Hello, you. How are you enjoying 2013 so far? Got on your treadmill yet? Broken those New Years Resolutions already? Never fear, because you’ve got lots of luvverly films to look forward to. Here’s what’s coming out in July and August.
Friday 12th July
Yes! Like THE HOBBIT before it, here is a prequel to a 2001 movie that we’ve been eager to see for a decade and often thought would never happen. We absolutely love MONSTERS INC, so when news broke that Sully and Mike (John Goodman and Billy Crystal) would return to their most monstrous roles, we were over joyed. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY is set ten years before the original story and sees the big blue kitty and the one eyed bogey on legs learning to be scarers at college. Although we would watch the Heck out of this film anyway, Pixar have produced one of the best marketing campaigns in recent memory, with a real (and incredibly detailed) online prospectus (here) and inventive TV spots (here). We won’t be surprised if MU is the family film of the year.
Friday 19th July
Can you imagine the director of PAN’S LABYRINTH doing a movie like POWER RANGERS? With human controlled giant robots fighting massive bloody alien monsters, crashing all over the city? Well that’s basically what’s happened, and it’s got the dude from THE WIRE in it (although he doesn’t play Rita Repulsa, which is a shame). PACIFIC RIM is Guillermo Del Toro’s biggest blockbuster to date and stars Idris Elba as the leader of the human resistance facing an invasion of apocalyptic beasties. The scale of the feature is incredibly ambitious and will be in safe hands with a visionary like Del Toro. And this isn’t the only example of big, silly, fighting fun to be had this July.
KICK ASS 2 sees the return of Chloe Moretz’s diminutive Hit Girl and Aaron Johnson’s eponymous hero, after the 2010 original made stars out of them. Like it’s predecessor, this is based on Mark Millar’s ultra violent and extremely nasty comic. They had to change a lot for the first film and it was all the better for it as, believe it or not, they actually toned down the violence. Lets hope they leave the unnecessary rape scene out of the new one. With Christopher Mintz-Plasse reprising his villainous nerd (now using the moniker The Mother Fucker) and fine comic additions like Jim Carrey and Donald Faison, there is plenty of potential for light hearted cartoony violence.
Friday 26th July
From prequels and sequels to remakes (assuming it actually gets made). The updated DIRTY DANCING is due out on this day, but other than a named director in Kenny Ortega (MICHAEL JACKSON: THIS IS IT), there’s bugger all else information that can be found. No cast, no news, nuthin!’ There were reports that the release date had been pushed back to 2014 and that is probably the case, because the likelihood of the film being cast, shot and released by July is pretty remote. Finding a replacement for The Swayze is not an easy task and with any luck, they will put this baby in the corner and keep it there.
Good news for us geeks; here’s the second superhero sequel in as many weeks. THE WOLVERINE claws his way back into cinemas (and hopefully our good books) as Hugh Jackman assumes the role of Logan for the sixth time. This outing sees hunky Hugh travel to Japan where he battles The Silver Samurai. With the recent news of his casting in DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, this won’t be Wolverine’s last appearance in the X-MEN series, though this film does take place after the events of THE LAST STAND. The chronology maybe hard to keep up with at times, particularly when DOFP will feature time travel, but Jackman is always watchable as the mutton-chopped mutant.
Wednesday 31st July
Oh my, it’s THE SMURFS 2. In a surprise turn of events, the second cinematic Smurf outing will change genres entirely, moving into the darker regions of torture porn. In this ghastly affair, Papa Smurf has taken to kidnapping and blinding crows, which he then saddles up and flies into the throats of passes by. If they survive, he burrows through their backs and eats them inside out.
This may not be true, but we’re buggered if we’re giving this film any more exposure than it deserves. Big blue bollocks.
Friday 2nd August
Something that may actually be more violent than Papa Smurf’s crow exploits is yet another prequel. This time to Zack Snyder’s swords’n'sandals man-tit-fest, 300. Entitled 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE and directed by Noam Murro (I don’t know either), this has gotten straight to DVD written all over it, yet has somehow found its way to multiplexes. With the exception of the glorious Eva Green, this is low on star power and even lower on interest from us at THN. Still, if you like moobs and togas, you’re in for a treat.
Now this is more like it. Sure, its another sequel, but one that we quite fancy seeing. And not just because we quite fancy Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren, who return alongside Morgan Freeman, Brucie Willis, John Malkovich and Brian Cox. This A-List cast is joined by Anthony Hopkins, David Thewlis and Lee Bying-hun in what will be a good old fashioned spy caper.
Friday 9th August
How best to describe GROWN UPS 2? Thusly. De derp de twiddly dum de Adam Sandler de derp de Kevin James dum twiddly dum de David Spade de derp de Stone Cold Steve Austin de twiddly dum de doo.
Should do the trick.
