Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man and Iron Man 2, commented that the summer movie season of 2011 would be a bloodbath. No joke: Marvel has two new superheroes receiving the Hollywood treatment before they unveil the mother-of-all superhero movies in next year's The Avengers, Captain Jack Sparrow returns to the high seas, Judd Apatow seeks for a new comedy hit with an all-female cast, J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg join forces for a tightly wrapped monster flick, and the end has come for The Boy Who Lived. Here's the good, the bad, and the ones that can go either way in summer 2011.
Must see on opening weekend:
The Tree of Life (May 27): Potter-legions will be out in force for DH II, but indie film-goers and the critics will be going gaga for writer/director Terrence Malick's long-awaited epic American drama about a man (Sean Penn) going through an existential crisis as he tries to coming to grips with his iron-willed father (Brad Pitt) and his place in this world. If you've seen the trailer, then it maybe safe to say that the imagery is lovely, but what does this have to do with the story? I have no idea, and Malick isn't squealing either, which makes this awaited release all the more exciting and high atop my list. In a season that offers big, loud dumb action and unnecessary conversions to 3D, it's refreshing to see a world-class filmmaker like Malick excite and engage his audience through storytelling, compelling acting, and striking visual imagery.
The Hangover Part II (May 27): In 2009, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zack Galafinkis) took down Vegas looking for the groom-to-be. This time, Bangkok is next after the boys lose Stu's soon-to-be brother-in-law after a drunken, wild night on the town. Gee, what a surprise you're thinking, but you know the old saying: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'm confident the dynamic between Cooper, Helms, and Galafinkis isn't broken, so I can't wait to see what kind of madness these boys will be in.
Cowboys and Aliens (July 29): The best of all worlds: James Bond and Indiana Jones together in the old West, battling aliens. Jon Favreau (Iron Man) is directing, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are producing, and Steven Spielberg is executive producer. Oh, and the geek/sci-fi princess, Olivia Wilde is the beautiful girl who's in love with the mysterious drifter who hold the key to stopping a massive alien takeover. Its crazy, absurd, and totally stupid. That's the point. Its a movie that won't take itself seriously, because it knows what it is.