (supposedly a real life asshole). There are some truly beautiful celestial images mixed into the familial drama. The less I know of this going in the better. Note: The Tree of Life will not be released in Canada until June 10.
You can read more of Adam’s film musings over at his blog: Cinema High.