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AM’s 2010 Summer Movie Preview Part 4: August Can be Muggy


There’s probably a good allegory for this section and the idiom ‘the dog days of August’, but I haven’t written this much in ten years, easy.  We’ll try to whittle this down for you… 

The Disappearance of Alice Creed:  Apparent Plot:  Two british felons kidnap a woman, but a lot of things break bad in a big way quickly.  Pros:  Appearance makes this seem a little smarter than a lot of generic thrillers, but I might be fooled by the British accents.  There’s not a lot of thrillers, and seemingly no horror on this year’s summer slate, could make this a nice change of pace.  Probable Cons:  A cast of complete unknowns to the unwashed masses in the States, and its British heritage might be a harder sell than if this had, say, Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman in it.  Outlook:  Unless it’s the best thriller in twenty years, this will wilt in the summer heat, but I greatly look forward to watching it on Instant Watch within the year. 

The Other Guys:  Apparent Plot: A mismatched couple of cops, one played by Will Ferrell as ‘scaredy-cat idiot’, the other by Mark Wahlberg as ‘Mark Wahlberg’, finally get a chance at breaking out and making a name for themselves on the force.  Presumably through hijinks.  Pros:  While Ferrell is hit-and-miss, I’ve noted he’s generally more successful working with a straight man, which this provides him with, and he looks completely on his game here.  Supporting cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and Michael ‘Where The Hell Have You Been?’ Keaton – all three in my ‘mortal weaknesses’ category.  Trailer actually is funny as hell.  Probable Cons:  Ferrell can also launch some tankers – or worse yet, comedies with some solid laughs, all of which are featured in the trailer.  Let’s hope that’s not the case here.  This appears completely reliant on the stars and dialogue, as the plot looks chock full of cliché.  Outlook:  Will Ferrell seems due for something good, this will make a nice little date movie, and it’s big dumb comedy, which has been faring well as of late.  I’ll likely part the leather sea and cough over full price for The Other Guys

Step Up 3D: Apparent Plot: There’s lots of sweaty kids dancing….AND THEY’RE COMING RIGHT AT YOU!  Pros:  If you really like movies about kids dancing, this should be a home run.  Probable Cons: Probably not a good choice for anybody else.  Outlook: With any luck, this will put a giant second nail in the coffin of all this insane 3D-it-all madness we’re living in.  I will never watch this.  No chance in hell. 

Eat Pray Love:  Again, we’ve stumbled across one that I have no business opining on.  Based on a best-selling book about a woman whose trying to get pregnant, but gets divorced instead and starring Julia Roberts and James Franco.  Sound good to you?  Go for it.  I’m done now. 

The Expendables:  Apparent Plot: A grizzled mercenary leads his group of rag-tag renegade killers on one last mission to save the daughter ofOHMYGODWHOCARES? WILL YOU LOOK AT THAT GODDAMN CAST?!? Pros: Sylvester Stallone.  Mickey Rourke.  Jet Li.  Jason Statham.  Randy Couture.  Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Bruce Willis.  Eric Roberts.  Dolph Lundgren.  Terry Crews.  Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Some girl is also in this.  Probable Cons: Will not appeal to 97% of the female population of the Earth.  Will be a horrible choice if inserted into a success-driven ‘date night’ plan. Outlook:  Hey, are you a guy?  Then you should already have purchased tickets. In what I consider shrewd, intelligent decision-making (rare in Hollywood) I suspect ‘coherent plotting’ will be cast aside in favor of more room for punching, kicking, and blowing-to-hell-all-sorts-of-ridiculous-shit.  Bravo!  I have been waiting for this PhenomenalBomb to drop for two goddamn years.  I may camp out.  Starting today. 

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: Apparent Plot:  Based off a fantastic comic book, SPvTW is the tale of a teenager who needs to battle and defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil and super-powered ex-boyfriends in order to win her love.  Pros: This is a great story, and super original.  Fun stunt casting with Brandon ‘Superman’ Routh and Chris ‘Human Torch AND Captain America’ Evans as two of the exes….also features Jason Schwartzman, who can be just tits awesome.  Probable Cons:  On the other hand, Schwartzman can also be grating and unbearable, so it’s a coin flip.  Michael Cera hasn’t shown me anything to prove he deserves to star in all the things he stars in – he’s pretty much a visual representation of ‘one trick pony’.  Despite excellent source material, indy comics to screen have a mass appeal problem by and large.  Outlook:  I’m willing to grit my teeth yet again to get past Cera’s nebbishness, because this is a great story….however, I’m gonna go ahead and do that down the line when I can rent it, and stop watching it without regret for monies lost.  This might do average box office for a couple of weeks, but similar to Kick-Ass, this aims at a pretty slim demographic and will likely have more luck on the home front. 

