Welcome to the first annual PoP! Summer Movie Preview! We’ve got 4 months worth of sensory-assaults that will leave you in a pool of sticky residue on the theater floor. Sure, we will hit all the big’uns (your Wolverines and your Terminators and your Transformers), but we wanted to make sure to cover some of the non-genre films that the PoP!pers might enjoy (see Taking Woodstock, Year One, The Hangover)
Let’s get this thing started, with the lead horse in the summer box-office race, and the most controversial of them all (no, I’m not talking about “Shut the fuck up, Bruce!”).
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PG-13)
Starring Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, Ryan Reynolds, Lynn Collins, Dominic Monaghan, Kevin Durand
Directed by Gavin Hood (Rendition)
After three successful X-Men movies, finally we get to see the life story of Wolverine on film. But wait, there’s more! The flicks includes gobs of Weapon X characters, friends and foes, action, tragedy and one Deadpool. Will it surpass the dreck that was X-Men 3: the Last Stand? And will bad rumors and an early pirated version defeat the feral Canuck mutant?
— T. Soiker
Star Trek (PG-13)
Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto,John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Winona Ryder, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Eric Bana, Leonard Nimoy, Diora Baird, and in one of her final roles, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry
Directed by J.J. Abrams (Mission Impossible: III)
Boldly go back to where it all started as James Tiberius Kirk and his crew assemble for the first time. From director J.J. “Hit or Miss” Abrams comes the tale of the Enterprise’s earliest adventures. The truly inspired cast will likely be the lynch-pin of this film, as beloved characters are brought to life by fresh faces and given – potentially – new life. Let’s not sell the action scenes short, however. No Star Trek film is complete without a good bit of fisticuffs and some ship-to-ship warfare that might finally erase the memory of Pirates of the Carribean 2’s “tri-cannons.” ::shudders::
Angels & Demons (PG-13)
Starring Tom Hanks, Ewan McGreggor and Ayelet Zurer
Directed by Ron Howard
This DaVinci Code prequel finds the esteemed Doctor Robert Langdon knee-deep in a murder mystery set in the Vatican. Codes, riddles, puzzles and secrets abound as the dreaded Illuminati are seemingly poised for a comeback after centuries of quiet preparation. As a big fan of the book and the first movie, I’m looking forward to this one.
Terminator Salvation (PG-13)
Starring Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by McG (Charlie’s Angels)
Judgement Day has come, the Machines hath risen, and in the year 2018, John Connor (Bale) is fulfilling his destiny as leader of the human resistance. Bale’s Connor is joined by Howard as Kate Connor (the character previously portrayed by Claire Danes in T:3), Worthington as a mysterious stranger sent from the future (or is it the past?), and rounding out the cast, rapper Common as one of Connor’s soldiers, and Anton Yelchin as a young Kyle Reese. While the Terminator films haven’t always been lighthearted, Salvation is sure to provide plenty of whizz-bang action (although much of it seems to be CG). It remains to be seen if the PG-13 rating will help or hinder the flick — Bale’s on-set ass-chewing of the film’s DP wouldn’t have even made the final cut!
Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian (PG)
Starring Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Jonah Hill, Robin Williams, Hank Azaria, Owen Wilson and a boatload of other displays brought to life
Directed by Shawn Levy
The gang from the Museum of Natural History is relocated to the Smithsonian while their home is closed for renovations, meaning a whole slew of new displays are magically brought to life. Hijnks will undoubtedly ensue. The first one was a fun romp for kids and hell, I enjoyed it. I expect more of the same from its sequel.
Directed by Pete Docter
What would the summer movie season be without the requisite Disney/Pixar flick? It would be easier for other movies to make money, that’s for sure. In Up, a senior citizen (Asner) retrofits his home with enough balloons to send the thing airborne in hopes of visiting the South American jungles. Cue hijinx, as a tubby wildnerness scout (Nagai) stows away.
Continue our PoP! Summer Movie Coverage with the month of JUNE!