By Shane McNeil, Sean Kelly, Leo K. Moncel and Caesar Martini
From the writers of last year’s smash hit series Summer Movie MegaCalendar, prepare to be blown away by the thrilling sequel! More punch-out prose, more dastardly disagreements and more sarcastic humour. We size up this May’s sequels to Iron Man, Shrek and Gladiator (well, for all intents and purposes), and still make time for MacGruber and some curveballs. Join your old favourites as they take on all new challenges in Summer Movie Megacalendar: May 2010. This time, it’s personal.
Iron Man 2
There’s always such danger with following up a film that so easily surpassed expectations. The blockbuster set was pumped for the first Iron Man, but few could have predicted Robert Downey Jr. grabbing audiences and Hollywood by the throat so handily. The question is, where to now? Tony Stark has thrown wrenches at himself by revealing his secret identity, so that should present the superhero genre with a fresh twist, but will it be enough?
Jeff Bridges was one of my favourite parts of the first Iron Man, so his presence will be missed, and I can’t say I’m too thrilled to see Gwyneth Paltrow returning. That said, I’m a firm believer in Sam Rockwell and have seen movies in the past solely because he’s been in them.
I have a good feeling that Jon Favreau is a smart enough man to not lend his name (and surprising box office cred as a director – remember, he did Elf!) to a crap sequel. Therefore I’d probably consider this on the top of my list for May, but it’s blockbuster season and anything’s possible. I don’t think it’ll be a Dark Knight calibre follow-up, but at worst, I can’t see it being much worse than, say, an X-Men sequel (the first one at least).
IMDB keeps describing Iron Man as a second-tier Marvel character. I don’t know if it was because of the 1994 cartoon series I watched as a kid, but I always considered Iron Man to be just as major as Spider-Man or the X-Men. Either way, the Iron Man film series is currently the undisputed Marvel champ and I am looking forward to the sequel.
You know what this picture needs? More Sam Rockwell. I’m just putting that out there, right now.
Let’s hope the script is every bit as clever as the one that so impressed us the first time at bat. I quietly fear that the joy of seeing Downey Jr. play an exaggerated version of his real-life playboy persona will be diminished this round, if only because I’m expecting it.
To put it simply, I want to see Iron Man 2 because Iron Man 1 was awesome. Anyone who doesn’t want to see Iron Man 2 is in deadly danger of sucking too hard to live and never being my friend, which is a fate worse than simply sucking too hard to live.
Raise your hand if you thought this was a Gladiator sequel when you first saw the trailer.
While I will acknowledge that there is potential in casting Rusty the lovable thief, I also am left to wonder about the necessity of this film even being made. Yes, we all want to forget that Kevin Costner ever existed, but I just don’t know that Sir Ridley’s version will be monumentally different, or, that is, different enough to warrant the trip and the two hours twenty minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.
I’d leave it at “I’ll see it if I’ve got some free time” but I’m not expecting it to be a whole lot better than Kingdom of Heaven.
Refering to the marketing here, I think there have been just as many “see the story behind the legend” movies as there have been Robin Hood films. Russell Crowe looks suspiciously exactly the same he looked in Gladiator and I have a feeling he and Ridley Scott are trying to reignite that spark ten years later. Either way, I’m looking forward to this more realistic take on the classic story.
Shit yeah, Gladiator again! But, wait, what if I only liked Gladiator because I was in grade 10?
I’ve heard people scoff that this looks like it’s Gladiator in Sherwood Forest, but they say it like it’s a bad thing and I find that very confusing. If Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe can make a movie that rocks half as hard as Gladiator, then it should be more than worth anyone’s time to see it, assuming they have at least one functioning neural ganglion that can sense awesomeness.
Yayyyyyy! An SNL movie! These are always good, right??
They loaded up the trailer with some pretty edgy bits, but I wonder if they spent their allowance entirely on a minute-long spot.
This could be the best one they’ve done since Wayne’s World… though given the competition that’s not too high a goal (I did love The Ladies Man, however!).
