We are in the middle of June and the heart of the Summer movie season and for some reason, it feels like this Summer has been light on event films. There have been the usual Summer tent-poles, stuff like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that made a lot of money but failed to ignite the buzz of interest and excitement that other superhero films have enjoyed. In fact, most of the people who saw the film were let down and even the ones who liked it were sort of “meh” on the whole film. The superhero film that did ignite a lot genuine excitement, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, came out at the first April, so even though it “feels” like a Summer film, it isn’t.
Even though there have been some legit massive event flicks, like Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past, that have been successful as well as being actually good, this has been a Summer that has felt light on big films.
Things will change somewhat in a couple of weeks with Michael Bay’s latest exercise in digital wizardry, Transformers: Age of Extinction, however this week will be more of the same old, same old.
This week we have two major releases that are both sequels. They are also both sequels to first films that were very, very good. Some might even argue that they were great films.
First up is Dreamworks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (PG 102 Minutes) The first film was a surprise hit in the spring of 2010 as well as being a very charming and sweet film that captured the hearts and imaginations of kids and adults both. The new film is directed by returning director, Dean Deblois and should fill theater seats with both kids and adults who fell in love with the original. I haven’t heard any advance word on this film or its quality, but the film will be a hit no matter how good or bad it is. Let’s just hope that the same amount of care and work that went into the first film went into its sequel. There is already a third film in the works, so it’s a safe bet that the dragon, Toothless, isn’t quite trained all the way by the end of this film.
Opens Tonight at 7pm in 2D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D.
The second major release this week is the comedy sequel 22 JUMP STREET (R 112 Minutes) again starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as either the best or the worst undercover cops that have ever lived, with Ice Cube returning as their put upon captain. The first film was a surprise in every way. It was actually really sharp and really funny. They took what seemed, on the surface, a tired concept, namely turning a cult hit cop show from the 90’s into a feature film comedy, and made it work. They did that by actually writing a script with a plot and real jokes and hiring actors and for the most part, casting them against type. The resulting film was a smash hit, taking in almost 140-million dollars at the box-office and from the time that first weekend was done, a sequel was all but assured.
Thankfully, original directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller returned to make the sequel. They already have a massive hit film to their credit this year with the epic and awesome The Lego Movie, which is already in my top 10 favorite family films of all time. sometimes the magic of these kinds of films are lost in the sequel, but so far everything we’ve seen from this movie looks really good.
There is no way it can pack the surprise punch of the first film, but if it can supply some solid laughs and a few solid action beats, the target audience should be happy. Lets be clear, this flick is going to be a hit no matter what, just because people saw and liked the original, but if it is as good or better than the first film, then we just might have a new comedy-action franchise on our hands.
Opens tonight at 8pm for special screenings and tomorrow at theaters everywhere.
Last weekend we saw Tom Cruise get battered and beaten at the box-office by what seemed like ten-thousand screaming and crying teenage girls as The Fault in our Stars took in over 48-million dollars. Tom’s latest Science Fiction epic, Edge of Tomorrow, came in third place with 28-million dollars, which given the films 178-million dollar budget, is not the greatest way to begin. Every single person who has come out of the movie has loved it, there just hasn’t been that many people coming out.
At our theater this past weekend, there were teenage girls everywhere and we saw a strange phenomenon around The Fault in our Stars. I have toyed with the idea of doing a separate article about that film and the strange things we saw in relation to it, and I still might. They were treating that film like it was what can only be described as “Tragedy Porn“.
You may see that article later today, so keep your eyes peeled.
Also, don’t forget to check out the new video podcast I am co-hosting, called FilmGeeks. On the show that is up now, we review Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past, as well as talk about several films coming up. We have already filmed the next couple of episodes which will be coming out over the next couple of weeks, on the first episode we have an in-depth discussion of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and review Maleficent.
We devote the entire third episode to an in-depth discussion of Director James Cameron and my co-hosts favorite film, Avatar.
You can find all those shows online at www.filmgeeks384.wix.com/filmgeeks or if you’re friends with me on Facebook, I will always post a link to the episode the day it goes live.
Well, that just about does it for this week, but join me next week right here when we all yawn together and try to stay awake while we talk about Clint Eastwood’s new film, Jersey Boys, which is NOT a bio of Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, much to my disappointment.
Until then, Keep The Projector Threaded.