Realistically, I’ll get to a movie every other week this summer. Sure, when the schedule is released, my eyes widen, and I dream about seeing every movie that looks like it’s worth $7.50 and a few hours of seclusion in the dimly-let, air-conditioned theater. But with a nod to reality, I’ve chipped away at the fluff, and here’s my top dozen movies I’ve got to see. Then I’ll ask you, What did I miss? Why should I skip one? Weigh in and decide.
12. Men in Black III (May 25). It’s a sad day when a Will Smith blockbuster doesn’t come out July 4th. But it’s because of Smith that I’ll be in the theater to see him track down Tommy Lee Jones in the past (Josh Brolin’s character), instead of checking out the Total Recall remake or catching Snow White & The Huntsman (which get honorable mention on the list).
11. Lawless (August 31). Tom Hardy + Western = Must-see. Frankly, it’s the only Western releasing this summer and I still have to wash Cowboys & Aliens out of my proverbial mouth. Plus, being based on a true story gets some extra points.
10. The Samaritan (May 18). A small-screen story starring Samuel L. Jackson? We haven’t seen that in a while! Somehow, the idea of the con trying to go straight remains alluring, and I’ll be interested to see if this can hold its own in the season of the blockbuster.
9. Neighborhood Watch (July 27). I want to see what kind of conversation this stirs up even more than I care to see the Vince Vaughn/Jonah Hill/Ben Stiller team-up about a… Neighborhood Watch. Will this provide a positive segue into considering the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case?
8. Ted (July 13). Putting Contraband aside, I love me some Mark Wahlberg. And Seth McFarlane is a funny dude (no, I don’t do Family Guy), so this tale about a grown man and his still-around teddy bear (that talks!) might be the surprise comedy of the summer.
7. The Amazing Spiderman (July 3). Sure, this is Tobey Maguire territory, but here’s hoping that Andrew Garfield can do it better. I just want Maguire out of my head!
6. Bourne Legacy (August 3). Jeremy Renner IS Bourne. In my mind, he fits the Robert Ludlum stories BETTER than Matt Damon. So this could be incredibly awesome. We’ll see what kind of story they can spin with a new agent, and a new backstory.
5. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22). Sure, vampires are en vogue, but this tale should make history a bit more “undead” and allow us to reconsider the forces which Lincoln stood for and fought against.
4. Brave (June 22). Pixar is always awesome, and their first story with a female heroine beats out Madagascar 3:Europe’s Most Wanted (by a lot) and ParaNorman (by a little less) for most-anticipated animated movie of the summer.
3. Avengers (May 4). What, you thought this would be number one? I know Comic Editor Arnaldo Reyes wants me to shell out for IMAX, but this isn’t quite as awesome in my mind as another comic book-to-movie I’ve been waiting even longer for. But the teamwork motif will certainly be worth engaging and dissecting after the concussive blasts fade away.
2. Prometheus (June 8). An Alien prequel? Or something Ridley Scott dreamed up in a space of its own? The trailers and the posters have me wondering how our “search for our beginning could be our end.” Will they find God in space? Sure, we’ve seen attempts to that before, but Scott is a space master.
1. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20). Christian Bale as Batman, fair ye well. And Hardy in my list for a second time as Bane. Wow, this one has all of the pieces to be extremely excellent in storytelling AND entertainment, as Chris Nolan reflects on our world and what we should change. Which means I better go back and rewatch The Dark Knight.
What did I miss? What can’t you believe I included? Argue. Please.