Upcoming Movies in May (The Good and Bad)
I am hoping most of you already had the chance to read an earlier post of mine on the 10 most anticipated films of 2012. If not, then give it a look. You’ll notice that there’s not much activity before June. While unfortunate, that’s kind of the way of things in the film world. This time of year is neither summer blockbuster season nor time for the holiday Oscar hopefuls. It’s just a big empty space. So you’re not really sure what you’re going to get when you sit down to look at May’s 2012 movie schedule. Not surprisingly, we’ve got ourselves a bona fide hit-or-miss month upcoming. That’s sort of how it works every year.
I’ve put together a list of May’s most promising titles, and I’m going to go through them and let you know which ones are going to suck, and which ones are a must-see. Simple enough. Keep in mind that these choices are primarily there because they’re the biggest ticket items. There are absolutely excellent May films that I will not mention here.
Clever super-hero movie producers. They’re going to sneak this one in early, abandon the school’s out for summer market, and drop this one in early to absolutely dominate the box office. It’s worked before. This one’s already getting great reviews, and has a 95% so far on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ve seen things like, “Awesomeness assembled,” and, “It’s an enjoyably absurd and absurdly enjoyable extravaganza, both delirious and surrealist.” Not so sure about the surrealist part, but the rest sounds right on. All your favorite superheroes and Samuel L. Jackson in an eyepatch. Thor’s going to kick some ass.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Old people movies are the epitome of hit-or-miss, but that’s offset by the cast of what looks like every single A-list British actor. It’s about a handful or two of retirees looking to outsource their retirement to the mysterious, exotic and less expensive India. It’s the classic witty dramedy that is sure to have audiences grinning for the rest of the week. It’s going to be heartwarming. It’s going to be schmaltzy. And, most importantly, its going to be worth seeing. As a movie guy, I end up spending most of my time with film’s most twisted and artistic minds. It’s often alone too, because it can be hard to convince my friends to sit through Melancholia with me. So, hell yeah to some cinematic chicken soup.
Who doesn’t want to watch a documentary focusing on six young dancers preparing for the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious dance competitions in the world? Most people, actually. This is never going to compete with The Avengers (both are May 4 releases), but it’s not trying to. It’s going to soak up its eventual nomination for the Oscar’s Best Documentary, and hope for some solid word-of-mouth box office goodies. What I’m foreseeing? No shortage on bloody feet, moral questioning on what’s the limit for kids these days and some beautiful dancing.
I recently awarded Tim Burton as one of my all-time most overrated directors, and I stand by that. That doesn’t mean his movies aren’t hits, though. I expect nothing less from Dark Shadows. It has the usual Burton team of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, but Eva Green is also thrown in the mix this time. It’s actually based off a show from the late 60′s, which I can’t say I’ve seen. A fair amount of people are hoping it stays true to the original, naturally. We’ll see. I’m most nervous about this pick. It could be really awful. I’m hoping for a delightfully pleasant comedy fit for most families.
Sacha Baron Cohen has been steadily declining in notoriety and humor since Borat. He was funny on his show, and even with his first film, but Bruno was so exploitative and desperate for its laughs that I just couldn’t enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong. Vulgar gay jokes are a sure bet for fratboy humor, but Bruno didn’t offer anything else. I want to be excited for The Dictator. I want to embrace the ridiculousness of a Jewish guy with a beard playing some nutjob tyrannical Muslim leader. But I just can’t. Third tries like this don’t ever seem to work, and I’m predicting a fail with this one.
Let me give you the cast, first: Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch (the jabroni from Friday Night Lights), Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgard and Rihanna. Yes, Rihanna. She is in this movie, and she’s not singing. She’s acting. That should be enough to keep you way, but this movie will probably still make well over $100 million at the box office because Americans are dumb and easy to entertain. I can’t fault Neeson for being in this one, too much. Ever since his wife died, it’s clear he’s willing to take his fair share of crappy action movies to take his mind off reality. Hopefully, he makes it at least somewhat watchable.
Men in Black 3
Tommy Lee Jones is one of those guys who has looked the same for the past 30 years. He must have started wrinkling at 30, and stopped at 37. Anyway, Agents J and K are back in black this May, and they’re sure to hit the box offices hard. This will be one of the year’s most profitable movies, mainly because it attracts today’s kids in body and at heart. Everyone from 19-30 remembers the first Men in Black, and you’ll be damn sure they’ll be back in theaters to see what our two favorite alien hunters have been up to the past few years.
Take a look at that promotional picture. Take a look at the outfits. And the cast: Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton and Francis McDormand. One name should be floating in your mind. That’s right. Wes Anderson. I’m not quite sure how this slipped by my top 10 most anticipated films of 2012, but this movie marks the official start to what should be an excellent eight months of cinema. All we really know is the general plot. Two 12-year-olds fall in love on the 1965 New England coast, make a secret pact and run away together into the wilderness. Add a super indy soundtrack 150 minutes of wide-angle shots and you can fill in the blanks.
Well there you have it. If you think I’ve missed any, please feel free to share in your comments.