The 2013 Summer Preview

Fellow blogger Karsten Nielsen recently asked me, what 2013 summer movies I'm looking forward to. I figured that would be an interesting topic for a blog, not because my personal preferences will somehow change the world, but because it seems to me that I'm looking less and less forward to the big summer movies every year, and how am I supposed to test that theory, unless I sit down and take stock? And so, armed with my Entertainment Weekly, the issues featuring their summer preview, I'll go through all the big budget Hollywood summer blockbusters (and a few other titles) and see where I stand.

- Not even if you gave me a free Blu-ray.

Fast & Furious 6
The first Fast & Furious was one of the most unintelligent films ever made. I have refused to see any of the sequels. My money back, with interests, and an official apology from every single person connected to the film would make me reconsider, but let's face it, I'd still not watch.

Other titles: Grown Ups 2, The Heat, The Internship, Planes, The Smurfs 2, and Turbo.

- If I can get it for nothing and if I don't have anything better to do.

After Earth
Will Smith's stupid son Jaden is a movie killer. Everything he touches turns to shite. He is AWFUL. Will himself hasn't had a 100% solid project on his hands in 16 years, and writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has never made a good film. Pass.

Iron Man 3
I don't care. I just don't care. Even if this finally brings us another Shane Black flick, it's trapped in the Marvel patented superhero Universe of Indifference, Special Effects, and Irrelevance (UNINSPIR for short).

Man of Steel
I just can't get over the inherent stupidity of the Superman concept. And moody Superman just seems even worse.

Only God Forgives
Director Nicolas Winding Refns last film - that glorified Steven Seagal project Drive - was a blank stare in the mirror. This one looks equally intellectually stimulating. It also looks like a ripoff of a bunch of classic Hong Kong movies.

Pacific Rim
Oh good, another alien invasion, CGI movie, with no characters, and a plot we've seen a million times. That's new. Yaaaawn. The presence of Nerd King Guillermo del Toro, doesn't give it a free pass, quite the opposite.

This uninspired Men in Black remake, with shoddy CGI and cartoonish overacting by Jeff Bridges is the last thing we need.

Other titles: 2 Guns, The Monster University, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

- Just on the verge of "I don't care".

300: Rise of An Empire
Wow... 300, remember that? Seems like decades ago we fell in love with that movie. Imagine if they had fast-tracked a sequel, it seems too late now. Still, with Eva Green playing the lead it might be worth checking out.

Neill Blomkamp should inspire confidence, but this sci-fi film looks awfully generic, and Matt Damon just doesn't do it for me any more.

Kick-Ass 2
I had some reservation about the first film, and since then we've been inundated with "real people pretend to be superheroes" movies. This sequel looks fairly unimaginative.

White House Down
No sure why they're doing a remake of Olympus Has Fallen already. Even less sure why they cast Ken from Barbie to play the lead.

- These could be fantastic, but I've got little faith.

The Hangover Part III
We need the third one about as much as we needed the second one, but that actually turned out quite well, and the first previews for this looks pretty funny. I just don't want to get my hopes up.

The Lone Ranger
It seemed like a stupid idea, and the first trailer was baffling. By the second trailer I could kind of see where they were going. I'm not saying it's going to be good, or that it'll work, but I'm sufficiently intrigued to check it out.

Now You See Me
If this story works it'll be brilliant, but is this another wannabe lookalike, like Criss Angel, or a proper magician like Ricky Jay? Have they cheated with CGI or do they have a proper, good trick up their sleeve?

Star Trek Into Darkness
I had JJ Abrams' first Star Trek film on my Top 5 for 2009, but since then I've cooled a bit on him, and I'm not sure why. This also seems to suffer from the familiar franchise problem, where everything is on the line in every single entry. Can't we just get a proper space exploration story for once, without the fate of mankind on the line?

The Wolverine
Yes, finally they're doing the Japan story! That was the first thought. Then came the trailer, and it turned out it wasn't THE Japan story, just A Japan story. The disappointment was crushing, and I'm not sure the film can recover.

World War Z
Endless production problems and an unfilmable novel is rarely a good place to start. The trailers have me both exited and worried. I'm down with the swarms of zombies, but not convinced they have a story worth telling.

- These could be fantastic, and I've got faith.

The Bling Ring
Sofia Coppola did two good films, then two bad (well haven't seen Somewhere , but I couldn't even stay awake for the trailer). Where her fifth feature falls remains to be seen, but it's got Emma Watson, and that's a good thing.

The Colony
A world covered in snow? I'm in. Plot, actors? Never mind that, this one's got FREAKIN' SNOW all over!

The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann did the brilliant Romeo + Juliet, but his two next films (the charmless and awful Moulin Rouge, and the universally disliked Australia) failed to live up to that promise. This one looks like he's back on track.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Call me crazy (you will), but the first one wasn't bad, and lead Logan Lerman has proved his worth by now. Could this be a charming little adventure story, the kind we get so few of these days?

The Purge
The premise for this sounds absolutely frightening, and Ethan Hawke rarely fails. Could this be the one we're all talking about, when the summer is done?

Red 2
The first one was fun. I'm ready for another go, but it's hard to believe lightning will strike twice. It wasn't even that powerful the first time around.

This is The End
This could easily be absolutely atrocious, but I'm gonna roll the dice and give it the benefit of the doubt, even if it looks like it's a little too far up its own rear end.

- The best of the best top dollar can't-miss summer movie

Despicable Me 2
The first one was brilliant, and the trailer made me chuckle. Fingers crossed that Gru and the minions can save the summer! Oh and the world.


It seems my instincts were right. The ratio of good to bad is not impressive, and even I have to admit that the list of films I look forward to is hardly impressive.

It wasn't always like this. Once upon a time the summer movies were actually good. Remember that "Summer Movie Sci-Fi Sneak Preview from 1982" clip? And that's just the science fiction movies from that year.

Every one of them is still talked about after 30 years. Hard to believe that'll be the case for the 2013 movies.

Enough of this summer crap, let's hope for an early fall, lots of overcast weather and as little sun as possible.

DISCLAIMER FOR THE CHEAP SEATS: This article is a PREVIEW of the summer films. PRE as in "before". My evaluations are based on trailers, images and plot descriptions. My judgements concern my desire to see the films, they are NOT - I repeat NOT - the final evaluation of the quality of the films, since I can't give that until I have actually seen the films. So to recap: This is a PREVIEW.