Wow! What a difference! By which we mean: the summer season of cinema dawned Friday with the release (and mauling box-office success) of The Avengers, ushering in months of major releases designed to make lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of money, generally by including explosions, boorish humor, or some combination of both. Here at FR, though, even snot-nosed cineastes Nathan and Tyler find diamonds in the rough of the summer slate; herein the pair reveal their most anticipated flicks of the swarthy weeks ahead.
Nathan: The Dictator
I’m a little leery of Sacha Baron Cohen’s ability to transfer his talents to scripted material, but The Dictator looks like so much ridiculous fun that I’ve become hopeful. Anyone who has seen Ali G Indahouse knows that I’m probably in for a big disappointment. But, then again, Ali G never got to play alongside Ben Kingsley or Anna Faris.
Tyler: That’s My Boy
Okay, yeah, this is stupid, but I have two reasons for wanting to see this movie.
1. It’s rated R, and I still have an affection for the actually-funny Adam Sandler movies of my youth (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer, I’m looking at you; Grown Ups, Click, Flingus McDurd, not so much). Turned loose beyond PG-13 rules, Sandler was rather impressive in Judd Apatow’s inevitably-too-long Funny People, and the injection of seeming-yet-irritating comic genius Andy Samberg (so consistent, so amusing, yet carrying the aura of a dude who just smokes half a joint and spits out four dozen immediate comedic memes) may well light a fire under old dog Adam yet.
2. Dan Patrick, and the Danettes. Yep–I’m a nerd. But, y’know, for sports.
Ridley Scott, the guy who gave us Alien and Blade Runner, is back in science fiction again. If anyone can make this genre interesting for me, it’s Scott.
Please, please, please be better than Avatar.
Tyler: The Bourne Legacy
Unlike many, I never went head-over-moist-panties for the average-to-great action of the Bourne movies. I tend to prefer Matt Damon when he’s working a little more complex, and I like my spies lean and mean, bedding ladies and quipping wisecracks. (Read: I fucking love James Bond movies.) But it would be churlish of me to say the trilogy was anything less than at least good/solid, and now personal titan of Godlike manliness Jeremy Renner is taking over the addled title role, which means I’ll almost certainly check out Legacy on the big screen, praying for more than a little of that Hurt Locker fire from my boy, properly referred to as RENNER.
Nathan: Magic Mike
Steven Soderbergh, still channeling his inner neo-realist, casts Channing Tatum (a former male stripper) as – you guessed it! – a male stripper. Like all Soderbergh projects, this has the potential to be horrible in so many ways. And yet, if he’s for real about his impending retirement, I expect Soderbergh to go out with a blast.
Prometheus has been in development for years, its initial status that of a “prequel” to Alien, directed by the actual director of Alien–Ridley Scott–and Alien is ten thousand times better than Aliens, I don’t wanna hear it. Whether the flick maintains actual relation to that franchise’s saga remains in question, but the return of Ridley to the genre/timeline (??!?) of his finest film, with Guy Pearce, Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender in for the ride? Hell’s bells, mark me down.
Pixar, when they aren’t rolling out another sequel (did we really need Cars 2) or a 3D version of a previous movie (Finding Nemo was just fine in 2D as I recall), is money in the bank. There’s a lot of buzz about the fact that Brave will be the first computer animated film to feature a female lead character. I guess I’m glad that little girls will now be provided a role model who is not some demure, narcissistic princess. But, for me, Brave is really about a chance for Pixar to return to form with original material.
Tyler: Take This Waltz
Sarah Polley, forever etched in my affections due to her acerbic turn in the underrated Go, has in recent years turned her attention to direction. Waltz marks her second directorial effort (after the well-received Away From Her, which I’ve yet to see), and assembles a cast led by fellow FR writer Nathan’s crush (Michelle Williams), including Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman, comedic exceptionals both whose dramatic abilities have gone teased but unplumbed in previous efforts. The film itself explores the complexities of balancing marriage with the possible distraction of sudden impassioned romance, a topic I find fascinating. I’m all about the blockbusters come summer, but the due date for this flick (June 29) might just get itself inked on my calendar.
Nathan: Moonrise Kingdom
So, Moonrise Kingdom won’t be a blockbuster by any measurement, but…
It’s true; every Wes Anderson movie is pretty much like the last Wes Anderson movie. Aside from the fact that the title of his most recent effort sounds as though it should be attached to an anime, I don’t expect Moonrise Kingdom to break any new ground. And, honestly, that’s just fine with me. His movies are so visually pleasant and wryly funny that Anderson’s lack of creative ambition has never bothered me one bit. Moonrise Kingdom should be a typical Wes Anderson movie, which means I should have a grand time watching it.
Tyler: The Dark Knight Rises
Cue Bart Scott.