Saturday, May 10, 2008

Summer Movie Predictions

Okay, so it's too late to predict how good or bad Iron man will be, but there's still plenty of others to make some guesses about. He's my unsolicted predictions (in order from "cool" to "sucky"):

Walle (totally cool)
Hellboy (way cool)
Narnia (Narnia will never be "cool", but there will be a story there)
Incredible Hulk (sort of cool)
Indiana Jones (not cool)
Speed Racer (daring, but never hits it's stride)
Kung Fu Panda (well, I like the character design... er, hmmm...nope, that's all I got)
Get Smart (the first trailer looked decent, and it's gone downhill from there)
The Spirit (oh god, don't give FM any more money!)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (complete drivel)

I guess I should elaborate on the Indiana Jones ranking... in my view, Raiders was the only good IJ movie, the other 2 are pretty awful. Also, I don't like that Transformers kid that's in it.... not. at. all. On the other hand, Karen Allen is in this one... most likely the main reason that the first one is so much better.


Mr Goodson said...

I'm in agreement on Indy4. He was too old on the third one. That was 20 years ago. The combo of Sean Connery being too old and Ford being too old was bad. And this new one you can tell there is way too much half assed green screen going on. The first one was almost all practical effects until they opened the ark at the end,. And even there they used real heads melting and exploding.

Speed Racer I've heard is a B- if you're being generous because the story is so weak.

WallE, I've practically seen it so i can tell you it's the usual Pixar bounty.

Hellboy I have high hopes for.

The Spirit doesn't look like it's going anywhere I want to go.

Haven't seen a hint of Journey to the Center of the Earth. If they don't have a duck named Gertrude, it's bad.

Might give Get Smart a chance.

Kung Fu Panda I'll probably check out. The animation has impressed me .

And I haven't seen the first Narnia. So the second can also wait. LOTR used up my fantasy/chain mail appetite.

Hulk looks like taking itself too seriously might be deadly to it. And I already said the fx look gamey. That link Tom gave us looked better.

Tom Moon said...

No No No! Indy4 will be cool because it will play along with the idea that he's too old to be doing that sort of thing! And because Karen Allen will be in it.

I hadn't heard about the Spirit movie, but I too am wary of it because of Miller. Still haven't see 300.

I liked the first Narnia. I have high hopes the next one will be even better. I think Narnia IS cool.

Wall-E? Already way too cute-sey for me judging by the trailers: the big eyes, the voice, the slapstick antics, but Pixar always deserves the benefit of the doubt.

I say new Hulk BE SMASH HIT!

No interest in Speed Racer; not surprised it's mediocre.

Everything else I'm not sure about.

Mr Goodson said...

Reviews on INDY on Aint it Cool are saying it's the third best and making the point that makes a very good movie. I'll see it. So...

I'm assuming this is a spoiler.....

Karen Allen?....

Mom of Labouf? with ...?

Tom Carroll said...

I think I really only have time / $$$ for Indy4, Wall-E, and Hellboy (not a date film, so I'll be flyin' solo...), and probably. I don't think I'm the target demographic for Speed Racer (I'd rather buy DVDs of the original) and I agree with what everyone says about The Spirit (the trailer didn't take me anywhere I wanted to go and it didn't seem Eisner-esque to any degree (except for the hat, I suppose)). Kung Fu Panda would make a good short, but expanding it to feature length seems a little gamey. I also agree that the more I see of Get Smart, the worse it gets. I've read the Narnia books and don't buy into the Hollywood-ization of C.S. Lewis' text ... LotR with a Lion.

Tom Carroll said...

Oh, BTW ... I took all members of the family to Iron Man yesterday and MY WIFE LOVED IT (a big surprise; she didn't grow up with comics, but the story and R.D. Jr. did the trick. I heard her laugh out loud at numerous lines (and gags), especially when Pepper says cattily that she even takes out the trash ... woot!!

Surly Bird said...

Personally, I think we've already peaked for the summer movies. "Iron Man" was a such a delight, I'm almost scared to see anything else.

