The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens this weekend, and, like the first robin of spring, the first superhero movie of the summer is both the harbinger of a coming season and a warning to look out for falling turds. The studios typically like to release anything worthwhile in the September through December awards corridor, but even the most psuedo-intellectual Steve McQueen fanboy among us would have to admit that for all their faults, big bloated blockbusters pack an even greater potential for surprise than your average awards bait Holocaust flick. Not always in a good way, of course, but that’s part of the fun.
For my money, there’s nothing better than going into a movie not knowing if it’s going to be a disaster, or a glorious, glorious disaster. There are plenty of reasons to be excited on that front this year, as Summer 2014 brings us both C-Tates playing an intergalactic bounty hunter with elf ears, and a movie featuring a murderous raccoon starring Vin Diesel as a talking tree. God I love that gravel-throated simpleton.
Before we get to the full breakdown, I polled some of the Uproxx crew on their most anticipated movie of the Summer:
Evan Harold: Jupiter Ascending. Wachowski Starship Till I Motherf*cking Die
Heather Dockray: Publicly: Love is Strange. Privately: Jurassic Park 4. Shamefully and privately: Step Up: All In. [Editor’s Note: JP4 is next Summer but we know everything here was just a diversion from Step Up anyway]
Danger Guerrero: Probably Godzilla, which I am referring to as Heisenberg vs. Kaiju.
Cajun Boy: Boyhood. I’m a hopeless Richard Linklater fanboy.
Dan Seitz: X-Men: Days Of Future Past and Godzilla.
Robopanda: Guardians Of the Galaxy, motherf*ckers! [links to gifs of raccoons shooting machine guns].
Josh Kurp: Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: Days of Future Past. You know, really obscure stuff.
Meanwhile, Burnsy says “put me down for Expendables 3,” but I know he’s just sore about Evan choosing Jupiter Ascending before him. In fact, when we agreed to split up this post, he demanded to have the month with Jupiter Ascending in it. For me, it’s a dead heat between The Rover and Guardians of the Galaxy, ever since I saw that teaser.
May has a packed schedule that in addition to The Amazing Spider-Man, and the much anticipated Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Maleficent, includes bizarre whatsits like Don Peyote, Adam Sandler’s Blended, and Bad Johnson, starring Cam Gigandet with a personified penis, which looks like it was pulled straight from my nightmares. A few promising films that may fly under the radar include Filth and Chef.
Friday, May 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Drama, Nationwide, 3D/2D; IMAX 3D
Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker, Marvel’s web-slinging smartass, who takes on not only the Green Goblin, but also Rhino and Electro, because we learned absolutely nothing from Spider-Man 3‘s total villain clusterf*ck. But this time we’re led to believe that Spidey’s villains are not being crammed into one movie just for the hell of it. Instead, Sony is setting us up for a Sinister Six film that will change the way we look at superhero movies foreverrrrrrrr. Also, there might be some Venom teasing to help us wash the memory of Topher Grace from our brains. Honestly, anything will be better than the way that The Amazing Spider-Man simple told us the same old origin story. Let’s just hope this one has some spider-balls.
Walk of Shame – Comedy, Nationwide – Elizabeth Banks sleeps with James Marsden because she was drunk. Sure, like you’d need to be drunk with that hunk. It joins LOL and That Awkward Moment in the internet slang-cum-movie-titles hall of shame. Can’t wait for TIL, BRB, and the heartwrenching slavery drama, SMDH.
Belle - True Story, Limited – It’s the classic fish-out-of-water story about Admiral Sir John Lindsay’s illegitimate daughter, who helped end slavery in England.
The Protector 2 – Action, Limited – Starring Tony Jaa, this is the story of a guy who is wrongly accused of murdering an elephant camp owner, but only once he recovers his own elephant can he prove his innocence. Wait, what?
Beneath the Harvest Sky – Drama, Limited – This is billed as a “gripping coming-of-age thriller set against an authentic portrait of small-town American life,” which is basically The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Mr. Jones – Horror, Los Angeles – A young couple rents a cabin in the woods and sh*t gets scary. Feel free to use that on the poster.
Bad Johnson – Comedy, Limited – Cam Gigandet’s penis is played by Nick Thune. Seriously.
Whitewash - Thriller, Limited – Lowell from Wings drunkenly kills a guy and loses his mind in the snowy wilderness.
Decoding Annie Parker – Drama, Limited – It’s the true story of Mary-Claire King, who discovered the breast cancer BRCA gene mutation, and three-time cancer survivor Annie Parker.
Friday, May 9
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return – Fantasy, Nationwide – Spoil your children with the continuing story of Dorothy and the land of Oz, but this time with voices provided by Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.
Neighbors - Comedy, Nationwide
Seemingly ordinary 30-something husband and wife, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, find their lives turned upside down when frat bros Zac Efron and Dave Franco, among others (including perennial Oscar contender and friend of FilmDrunk, Chris Mintz-Plasse), move in next door and do as Pitbull preaches to us, by never stopping the party. Things quickly escalate to a full-blown prank war before fists are finally exchanged, but the most important part of all of this is that Efron takes his shirt off several times. It wouldn’t be a good movie if we didn’t see some Ef-nips.
Moms’ Night Out – Comedy, Nationwide – I saw this poster in the theater a few weeks ago…
… and I openly cried.
I don’t even know what to call a movie that panders this hard to the bored-to-tears suburban mom crowd, but I’m hoping there won’t be enough of them for us to have to give the genre a name.
