Could it actually be summer time already??? The spring movie season has come and gone and it could be argued that some of the year’s biggest movies have come and gone. But there are still several interesting and not-so-interesting movies on the summer horizon. So here is how this works: First I’ll talk about the summer releases that I am genuinely interested in and want to spread the word about. These are films I’ll certainly flaunt. I’m also going to pick five releases that are (from my perspective) toilet ready. These I’ll flush. It’s ‘Flaunt It or Flush It’ time again.
“Edge of Tomorrow” (June 6, 2014) – I know Tom Cruise has gained many detractors over the years but I have to say I still really like him when he has the right material. “Edge of Tomorrow” looks like it could be really good science fiction material. It involves alien invasions, a futuristic military, and the real kicker – time loops. But perhaps the cake topper is Emily Blunt who is one of my favorite actresses working today. She’s terribly underappreciated and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the film. There are calls to be cautious, but I think this could be a really good time. My fingers are crossed and my hopes are high that this will be a real treat this summer.
“The Rover” (June 12, 2014) – I’m usually excited anytime I see that Guy Pearce has a new film being released. I was even more excited when I heard his new movie “The Rover” was written and directed by David Michod, the filmmaker who gave us “Animal Kingdom”. “The Rover” is described as a futuristic western set on the outback. The trailer looks rugged and gritty and even Robert Pattinson looks intriguing. This may not be a movie that has found its way onto your radar, but this Australian dystopian crime thriller looks like it could be fantastic and Guy Pearce looks like the perfect lead. I’m onboard.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (August 1, 2014) – When I first heard that Marvel Studios was doing a movie based on their lesser known Guardians of the Galaxy characters I really thought they were finally overstepping their bounds. I didn’t see any way that the movie could find an audience. But then I saw the trailer and I noticed the tone that writer and director James Gunn was shooting for. Now I’m completely onboard. This thing looks like a blast. A buffed up Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace, Benicio del Toro, Glen Close, John C. Reilly, Michael Rooker. A wonderful assortment of fine actors and a superhero story that goes beyond quirky. Yep, I’ll flaunt it!
“Boyhood” (July 11, 2014) – Richard Linklater has given us some of the best character studies ever put to film. He is a master of capturing relationships, emotions, and settings while soaking them with an undeniable authenticity. “Boyhood” may be his most fascinating and challenging project. It’s a story about a boy and the evolution of his relationship with his two divorced parents. Linklater started the film in 2002 when his young lead actor was 7 years old. For each of the next 12 years he brought his actors back together to film portions of this movie in order to capture the authenticity of growing up from a child into a young adult. It’s incredibly ambitious and it looks like a personal labor of love.
“Lucy” (August 8, 2014) – In many ways “Lucy” looks like the anti-superhero superhero movie. Scarlett Johansson stars as the title character, a woman forced by a drug mob to do their bidding. But when a particular drug implanted into her system goes haywire, she is endowed with superhuman abilities. The question is how will she use them? This looks like a film loaded with potential. It’s written and directed by Luc Besson which could either be a really good thing (“Leon: The Professional”) or a really bad thing (“Taken 2”). Right now I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt because the early trailer really won me over and Johansson should knock it out of the park.
“22 Jump Street” (June 13, 2014) – Yes I understand that the first film in this series found a big audience. I have to admit that I don’t understand why. I tried to watch it, but by the midway point it had milked it’s one big joke dry. Now we are in for more of the same brain-dead humor only now the setting is college instead of high school. Wow, what a major turn. Channing Tatum (an actor that I’m still not impressed with) and Jonah Hill (an actor I’m even less impressed with) are back along with the obnoxious Ice Cube. I have no doubt that this movie will make a bunch of money, but for me it’s a flusher all the way and I’m avoiding it at all costs.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (August 8, 2014) – I have to admit that I thought I was having my leg pulled when I heard they were bringing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back to the big screen. But then I saw Michael Bay’s name attached and I knew it must be true. To make matters worse, then I saw the first teaser trailer and I knew this would be a flusher. There are so many things that push me away. First off, the CGI turtles look freaky. And then you have Oscar caliber talent like Megan Fox and Johnny Knoxville. I don’t see this thing working in any regard and all of the crappy uninteresting components looks to be enough to snuff out any bit of nostalgia. This is a movie that I could completely do without.
“Think Like A Man Too” (June 20, 2014) – Tell me if you have heard this before – a group of friends head to the wild and raucous land of Las Vegas to sew some wild oats prior to an upcoming wedding. Totally original material, right? That’s what you get from “Think Like A Man Too”. It’s listed as a romantic comedy but there’s nothing in the trailer that looks either romantic or funny. To make matters even worse, the movie stars the loud and utterly obnoxious Kevin Hart, an actor whose shtick is about as entertaining as a root canal. This movie looks about as dopey and unoriginal as anything else we will see in 2014.
“Tammy” (July 2, 2014) – What pops into your mind when you hear that Melissa McCarthy has a new movie? Here’s what I think: It’s Melissa McCarthy playing a goofy and eccentric oddball with a foul mouth and an endless supply of weight gags. Much like so many others in the modern comedy genre, McCarthy has become a one-trick pony and her act does nothing for me. Long gone are her great days from “The Gilmore Girls”. I do think she has some genuine talent but she’s fallen into this lame R-rated comedy rut and “Tammy” just looks like more of the same. No thank you. I’m flushing this one without an ounce of hesitation.
“Step Up: All In” (July 25, 2014) – How on earth is this series still in existence? Has it honestly developed that big of a following? Do people genuinely care enough to warrant movie after movie? Apparently so and it boggles my mind. Yes we are getting yet another “Step Up” movie and there is nothing that makes me think this one will be any better than the others. Look, I understand that it’s all about the dancing and you can’t take the “acting” or even the story seriously, but I need more than these movies provide. I know that somewhere there are people anxiously anticipating this movie. But me, I’ll flush it and pop in a Gene Kelly film instead.