So Summer is now in full swing, with the tent pole releases of THOR and BRIDESMAIDS heralding in the official launch of the blockbuster season. In honor of this, I give you a new entry in my once-frequent series in which I discuss several of my most highly anticipated flicks and their trailers.
Lars Von Trier is probably the one filmmaker furthest from my mind when I think of Summer movies, but the timing of the release of his latest depress-fest is oddly appropriate. Described as "a beautiful movie about the end of the world," the film takes place as a planet threatens to crash into Earth, which is certainly the plot of many a summer blockbuster even if Von Trier's film is guaranteed to be totally unlike anything we could ever hope for from a Roland Emmerich or Michael Bay. I was really affected by his previous effort, ANTICHRIST, a rumination on man's relationship with nature, historical and supernatural malevolence, and the many ways we can destroy ourselves, so I'm looking forward to MELANCHOLIA, which looks to share a lot of the same thematics. A director unafraid of controversy or audience disgust, there is always one guarantee when encountering a new work by Lars Von Trier: there will definitely be something to talk about, one way or the other.
2) CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
Focusing on the superstar of the Marvel Universe, this is the last production before next year's superhero megafilm THE AVENGERS. Directed by Joe Johnston, who has already made a pretty great alternate-history superhero movie with 1991's THE ROCKETEER, and knows how to craft a rousing adventure film out of period drama (for proof see HIDALGO and his work on the television series THE INDIANA JONES CHRONICLES). Following the hero, Captain America, from his birth in the super soldier program during World War II, we are guaranteed many a showdown between Cap and his arch nemesis, The Red Skull. Yes, it's yet another superhero film, but this one is going to be a bit different, and hopefully up to the task of introducing us to a character as important as Captain America is to the Marvel cinematic project of replicating their comic book mythologies.
3) THE FUTURE
The new slice of weirdness from Miranda July, the genius artist behind ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW, seems to be told (at least partially) from the viewpoint of an adopted, sickly cat. Maybe. And it definitely details the lives of two thirty-somethings who haven't really got a handle on their lives just yet. July is an artist who I wholeheartedly respect, and this looks and feels a lot more like some of her book of short fiction more than her previous work as a filmmaker. This is a high profile art house release for the Summer season, and I'll be seeking it out as soon as I possibly can.
4) 30 MINUTES OR LESS
I was a big fan of ZOMBIELAND a couple years back, and I'm looking forward to this film which rejoins Jesse Eisenberg with director Ruben Fleischer, and also brings Asiz Ansari into the fold for a movie about a pizza delivery driver who gets tangled up in a bank robbery scheme. The red band trailer in particular is very strong (and totally NSFW), and gives a good set of laughs to all the main characters, including Danny McBride and Nick Swardson as the two criminals who strap a bomb to Eisenberg's chest so he'll rob the bank for him.
5) TROLL HUNTER
A found footage film about troll hunters in Norway? I'm there. No question. This movie is already available on demand, so I'll probably see it sooner rather than later, but I really think it was meant to see theatrically, which is why I'll be planning a trip to see it when it opens in either Asheville or Atlanta (if I've moved down there by then). In any case, the special effects and troll designs look amazing, and I'm all about supporting international and low budget genre cinema that seems to actually capture something magical and doesn't look and sound like utter crap.