I am fairly certain Indy 4 is yet another sequel we don't need from a man (George Lucas) who seems determined to destroy his own legacy - and that's a shame. He's clearly a man who just can't see what's wrong and who won't listen to constructive criticism by people who genuinely care about him and respect his vision. I re-watched "Raiders" last summer and was struck by how mature the tone of that movie is, especially compared to the sequels that followed. Something happened after "Raiders" to Lucas and Spielberg because they seemed genuinely afraid to have their popcorn movies skew to anyone other 10-year-old boys. Spielberg, of course, went on to reinvent himself as a 'serious' director, but Lucas regressed in a rather sad way. 'Raiders' had an edge to it that was gone in the next two movies. And, as Ellis pointed out, it was grounded in the real whereas the sequels looked like they were set-pieces and matte paintings and FX galore. The first one worked cause it had real grit - in the characters, story and environments. This new one looks like a hammy, predictable mess. I don't hate Shia LeBouf so much as I don't think he's been given much to do in any of the movies I've seen him in. Surprisingly, I thought his voice work in "Surf's Up" was great. That's probably my favorite film that he's been in. "Transformers" was such a mess of a movie, I can't really blame him for why it stunk. That's mostly Michael Bay's fault.

By now, the whole world knows to rent "Speed Racer." It had a pretty awful opening weekend although one of my coworkers took part of the day off Friday to see it with his son. His review: "I liked the cartoon as a kid. I liked the movie, which is just like the cartoon, as an adult." That's the problem with this movie - only fans of the cartoon are gonna get this movie. I never watched the cartoon as a kid, so its appeal is kind of lost on me.

"Hulk" is going to be a mixed bag, and I'm not particularly excited to see it. I'll go, but I feel like I've already seen the best parts of the movie from the trailers and they weren't that great.

"Hellboy" is also kind of giving me pause. It looks like HB stumbled onto the set of "Pan's Labyrinth." I liked the first movie a lot, but felt the romantic angle between Hellboy and Liz almost sunk the whole enterprise. I also thought making Hellboy relate to the public in a Bigfoot/Loch Ness/UFO way was a big mistake. A lot of what makes me love the comic is the way Mignola writes Hellboy in relation to other people. They just accept him as a regular guy. No bulging eyes or freaking out. No need to make the BPRD a shadowy secret government agency. What Del Toro got right was the opening sequence where Rasputin summoned the Lovecraftian creatures and, by proxy, Hellboy. That 10-minute opener, although not frame-for-frame perfect, was lifted right from the comic. It had that spooky Mignola feel. The rest of the movie, not so much, although it was fairly enjoyable (I really loved the character design on Abe). I wanted more of the Mignola spookiness and less of Hellboy escaping/unrequited love stuff. Hellboy never seems to have an identity crisis in the comics, he doesn't need one in the movies. From the little bits I've seen, this new HB movie kind of 'outs' Hellboy with the public. I hope Del Toro makes this one more true to the Mignola comic.

"Wall-E" looks fun. I'm definitely excited to see it.

Nobody mentioned "Batman" so I'll chime in. This movie looks like it'll be good, but, honestly, the dour superhero stuff is wearing just as thin in the movies as it did in the comics. Of course, Heath Ledger's posthumous performance as the Joker is the main draw. I dunno. I spoiled a bit of the movie for myself last week by seeing the make up for Two Face. Ye cats! I don't know how this movie dodged a hard "R" rating. For all the gushing over how realistic and gritty the first "Raiders" was, this one is just too grim. I still want to see it, but I kind of wish they'd throttle it back and make it more fun. "Iron Man" achieved this balance brilliantly. Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne are similar characters, too.

I'll probably rent Kung Fu panda. I'm not a huge Jack Black fan, but, like everyone else, I like the character design.

No interest in "Get Smart." For some reason it reminds me of that live-action "Inspector Gadget" movie with Ferris Bueller.

I didn't even know they were making a "Journey to the Center of the Earth" movie.

I hated every frame of that "Spirit" teaser. I'm done with the Frank Miller "300" "Sin City" type movies. I hope this is the last of them, even though I know a sequel to "Sin City" is on the way.

Saw the first Narnia flick and enjoyed it for what it was. I will probably rent this one. Like Ellis, I pretty much feel that after Tolkien, every one else looks like a piker.

Davis Chino said...

I love this film thread.

I saw (most of) Speed Racer Saturday at Grauman's Chinese while waiting for Hollywood Bowl tixs (see BRUSH PEN BREAKFAST for the whole story); it's horrible. I was (and remain) a BIG FAN of the cartoon. Re: the movie: do we really need 30 minutes detailing how BIG the big corporation is? Am I the only one disgusted by the hypocrisy of a mega-money Hollywood film-ization of a kid's cartoon preaching to me about the evils of the corporate world? And visually unendurable for anyone not on Ritalin.

