With the release of Divergent last week, the most exciting time of the year for moviegoers has officially arrived — and that means the deluge of summer blockbusters is about to flood the cinemas. (Yes, “summer” for Hollywood now starts in March, though in seasonal terms, Europe and North America have barely thawed into spring.) To which I say: bring it on! Based on the release calendar for the next few months, I’m going to be making a trip to the cinema almost every week, and sometimes twice in the same week. (Which, to be honest, isn’t all that different from now anyway.)
Because there are way too many movies to talk about in one sitting, I’m listing my “will-see” movies first. (The asterisk-ed ones are the ones which I *must* watch, preferably on opening day, come hell or high water.) I’ll follow up with the “probably watch on DVDs” and the “wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot poles” tomorrow.
**Captain America: The Winter Soldier** (Mar 27)
Frequent visitors of this blog should be able to tell by now that I’m a HUGE Marvel movie fan, since I have been as subtle about it as the Hulk. Cap’s first outing in Captain America: The First Avenger left me wanting when I first watched it, because compared to the rest of the Avengers, his superpower of boomerang-throwing a shield and looking like he spends lots of time at a gym really isn’t all that impressive. (Plus, iconic or not, his cowl makes him looked like a masked burglar-wannabe. I’m sorry Cap!) But he has grown on me, and he is an Avenger after all. And I love my Avengers.
Noah (Apr 3)
Frankly, the plot sounds sacrilegious, but I will watch it for the cast (Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson et al), and the director (Darren Aronofsky). (Because while the Bible’s story of Noah has large narrative gaps, I really, highly doubt Noah built the ark due to an acid trip, among other things.)
Transcendence (Apr 17)
This looks creepy. Like REALLY creepy. (Any movie about unnatural forces taking over the world and exterminating mankind, and has weird, disembodied things floating in the air, is creepy, stat.) But its first-time director, Wally Pfister, was Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer, who was with him from Memento all the way to The Dark Knight Rises before leaving him to do this movie; so I am curious to see how this passion project will turn out. Plus it has a great cast (Johnny Depp! Morgan Freeman! Paul Bettany! Rebecca Hall! Cillian Murphy!), so there’s no way I’m not watching this.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 1)
I said earlier that I am a huge Marvel movie fan. To be more accurate, I am a huge fan of movies by Marvel Studios. The Spider-Man franchise, which was snatched up by Sony long ago, is not one of them. And though Spider-Man 2 was great and The Amazing Spider-Man wasn’t bad, Spider-Man has never been on my preferred list of superheroes, because he has always just been a kid in over his head to me. Yeah I know, heroes are born out of the ordinary, with great power comes great responsibility yadda yadda; I get what he is supposed to symbolise — but I don’t have to like it.
Still, I will go for what I call the “wham! bam! slam!” factor that all big-budget, no-holds-barred blockbusters have, since it’s a franchise I don’t mind, even if I’m not enthusiastic about it. Though I must point out that Jamie Foxx’s Electro looks (and sounds) iffy. Sorry, I’m not into the visual of blue men crackling with energy; and even if he was the hero, I would still say the same.
**Godzilla** (May 15)
YES, BECAUSE IT LOOKS MOODY AND BLOODY AWESOME. I don’t watch monster thrillers if I can help it, but this looks too gorgeous *not* to watch. Plus I love the cast: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad‘s Walter White) is really working the look of a desperate soothsayer whom no one wants to listen to, Ken Watanabe (Saito in Inception) and David Straithan are always good to watch, and I want to see Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen in action before they pop up next year as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
Draft Day (May 15)
This looks nice. I like sports movies and underdog movies — both of which are usually one and the same — though I understand zilch about baseball. But because it opens on the same week as Godzilla, and saying that the next few weeks are crowded is the understatement of the year, I may not have time to watch this until it comes out on DVD.
For unknown reasons, the distributors in Singapore have crammed six of their most exciting movies into the following two weeks, so something will have to give.
**X-Men: Days of Future Past** (May 22)
It’s the BIGGEST X-Men movie ever made, stuffed with an all-star cast of dreams that includes Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan etc. As such, this is the only movie this year that could possibly rival The Avengers’ $1.5-billion box office gross (which is exactly what 20th Century Fox is aiming for).
Walk of Shame (May 22)
Elizabeth Banks (Effie in The Hunger Games) plays a reporter whose dream of becoming a news anchor is compromised after a one-night stand leaves her stranded in downtown L.A. without a phone, car, ID or money — and only 8 hours to make it to the most important job interview of her life. It sounds puzzling, if only because I don’t know how anyone can possibly get into this type of predicament. But Elizabeth Banks looks really funny in the trailer, and I love James Marsden (Cyclops in the X-Men movies, who, unfortunately, isn’t appearing in Days of Future Past); so I hope I have the time to watch it.
Grace of Monaco (May 22)
I’ve always been fascinated with Grace Kelly, who’s played by Nicole Kidman here, and her transition from Hollywood star to European princess. Unfortunately, this looks like the one that will have to wait for DVD.
**Maleficent** (May 29)
Angelina Jolie as one of the most classic Disney villains of all time. There isn’t a single thing I dislike about this sentence. I want to see how they make “the Mistress of all Evil!” into a sympathetic figure.
**Edge of Tomorrow** (May 29)
Tom Cruise goes back in time, again, and again, and again, and again, and again… and meets up with Emily Blunt along the way. Even if I didn’t already enjoy Tom Cruise movies, I’m intrigued by Groundhog Day scenarios. (Perhaps stemming from a subconscious wish to redo my life if I could, but that’s another topic.)
A Million Ways to Die in the West (May 29)
Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron do a raunchy Western comedy. Firstly, it’s a raunchy Western comedy, which I don’t think has ever been done before. Second (and most importantly), Seth MacFarlane somehow roped Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson into making this movie with him, and for that alone, I want to see why.
After that, I have a breather of about four weeks before
**Transformers: Age of Extinction** (Jun 26)
Which I will watch because as I mentioned before, nothing thrills me more than watching robots transform into cool cars. And vice versa.
And then the schedule slowly tapers down. Second-last on my list is
Jupiter Ascending (Jul 17)
This futuristic, “game adaptation”-ish movie is done by the Wachowski siblings of The Matrix fame, but because their street cred has been going down ever since, well, The Matrix, my only reason for wanting to watch it is because Sean Bean (Boromir in The Lord of the Rings, Ned Stark in Game of Thrones) is in it. Otherwise, it has a very real possibility of being a flop — a fate I wouldn’t wish on any movie, but truth is there hasn’t been any buzz for it.
**Guardians of the Galaxy** (Jul 31)
It’s a Marvel movie, so naturally I’m watching it, weird-looking aliens or not. I had been ambivalent about it before, but the trailer really *sold* the sizzle. “Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga ooga-chaka ooga-ooga!”
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Aug 7)
The teaser trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has just hit, and from the looks of it, it is going into “Nope, not touching it with a ten-foot pole”. All I can say about it is that Megan Fox looks really pretty. The turtles aren’t impressing me, but to be fair, since they look exactly like how they should, I don’t know what miracle I was expecting either when I considered watching it. Whatever it was, the trailer didn’t deliver.