It’ll all come down to whether the fact that the TV skit’s never on for more than half a minute means creative freedom — as they’ll have no conventions to conform to — or whether it just means MacGruber has no actual plotlines to carry out.
I can’t remember the last time a Saturday Night Live sketch was adapted to a film (I think it might have been The Ladies Man). You have to admit that this MacGyver parody done by the Lonely Island guys would probably to be the last thing people would have expected when choosing a sketch to adapt. Still, the film might be worth checking out.
Movies based on SNL sketches are hit and miss (mostly miss), but what can I say, the trailer looks hilarious.
Shrek Forever After
I had to Google this movie to see if it was the third or fourth offering in the franchise. This is clearly a movie that’s not meant for my demographic. Though I’m sure that it (and the third Shrek, which I evidently missed) will handsomely pay off any financial debts Mike Myers may have incurred during the recession.
That said, it can’t pay off his karmic debt for The Love Guru.
Since I can’t say whether the third movie was any good, I’ll say that this one will probably be about as good as that one – though I’m hard pressed to think of a fourth sequel in the history of sequels that was any good.
But hey, if you’re seeing it with kids, at least you can have fun trying to explain who Max Von Sydow is.
The Shrek series lost a little steam with the ho-hum third chapter – which followed an absolutely great second film. I’m not sure about the It’s a Wonderful Life-like alternate reality premise, though hopefully the series will end with some sort of a bang.
Shrek 1 & 2 are still amoung the funniest CGI films ever made, and while Shrek the Third was a bland disappointment in comparison, I have faith that Dreamworks can recapture the winning formula of the first two films. Plus it has fat Puss N Boots.
Being a fan of both drug stories and fish-out-of-water stories, you can imagine how I reacted upon hearing about a film following an Orthodox Jewish boy put up to the task of becoming a New York ecstasy dealer. If Eisenberg doesn’t go too dopey and Michael Cera-ish, the atmosphere looks about right.
Enthralled as I am with the premise, it matters little, as I’m not counting on heavy distribution for this flick.
This is one I missed at last year’s TIFF and one I’ve heard great things about.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet is not everyone’s cup of tea, but at least you usually know what you’re getting yourself into — whimsical plotlines, high artistic sensibilities and, usually, a bit with a little person.
I was a little disappointed with A Very Long Engagement, but Jeunet’s had five years to roost since then, so perhaps he’s finally found a piece that’s more along the lines of Amelie and Delicatessen in terms of quality storytelling. Or, perhaps, it’ll be a sign that he needs to switch up the formula.
Either way, if you’re tired of the blockbusters, this would be my choice for an inoffensive and probably enjoyable trip outside Hollywood.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Videogame adaptations don’t really have a good track record. However, with Jerry Bruckheimer producing, this film may accomplish for video game films what Pirates of the Caribbean accomplished for films based on theme park rides.
Ughhh, Disney. I guess it’s better this than a fourth Pirates shipwreck. Jake Gyllenhaal as the sword-swinging, maiden-saver? I guess a picture like this (or maybe three, just guessing) puts enough dough in the Gyllenhaal account to allow him to do plenty of the sorts of pictures he’s known for. But can he go back to being a darko brokeback jarhead, or has he crossed a line here; will he become a fulltime star? Or, just as possible, get thrown out of this flaming wreck mid-way through, like his blue-eyed “brother” who went the action route.
I want this movie to be good, because the video games are so good and the story provides a TON of excuses to use some awesome Matrix-y effects and show ass kicking in slow motion. But the preview looks like a mess of chaotic weird yellow sparkles, so I’m very worried. But what else am I going to see that week, Sex and The City 2? (Answer: no, I am bloody well not.)
Sex and the City 2
I am acknowledging its existence. That is all.
Survival of the Dead
I don’t have much to speculate about this film, since I already saw it at TIFF last year. There are purists that prefer Romero’s early “…of the Dead” films to his latter ones, but all I’ve got to say is that this was an entertaining film with some highly creative zombie kills.