The List. It’s a way of organizing our thoughts on a certain topic into an easily digestible post. Topics may range from ranking the films of a certain actor who has an upcoming release, to even something as simple as listing our breakfast cereals of choice. Anything is game. Length may vary depending on the individual writing said list, and jumping from one topic to the next may leave you a little dizzy, but FUN (from the writer’s perspective at least) is our weapon of choice. Welcome to The List.
We are now officially less than three weeks away from the start of summer movie season. Running each year from the beginning of May through the end of August, filmgoers worldwide get excited each year at the prospect of their favorite superheroes, not to mention sequels, swooping into theaters. I am certainly one of these people but, while my geekdom often threatens my sanity whilst anticipating each May, I also just as intensely anticipate the releases of some lesser known, dare I say the word ‘independent’, films. Some will come and go without much fanfare, but some will catch fire which could lead to a buzz heading into awards season this fall.
Now, for my list of my most anticipated films of the summer.
Note: I will be seeing Frances Ha (May 17th), and The Spectacular Now (August 2nd) prior to the summer season, so they are not included for that reason. It also pained me to not include Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine (July 26th), but it’s too much of an unknown entity at this time.
Honorable Mentions: Man of Steel (June 14th), The World’s End (August 23rd), Iron Man 3 (May 3rd), The Wolverine (July 26th), The Conjuring (July 19th)
5. This Is The End (June 12th)
“I’d be pretty bummed if I at least don’t get a bite of the Milky Way”.
Just edging out Superman by a hair for this spot, the directorial debut of comedy writing duo Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg gets a jump start on the man of steel by releasing itself to theaters just two days prior. With the device of the Apatow clan playing heightened versions of themselves and a couple of funny trailers released to boot, I shouldn’t have been so surprised at placing it in my top five. Rogen & Goldberg have written some of the great comedies of recent years (Pineapple Express, Superbad) and in my opinion an unfairly maligned attempt at genre mashing (The Green Hornet). Although their recent attempt The Watch may be something to be concerned with, everything so far has pointed to, at the very least, an entertaining time at theatres this June.
4. Pacific Rim (July 12th)
“Today, we are canceling the apocalypse!”
After flirting with taking on The Hobbit before handing over the reigns to pal Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro chose to take on this clash of robots and monsters. If the trailer is any indication, he chose wisely. Known for his extraordinary use of special effects in conjunction with an interesting narrative approach, it should be no surprise that after jumping into the public’s eyes with Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy films, Del Toro has decided to use that exposure to make an ambitious pet project of his own. The kind of film that must cause Michael Bay to burst into fits of jealous rage, if there’s one thing we can count on in Pacific Rim, it’s epic action along with that too often forgot human touch.
3. Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17th)
“There’s greatness in you, but there’s not an ounce of humility.”
Without question the blockbuster I am most anticipating this summer is the long-awaited follow-up to 2009’s reboot of sorts helmed by everyone’s favorite lens-flaring maniac J.J. Abrams. Much like J.J., growing up I was always more of a Star Wars guy but what they were able to accomplish in rebooting Star Trek absolutely floored me. Not only were they able to turn the tales of the Enterprise into a non-stop thrill ride, but they also casted each iconic role perfectly. Chris Pine’s first performance as Kirk really made me take second notice of the actor, and now throw in Benedict Cumberbatch as the mysterious villain for the sequel, and we’ve got a sci-fi clash with a certain acting pedigree.
2. Before Midnight (May 24th)
“I don’t ogle girls, I make love to them with my eyes.”
Not the kind of sequel that usually springs to mind when discussing the summer movie season, Richard Linklater’s third time with lovers Jesse and Celine promises to be something special. Already receiving raves out of Sundance, Before Midnight could complete that ever-elusive ‘perfect’ trilogy for film buffs that have become increasingly frustrated by the inability of filmmakers to properly wrap up their trilogies. This time the couple is transplanted to Greece and here’s hoping Hawke and Delpy don’t go unnoticed come awards season, as I expect them to deliver two of the best performances of the year.
1. Only God Forgives (July 19th)
Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn is known for his penchant for ultra-violence, and although there are other filmmakers who use it in an exploitative manner, Refn uses violence a little differently. In my eyes he doesn’t use it to exploit, but rather to show its effects on the human psyche. Refn highlights the very real consequences of violence. Only God Forgives is his follow-up to Drive, both of which star Canadian heartthrob and quite possibly best actor on the planet, Ryan Gosling. This time out, he’s trading in his Hollywood stuntman gloves for two bare fists as a Thai boxing club manager out for revenge. And as for the trailer, well, it’s something to behold.