Let's get a few things straight. I didn't come here to tell you what the public is buzzing about. I didn't come here to tell you what movies studios are hyping up beyond belief. Oh no, my friend, my words sit before you today for one simple purpose: I want to decide what movies I am excited about seeing over the course of the summer 2010 season.
This year, summer starts on May 7 with Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man 2. The season ends August 27. I'm digging through four months of films to find the seven I am most excited about. The trick is, I don't watch previews. I don't believe in them (though I do know they exist). So, what I look for are actors, brief descriptions, directors and if I accidentally see a still picture, then so be it. I'll be completely honest, I have seen a preview for Sex and the City 2, and that's one of the reasons it's not on this list. Just because I don't watch previews, I won't make you live the life. I've attached the trailers below the films.
7. Iron Man 2 (due out May 7)
Recap: Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) must deal with the public that's aware he's also the superhero Iron Man. With the help of Rhodey (now played by Don Cheadle instead of Terrence Howard) and Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow), Iron Man now must battle a new villain, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke). Reason: I didn't even get to the rest of the cast in this sequel. Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. There should be a lot going on. That's the risk here. Maybe it will be too much. The second superhero movie can be really good, just look at this list I'm pimping -- TOP 7 Superhero Sequel Seconds. As long as we get enough of the Tony Stark swagger, we should be in good hands for this one. Plus, hopefully this time we'll get a great villain, something we were missing in the first.
6. The Other Guys (due out August 6)
Recap: Two New York City detectives (Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell) couldn't be more mismatched. They must work together and step it up to solve a big case like the cops they idolize. Reason: Wahlberg proved he can be funny with Date Night and it's about time Will Ferrell regained his comedic throne, right? We also get Dwayne Johnson, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson. Shall this be the "The Summer of Sam"? That's not taken, right? Adam McKay has given us Anchorman, and Step Brothers ... let's hope this one taps into more Ron Burgundy and less Brennan Huff.
5. Predators (due out July 9)
Recap: Elite soldiers are hunted by an evil alien race known as Predators. Reason: Wow. That recap was a little too quick and easy to write. So, why am I excited? Topher Grace and Adrien Brody aren't immediately who you would think of leading a sci-fi action flick. I like that. I don't know what to expect. They're wild cards, who are hopefully pretty damn smart, because otherwise the Predators are going to have a pretty easy time. Topher, Adrien, unless you're drinking the HGH Kool-Aid, I don't recommend hand to hand combat with these bad boys. What has me worried? The directors name is actually nimrod. Nimród Antal's body of work consists of Vacancy and Armored. That's not a great track record.
4. Dinner with Schmucks (due out July 23)
Recap: For a dinner party, each guest must try and find the biggest loser and bring them along for the meal. Tim (Paul Rudd), an executive on the rise, finds IRS employee Barry (Steve Carell). Reason: Jay Roach knows uncomfortable humor (Meet the Parents), but he also knows how to drive it into the ground (Meet the Fockers). It will be key to see how he makes fun of the unlikable characters here. He's got Carell, who we all know is fantastic at being awkward ("The Office"). It's an adaptation of a French film The Dinner Game. The rest of the cast includes Zach Galifianakis, Bruce Greenwood and Ron Livingston.
3. The Last Airbender (due out July 2)
Recap: A boy, who follows in the long line of Avatars, must stop the Fire Nations from enslaving the Water, Earth and Air nations. Reason: Yeah, I'm not sure exactly what that description means either. But, remember A Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and parts of Signs? That's right M. Night Shyamalan. Hey. Don't go bringing up The Village, Lady in the Water and The Happening. Why'd you have to go and ruin my point? Anyway, we now get to see what Shyamalan gets to do with a movie, and not just a trick ending. I will admit, I did see a couple of seconds of this one and it looks great. I would have had this as my number two, except they recently announced they are making it 3-D. They're doing this after the fact. That's not a good sign. I only like my 3D when it's animated or with purpose like Avatar.
2. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (due out August 13)
Recap: Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) must defeat his new girlfriend's (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) seven evil ex-boyfriends in order to win her heart. Reason: Everybody's wanted to go after his lady's ex-boyfriend, right? So why not do it with Cera? He's only made two mediocre films so far Year One and Youth in Revolt. His other movies are great. Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) knows how to get us to root for losers. Plus, you know with seven ex's the film will have to move quickly. Who are the ex's you ask? Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Jason Schwartzman ... those are the five I know.
1. Inception (due out July 16)
Recap: Set in the future where you can enter dreams through a new technology, ideas can end up being dangerous weapons or your greatest asset. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extracting thoughts. Reason: I had to read up on this one simply to write the recap. That's how little I knew, yet it was still my number one. Why? I've seen an image of DiCaprio holding a long silencer, and Christopher Nolan is directing. That's it. I was hooked. Then I come to realize we're also dealing with a cast of Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard and more ... well it looks like I know what I will be doing the week of my birthday (July 14). Oh, and feel free to send gifts.