Iron Man 2 officially kicks off Summer 2010 at the movies, and it’s one of ten high-profile, mega-hyped, big-budget, popcorn blockbuster flicks I’m not ashamed to say I can’t wait to see. In order of release:
1) Iron Man 2 (May 7th)
The first movie was a hit because it combined a superhero premise perfectly suited for the big screen with an inspired casting choice in Robert Downey Jr. It turned out to be the role Downey was born to play; is there anybody who can’t wait to see Chapter 2? A bigger budget, a badder baddie, new suits (including War Machine), Black Widow… Chance of suck: 0%.
2) Robin Hood (May 14th)
The story of England’s most famous bandit has been told. And told. And told again. What possible reason could there be for yet another interpretation? How about the reunion of power duo Russell Crowe and director Ridley Scott with another gritty, action-packed period piece — a genre the two perfected with Gladiator. Plus, Robin Hood boasts a cast of “serious” actors like Cate Blanchett (as Marion), William Hurt, Mark Strong, and many more. It looks like a sure thing.
3) Shrek Forever After (May 21st)
The third entry in the series may have been anemic, but the first two were a blast, and all indications are that this final chapter is a return to form. Time being rewritten in a shady deal with Rumpelstiltskin gives the film fertile soil for great comedic fodder — like a pampered, puffy Puss in Boots, and a leader-of-the-warrior-ogres Fiona.
4) Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (May 28th)
Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney are hoping to repeat the success of their Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with another period piece that mixes humor, action, and over-the-top special effects. Instead of a theme park ride, this time the inspiration came from a popular video game. The trailers look promising, with eye-popping visuals, and Jake Gyllenhaal looks up for the physical demands of the role, but I’m not yet sold on his accent.
5) Toy Story 3 (June 18th)
The Toy Story franchise has never been my favorite Pixar property, but it’s Pixar, and that means my butt will be in the seat. There’s something special about every movie Pixar makes; they simply don’t know how to make a bad movie.
6) Knight and Day (June 25th)
Yeah, I’m still turned off by Tom Cruise after all the couch jumping and antidepressant craziness, but I have to admit, the role of a hyper-kinetic, semi-mad secret agent seems tailor made for him. The trailers made me laugh, and Cameron Diaz looks just plucky enough to have good chemistry with Cruise. Okay, I’m in.
7) The Last Airbender (July 2nd)
I honestly don’t get all the M. Night Shyamalan hate. I really don’t. Yeah, some of his movies were a little more impressed with themselves than some fans were (The Village, The Happening), but no one can argue that the guy has a terrific imagination and he executes his ideas in uncompromising ways. Airbender is his first big-budget, effects-filled, based-on-an-existing-property blockbuster, and although I know little about the cartoon it’s based on, I’m rooting for Shyamalan to win back his viewers.
8) Inception (July 16th)
Nothing to be ashamed about here, because if you’re looking to score geek cred, you can’t do any better than the latest brainchild of director Christopher Nolan — the man behind the Christian Bale Batman films. Leonardo Di Caprio in the lead role doesn’t instill me with confidence; something about the way he enunciates words makes it hard for me to believe in him as anything but a grifter like Jack Dawson. But Nolan’s premise looks killer (something about stealing dreams), and Warner Bros. has so much faith in him after The Dark Knight, they’ve practically given him a blank check. I can’t wait to see what he does with that kind of artistic freedom.
9) The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (July 16th)
Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turtletaub, and Nic Cage — the team behind National Treasure — reteam for another family-friendly adventure, this one based (very loosely) on the classic Mickey Mouse cartoon. It’s got no pretensions of being anything but a summer popcorn flick, but that’s a-okay by me.
10) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (August 13th)
Anyone who’s seen that bat-crazy trailer knows what all the hubbub is about. Michael Cena plays a guitarist who falls madly in love with a girl who has seven ex-boyfriends. The twist is, those exes are evil villains with super-powers. So the only way Cena and his new beau can be together, is for him to defeat said villains. It sounds ludicrous on paper, but in the hands of director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), this graphic novel-turned-film is a mashup of everything that’s awesome in pop culture. Watch the trailer if you don’t believe me.
That’s my list. What’s on yours? Jonah Hex? Predators? The A-Team? Twilight:*wretch*vomit*Eclipse?