Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What 20 Summer films I want to see this year, but probably will only see 3 of them

Ah, Summertime. The time when the movie theaters get busy, and the sequels, Superhero films, action films, animated films, go crazy and everyone excpects a 30 million dollar plus opening weekend. I love the summer film season because I love those kinds of films. If you look at my theater going behavior, Summer is when I see the most films. Because I enjoy big crazy spectacles. I eagerly await Entertainment Weekly's Summer Movie Preview, because I discover that there are a ton more movies that I did not know about that are coming out during that time. This is just a generic list with a few off kilter comments. You will not find a lot of information but just a quick blurb. I don't have all the info in fromt of me so I can't tell you for sure when some of these are coming out. Plus it may be different all over the country when things come out. so here are my top 20 films that I want to see this summer, but will probably only see 3 of them since I have kids and a job and not a lot of money.

20. 2 GUNS: Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg playing enemies who have to work together? Action packed? Based on a comic book? I'm there. 2 Guns is based on the comic by Boom Studios, where one of my friends Filip Sablik is a higher up in the company. So see this picture for him. Comes out August.

19. WORLD WAR Z: Brad Pitt vs. Zombies in an adaptation of the book by Max Brooks. What I've seen of it has not really got my blood flowing, and zombies are starting to get a little overblown like vampires were not too long ago. However it is an excellent book, it is a scary action horror story set all over the world, so it may be pretty good. Comes out the day after my birthday. June 21st.

18. NOW YOU SEE ME: Magician thieves. Thieves who use magic tricks to rob others. Morgan Freeman leads a big cast including Jesse Eisenberg. And yet it's supposed to come out in May and I have not seen a lick of advertising for it anywhere. Never a good sign. But the premise alone intrigues me. Comes out in May.

17. THE GREAT GATSBY: A good novel. A visionary director: Baz Luhrmann (Moulan Rouge, Romeo and Juliet) two actors named Leonardo and Tobey, who also happen to be best friends in real life and you get what appears to be a unique movie. Then in 3D kills it for me. Gatsby is not a huge action pic, there is no real reason for 3D except just to see if you can make a drama in 3D. May 11th.

16. EPIC: From the director of the original Ice Age, you get this computer animated family fantasy film about a group of fairy type of beings who do battle against their enemies, and they are the size of insects. Saw the trailer, looked amazing and fun fantasy and may be a good pic for me to take my kids to. Though there are two better ones and another one Planes (based in the Cars world from Pixar)that did not make the list that the kids may want to see before this one. But who knows. Comes out late May I think.

15. ELYSIUM: From the director of District 9 Neil Blomkomp comes is second film that stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. Hard to describe what is going on, but Damon puts on a suit of armor and battles people in a bleak future. Looks like amazing sci-fi for grownups. Coming out in August.

14. PERCY JACKSON AND THE SEA OF MONSTERS: I was disappointed when Chris Columbus made the original Percy Jackson film, based on the YA novel series which I have read and love about a boy who discovers he is a demigod, his father is Poesidan the God of the Sea and he learns of a camp with other demigods. The film had potential to be the American Harry Potter, but if fell apart, changing aspects of the book and casting a too old actor Logan Lerman to play Percy. However it made enough money for the film companies to go, hmm let's see what happens. So here is the sequel. What I have heard is that it is closer to the book then the original Percy jackson, though Logan Lerman is still in the role. He is still to old, but it is enough to pique my interest. Coming in August.

13. RIPD: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, based on a comic book about Ghost police officers. Has the interesting premise of a Men in Black type of film, with two amazing actors who appear to be having a blast making the film. I think this is coming in July. Not sure. Maybe June.

12. AFTER EARTH: When I first saw this, it didn't overwhelm me to much. Then I saw some of the trailers and have started seeing tv commercials for it, and the more I look at it, the more amazing it looks. Will Smith re-teams with his real life son Jaden Smith, who play father and son space rangers who crash on a wild and wooly planet, called Earth where the animals have taken over and evolved. Jaden has to traverse the land to try and find help for his injured dad. This looks to be more of a Jaden film with Will in a support role which is fine. And hopefully M. Night Shaymalan who was great but has slowly fallen off is making a return and it looks good. May 31st. Moved up from June 7th.

