Saturday, April 26, 2008

Summer '08

Here is a list of early summer's releases, as humorously compiled by Craig Kennedy over on Living in Cinema. Some initial thoughts:

1) With Iron Man, then Speed Racer, then Narnia, then Indy in the first four weeks, I would have to be at least a little concerned, were I a studio executive, about getting traction. That's a lot of box office oxygen being used up. I would guess that Speed Racer would be, fairly or unfairly, the one that gets lost in the shuffle. Although Narnia might be better served by remaining in December.

2) Although Iron Man is right there next to Aquaman in my Pantheon of Unnecessary Superheroes, the idea of Robert Downey Jr. as a superhero is original and intriguing stunt casting. But when was the last time that Downey was in a big hit? The Average American Moviegoer might be surpised to find that eighties guy showing up again all of a sudden after twenty years.

3) Poor Anne Hathaway. If she had just stuck with Knocked Up, she'd be the indisputable biggest young female star in the world, thereby fulfilling my prediction that she would be the real star to emerge out of Brokeback Mountain. Think about it, I could already be rubbing it in as we speak. Instead, she's in Get Smart. Oh, I'm sure it will make big money, as predicted. It has that whole Pink Panther vibe going on. Of course, that's the problem.

4) The Dark Knight could be huge, fulfilling the dark-fable potential of the first film. But I have to admit .... when I watched Batman Begins, it struck me as the worst film I had seen up to that point in my then-brief film reviewing career. I thought it was an absolute turkey. While my retrospective respect for what it was trying to do made it palatable, it was still a very troubled film. The fight scenes were shot way too close in, and its editing was disturbingly frazzled. Let's hope Christopher Nolan has worked some things out.

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