Bruce Willis as a "rebellious raccoon"?
As the Summer movie season sorta begins, Sunday's NYT had a Summer movie release schedule section. More coverage of the season can be found at IMDb. Theater attendance has been declining, so it's said, and formerly secure strategies for producing hit movies appear to have become less secure. This weekend's lackluster performance for Mission: Impossible: III (for the sake of accuracy, I note that the poster has colons separating the "M" "i" and "III", while the full title appears to have undergone a colectomy) demonstrates that even for Tom Cruise, moviemaking appears to have become a risky business.
Still, it looks like the movie industry hasn't abandoned the stuff that's been so profitable in the past. What does the summer bring us?
Check - M:i:III, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Garfield's A Tale of Two Kitties, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Clerks II, Invincible (oh wait, that's not actually a sequel to Rock Star)
Check - Poseidon, The Omen, Pulse, Romeo and Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss, Lassie
TV show adaptations?
Check - Strangers with Candy, Miami Vice, Crazy Like a Fox (oh wait, that's not actually a version of Crazy Like a Fox)
Video game and comic adaptations?
Check - Art School Confidential, Over the Hedge, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green, Superman Returns, Azumi, DOA: Dead or Alive
Check - The Da Vinci Code, The Devil Wears Prada, A Scanner Darkly, How to Eat Fried Worms, Factotum
Animated kids movies?
Check - Over the Hedge, Cars, Garfield..., Romeo and Juliet..., The Ant Bully, Barnyard, Monster House, Captain Sabertooth
Check - An American Haunting, See No Evil, The Omen, Pulse (maybe, remains to be seen), The Reaping, The Return, The Descent
There are some things I'm kind of interested in here. On the "quality movie" front there's Art School Confidential, Mouth to Mouth, Coastlines, 13 Tzameti, The Science of Sleep, and The Illusionist. Land of the Blind looks really interesting (and it has Gareth!). I might be tempted to see some of the horror releases, although I can't muster much enthusiasm for The Omen, another remake of another 70s "classic" that I'm not fond of. The continuing wave of comic book adaptations doesn't interest me much. I'm a fan of the original Poseidon Adventure, but not sure the remake is compelling enough to lure me into the theater. Distributors keep looking for another documentary to hit big and there are a few here that might be worth seeing (Guiliani Time, aka Tommy Chong, This Film is Not Yet Rated). Beerfest looks, oddly enough, kind of intriguing.
There's plenty here that looks appalling, though, or at least categorically unnecessary. One Last Thing, for instance, is almost unbelievable at first blush, but Cynthia Nixon and Gina Gershon are in it. The same could be said for My First Wedding, except nobody's in it of note. I understand that Lindsay Lohan movies make money, but Just My Luck looks like she's pushing it. She's obviously trying to stretch a bit by joining an Altman ensemble in A Prairie Home Companion, but I don't care for the source material so she'll have to do it without me.
Nacho Libre combines the director of Napoleon Dynamite with Jack Black and that bodes ill for us all. Also on the "comedies that look annoying" front we have Click, Little Man, Another Gay Movie, Zoom, The Puffy Chair (which sounds like it'll be one of those too-self-satisfied-indie comedies), and of course, Clerks II. I can only hope that the latter will finally demonstrate to America that Kevin Smith's entire career has been an abominable mistake that we can put past us. The Will Ferrell/Wilson Bros./Vince Vaughn/et al. comedy mafia have a number of movies on the horizon that could, like all the others, turn out good or really bad.
The less said about Snakes on a Plane the better. Hasn't the internet already done enough damage?
Not much to get excited about, but I can't remember the last time I was really excited about seeing a movie. No reason summer should be any different.