11.THE WOLVERINE: I like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Wish he was a little shorter but I digress. However I never have seen his original solo film yet. I own it but have not watched it yet. I had heard it really wasn't all that great anyway. But We'll see. However from what I have been hearing, this one sounds awesome. One of the aspects of Wolverine I always liked was his belief in the Samurai code. And this movie set in Japan and may have connections to the classic Wolverine miniseries by Frank Miller has piqued my interest. July.

10. PACIFIC RIM: A lot of secreacy from Guillermo Del Toro on this one. What we know is a live action giant monster movie taking on Giant Robots controlled by human pilots. Idris Elba who is insanely cool stars. Giant Robots fighting Giant Monsters sounds awesome. July I think.

9. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY: Pixar's summer film of choice. They do have Planes coming out also, but that was supposed to be a direct to dvd sequel to Cars but they thought they could make some money releasing it. However this one is the true Pixar summer film. A sequel to the excellent Monsters Inc. plays more like a prequel as we meet Sulley and Mike, who meet for the first time. It throws every college movie cliche in the book and you have monsters doing the acting. Pure comedy gold. John Goodman and Billy Crystal return as the voices.

8. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: What do you do after you just directed a true blockbuster superhero film in the Avengers? Well Joss Whedon films a black and white adaptation of a Shakespearean comedy in his house. Yes. HIS HOUSE. Pulls in some of his regulars like Nathan Fillion, Tom Lenk, Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, and Clark Gregg and release it wide after a very successful run at film festivals. Looks like a great break from Summer Films, with some great acting and directing.

7. THIS IS THE END: This film was originally near the end of my list. I had no desire to see it. Then I remembered the original concept trailer that Seth Rogen and Jay Barachel did called Seth and Jay vs. the Apocalypse. ANd I remembered I laughed my ass off. Now they have finally made the film. And made it bigger. I watched both the redband trailer and regular one and laughed my ass off. Concept is awesome. A group of actors who portray crazy versions of themselves are having a party at James Franco's house when the end of the world occurs and this small group of guys are stuck in the house trying to survive. Seth Rogen, Jay Barachel, Craig Robinson, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, David Krumholz, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, and Emma Watson to name a few of the stars who portray the worst parts of themselves. Looks hilarious.

6. DESPICABLE ME 2: I never really thought about this film until I had kids. They aired the original on Disney junior I think edited of course and we only watched a little of it but the kids loved it, and I actually enjoyed it to. So I went out and bought it and showed the kids and it soon became one of their faves. And I really liked it as well. So when I learned this was coming out July 4th weekend this year, well I asked the kids if they wanted to see it in the theaters and they said yes. So we will be seeing this. Being released July 3rd.

5. MAN OF STEEL: You'd think I would be more excited to see this since it is a Superman movie. But for some reason I do not have the excitement for this movie. I still want to see it since it could very well be DC's Iron Man. I.E the first film to kick off a self contained DC comic hero movie world. I'm still hesitant because it appears they are going the Nolan Batman route (Nolan is a producer on it) and making it dark. Superman should not be a dark film. It should be fun. That is why I am having some issues with it. June 14th

4. IRON MAN 3: Again you'd think this would be higher, but from what I have seen and heard. This film is not exciting me all that much. I guess I expected something a little more Avengers esqe, but we get a different type of Iron Man film, which is fine. I just wish it had more of a connection with the Avengers, and also I have heard it does not tease any other up-coming Marvel Movies which is kind of a shame as well. I'll still see it because I like Iron Man. But it is not as anticipated as Iron man 2 was for me. In theaters now.

