Let the Summer movie season finally and mercifully begin!
Today marks the official start of the season where studios start carting out their "tentpoles" that they hope will carry them through the rest of the year, where they drag out the stuff that we all know is crap, but wont stop them from foisting on the viewing audiences anyway.
For a look at some of the other films coming out for the Summer season, check out our Summer Movie Guide.
This weekend you have two choices. One is a sci-fi, comic book, action/adventure, popcorn flick destined to be a blockbusting smash hit for the majority of movie-watching audiences. The other is a chick flick, appealing to everyone else.
So below are the trailers, synopsis and my notes for each film coming out today. Clicking on the poster will take you to the movie's website.
Iron Man (PG-13)
Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. Upon his return to America, Tony must come to terms with his past. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man.
Judge's Take: OK, I'm not a big comic book fan, but this film works on a couple of different levels. First, director Jon Faverau is a big geek. He's passionate about the source material and he knows how to shoot a film. Second - and this is something that's been echoed by a lot of people - if you need a character that's a smarmy, self-absorbed, alcoholic, genius with a dark past, who better for the part than Robert Downey Jr.? I actually lived about 30 yards from the alley where Downey was arrested when he hit bottom and for some reason now feel connected to his fall from grace and ascension back into the mainstream. It's inspriring to see him climb back on top of his past problems and star in what will go down as a fantastic summer blockbuster. From everything I've read and seen about this one, its going to be huge.
Made of Honor (PG-13)
Tom and Hannah have been platonic friends for 10 years. He's a successful, good looking serial dater, while she wants marriage but hasn't found Mr. Right. Just as Tom is starting to think that he is relationship material after all, Hannah gets engaged. When she asks Tom to be her "maid" of honor, he agrees just so he can attempt to stop the wedding and try to win her heart.
Judge's Take: Ugh. I could do a 500 word review on this movie without ever having to actually see anything more than the trailer. (which is featured below).
Let's get past the fact that this is an obvious chick flick. Let's go beyond the cookie-cutter storyline, the rubber-stamp characters and the fact that Patrick Dempsey's charisma seems to come directly from his facial stubble. (Seriously: Can you think of a time in the past six years where he's been clean shaven? I didn't think so). Once you remove all of those factors, you're left with a film that is only appealing to the small percentage of people that don't like action flicks.
This premise has been done ad infinitum. "Oh, but wait!" say my female co-workers. "This one is a twist on the old stereotype, where the guy plays the sad loser instead of the girl playing the friend to the guy she really secretly loves but is too shy to say anything...." blah blah blah.
OK, so if you want to see a gender-swapped version of "My Best Friend's Wedding," go right ahead. If you want to live in denial and believe this film has anything different about it that can't be seen in at least a hundred other movies, then grab your popcorn, take your girlfriends (who will all have nothing to do since their guys will be in the other theater watching Iron Man) and plop your ass into the velveteen seat for 101 minutes of trite, recycled rom-com nonsense with McDreamy.