We continue our look at the summer movie season month by month, highlighting some of the movies that we’re anxious to see, sometimes for reasons you wouldn’t expect.
Get Him To The Greek (June 4) – There’s really one reason why I’m looking forward to seeing this movie. I’m in it. Somewhere. Maybe.
Last summer the comedy was on location in New York City filming a sequence in which Russell Brand’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall‘s outrageous rocker character Aldous Snow is performing on the Today show. The production invited anyone who showed up to be an unpaid extra for the crowds needed. As this coincided with an already planned day trip in to the City, a friend and I decided to swing by Rockefeller Plaza and check things out, and well, one thing lead to another and I think I may be in a shot or two, if I didn’t wind up on the cutting room floor. (Look for a guy in a red shirt and a tan hat!) You can read our coverage of the shoot here.
On a less personal note, this is the first film where Brand is squarely in the lead. He’s been good in supporting roles in films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and St. Trinians, but even with the ever dependable Jonah Hill at his side, does he have the chops to carry Get Him To The Greek? I’d like to think so. But I know that some are casting a weary eye at his performance here as an indicator as to whether he’ll be able to handle headlining the upcoming remake of Arthur. – Rich Drees
The A-Team (June 11) – I don’t think I have ever watched more than two or three episodes of the popular 1980’s TV show The A-Team, which must take the blame for foisting Mr. T onto an unsuspecting America in an act of provocation that must surely be prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Yet, I want to see the movie. True, most movies based on bad TV programs usually suck big time, but The Addams Family movies didn’t. Nor did The Brady Bunch films, and The Fugitive was a multi-Oscar nominated action classic. Not that I think The A-Team will be among the top Academy Award nominees for 2010, but stranger things have happened.
I’ve seen the trailer for The A-Team movie and it has one good thing to recommend it. . .Liam Neeson. Mr. Neeson almost single-handedly raised last years minor action film Taken to a level commensurate with Leon The Professional, something I thought impossible. Face it, this guy can do action. Liam Neeson brings a gravitas and believability to all of his work from serious dramas like Kinsey, Schindler’s List and last years gripping Five Minutes Of Heaven. But he started his career in action films, I can’t be the only one who remembers the young Liam in Excalibur, The Bounty or Darkman. For me, Liam Neeson is enough of a reason to see almost any film. – Michael McGonigle
Jonah Hex (June 18) – I don’t know if this character getting a film before other, better known DC Comics characters (namely Wonder Woman) is a sign that Warner Brothers has no idea what it’s doing, the strength of the DC character catalog, or a combination of the two.
Jonah Hex is a Western anti-hero. To put it in some context, imagine if Dirty Harry got a red hot tomahawk pressed to his face, leaving him hideously scarred, and then you have some idea about what type of character he is. He is certainly is interesting enough to pull off a movie on his own.
But there is some doubt as to what type of film we are going to get. The cast is loaded with Oscar nominees (Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Michael Shannon), but also with comedians (Thomas Lennon, Will Arnett). So, will this be a serious take on the subject matter, or a camp fest? Well, since the plot supposedly involves terrorist using zombies as weapons of mass destruction and Brolin is describing the film as “campy” and “absurdist” in interviews, it looks like the latter. – William Gatevackes
Cyrus (June 18) – Some consider the Duplass brothers as the leaders of the so-called Mumble Core movement, low to no-budget filmmaking that concentrates on character and plot with no-name actors rather than the typical Hollywood glitz, glamor and big name stars. (Think of it as the offspring of a drunken fling between punk music’s DIY aesthetic and the Dogma 95 philosophy.) As someone who remembers the crap t hat punk band Green Day went through when their album Dookie crossed over on to the pop charts, I have to wonder if they are setting themselves up for similar accusations of selling out from mumble core’s proponents.
But even with a cast that includes John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei, this is still a Duplass brothers written and directed film, and the trailer below illustrates that rather well I think. This is not so much a case of the Duplasses knocking on Hollywood’s door so much as it is a case of Hollywood knocking on their door. I am eager to see the results. – RD