Summer at the local fleapit

by Richard Brooks

In 1975, the summer saw audiences fleeing from cinemas and avoiding the water as Steven Speilberg presented his masterpiece, Jaws.

As well as heralding the beginnings of one of the 20th Century’s most respected film makers, it also saw the birth of the summer blockbuster. Now every year, movie studios pack the summer months with enough movies to fill a tardis.

Sorry to harp on about it but in my day (officially old enough to use that phrase) summer movies meant original films such as Back To The Future, The Goonies, Top Gun, The Abyss and Raiders Of The Lost Ark. These days most of the summer movie schedules are filled with sequals, remakes and comic book adaptations, especially this summer where we have four sequels, three comic book adaptations and one remake, there may be a few original films but not as many as we have been used to.

Not being one to a look a depressed T-Rex in the mouth, I am actually more excited about this summers schedule than I have been about others. So below is my handy, cut and paste guide to this seasons bundle of celluloid popcorn.

X-Men First Class

Set in the 1960’s during the Cuban missile crisis and directed by Matthew Vaughan (Kick Ass), this prequal to the popular merry mutant franchise charts the rise and fall in friendship between Professor X (James Macavoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and the creation of the X-Men.

Super 8

Little is known about this collaberation between JJ Abrams (Lost, Alias) and Steven Spielberg but what is known is that it is set in the 1970’s where a derailed train heralds the arrival of something!

Mysterious much but hey it has my money and as one of the most original sounding blockbusters this year, it’s an extra reason to be excited.

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Director Michael Bay unleashes more digital robot mayhem as the robots-in-disguise face a new, hidden threat which has ties to America’s Space Race. Cue destruction on a monumental scale as the Decpticons play the final move in a master plan that has, apparently, been brewing over the last two films. Well, it has to be an improvement on the last one.

Cars 2:

After the triumph of Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3, Pixar unleash a sequal to one of their least popular films. I have not seen the first Cars but if you liked that one then  apparently you will like this one. Count me out, I will avoid this one and head to the queue for……….

Green Lantern:

Like Iron Man, this little-known comic book from DC comics could end up being one of the surprise hits of the summer. Ryan Reynolds plays cocky test pilot Hal Jordan, the first human to be inducted into the intergalactic police corp known as the Green Lanterns.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Following from Iron Man 1 and 2, Hulk and Thor, this precursor to next year’s The Avengers sees Chris Evans play the role of one of Marvel Comics earliest heroes. An action-adventure set in World War Two, directed by Joe Jonston (The Wolfman, The Rocketeer) and has an Indiana Jones vibe. They simply don’t make them like that anymore.

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2:

After the last film, which seemed like a collection of deleted scenes, this final chapter in one of the most popular, global franchises  looks like just one big special effect. But they always end up being well directed and have such stylish, visual effects so maybe I should just stop being grumpy and do what I usually do; wait for the DVD. If you’re a Potter head this is your must see film of the summer, nay the year; if you’re not, well skip it and wait in line outside HMV with me.

Cowboys And Aliens:

Actor/Director Jon Favreau (Iron Man) directs what I can only describe as Men in Black vs Unforgiven, or maybe it ressembles Dances With Greys. Whatever it turns out to be, it has two of the most enticing  names in Hollywood within it’s cast; Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. Forget Cowboys And Aliens, Indiana Jones and James Bond has my bum in a seat.

Conan The Barbarian 3D:

Half naked man with a big sword roams the land looking surly while cleaving skulls in two. Jason Momoa plays Robert E Howards barbarian in this stylish mix of swords, sorcery, guts, gore and boobs. I’m in.

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes:

Geneticist James Franco experiments with apes and creates Ceasar, a hyper intelligent ape who will lead his simian bretheran in an uprising that will one day see them as the dominant species on our planet, “Damn, dirty apes.”

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