The Switch: Apparent Plot:  A single woman in her forties opts to artificially inseminate herself with a turkey baster and years later finds out her male friend switched some samples on her.  Pros:  Jennifer Aniston is a good actress in the right role.  Jason Bateman is a funny guy in the right role.  They’re both in this, a romantic comedy in a season where there doesn’t appear to be much competition in the category.  Cons:  The thing with romantic comedies with two B to C level stars is they mostly easily fall into the ‘wait for it a couple months’ category.  Plot twists and dialogue are usually interchangeable with any other of their ilk, and this doesn’t appear to be particularly unique.  Outlook:  This might catch a break and be that one average rom-com every year or so that just hits at the right time and gets a good run, but I’d expect it to be available on Instant Watch, Redbox and HBO no later than December. 


Ice Cube 4 Life


Lottery Ticket: Apparent Plot: A kid in the projects discovers he’s won hundreds of millions of dollars, but has to survive a weekend with his wacky and greedy neighbors before he can cash in.  Pros: Ice Cube.  Terry Crews. Keith David.  Bill Bellamy.  Probable Cons: Bow Wow.  Mike Epps.  Outlook:  I made a pledge since I saw Anaconda that I would support Ice Cube no matter what.  I see no reason to change that policy now, as it seems to have been working for me. 

Nanny McPhee Returns:  Apparent Plotline:  Nanny McPhee?  She returns.   Probably with a new family of jerky kids to straighten up.  Pros:  The first Nanny McPhee was a great family movie, and Emma Thompson really has good control of her creation.  Cons:  Come on, I’m not going to lean in to a harmless light kid’s movie like this.  Outlook:  It’ll do what it came to:  provide a nice night out for a whole family with good pacing and clever plotting.  Should do just fine. 

Takers:  Apparent Plot:  It’s a heist film!  Some guys are going for the big score, but complications arise.  Pros:  Matt Dillon is as good an actor as is still working, and I don’t know why he doesn’t get more credit.  Idris Elba is also in here, and he’s got a huge watchability factor. Cons: Movie also features Hayden Christensen.  And Paul Walker.  Outlook:  There’s no big names in here, and that’s usually a good indicator of success for caper films in regard to their theatrical run.  Unless it’s Usual Suspects good it’ll come and go fast, but I look forward to its mass-market home consumption release, because I likey the heist films.  Usually. 

Going The Distance:  Apparent Plot:  A couple tries to make a long-distance relationship work out.  Pros: Drew Barrymore remains likeable in light fare like this one.  Ron Livingston and Christina Applegate I assume are playing the ‘best friends’ and they are both great at sidekick work.  Probable Cons: Justin Long, while certainly funny in small doses, doesn’t hit me as ‘leading man’.  Similar to The Switch a lot is going to depend on the strength of dialogue and repression of cliché situations.  Outlook:  Either this or The Switch is going to grab the romantic comedy money this month, the other will tank.  Too soon to tell which one will be the winner, but both will be in heavy rotation on HBO or Showtime by the first of the year. 

Piranha 3D:  Apparent Plot: Piranhas are gonna try to eat you.  Pros:  Piranhas.  In 3D.  (If you need more, here’s the cast:  Elizabeth Shue, Jerry O’ Connell, Ving Rhames, Adam Scott, Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd.  Doc Brown Represent!)  Probable Cons:  I fail to understand your question.  Outlook:  Despite how it may have sounded earlier, I don’t hate the use of all 3D.  I just think it needs to be used sparingly; it’s a ‘only on special occasions’ kind of deal, like wedding china.  Now tell me, what kind of occasion besides ‘a million piranhas trying to eat your dumb movie-going ass’ is any more special?  The answer is ‘none’.  None more special. 

That’s all I’ve got for this summer preview, kids!  Hope you enjoyed it, I wish you the best of luck, and sincerely wish in my heart that this helps you choose wisely.  Now I gotta go get in line for The Expendables.


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