3. THE LONE RANGER: Believe it or not this looks like a perfect Summer film that I am actually looking forward to seeing. It appears to be in a similar vein as the Pirates films (same director, star) with humor and awesome action sequences. The trailers I have seen look amazing. Looks exciting and really want to see it. July 3rd.

2. BEFORE MIDNIGHT: Yep, my 2nd most anticipated film is a sequel, but to a romantic series of films that I adore and do not have any crazy summer movie style action, just talking and gorgeous locations. Plus two cast members in Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy who are great together. Looking forward to what happens next to their characters. May 24th.

1. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS: Loved the reboot of the Star Trek film series with the great new actors. Found the story fun and exciting and now 4 years later get to see the same cast all together again and I am stoked. I really hope this is as good as the reboot was. The trailers and clips I have seen make this look operatic. I hope it works. May 16th. (just moved from the 17th)

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Since around the beginning of the 21st century, retailers have been trying to figure out a way to boost sales, and also to get more people into their stores. One retailer, I can't remember who, came up with the idea of giving away free comics. He had noticed that the resurgance of comic book movies, which had just started getting going with XMEN was drawing people into their shop, so why not connect it with a comic book movie. If a comic book movie is coming out, let's make it the date after. They worked on selling the idea to the comic companies, and Diamond worked out how it would work. It took off like a dream and is now a yearly event on the 1st Saturday of May every year, regardless if a comic book movie is out or not. It has surpassed being attached to a movie and has grown into an all ages fun time at your local comic stores.

It's also a way to get laxed readers,or people who are interested in Super heroes to come into the Local Comic Store. For years they have had to live with the stigma that most people thought comic stores were places were nerds would debate who was stronger Superman or the Hulk, who was faster, who was smarter. And that they were all dank, dark, dirty stores that no one would be caught dead in. However people would soon learn that these stores are big, airy, well lit, and may have those conversations, but sometimes it's just shooting the breeze about anything, sports, other movies, tv shows, music. The people who run them are not the nerdy comic book guys, they are normal men and women who are married, or have kids, or are single also. And yes more women are getting into comic book stores, so it is not all men.

But it is also an opportunity to get younger kids excited about comic books, because let's face it. Nowadays with your smartphones and computer games, kids are no longer really interested in comic books. And that could be bad because now the stores are surviving on grownups like myself who are lifelong fans, but soon we may have to stop buying, or are going to stop buying for whatever reason, and they need younger generations to get excited about comics. So the Free Comic Book books that are available cover all ages and alot of comic companies. All the big names do at least one, sometimes 2, and they also try to catch things that are popular now.

This year, we have a Superman book, a Star Wars book, A Grimm book, A Walking Dead book, TMNT, Disney Faries, Smurfs, Sesame Street, Strawberry Shortcake, Spongebob, Simpsons, Archie, Pippi Longstocking just to name a few. Some have reprints of stories, some are special stories you can only get in this book, some like the DC and Marvel books are prequels to their big company wide crossovers, they also have independent books that maybe some fans of other types of stories besides pop culture can get into also. They even have a website where you can see all the books they are offering and also a locator of which stores are involved in FCBD.

Stores go all out. They get popular writers and artists to come and sign books or do drawings, some have drawings for prizes, some have games, some have people dressed up as superheroes so you can get pictures with them. Some go all out and have crazy parties.

The way it's supposed to work varies with each store, but the one thing that covers all is that they cannot say you get this free comic book with purchase. NO. It is supposed to be away to get people enticed into the comic world. Each story varies, but they have to give them away for free, no exceptions. They can make a rule how they do it, can only pick one, or as many as you want. Each store will let you know their rules. My store says we can take as many as we want. They also offer previous FCBD books for free also, so if you missed FCBD last year or the year before, you can still get the books from that year. That is just my store. Cards, Comics, and Collectibles in Reisterstown, MD. So on Saturday, go out to your local comic store. Get a free comic, meet the people who work their, browse the store, who knows you may find something you would like to buy. Have fun! Let me know if any of you go and get good stuff and or service. FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!!!