Summer Movie Preview Part Deux
Star Trek Into Darkness
J.J. Abrams, King of Nerds, is back with what looks like a hell of a film. In 2009 Abrams pulled off one of the most successful reboots of the remake/reboot generation. He injected Star Trek with some much needed vigor and action, but was able to maintain a good sense of character and heart. The opening 10 minutes of that film are an excellent example of affective emotional storytelling. I remember being shocked at how choked up I was, and I wasn’t even a Star Trek fan. Into Darkness had its first press screening on May 2nd and the word on the street is that it is an excellent nonstop thrill ride with enough character development to keep you invested. Can’t say I’m surprised. If Abrams has proven anything, it is that he has become Spielberg’s successor, able to craft engaging, thrilling films with an emotional core. Star Trek may be my most anticipated movie of the summer.
Man of Steel
I don’t get the hate on Superman Returns, in fact I actually really like that movie. I thought Bryan Singer set out to pay homage to Richard Donner’s films while keeping things modern, and he succeeded in spades. But if that version of Supes has been boxed in the phantom zone, then it looks like we’re getting a more than worthy replacement. This Christopher Nolan produced superhero drama looks to ground Superman in some semblance of reality and make him relatable to today’s world. Nolan did a wonderful job with Batman, I have all the faith that he can do that with Superman. Initially when Zack Snyder was hired as director, I grew worried. Snyder, while a stylish and capable director, has always lacked something in his movies: heart. Superman needs heart. The most recent trailer put those worries to rest. It looks like Man of Steel will be incredible, boasting an emotional performance from Kevin Costner as Pa Kent, and a terrifying Michael Shannon as General Zod. The action looks suitable super, and there was even a hint at humor. Can’t wait.
Only God Forgives
Drive was, simply put, one of the most stunning and engaging films of 2011. Only God Forgives marks the second collaboration of Ryan Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn. While Gosling calls Drive a dream, he’s said that Only God Forgives is a nightmare. Gosling plays Julian, an expat in Bangkok running an underground Thai Boxing ring. When Julian’s brother is killed, his mother appears and demands revenge. So far a few clips and two incredibly stylish and evocative trailers have been released. From the music to the cinematography – and Gosling doing his quiet BAMF thing – the movie looks exceptional.
I can’t say much about Elysium because I don’t know much. It’s got Matt Damon in it. He’s got on some strength enhancing exoskeleton. Sharlto Copley’s in it too, which a similar suit and a freaking sword. Oh and it’s directed by Neil Blokamp, writer/director of the excellent District 9. The story is about a middle class working man who discovers he only has days to live and the only cure for his disease is on the space station Elysium where only the 1% live. So he straps on the exoskeleton and starts blowing shit up, obviously. We can expect some gritty, raw filmmaking that will push the genre of sci-fi to new heights. This one looks intense.
The World’s End
At long last the great reunion of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost! The trio we haven’t seen since 2007 with Hot Fuzz. The Worlds End will wrap up what’s been referred to as the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy. So far they have deconstructed the zombie genre and the buddy cop movie. World’s End will tackle the apocalypse genre by taking a group of old friends on an epic pub crawl where they eventually discover they are humanity’s last hope for survival. Zany and epic!