This summer’s crop of movies seems a little lackluster to me. Save for a couple big tent poles, there aren’t very many flicks over which I am convulsing with excitement. But I am a creature of habit, and I need to pick the ten I most desire my eyeballs to latch onto, so without further ado…
10. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2—I wasn’t interested in the first one at all when it was released in theaters four years ago. Even the immense critical praise kept me at bay. But then I caught it on TV, and I was floored over how much I enjoyed it. Here’s hoping the sequel can retain much of the magic and all of the heart of the first one.
9. GET ON UP—I am a James Brown fan and have been since I was in diapers. This thing could be made with poorly constructed clay figurines, and I would still be first in line, all because it’s about the Godfather of Soul.
8. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS—I loved the book. Loved it. But the trailer, as weepy and choked up as it made me, gave me pause. The characters don’t speak like their age in the novel, but that’s forgivable. To hear the words spoken out loud? Ugh, groans, pretentious, over the top, shut up shut up shut up. In other words, I’m scared this will end up being an overtly sentimental schlock fest full of preachy bullshit dialogue. I pray I am wrong.
7. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2—another film I have reservations about. I get the sense it’s going to be too crowded. Crowded by villains, crowded by plot, by mythology, by the need to set up future sequels and spin-offs—just a bloated clustercuss of a superhero picture. But it’s Spider-Man. How can I not see a movie about Spider-Man? In any case, I’m interested to see if they pull it all off. I want to be pleasantly surprised.
6. A MILLON WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST—Seth MacFarlane makes me laugh. I am not ashamed to admit this. He’s an acquired taste, and an occasionally offensive one at that, but despite his hit-or-miss brand of humor, I’m amused more often than I am not. Whether or not that bodes well for him as a leading man of flesh and bone as opposed to CGI stuffing and fur remains to be seen. But I will be there to see it.
5. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR—the original was a classic of novelty. It was Robert Rodriguez at his wam-bam finest. It was a movie that set out to be cool and nothing else, and somehow that was okay. I expect nothing less from the sequel.
4. WISH I WAS HERE—Zach Braff may have lost some relevance as time after Scrubs has drawn on, but my love for Garden State, flaws and all, has never wavered. This may look like an unofficial sequel, but so what? Braff’s got a keen eye and ear and knows what he wants his stories to look and sound like on screen. I want this to be something special.
3. GODZILLA—I know. I’m surprised, too. I am shocked, shocked, by how good this movie looks to me. Action and terror with a purpose. Potentially, anyway. It could very well be yet another case of the trailer-makers putting their all into their work for an empty-headed feature, but dammit if that isn’t the whole point of going to movies in the first place. It’s always going to be a coin flip.
2. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY—it’s going to be weird. Silly. Outlandish. Ridiculous. Ludicrous. Jaw-droppingly stupid. And I can’t wait.
1. X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST—this business with Bryan Singer is disheartening and disturbing, but the X-Men are my bread and butter. I’ve wanted this story told for years (despite, ahem, never actually having read the, ahem, comic it is based on, ahem). And, if for nothing else, I want to see if it fills in all those franchise continuity holes. Hell, it looks like this alone has a few that need explaining. Why is Charles Xavier walking? Why does Hank McCoy look human and not Beastly? I need to know!
What are some other summer movies that deserve a mention (even the ones that don’t)?
GOTTA GET MY PAWS ON THIS: 22 Jump Street, They Came Together, Boyhood
A LIGHT BRUSHING OF THE TIPS OF THE PAWS, PERHAPS: Neighbors, Chef, Jersey Boys
PROBABLY HAVE TO WASH MY PAWS SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE AND AFTER: Jupiter Ascending, Edge of Tomorrow, Maleficent
KEEP MY PAWS AWAY! KEEP MY PAWS AWAY!: Blended, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Walk of Shame
It’ll be a hot one. Let’s hope it’s not a dull one.