Summer Movie Season

Bring on the shock and awe of the summer movie season. It’s funny, the blockbuster summer season always starts off with a lot of hype and excitement, then a few weeks later, we start to grow weary of the whole deal, as more films disappoint, and the act of going to a movie is made more difficult from the massive throngs at the multiplex. Still, there’s some movies that I’m legitimately excited for, and they can’t all suck, right?

As for the Spring season, I listed 15 movies I was thinking about seeing in my last post, of which I ended up seeing 8. I still want to see Harold & Kumar 2 and Baby Mama, and may even do so in the next two weeks as there’s nothing new I really want to see until June 13th. The rest will probably go unseen, as they weren’t all that well received.

June 6
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan – I don’t actually see myself going to see this one, but it is produced by Apatow, and the trailer has some laughs. If it surprises me with decent reviews, I’ll consider it.

The Promotion – The trailer for this wasn’t all that great, and neither Seann William Scott nor John C Reilly are enough to get me interested in a movie. But, it’s getting a lot of buzz coming out of SXSW as the next big indie comedy, so I’ll see if it gets enough through its limited release to increase my interest.

July 13
The Incredible Hulk – I’m one of the few people who actually enjoyed the original Hulk movie by Ang Lee, so I didn’t see the need for a reset of the franchise. Plus, I’m not sure that Liv Tyler is an upgrade from Jennifer Connelly (in fact, I’m sure she isn’t). But, hey, I’m sure I would’ve been excited for a Hulk movie starring Edward Norton back in 2003, so why not be excited for this one? After all, the last Marvel Studios property was pretty damn good, so consider me there opening weekend.

The Happening – M. Night Shyamalan has long since lost the benefit of the doubt, and is no longer enough to get me to see a movie. But this one looks interesting, so if the reviews are good, I’m in.

June 20
Get Smart – This one probably sucks, but it’s looked a little funny from the trailers. As with The Zohan, I’m guessing I won’t be seeing this, but I’m keeping a look out for the reviews just in case.

June 27
WALL·E – Wild horses couldn’t keep me from this. There’s only one movie this summer I’m looking forward to more than this (see below).

Wanted – It seems like the theme of this post is listing movies that I already think might suck, just in case they don’t. Wanted looks pretty stupid, but the cast is pedigreed enough that it might not be stupid enough to keep it from being entertaining. We shall see.

July 4
Hancock – Will Smith has returned to reclaim the Fourth of July weekend that he used to own. And I gotta say, Hancock looks like a winner. I just hope the movie is as subversive as it looks like it might be. Then we may have a big, loud blockbuster with substance.

July 11
Hellboy II: The Golden Army – I’m surprised this one was slated for a summer release, since the first Hellboy movie didn’t do big business. But who cares, it was pretty good, and that Guillermo del Toro can direct a little. Looking forward to it.

July 18
The Dark Knight – If you didn’t know that this is the movie I’m most looking forward to this summer… then you must’ve just started reading this blog. Hello there! Recent comic book series suggest that this has a strong chance in being better than Batman Begins, which is still as awesome as I originally thought it was. If this is better, my mind might implode.

July 25
American Teen – This is poised to be the hit documentary of the summer, and after seeing the trailer, I’m a believer. Watch it for yourself and I’m pretty confident that you’ll be interested as well. So while the rest of the country is going to see Step Brothers or the new X-Files movie, I’ll be… well, probably waiting for this to be released in my city and going to see The Dark Knight again or something.

August 8
Pineapple Express – The now-traditional late summer Apatow production, which I’m confident will do the same big business of Superbad and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. It looks good folks. Note: the following trailer is not approved for all audiences.

August 15
Towelhead – A controversial inter-personal drama by Six Feet Under‘s Alan Ball? I’m not sure what it’s doing coming out in the summer, but I’m pretty interested nonetheless.

August 29
Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Normally, I’d have zero interest in the newest Woody Allen flick, but then I heard about Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz making out in the movie, and I had second thoughts. Reportedly, it’s not as hot as I’d like it to be, but the film is also Allen’s postcard to Barcelona, which is one my favouritest places on Earth, so I think I’ll see for myself.

So there’s the summer, 14 movies with a few that I’m already leaning toward no on. But there’s bound to be some smaller releases that squeeze there way in there, especially when some of the blockbusters fail. And when I’m done with my busy summer of watching movies… I’ll be heading to Toronto for the International Film Festival. No rest for the weary, I guess.

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

I'm just not buying into this LaBeouf kid.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) 

Starring: Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Ray Winstone, Karen Allen, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
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TV Talk: The Barren Summer TV Landscape

I won't be watching most of these networks for a few months.

The end of the TV season is almost here. There’s a two-hour finale of Grey’s Anatomy tonight (that I hardly care about, but I watch because my wife does… even though she hardly cares now too), and the two-hour finale of Lost next week (which I am very excited about, as this has been the best season of the show since the first. Perhaps better even). Then that’s it, it’ll be time for broadcast television to go into hibernation mode.

Even though I’m an admittedly voracious consumer of television, I like the slow summer TV schedule (particularly since I’m also a voracious consumer of movies… and apparently not that much of a consumer of sunlight). It’s a great palette cleanser that allows me to get excited about shows again come fall. More than that, in recent years I’ve been able to use the three months of summer to catch up on shows on DVD that I would have otherwise missed. Last summer, we watched all five season of Six Feet Under, the first seasons of Dexter and Friday Night Lights, the first three seasons of The Wire, and re-watched the first season of Big Love, meaning that we probably ended up seeing better quality television from June-August than we did from September-May.

With that in mind, I figured I’d lay out my summer viewing plans here, and ask for any input any of you might have regarding how I might best use the months ahead (you know, besides silly stuff like getting outside to enjoy nature or whatever).
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TV Review: In Treatment – Season One

Keyser Soze?

In Treatment Season One

Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Blair Underwood, Dianne Wiest, Josh Charles, Embeth Davidtz, Melissa George, Mia Wasikowska, Michelle Forbes

Series Creator: Hagai Levi, developed by Rodrigo García
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Movie Review Catch-up: Ziplist Edition

Here’s another five-pack of quickie reviews. This time, I’ve selected five movies I’ve watched recently on DVD through Zip is one of the Netflix alternatives available here in Canada (Netflix is not available in Canada), where for a monthly fee, they mail you DVDs for rental. It’s been a good way to catch up on movies that may have skipped past me in theatres (often this means foreign language or documentary films), or older titles I’ve always thought about seeing, but never remember when it comes time to go to the video store (especially since it’s rare that I walk through the older stacks). I recommend it to DVD (or Blu-Ray) watchers in Canada, and, hey, if you’re interested, let me know. I get membership points when people I refer to Zip become members.
Read on for reviews of:
After the Wedding (2007)
Desert Blue (1998) 
In the Valley of Elah (2007)
The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)
A New Wave (2007)
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