It seems not that long ago I was doing this list, yet here I am again. The summer movie spectacular is only a scant few weeks away, so it’s about time, once again, I list the summer movies that I’m looking forward to. Unlike last year, there is no close race for fist and second in movies that are on my must list. Instead what is clear is that there’s one standout movie that I really want to see followed by a lot of other movies that I’m looking forward to, but not chomping at the bit for. That being said…
#1. on my list, by a large margin (fittingly) is the KING of the monsters, Godzilla. A childhood favorite of mine, Godzilla films were one of the few things I would stop whatever it was I was doing to sit down and watch. From the old school, black and white films where he was the bad guy, to the later films where he was the good guy, to the even later films where he and his son were the source of comic relief at times. This monster holds a special place in my heart. After the 98 treatment that he got, this movie looks to give Godzilla back the throne as king of the monsters, showing audiences that those Kaiju’s from Pacific Rim aren’t fit to hold Godzilla’s jock strap, uh, so to speak.
#2. X-Men: Days of Future Past. Based on the series of comics from the early 80’s (the original run was published in 1980) that features alternate timelines, time travel and sentinels in all of their mutant killing glory, Bryan Singer seeks to put right what X3 got all kinds of wrong regarding the universe he established in his first two X films. What better way to do that than have the cast of the last decent X film, X-Men: First class, join the fun. While there are doubts surrounding this film largely based on the print campaign for the film and not actual footage (which is a huge pet peeve of mine. Wait until there’s something to see before you start complaining, that’s all I ask!), seeing as how the best films in the X-Men franchise happen to belong to Singer, I’m game for what he has in store, not to mention the story this movie is based on is one of the all time favorites, ranking up there with the Phoenix saga, for comic book geeks.
#3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Rise of the Planet of the Apes managed to do what few summer films can do in this day and age, and that’s genuinely surprising its audience by just how good it was. From story to performances (especially Andy Serkis as Ceasar), Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a refreshing hit showing that you can make a late summer film that packs a punch with story, action and characters. That being said, the expectations for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is pretty high. If Hollywood wants to continue with these series of films, this will be the one that will make or break this fledgling franchise.
#4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the last of the tentpole Marvel films (but not the last Marvel film, we’ll get to that later) and leads directly into next year’s Avenger’s: Age of Ultron. Cap finds himself working with and for S.H.I.E.L.D. but what cap finds once he’s actually in the machine is that perhaps S.H.I.E.L.D isn’t everything he thought it was. Add to that the mysterious Winter Soldier who seeks (based on the trailers anyway) to put an end to Cap and anyone connected with S.H.I.E.L.D., you have a very interesting and promising story. There’s been a lot of talk regarding this movie and that the events that take place in it will be a game changer for the marvel universe. Here’s hoping that this movie is at least half as interesting as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Maybe this movie can breathe some much needed life into that show since the advertisements for the show are hinting at a serious tie-in to this movie.
#5. Edge of Tomorrow. I’ll just make the obligatory Groundhog Day comparison now and get it out the way. Imagine Groundhog Day, but instead of Bill Murray dealing with people in a town over and over again, you have Tom Cruise fighting a battle and dying over and over again. That’s essentially what you have with this film, though, I’m sure there’s more to it than that in this futuristic war story. The trailer for it looks interesting, and personally, I’ve always liked the idea of being stuck in a time loop where you’re doomed to repeat something until you get it right. If the story is done decently, this movie could be the sleeper hit of the summer.
#6. Transformers: Age of Extiction. I know, it’s Michael Bay. I know, it’s giant robots blowing stuff up. I know, it’s Optimus prime riding a dinobot. I know, and I don’t care. Sometimes I just want to see a popcorn movie full of semi-recognizable toys I played with as a kid. The one thing this movie has going for it the others didn’t (besides Shia LeBeouf bowing out as the lead) is Bay and company seem to be making an effort to have this film be different (at least from the first trailer) than the last films. Maybe more grown-up or serious? Maybe? If so, this could be a modest surprise from the usual fare, still, I won’t hold my breath. Bay has shown that he can put together a good, tight film with decent writing (Pain and Gain is THE example of this and probably his best work as a film maker) and coming off that film and going directly to this, perhaps there’s hope for a slightly more grown-up transformers.
#7. Guardians of the Galaxy. Another Marvel movie that’s got a lot of people talking, and based on the trailer, it looks like Marvel’s going back to the fun, happy times of the early Iron Man days. Think of this movie as the sun shiny yin to The Winter Soldier’s dark yang. I honestly don’t know anything about this movie or the comics its based on, something I don’t say that often when it comes to Marvel’s works, and you know what, I want to keep it that way. I’m intrigued and a little excited to see what looks to be a comical and action packed ride through the deep reaches of the Marvel universe we don’t get to see much of. Bring it on.