Chef - Comedy, Nationwide – Jon Favreau is a famous chef who gives up his fancy L.A. restaurant for a Miami food truck, and Sofia Vergara is there to talk loud and wear tight, low-cut shirts. A classic and believable Vergara-Favreau-Scarlet Johansson love triangle ensues.
Devil’s Knot – Drama, Limited – Reese Witherspoon drunkenly asks Colin Firth, “Do you know who I am?” in this story of three teenagers accused of Satanic ritual murders, based on the West Memphis Three.
The Hornet’s Nest – Documentary/Drama, Limited – Real footage is used to tell the story of U.S. troops “sent on a dangerous mission deep inside one of Afghanistan’s most hostile valleys.”
God’s Pocket – Drama – Mad Men‘s John Slattery makes his directorial debut with this drama, which is also one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final completed films.
Palo Alto - Drama, Limited – James Franco plays a single dad who has a secret, illicit relationship with high school soccer star Emma Roberts. There’s more to this movie, but I just wanted to point out how artistic Franco is. (Based on the book by James Franco).
The Double – Drama, Limited – Richard Ayoade directs Jesse Eisenberg in this comedic take on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s story about a man losing his mind because of his doppelganger’s success.
Stage Fright – Horror, Limited – It’s like Friday the 13th if Camp Crystal Lake had been a “snobby performing arts camp,” like it always should have been.
Fed Up – Documentary, Limited – Brought to us by Katie Couric, “FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see.” Yeah, but can I eat six pounds of buttered popcorn while I watch it?
Friday, May 16
Godzilla - Action, Nationwide, 2D/3D
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and Bryan Cranston star in the latest retelling of the story of the lizard that comes to terrorize us from the deep. But is it all just a case of a misunderstood monster and people who freak out and panic any time a giant monster pops out of the ocean and starts wrecking shop? Beats me, I’m just here to see Heisenberg! The one con that I’ve noticed thus far, though, is that there’s a glaring lack of P. Diddy covering Led Zeppelin.
Million Dollar Arm – Drama, Nationwide – If there’s a sports-related movie that can possible be worse than the hilariously terrible Draft Day, this might just be it. Fingers crossed!
Wolf Creek 2 – Sequel, Limited – How do you have a movie franchise about a crazed serial killer in the Outback and not have Paul Hogan play the hero?
The Immigrant – Drama, Limited – Joaquin Phoenix forces Polish immigrant Marion Cotillard into prostitution in 1921 New York, but her faith is restored by famous magician Jeremy Renner, just like your great-grandparents.
Don Peyote – Comedy, Limited – Dan Fogler plays an unemployed stoner who panics over his upcoming wedding and goes on a drug-fueled journey that involves the end of the world and a variety of celebrity cameos from Anne Hathaway to Josh Duhamel’s handsome face.
A Night in Old Mexico – Drama, Limited – Robert Duvall loses his ranch and takes a road trip through Mexico with the grandson that he just met. Are there some shady bastards along the way? You bet!
Friday, May 23
X-Men: Days of Future Past – Action, Nationwide
The young versions of the X-Men that we met in First Class must stop the actions of their enemies in the past, so that the old versions of the X-Men that we met in X-Men, X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand can live and keep protecting the mutants of the future. How in the heck will that happen? Professor X sends Wolverine back in time through his mind so that he can convince the newly-crippled and totally hippie Charles Xavier to get his mutant act together. Trust me, it’ll probably be told better than this on the screen.
Blended – Comedy, Nationwide – Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reunite as a guy and girl who can’t stand each other but end up taking the same exact family vacation to Africa. HILARITY ENSUES!
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn – Drama, Limited – Robin Williams is a really pissed off guy whose doctor, Mila Kunis, can’t stand how angry he is and tells him that he has 90 minutes to live. So many zany voices, so little time!
Tracks - Thriller, Limited – Mia Wasikowska stars in the true story of a girl who sets off on a journey across 2,000 miles of Australian desert with her dog. Sadly, that dog does not talk.
Friday, May 30
Maleficent - Adventure, Nationwide, 3D/2D
Angelina Jolie pops on some prosthetic cheeks and horns to tell a new version of the evil witch who casts a spell on Princess Aurora as an infant, so she’ll grow up to become Sleeping Beauty. All of this madness takes place because an old, single woman was pissed off that she wasn’t invited to a baby’s birthday party. But all she would have done was show everyone pictures of her cats, and we get it, Maleficent, they’re all basically like your children. Get over it, lady.
A Million Ways to Die in the West… – Comedy, Nationwide – Seth MacFarlane stars as a cowardly sheep herder in the Old West, and when he falls for a mysterious new stranger played by Charlize Theron, her husband (Liam Neeson) shows up to cause trouble, and he finally learns to grow a pair of balls.
The Grand Seduction - Comedy, Limited – Taylor Kitsch somehow keeps finding starring roles, as he plays Dr. Lewis in this movie that sounds like a complete ripoff of Doc Hollywood.
We Are The Best – Drama, Limited – This is a movie about three friends who start an all-girl punk band, and not, as I had believed, about St. Louis Cardinals fans.
Filth - Drama, Limited – While the trailer tried to sell it as a really f*cked up comedy about a Scottish cop losing his mind, it’s a far, far darker tale than that.
Night Moves – Thriller, Limited – Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning play environmental activists looking to pull off the biggest protest of their lives, and it’s not a bongo protest on the Pit’s lawn, infortunately.
Words and Pictures - Drama, Limited – Clive Owen plays a washed up writer teaching English at a prep school, and he “meets his match” in a new art teacher played by Juliette Binoche. Will their feud end with them falling in love or will their departments lose funding well before that happens?