We’ve talked a lot about big, silly, summer adventure movies in this article, but this has got to be the most daft, which is by no means a criticism. It’s THE LONE RANGER, a film that has had more than it’s fair share of production problems. It stars the brilliantly named Armie Hammer as the masked hero and Johnny Depp as his trusty (and not at all racist) Native American sidekick Tonto. It re-teams The Deppster with Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer, the director and producer of the first three PIRATES films and judging from the trailer, it’s business as usual. Tons of extravagant effects, set pieces and a supporting cast of great thesps (Tom Wilkinson, Helena Bonham Carter) having a right old laugh. It even includes THN podcast favourite, Barry Pepper! Disney need this to do very well as it soared waaaaay over budget. It could be the next PIRATES or it could be the next JOHN CARTER. Time will tell. Er, kimosabe.
Wednesday 14th August
PERCY JACKSON & THE LIGHTNING THIEF was one of the more successful rip-offs of HARRY POTTER and gets its first (you betcha) sequel. THE SEA OF MONSTERS will have Logan Lerman step back into the Potter sized shoes of Jackson as he and his two mates seek the golden fleece to make Zeus something or other mythical zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………………
Don’t worry, there’s something good coming out on the 14th of August, as we will finally see THE WORLD’S END. Not to be confused with the Seth Rogan/James Franco joint THIS IS THE END, this is (possibly) the final instalment in Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s ‘Blood and Ice Cream’ trilogy. SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ were their two wildly successful previous cinematic collaborations which also featured Nick Frost as Pegg’s perpetual pal. The SPACED out trio haven’t worked together since 2007 and their fans have been awaiting their reunion ever since. Appropriately, the film tells the tale five old friends reuniting in their home town to repeat a pub crawl from their youth. The final tavern is THE WORLD’S END which may coincide with the actual end of the world. With a proven track record together, as well as solo success from all three men, this is going to be a big deal. This is Pegg’s first film after STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS and Wright’s last film before Marvel’s ANT MAN, so with Hollywood very much on their doorstep, THE WORLD’S END should gain the international glory it deserves. How’s THAT for a slice of fried gold?
Friday 16th August
A-HAAAA!! Look who’s bouncing back! It’s the greatest comedy character in television history, Alan Partridge, in his very first movie called, brace yourself, ALAN PARTRIDGE: THE MOVIE. Steve Coogan’s alter ego has had quite the resurgence over the last couple of years, with his web series Mid Morning Matters transferring to Sky, a couple of hilarious TV specials and an autobiography. The only medium left would be film. It’ll be a tricky transition though, as comedies going from TV to cinema seldom have a smooth ride. Even stone cold classics like Steptoe & Son and Dad’s Army sucked when they hit the silver screen and The League of Gentlemen suffered equally when they tried. THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE seems to have broken that particular rule, so there is a precedent and Partridge is now as popular as ever. Our hopes are high for Norwich’s favourite son and friend of Bill Oddie. We’ll see you at the Pick’n'Mix with your big plate.
Right then, we’ve had sequels, prequels and remakes. What other way is there to carry on a franchise? To quote the late, great Troy McClure; ‘SPINOFF! Is there any word more exciting to the human soul?’ With Pixar’s CARS and CARS 2 about as popular with critics as a re-boot of CITIZEN CANE with Shia LaBeouf, there will likely not be a third. But Disney aren’t going to let a colossal merchandise machine like that drive off into the sunset, so they’ve leapt into Pixar’s vacated drivers seat and revved up a spinoff called PLANES. It’s basically CARS, but with planes instead of cars. Will it take flight? Or will audiences hit the ejector seat? Can I think of any more car/plane puns? I could, but they would DRIVE you crazy. Also, I’m tired. I’m so very, very tired.
Friday 23rd August
ONE DIRECTION – THE MOVIE
Whats pink and only goes in One Direction? Simon Cowell’s knob. Seriously though, they’re a great band. This century’s Osmonds celebrate their instant international success with a concert film directed by SUPERSIZE ME documentarian, Morgan Spurlock (no, seriously!) The five cheeky lads will be singing their wee hearts out in a film that will capture them in the flush of their youth and will no doubt be lapped up by ladies the world over like Daniel Day Lewis sucking on a milkshake. I cant speak for everyone here at THN Towers, but I’ve nothing against them and wish them well with their new film. Seriously. No, seriously!
What are you shaking your head at? What?
Hold on to your butts, as one of the greatest blockbusters in history is coming at you in THREEEEE DIIIIIIMENSIONS!! Spielberg’s 1993 classic is getting the 3D treatment and while this may seem like transparent money making scheme, it really does fit. JP (as SS calls it… actually he might not like being called SS…) is one of the great matinee monster movies and is best enjoyed on the big screen. Having those raptors leaping around the kitchen or the T-Rex charging us head on will look fantastic in 3D and the 20 year old visual effects are still superior to most that we see today. And we’re more than happy to see the original classic back in cinemas instead of this! *shudder*
And so end the summer season of silliness and sequels. But come back tomorrow for all the details on what you can expect in September and October. And check out the first six months right here.