“Three movies that I will actually pay to see.”
Just like the plague or any album released by Coldplay, summer movie season is officially upon us and there is nowhere to hide.
With no absolute slam dunks like The Dark Knight or Wall-E on the horizon, I figured I would take a couple of minutes to wade through the toxic waste dump of sequels, re-treads and Wayans Brothers projects to talk about three movies that I will actually pay to see.
We haven’t gotten anything from Tarantino since Death Proof kicked the crap out of Planet Terror as the second half of Grindhouse in 2007. Interesting spelling choices and American Idol appearances aside, the man usually knows exactly what he’s doing. Basterds is the passion project he’s been working on for the better part of the last decade. For those who don’t know the premise (and you can find the trailer right here) I’ll break it down for you right quick: Brad Pitt leads a group of 8 semi-psychotic Jewish-American soldiers through German occupied France during WWII. Their sole purpose is to make a serious dent in the Third Reich by brutally taking out as many “nat-zi’s” as they possibly can. Expect a dialogue heavy picture full of obscure music, bizarre character names, ridiculous deaths and historical inaccuracies. But also expect it to be totally original and beyond entertaining.
I’ve been hearing about this movie for the better part of a year now but only recently did I actually start seeing spots for it. Apatow, to me, is at his absolute best when he’s captaining his own ship. The man has a million production credits (and that number is only going to get more and more staggering as the years progress) but I don’t think any of the obnoxious Will Ferrell movies or Walk Hards are even in the same stratosphere as Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared and Knocked Up. The stories he likes to tell are complete. Of course they’re funny. But they’re also absurd. Uncomfortable. Gross. Touching. Emotional. And perhaps most important, realistic. I expect nothing less from Funny People. Interesting Fact: Apatow and Sandler were actually roommates in New York way back in their early 20’s. If you want to hear a pretty hilarious anecdote about it check out this clip at about the three minute and twenty second mark.
This one is the wildcard. I’m not exactly sure just what we’re going to get yet. All of the trailers seem like they’re trying to put this movie into the Kate Hudson Terrible, Horrible Date Movie Zone but I sincerely hope they’re just kind of skewing it to sell a couple of extra tickets. Everything I’ve read about it gives me hope that this movie is very much the exception and not the rule. From longtime music video director Marc Webb, 500 Days of Summer follows (the super awesome) Joseph Gordon Levitt as he meets, falls in love with and subsequently has his heart lawn-mowed by (Natalie Portman’s replacement as the pretentious indie nerds number one crush) Zooey Deschanel. The movie follows no specific timetable though as it careens back and forth through all 500 days of their relationship at random. From the time they initially locked eyes until the point where he’s convinced that he’s finally over her. The story lends itself to being more Garden State or Eternal Sunshine than 27 Dresses, and I sincerely hope that that is in fact the territory it ends up landing in.
And while we remain on the subject of summer movies there is one more very special person that I just have to address. Michael Bay, the first time I let all the transgressions slide. The fact they had mouths. The ridiculous advertising tie-ins. The flame decals. The fact that Optimus Prime said “My Bad.” I was just that excited to get to experience a live action Transformers movie in my lifetime. This time however, the gloves are coming off. If you fuck up this one anywhere near as bad as it appears that you have (Egypt? Seriously?) I am going to ride my bike to Hollywood, buy a map to the stars apartments, visit Martin Lawrence and make him give me your address, show up at your house and dropkick you in the dick so hard it will catapult you back to 2004 so that you can change your mind and let Scarlett Johansson show her boobs in The Island, thus ensuring the DVD will sell more than 18 copies.
And Spielberg? Consider yourself next.