Summer Movie Preview: May

Oh, summer movies. The summer movie season is never as thrillingly spectacular to me as it is to some, but it always seems much better in comparison to the January-April void we’ve just endured. It officially (?) kicks off in just a few days, so here’s my preview of the first month of summer (?) at the cineplex: May!

May 4

Hmm…what’s that little indie flick called? Oh, that’s right.
The Avengers. Buzz has already reached a fever pitch (especially if you’re a Tom Hiddleston fan who uses Tumblr), and positive reviews are only confirming the fact that The Avengers will be the most awesomely epic film of
ALL TIME. If you’re curious (you’re not) about what my favourite pre-Avengers Avengers movie is, it’s Thor.

However, if you hate superheroes and love old people, you’ll still have something to see this weekend, because The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opens in limited release. I saw this trailer at every damn movie I went to in the past four months (what does that say about the movies I go to see?) and while the movie looks significantly less charming on my fifth viewing of the trailer, Bill Nighy has yet to stop charming me. Also opening in limited release is the dreadful-looking Miley Cyrus romp LOL, the dreadful-looking Kate Hudson romp A Little Bit of Heaven (Gael Garcia Bernal, what are you doing???), and the misleadingly titled slasher flick Mother’s Day.

May 11

I had heard people mock the Dark Shadows trailer for weeks before I actually watched it myself, but after finally being forced to endure the preview at the theatre, I have to say that this movie looks…strange. Johnny Depp has considerable charm, sure, but I’m not sure who this movie is marketed towards. The Twilight set? Middle-aged women? Teenage boys? I don’t know. These Burton/Depp collaborations always seem to do well, though, and this one probably will, too. We’ll see if it’s actually any good.

A whole whack of movies come out in limited release this week, so I’ll just mention two that look interesting to me. First is A Bag of Hammers. This drama stars Jason Ritter and Rebecca Hall (both of whom I like quite a bit) but the main appeal for me is the soundtrack, which was done by British folk artist Johnny Flynn. If you haven’t checked out Flynn’s music, you should do so. The other movie is Tonight You’re Mine, which is a romantic comedy that came out in the UK last year under the title You Again. It stars Natalia Tena (Tonks!) and Luke Treadaway (who I thought was very charming in Attack the Block) as two musicians who get handcuffed together at a music festival they’re both supposed to perform at. Could be cheesy, could be fun. Could be both.

May 18

Battleship might already be the most derided film of the summer, and in a couple of short weeks, we’ll get to see if it’s as bad as basic logic would suggest. Look, I loved Taylor Kitsch on Friday Night Lights, but this blockbuster action star role doesn’t seem to suit him terribly well. Liam Neeson, though.

Also out this week is the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator (May 16). I’m not totally sold on him doing a mostly scripted comedy as one of his farcical characters (for me, the most interesting part of Borat was watching Regular Folks react to his outlandish behaviour), but I’d be glad to be proven wrong. Anna Faris, John C. Reilly, and Ben Kingsley give me more hope.

I think I know exactly what to expect from What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Sophmoric humour that ham-fistedly reinforces gender stereotypes, perhaps? There are some talented and funny people in this cast, certainly. But also a lot of really, really annoying ones.

On a smaller scale, Hysteria stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy and tells the story of how the vibrator came to be. Should be interesting. Also, Murgan Spurlock’s documentary about beards, Mansome,
will give us a behind-the-scenes look at the facial grooming rituals of Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Paul Rudd, and some other funny men. As well, Dustin Lance Black’s directorial debut, Virginia (previously titled What’s Wrong With Virginia), finally receives a public release after getting panned at TIFF 2010. The film stars Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, and Emma Roberts.

May 25

Two uninteresting major releases this week. Men In Black III is happening for some reason, though at least the cast includes Josh Brolin and Bill Hader. Alternatively, Jesse McCartney (!!) gets to try his hand at the Dead Teenager Movie with Chernobyl Diaries. Hey, maybe it’ll turn out to actually be really good, like Chronicle! Yeah, probably not…

In limited release is one of the month’s more interesting offerings, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. I’m not quite enamoured with Anderson as a director (though I do love Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums), but I’m always curious to see what he’ll do next. Throw in Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, and Frances McDormand, and I’m sold.

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