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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ultimate Geek Fu Goes to the Movies

We're just a week and a half away from the start of the summer movie season, with the first of the hype and hope movies ("Hype it a lot and hope a lot of people pay to see it") hitting the big screen on May 6. This is also the first summer in which 3D movies will be the big thing. Many of the movies listed below will have 3D releases to rival their own 2D releases. What's on the digital (nobody uses film any more) horizon?

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - April 29. "The most widely read comic book in Italy" comes to America as a movie. Oh, Dear God; not another Barbarella, Asterix, or Judge Dredd, we hope.

Thor - May 6. I never cared much for Thor in his own comic book. Too much fake medieval speech -- "I say thee nay!" instead of a simple "No," for example -- and too many adventures dealing with the realm of the gods rather than us mere mortals. I liked him fine in the Avengers though. The movie looks to be mostly set on earth but the foe is Loki. Will movie audiences turn out for a god as superhero?

Priest - May 13. I hadn't heard about this one but saw it was getting the 3D treatment so looked it up. It's a post apocalypse movie where the earth has been ravaged by the war against vampires. I lost interest at that point, but there are plenty of fans of the blood suckers that it will probably do well.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - May 20. Will and Elizabeth are gone, leaving only Captain Jack Sparrow. He's the one most people want to see anyway. Normally, the fourth movie in an original series is something to be dreaded. All the good ideas have been used up and everyone is just going through the motions. Except this time, the lads at Disney got the rights to Tim Powers' novel On Stranger Tides. I've read the book and its mixture of pirate story and mysticism makes it a good fit for the series. Of course, the script writers could have ruined an otherwise good story.

Kung Fu Panda 2 - May 26. The first one was fun in a fairly predictable way. Can they do it again? The Boy is bound to consider himself too old to see this one, but those with younger kids may find a treat.

X-Men: First Class - June 3. I liked the first two well enough. Didn't care for the third and have never watched the Wolverine movie. The Boy doesn't care about the X-Men at all. I suspect we'll give this one a pass unless we hear amazing things about it.

Green Lantern - June 17. This could be really good -- unless it really sucks. Somehow, I don't think there will be a middle ground on this movie. If you're unsure, just wait a day or two after the release and check with me.

Cars 2 - June 24. I think Cars is the weakest Pixar movie released thus far. That still means it was better than most movies for kids. The Boy has always been big on cars and racing, so he enjoyed the original. He still likes cars and racing but at nearly 15 I doubt he'll have any interest in seeing this movie.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - July 1. The Fourth of July weekend gets kicked off by the third Transformers movie. I found the first movie surprisingly entertaining, especially considering how little interest I had in it. The second Transformers movie was just plain bad. I'm going to go ahead and predict the decline continues with this one.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - July 15. After 10 years and seven previous movies, the Harry Potter franchise finally ends. Having read the book, I already know how it ends. I still haven't seen part 1, a year after its release. I guess we'll watch part 1 on DVD and probably hit the theaters for this one. Audrey will want to see it, so I'll go along. But, personally, I'm rather tired of Harry Potter movies.

Captain America: The First Avenger - July 22. I'm leery of this one. Captain America used to be a favorite of mine. But his old brand of unabashed, gung-ho patriotism seems to be out of vogue these days. I'm afraid I'll find Captain Poor-Misunderstood-Masses-of-the-World instead of the guy I remember from the comics.

Cowboys and Aliens - July 29. With this title, you'd think it was going to be a parody. You'd be wrong. This is being played straight, just as it was in the graphic novel it's based on. I haven't read the graphic novel, but the movie has some seriously big names involved. Plus, the previews have me intrigued.

The Smurfs - July 29. Did I mention Cowboys and Aliens comes out on July 29, too?

Rise of the Planet of the Apes - August 5. I didn't even know this was in the works until I found it in the list of coming movies. The movie will apparently show us how the apes got smart and overran humanity. Sounds like a real "feel good" movie to me!

Conan the Barbarian - August 19. I had heard this was being made but didn't know it was coming out this soon. I haven't seen a trailer or heard anything about the movie. I need to know more before I decide whether to drop bucks on this one or not.

Spy Kids 4: All Around the World - August 19. It's got new kids! It's got new former-spy parents! It's got the old kids, who are too old to be kids any more! But can it recapture the silly fun of the first movie or will it just be more like the third movie? Does it really matter? Once again, I doubt the nearly 15 year old Boy will have any interest in seeing this one.

There you go, the highlights, lowlights, and everything in between for this movie season. What's going to be good? What's going to suck royally? What are you looking forward to seeing?

Let the arguments begin!
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