Hotter Days, Cooler Movies

11 May

[For Part One of the Dan Swanky’s Summer Movie Celebration feat. Steed, go here.  Now, we’ll move to July & August:]

July

The Amazing Spider-Man – July 6

Basically Spiderman 3D, this is a reboot of the Spiderman franchise just a few short years after Tobey Maguire moped his way through the wildly uneven Spider-Man 3.  This time around, Eduardo Saverin takes a break from throwing laptops around and steps into the Spidey costume, and he’s paired up with some solid supporting actors in Emma Stone, Denis Leary, and Rhys Ifans.  At first glance, this seems like Spider-Man could just add on to the superhero overkill of the summer, but this one looks like it has a welcome indie edge to it – the director is Marc Webb from 500 Days of Summer, and the most recent trailer was sporting a Glitch Mob banger.

The Dark Knight Rises – July 20

The biggest movie of the summer.  Anticipation for this one started after the credits rolled on The Dark Knight four years ago, and have only gotten bigger since.  Rises is the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s masterful Batman trilogy, and by all indication, things are going to get dark and intense, real quick.  Early reports of the movie have described it as being similar to a horror movie, which sounds amazing.  The only reservation at this point is that the trailers and marketing materials seem to be giving too much of the plot away – the most recent one seems to be telegraphing a poetic yet grisly end for the Caped Crusader.  Hopefully that won’t ruin any surprises.

The Watch – July 27

Initially, The Watch looked like another glossy and expensive high-concept comedy, with big-name comedy stars dumbing down their humor in order to appeal to a broader audience.  The plot sounded silly in the worst way – a neighborhood watch group led by Ben Stiller, Vince Vaugh, and Jonah Hill have to protect their neighborhood from an alien invasion.  And then a red band trailer was released, and trepidation turned to anticipation.  The movie looks to be going in the hard-R direction, which is the best decision they could make.  When you’ve got Vaughn, Stiller, and Hill sitting around and talking shit to kids in between extended riffs on alien jizz, then you’ve got the potential for a great summer comedy.

STEED:

Savages – July 6

“There was a period of my life several years ago, which I’m not entirely proud of, when I spent a lot of my time developing my own little grass business.  The funny stuff.  Everything was organic and I catered mostly to the local soccer mom/stay-at-home dad community.  Would do a lot of minivan drops, stuff like that.  Anyways, during this time I had grand dreams of building my own little empire, complete with a gorgeous vixen by my side and a grand waterfront estate.  Savages pretty much sums up what I was aiming for, minus the nasty little Mexican cartal drama, and it’s a movie I’m looking forward to identifying with.  I can definitely see my ruggedly handsome self in the Tim Riggins role.”

Ted – July 13

“So a few weeks ago I was spending a nice little Sunday afternoon at the casa.  It was one of the first hot days of the year, so while my roommate Jasper was out mowing the lawn, me and the other roommate Steve were sitting on the porch finishing the keg from the night before.  You’ve got like a 36-hour window on those things, y’know.  But anyways, so we’re sitting there enjoying our High Life and the smell of fresh-cut grass when Steve suddenly says Oh Shit.  I say, What Steve, and when I turn to look at him, I notice that my whole body suddenly feels great.  I Forgot These Are The Acid Cups, Steve remarks, with a distinct lack of regret in his voice.  Oh, I said.  40 minutes later, I wandered back inside to get a fresh beer and saw that our Fathead of Shawn Kemp had walked off the wall and was now sitting on the couch enjoying a cold brew.  Awesome, I thought, and I sat down to join him.  We spent the whole afternoon watching the NBA playoffs, joking around, and generally just being great buddies.  When it came to about dinner time, we dapped it and he left.  It was a great time.  I’d imagine Ted is kind of like that.”

August

The Bourne Legacy – August 4

The Bourne movies with Matt Damon got better with each new installment, and while it might be tough to top the last one, Bourne Legacy looks pretty promising.  Jeremy Renner plays intensely troubled Badass pretty well (see: The Hurt Locker) and the direction/writing of Tony Gilroy should supply some mind-bending suspense elements.  This isn’t a total reboot of the franchise either – many of the same supporting actors from the prior films are reprising their roles in this one, and it will be interesting to see how the story is continued.  Fingers crossed for an epic Renner-Damon glare-off followed by a throwdown session in the climax.  Loser, if not dead, has to date Julia Stiles’ character.

The Campaign – August 10

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis easily stole the show at the 2012 Oscars with 2 short minutes of tuxedos and cymbals, and they make their movie debut together this summer as rivals campaigning for the same political position.  It’s easy to get expectations too high when two of the funniest people in the world get together, so this will have to be pretty good not to disappoint.  One thing going for it is that Zach seems to have co-opted several mannerisms from his brother Seth to play his Campaign role.  Hopefully Seth will show up for the press rounds or at least the premiere.  Let this tide you over until August.

STEED:

The Expendables 2 – August 10

“Sometimes dreams come true.  Like when I’ve spent all of my movie-watching life having fitful dreams about seeing the incredible physiques and menacing scowls of Stallone, Schwarzenneger, Lundgren, Statham, Li, Willis, and Rourke come together on one screen, and then one magical summer night two years ago, it happens.  I spent most of the first Expendables with tears of joy in my eyes and a pint of Jack in my hands, and opening night of this one won’t be any different.  Especially now that we’ve got Chuck Fucking Norris and Van Damme joining the party.  I may or may not be organizing a chopper envoy for the drive to the theater, followed by a session at the tattoo parlor after the movie.  Email me for details.”

Hit and Run – August 24

“Written, directed, and starring Dax ‘Punk’d’ Shepard.  Enough said.  Ticket purchased.”

Premium Rush – August 24

“I’ve been getting into extreme mountain biking lately.  There’s an urban MBX (my term, TM) park near my house, filled with all kinds of crazy objects to jump over and speed around, and I’m almost ready to go on it.  I bought a trail-ready bike a few weeks ago and have been riding it extreme-style every other day to the MBX park.  I post up there at the top and watch all the MBX bros crush the trail, taking notes on their techniques and lingo.  After a while of this, I’ll make loops around my neighborhood, hopping over curbs and honing my techniques.  It’s a slow process, sure, but practice makes perfect, and pretty soon I’ll be able to own that MBX trail.  Then I can rub it in my neighbor Timothy’s smug little face.  But, yeah, basically I understand the dudes in Premium Rush.

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