2013 Summer Movie Preview: Part 1


Last year, celestial angels with trumpets rang in the summer movie season. It was going to be the best ever—The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy, an original Pixar movie, and more.

Even if the season didn’t end up meeting expectations, there was lots of good stuff out there. This year, it’s a whimper, not a bang, that’s ringing in summer. I had a damn hard time coming up with ten “blockbuster” movies I’m interested in seeing (different story for the indie stuff, but that’s tomorrow…)

So here’s hoping to a few nice surprises over the next couple months. Check out the list, and share your thoughts on this year’s group of summer movies below:

10.) Kick-Ass 2

Count me in the seemingly invisible minority of folks who loved Matthew Vaughn’s original. It was great fun attending the world premiere at SXSW in 2010 (where the cast and crew swore there’d be a sequel coming), and a rewatch surprisingly confirmed my first thoughts. That said, I’d be lying if I said I had much confidence in its sequel. Jim Carrey’s presence is…intriguing. But I’ve got nothing else. Its inclusion on this list is pretty indicative of what I think about this summer’s crop of blockbusters.

9.) White House Down

Is this going to be a great film? No. Can it be a good one? Sure. Director Roland Emmerich is often on the receiving end of some vicious barbs, but he’s made a few genuinely fun action flicks over the years. With a solid cast and a decidedly summer-friendly premise, I really think this one has the potential to join the ranks of an Independence Day or The Day After Tomorrow…rather than 2012.

8.) The Great Gatsby

It’s a shame that, come mid-May, we still won’t have a screen version of Gatsby worthy (or even close to worthy) of its source material. That’s how confident I am that Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming adaptation will fall short of expectations. That said, it’s on this list because it’s Baz Luhrmann, and there won’t be another film like it this year.

7.) Star Trek Into Darkness

I was and remain a fan of J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the Star Trek franchise, though probably not as big a fan as most. Super 8 was a disaster, and while one film certainly isn’t indicative of a director’s ability, I’ll have a hard time getting excited Abrams’ output going forward—including Star Wars Episode VII. I just have a seemingly indestructible ceiling when it comes to this guy, and I think that ceiling is seventh place on a most-anticipated movie list.

6.) Iron Man 3

If it wasn’t for Shane Black’s presence behind the camera, I’m not sure this film would be on the list at all. That’s what I think of Iron Man 2 and The Avengers. I’m mostly over the Marvel thing (at least when it comes to the characters they’ve put forth into the marketplace so far), but I’m thrilled about the potential in a Kiss Kiss Bang Bang star-director reunion.

5.) The World’s End

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Edgar Wright. The holy trinity of British zombie and cop movies reunites for this comedy about a pub crawl and the end of the world. Really, is there anything else to say?

4.) This Is the End

Hilarious cast + hilarious premise = hilarious movie? Hope so.

3.) Elysium

Four years ago this August, District 9 damn near broke my heart. So I don’t really know why its director’s follow-up is so high on my list. Maybe because Neill Blomkamp is making original science-fiction. Yeah, let’s go with that.

2.) Man of Steel

It’s just really hard to argue with some GREAT clips and trailers. What this film lacks in a director I’m interested in, it makes up for with a strong cast and some amazing-looking footage.

1.) Pacific Rim

Ultimately, it comes down to the director, and no big film this summer has a director I admire as much as Guillermo del Toro. I’ve avoided details about this film vigilantly, so I don’t have much else to offer on this one, but it’s probably the only film this summer I’ll feel compelled to see opening weekend, and even if everything else that comes our way sucks, a Pacific Rim that lives up to my expectations will single-handedly make the 2013 summer movie season a success.

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