Sci Fi Ramblings: Reviews, commentaries, and/or just plain ramblings on any and everything concerning science fiction and fantasy.
By John J. Joex
Last Summer was billed as a Geekapalooza because of all the high profile genre films hitting theaters like Thor, the final Harry Potter film, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, X-Men: First Class, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, just to name a few. Well this Summer is Geekapalooza Part 2, and you know what they say about sequels taking it bigger and more in-your-face. Just look at a sampling of what’s coming in the next two months: The Avengers (today), Dark Shadows (May 11th), Battleship (May 18th), Men in Black III (May 25th), Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1st), Prometheus (June 8th), Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (June 22nd). All of those have the potential to deliver Box Office gold and keep us entertained as the weather gets hot outdoors. And things don’t slack off too much during the second half of the Summer either with titles like The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Total Recall, and more scheduled to hit the marquee. So what’s a genre fan to do with all these choices in the theaters this Summer? Well, I have been reading up on these films and watching the trailers, so I have my list of must-watch movies scribbled out to keep me on track over the next four months. I will share that here and you can also see our full preview of the Summer 2012 Blockbuster Season at our Sci Fi Movie page. Following are the movies I definitely plan on catching in the order that they will be released.
The Avengers (May 4th) – The films leading up to this movie the last couple of years (Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor, Captain America) have provided some of the best superhero flicks yet in my opinion, and this one has extra geek cred with Joss Whedon directing. If the barrage of trailers and clips that have come out these past few months was not enough to get you slobbering for this film, then the advanced buzz and reviews (it currently has a 93% Fresh Rating over at Rotten Tomatoes) should push you over the edge. My only worry is that it sets the bar too high too early and we find ourselves let down by the rest of the Summer fare.
Dark Shadows (May 11th) – When I first saw the trailers that made this look like some sort of camp spoof of the original series, I found myself very dubious about the film. But hey, it’s not like the original was a sacred show, and it had its own share of (unintentional) camp moments throughout its run. I’ve warmed up to this one now and definitely plan on catching it in the theaters.
Men in Black III (May 25th) – Come on, it’s Men in Black. The first two movies count as genre classics and all the advance trailers make it look like this one will follow in their footsteps. Should be great fun.
Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1st) – Taking a very different path with the Snow White story than the campy (and fun) Mirror, Mirror which hit the theaters in March, this one looks to deliver an epic fantasy tale. Here’s hoping it lives up to its advance publicity.
Prometheus (June 8th) – Ridley Scott has directed two science fiction films in his career: Alien and Blade Runner. And those two almost universally rank up among the very top sci fi movies of all time. Thus I give Prometheus (a prequel of sorts to Alien) a good chance of being at least excellent if not a future classic. It’s a toss-up between this and The Avengers as to which movie tops my list among this Summer’s entries.
Ted (July 13th) – This Seth McFarlane comedy looks wrong in all the right ways. Should provide a decent change of pace from the Summer CGI-Overload Blockbuster fare.
The Dark Knight Rises (July 20th) – After two excellent (make that one excellent, one awesome) entries in the Batman franchise, any reason to believe Mr. Nolan would misfire on this one? Didn’t think so.
Total Recall (August 3rd) – I have this one here simply because I am hoping it will deliver. We’ve only seen one trailer for it so far, and that looks decent enough. I just hope we get more of the Philip K. Dick version of the story and less of the Schwarzenegger take on the tale.
The Expendables 2 (August 17th) – No, it’s not a sci fi film, but plenty of genre fans will be buying their tickets to this one. The sequel adds Jean-Claude Van Damme, expanded roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis as well as Jet Li, Chuck Norris, and more. This one should deliver plenty of machine guns and explosions and good brain-dead fun.
A few other films that might be worth catching if I find the time: Battleship (May 18th) looks to be a decent enough brain-dead, popcorn film. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (June 22nd) might be a bit of a genre sleeper. Steve Carrell’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (June 22nd) should be a decent enough date-night comedy as well as Ben Stiller’s Neighborhood Watch (July 27th). And I’ve never been much of a Spider-Man fan, but based on the other Marvel movie output of late I’ll probably check out that film when it hits the theaters on July 3rd. And Paranorman (August 17th) just might provide some good stop-motion fun to wind down the Summer.
As far as Summer duds, I don’t see too many on the schedule at this point, but I will almost certainly pass on G.I. Joe: Retaliation (June 29th) as well as the “zombie-love story” that looks to take itself seriously Warm Bodies (August 10th). And the late-Summer supernatural entries The Apparition (August 24th), 7500 (August 31st), and The Possesion (August 31st) don’t excite too much, but maybe I’ll catch 7500 on DVD.
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