Monday, May 30, 2011

Summertime Hit List: Matt's Version!

Siobhan did a great job unveiling her top choices for summer viewing, which has prompted me to look at which movies I am excited to see as an escape from the oppressive heat! Siobhan and I, while we often have similar tastes, differ slightly when it comes to comic book adaptations (Siobhan) and overly stylized art house films (me). Last summer two films, I Am Love and The Kids Are All Right, opened in July and ended up in my top four films of 2010. At first glance, the summer of 2011 is not going to be as fruitful for me.

But alas, here are a few could-be gems from a summer filled with wannabe blockbusters and sequels:

Midnight in Paris (Opens June 3, in Toronto)
What do you expect? Woody Allen in Paris. I am sold, but I am not a fan of Owen Wilson and the poster could have been a lot better. Wilson has a starring role, but I am more intrigued by the presence of Kathy Bates, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams and Michael Sheen. With his forty-third feature film, Allen has a 92% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, his highest score since 1994's Bullets Over Broadway, which is #4 on my list of Allen films.

X-Men: First Class (Opens June 3)
X-Men was great. X2 was decent. X-Men: The Last Stand was mediocre at best. Does X-Men Origins: Wolverine need a sequel? X-Men may be a franchise that has taken a nosedive since it peaked after the first film, and even though it is a comic book adaptation, it is still a story that resonates with audiences. I will miss Famke Janssen's Jean Grey, but I am excited to see James McAvoy, January Jones and Nicholas Hoult in action in this sequel.

The Tree of Life (Opens June 10, in Toronto)
Fresh from winning the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Terrence Malick's new film has been in development since at least 2006. The Internet has been buzzing with every new bit of information, from the casting of Sean Penn and Brad Pitt to the three different posters that have been released (including one that is pure Oscar bait). I have not dared to read too much about the film. It seems to be the kind of film that will divide audiences. Even if it is a disappointment, I am sure it will at give us much to discuss.

I hate this poster. Part 1, while not a waste of time, is unable to stand alone as its own film. I was a teenager when the first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's [Philosopher's] Stone was published in 1997, but I have read all seven novels at least twice and I have stood in line at midnight waiting to get my hands on the new books. I will be incredibly upset if David Yeats screws this up. My only complaint is that the film is being released in 3D and I am yearning for the day when studios realize 3D negatively affects the viewing experience.

After those three, I am afraid to admit that I am unable to find more must-sees. But there are two films that have potential but I expect to be awful: Bad Teacher (June 24), starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake, and Horrible Bosses (July 8), starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudelkis and Jennifer Aniston.

And just for fun, the one summer movie I will not see at the theatre, at home, or even illegally online: Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, while I love Rachel McAdams and I'm generally a fan of Woody Allen, I just can't get behind the casting of Owen Wilson. It seems like a Red Herring, or at least a strange choice. Either way I imagine this will be a film I reluctantly end up loving. Like Match Point. So thanks for reminding me about it :)

    Tree of Life has the best trailer I've seen in a long time.