Last week's listing was only half of the rather massive cinematic slate this summer will offer. Read on to see what else is in store at a theater near you in a few months.
July 6: “The Amazing Spider-Man”
Will it be good? Did we really need a reboot of the “Spider-Man” franchise? I mean, we're barely five years removed from the franchise that Sam Raimi built and Sony feels it necessary to retread old ground. I will say that I think casting Garfield as Peter is pretty fantastic, as is Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben. That said, the tone that director Marc Webb seems to be going for feels way too dour for a “Spider-Man” movie and the rumblings I hear indicate he may have made some superfluous and unnecessary alterations to Spidey's origin. I'm trying hard to be optimistic about this, but it's not easy.
Will it be good? Director Oliver Stone has been languishing in mediocrity for more than a decade now and this looks like a glorious return to form to the hyper-stylized, oversaturated style of insane filmmaking that he helped perpetuate back in the '90s. If this is a return to form for the Stone we saw in “U-Turn,” “Natural Born Killers” and “Any Given Sunday,” I'll welcome “Savages” with open arms.
July 13: “Ice Age: Continental Drift”
Will it be good? I guess? Some people seem to love these movies, I can't abide them. They don't feel like lazy rehashes in the way the “Shrek” films increasingly felt, but they do feel particularly uninspired. If you enjoy the previous three films it stands to reason you'll likely enjoy this.
Will it be good? Some people might find the concept of a living teddy bear that drinks and smokes weed and cavorts with prostitutes and curses like a sailor a funny thing. I am not one of those people. At least, I don't think the concept has enough steam in it to sustain a feature-length movie. A “Saturday Night Live” sketch, sure, but not 90 minutes of a movie. As “Family Guy” has so aptly proven, MacFarlane is the master of running a single joke into the ground at record speed and I imagine this is what's going to happen with “Ted.”
July 20: “The Dark Knight Rises”
Will it be good? Quick, name the last trilogy that actually stuck the landing and had a third part which managed to retain the quality of the previous two films. The ones that do are few and far between, so let's just say that director Christopher Nolan has his work cut out for him. That said, Nolan is one of the most precise directors currently working and if anyone can make this third and final chapter work it's him. “The Dark Knight” managed to tap into the cultural zeitgeist in just the right way so it'll be interesting to see if that attachment and excitement sticks around for this.
Will it be good? No, I didn't make that last part up. It's certainly an…unexpected premise, but with a cast that includes Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Bill Crudup, Will Forte and Richard Ayoade it ought to be pretty entertaining.
“Step Up Revolution”
“Will it be good?” The “Step Up” movies (well, the second and third ones, at least) are ridiculously fun to watch and I have no qualms about admitting as such. The plots are cliché to an almost self-aware degree but the dancing and choreography (which, let's be honest, are the only reasons to watch these) get more ridiculous and ridiculously entertaining with each entry. I expect this to be no different. It's like a kung-fu movie, laugh at the cheesy story, stick around for the absurdly entertaining physical feats.
Aug. 3: “The Bourne Legacy”
Will it be good? Well, it's directed by Tony Gilroy, the man responsible for the original Bourne trilogy's scripts so it's certainly got a good pedigree going and Renner has certainly become the new action man du jour. It looks to expand on the Bourne universe in intelligent ways and includes series veterans with Joan Allen, David Straitharn and Albert Finney, along with some fantastic newcomers to the series in Edward Norton, Rachel Weiss and Oscar Isaac. Heck that supporting cast alone makes this worth watching.
Will it be good? Probably not. I mean, look, there's plenty of room for a new adaptation of Philip K. Dick's original novel “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” since the Arnold Schwarzenegger original was hardly faithful, but hiring a studio hack like Len Wiseman to do it isn't the way to go. At least Colin Farrell fits the “everyman thrust into extreme circumstances” better than Schwarzenegger, but overall this will likely end up generic and bland like all of Wiseman's other films.
Will it be good? Man, I have no idea. I only just found out about this while researching for this roundup. It stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galiafinakis and it'll be interesting to see two wildly disparate comedic sensibilities clash, but it's directed by Jay Roach whose work is almost universally mediocre.
Will it be good? This looks delightful. I love that we're getting more movies done in traditional stop-motion animation. The style is always wonderful to watch regardless of the story, but the story here looks like a ton of fun, too.
“The Expendables 2”
“Will it be good?” I loved the first one, though it didn't quite live up to what it should have been as a Who's Who of '80s action stars. This looks to try and be what the first should have with the original cast returning, but this time adding Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris into the mix while giving Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger more prominent, active roles. My enthusiasm is dampened by Simon West directing, but here's hoping it'll be the action cheesefest we deserve.