Surly Bird, my hat is off to you--you've nailed the whole Hellboy movie problem, (I wrote a scathing review making the same point at my old movie review website EVENINGS IN/EVENINGS OUT). Depending on your p.o.v., Hellboy's new antagonist is either Elric of Melnibone or Draco Malfoy's dad from Harry Potter. The simple charm Mignola can generate in a drawing is completely absent in the high dollar CGI being applied to his characters/stories. He needs a cinematographer like Lee Garmes, or failing that, somebody who'd worked with Val Lewton.

Lewton producing Hellboy would have been the perfect marriage....This character needs LESS money thrown at it, not more--replace the money with more brains.

I don't know what you guys see in Kung Fu Panda. I think the animation looks like that same-ol' swish-into-a-pose, do-a-facial-take, give-us-a-fart-noise that was compelling on a low-budget 2D TV show in 1992, but is now morally bankrupt. I blame CalArts...

Journey to the Center of the Earth looks like Journey Straight to DVD.

GET SMART: the "reinterpretation" of the (justly famous) hallway-of-closing-security-doors, now in CG, with the busy-ness and the obvious stainless steel texture maps--who could have seen that coming?? Wow, that proves to me that this is a completely legit endeavor--I mean, it's not like they're just parasites on someone else's franchise...

...and don't you watch the trailer just waiting for Steve Carell to imitate Don Adam's voice? And aren't you left completely flat when he doesn't? (I'm not even saying he should--it's just makes me realize the success of the original "Get Smart" can be boiled down to Don Adam's voice).

The best thing about it seems to be The Rock. That says it all.

Sorry, I'm ranting.

Again, fun to read everyone's thoughts. I wish we could get this worked up about our drawings!

Anonymous said...

Sorry guys. SPEED RACER KICKED ASS. I saw it.

Anonymous said...

Walle (Indifferent either way. short circut by pixar)
Hellboy (looks cool, this one needs to be more epic)
Narnia (2nd part, its ok.)
Incredible Hulk (CAN'T WAIT)
Indiana Jones (FUN AT THE MOVIES)
Get Smart (looks like shit, smells like shit..its shit.)
The Spirit (WHERES THE COLOR!!!!)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (TRASH...trailer proves that)

Mr Goodson said...

Brevity Kraoyonzilla! We aren't here to listen to you contemplate your navel! Yeesh!

weezie said...

Indy4. I agree whole heartedly with the above sentiments about Lucas / Spielberg. Lucas is a carnival barker shouting about great entertainment and innovation right before he trots out the same old high wire act or bearded lady. By the look of the trailer, it looks like they've established a check list of big ticket items for the movie including numerous retreads of themes and content that are much better left in our collective memories and cinematic history. I also recently went back and watched the first three movies and the first film still holds up remarkably well although the monkey sequences are dark harbingers of what was to come in the future of Lucas' career. As far as Spielberg, Munich is about the only thing I've liked recently that he's put his stamp on.

I also agree with the Hellboy comments. As much as I loved the first one, this new film does look like some shotgun wedding between Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth. I'll still go see it though. I'm still holding out for something that matches Mignola's style as much as Screw-On Head did. Did you guys see those terrible Americanime style Hellboy movies that were out last year? Ugh.

Speed Racer. This is either a kiddie movie or a stoner movie, so I'll probably wait for DVD.

Batman. Hulk. No real opinion either way.

WallE. Kind of reminds me of the Vectorman 1 story! I will definitely go see it just to help it generate box office and put an end to anthropomorphic CG animal movies!

I think the Spirit trailer is too shapeless to give any impression of what the film will be like. I've been reading Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art recently and I sure hope that the producers of the movie have been reading it too!

Anybody interested in Redbelt? David Mamet + jujitsu?!

Mr Goodson said...

Redbelt probably has great dialogue and since it's been made because Mamet dabbles at Jujitsu I bet it's good. Featuring a lot of real Jujitsu champs. I really wonder if mamet convincingly gets beyond contrivance to give the film the big conflict. For something like a martial art film, I think you should stick to a person to person rivalry like Ridley Scott's old Harvey Kietel film about dueling. I have to look it up.... "The Duelists". Follow a couple of Jujitsu guys having decade stretching long no holds bar matches.

Jeff said...

sheesh. I haven't even seen Iron Man yet. My summer has gotten off to a BAD start.