May 6, 2012

10 OTHER Summer Movies You May Want to See

So maybe you're wondering where've I been the past 3 months. Sorry, but I've been doing rewrites on one of my screenplays. There's some encouraging things happening and I've made new connections that could perhaps lead to getting something sold and maybe even into production. I'm also about halfway through a new screenplay and that will be taking up most of my time -- probably until mid-summer. Still, I'll try to find time to blog and I want to start by talking about this year's crop of summer movies, which I think is unequivocally the best slate of summer films in more than a decade.

No exaggeration, Hollywood has outdone itself. I look at this lineup of summer releases and I see over a dozen films that I would put on my "Definitely Must See" list. I'm especially stoked for Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, The Avengers, Ted, Rock of Ages, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

But for this blog entry, I'm not even gonna waste your time going over the list of hugely anticipated and hyped movies that you can read about on a thousand other websites. What I'm going to focus on here are some of the "under the radar" pics that won't have as much hype, expectation, or marketing push behind them as The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises or G.I. Joe: Retaliation, for example.

So here it is, a list I'm calling:

10 OTHER Summer Movies You May Want to See

May 4

Just dropped the grandkids off to see The Avengers? Don't worry old-timer, you can stick around and catch...

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Directed by John Madden (the guy who did Shakespeare in Love, not that fat football announcer) it's an English dramedy about a group of senior citizens who retire, move to India and find it's not all they thought it would be. 
See it for its all-star cast of British film legends – Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Peter O'Toole (Yes, he's still alive!)

May 18

Go ahead and see Battleship (the movie based on a 45-year-old board game) but also consider...

What to Expect When You're Expecting (the movie based on a 28-year-old pregnancy guide.)

Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Banks, and Jennifer Lopez (Average age: 40... Just sayin') play expectant mothers in a film that traces several interconnected couples as they prepare to welcome their new babies. See it for its ensemble cast that also includes Chris Rock, Anna Kendrick, Dennis Quaid, and Glee's Matthew Morrison.

May 25

Why force yourself to see Men in Black III -- you know the ship has sailed on that franchise. Instead, take a chance on...

Chernobyl Diaries

Fans of the Resident Evil and Walking Dead series might enjoy this horror flick about six tourists who visit the abandoned Soviet city of Pripyat (site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster) which turns out to be not entirely abandoned after all. See it because director Oren Peli's track record (Paranormal Activity, Insidious) shows he's definitely an expert in the thriller/horror genre.

June 8

Director Ridley Scott's Prometheus is a much-anticipated sci-fi thriller. But if you like your sci-fi mixed with comedy buy a ticket for...

Safety Not Guaranteed

Three magazine employees answer the following ad:
*WANTED* Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before. 

See it because of the intriguingly amusing premise and because it killed at the Sundance Film Festival.

June 22

If you've already seen the film adaptation of the 80s jukebox musical Rock of Ages (scheduled for release a week earlier) then check out...

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

The Underworld movies, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Priest, Fright Night, Dark Shadows, Breaking Dawn... Still no end in site for all this vampire crap. But the historical backdrop this film is set against offers something different. Honest Abe fights to win the Civil War and reunite the nation... while battling hordes of vampires looking to take over the country. See it because it's one of those rare instances where there's no other information needed –- the film's title gives you the concept, the plot and the hook.

also June 22

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

With an asteroid about to destroy life on Earth, a man (Steve Carell) hits the road to find his high school sweetheart before the world ends. See it because it's the first (and likely the last) apocalyptic/road-trip/romantic-comedy you'll ever see.

July 6

What's that Mr. Pimply-faced teen selling movie tickets in the box office?... The Amazing Spider-Man is sold out?... Okay, then give me one for...


It's Scarface meets Blow with a smattering of Breaking Bad. A murderous Mexican drug cartel tries to move in on three friends running a small marijuana business. See it if you're an Oliver Stone fan (he co-wrote and directed) and are in the mood for a WHOLE lot of killing.

July 13

The big release this week is the latest in the Ice Age franchise, Ice Age: Continental Drift. Or, you can ditch the kids and go see the adult comedy...


Mark Wahlberg stars as a grown man whose teddy bear came to life when he was a child... and hasn't left his side since. See it to find out what Seth (Family Guy) MacFarlane can do when he's freed from the constraints of network television and allowed to sink his teeth into an R-rated feature.

July 27

Summer will be winding down and pickings will be slim, but you'll get at least one more chance at a decent comedy with...

Neighborhood Watch

Suburban dads who formed a neighborhood watch group as an excuse to get out of the house find themselves facing an alien invasion. See it for its cast featuring a triumvirate of comedy masters -- Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller.

August 17

Just when you thought The Expendables included every last action hero ever born, The Expendables 2 adds Chuck Norris and Jean Claude Van Damme to the cast. You can enjoy that one with the guys but take your wife to see...


American Idol winner Jordin Sparks hopes this remake of the black cinema classic will do for her what Dreamgirls did for Jennifer Hudson. See it if you want to see the late Whitney Houston's final film performance.

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