The 2009 Summer Movie Preview

[Ed note:] Summer is just around the corner, and that means it's the time of year when the studios bet the farm that the salvo of films they are distributing for the next few months will generate enough revenue to ensure that people get to keep their jobs a little while longer.

But with all the films that are released during the season, there are some that stand out above the rest, and others that should be avoided at all costs.

Here then is our list of the films we are interested in, along with our comments. Clicking on the film's title will take you to their official site.


April 17
17 Again – A guy isn't happy with the way his life turned out and he wishes he could be a teenager again. Guess what happens next?

Jay Jammer
: Zac Efron not being the heartthrob in a film is interesting. More family focused since his character has two children. People have this kind of fantasy of going back and fixing things they did wrong knowing what they know now. Based on how many films are like this it’s not only a well known fantasy but a moneymaker.

Judge: This is the "cream" filling that gets squeezed into a Twinkie. Its all carefully constructed to be safe for all consumers. I don't get paid enough to watch this film. But if you are the type of person that thinks Zac Efron is dreamy, its probably your kind of movie.

TV Maven: But we do so love a Matthew Perry appearance (he plays the "old" version of the protagonist. "Could I BE any more horny?")

April 22
Earth- A year in the life of the animals that share our planet with us.

Jay Jammer - Disneynature – Who doesn’t want to see three animal families on an adventure of global proportions? Put your hands down you cynics.

Judge - There is no doubt that this will be an amazingly shot film and I am sure that it will end up making you feel terrible for the way we have been treating this planet. But hey, its narrated by James Earl Jones and Patrick Stewart, so it will at least sound really cool as you bawl your eyes out.

TV Maven - yeah...can't wait to see the producers push some more lemmings over a cliff to film their "natural" tendencies. Speaking of lemmings, picture their "march to the sea' as you stand in line with the masses to watch this nonsense. Or better yet, stay home and watch the discovery channel.

April 24
The Soloist – A Los Angeles Journalist, befriends a homeless Julliard trained musician, while looking for a new article for the paper.

Jay Jammer - Just finished this book. I have been waiting since last year when they said it would be out November. It was such a good book and great story and it has Robert Downey Jr. in it. Awesomeness.

Judge - I'm just happy to see Robert Downey resurrecting his career from the ashes. This film looks good and is sure to be on the radar come Oscar time.

TV Maven - I've had a boy-crush on Downey, Jr. since "Chaplin". I will most the DVD.

May 1
X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Hugh Jackman perfects the art of flexing his hairy pecs and grimmacing and growling in slow motion in this big budget franchise extender for the comic book character.

Jay Jammer - Scott Summers (aka Cyclops in the X-Men Trilogy) is in this film as is the White Queen and other favorites like Deadpool and of course Gambit. It looks to be an epic Marvel adventure; one that I will withstand Wolverine to see. It is my prediction to be the number 3 movie by gross in 2009.

Judge - Meh.... I feel like I am the only person in the world that isn't giddy like a schoolgirl over this thing. Its a cheezy action flick with a multi-million dollar budget. I may catch it when its on Netflix.

TV Maven - I'm getting saturated with comic-book adaptations. Seriously...I squeezed my shirt and Spider-Man 4, Wonder Woman, and the next Batman just felw out!

May 8

Next Day Air[courtesy IMDB] Two inept criminals are mistakenly delivered a package of cocaine and think they've hit the jackpot, triggering a series of events that changes ten people's lives forever.

Jay Jammer - That trailer says it all, baby. A comedy with black people that will actually take a page from white person comedies and have a bit of a dark touch to it should make for a great film or so it seems to me.

TV Maven - ...and then they find this kid who's home ALONE and... wait...wrong franchise...

Judge - Its basically the same synopsis as "No Country for Old Men" but done as a zany black comedy. Still, it has potential to be one of those great, make you laugh flicks you end up watching again and again.

Star Trek – Rebooting the franchise and re-writing 43 years of cannon in the process, this film takes us back in time (which is still the future for all of us, apparently) and illustrates the adventures of young James T Kirk, Spock, Scotty, et all, like they were all born on the same culdesac or something.

Jay Jammer - I have waited years for a film or a TV show and I get a film. I also waited many months considering it was to come out in December. The trailers just look fantastic and I think this movie will totally be number one in the Box Office for the entire year.

Judge - It actually looks good and I am really curious to see what JJ Abrams can do in revitalizing this aging franchise and appealing to a new era of potential fans. How do you make a modern version of a movie that includes 1966-era low budget set construction? The answer? You don't. Just make up new stuff and forget all that other earlier work. Interesting idea.

TV Maven - Early reviews are promising. I have no expectations, as Trek offerings are all over the map, so I doubt I'll be disappointed.

May 21
Terminator Salvation - Christian Bale stars in another look at our mechanized overlords

Jay Jammer -Ive seen the other three and they got progressively better. I’m going to give this one a shot and maybe it’ll be better than the last one. It does have Crabby-Cranky Christian Bale in the lead.

Judge - Meh. Its hard to beat Terminator 2 for action, but I'll be interested to see what can be done to keep this franchise alive.

TV Maven - Salvation? of what? Not the TV series. Not Christian Bale's dignity.

May 22
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – Ben Stiller stars in this sequel about museum artifacts that come to life.

Jay Jammer - That Sacajawea scene with Captain Custard is a very good reason to pay to see this film. If there are many more scenes that are like that…then this movie will be as good, if not better, than the first.

Judge - Im not camping out in line waiting for tickets, but if I have nothing better to do I'll catch this one. My guess is that its not going to be as funny as the first one, but its got a cute monkey, so that's always good for a few extra asses in the seats.

TV Maven - Sitting in a theater full of asses can be disconcerting, but my 6-year-old will probably drag me to this.

May 29
The Brothers Bloom - [Synopsis courtesy IMDB] The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.

Jay Jammer -Reminds me of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in a way. Yes. Yes. And. Yes.

Judge - It feels like they've been advertising this for over a year, but the trailer wins me over. Yes, I am seeing this one.

TV Maven - How is it that we're never privy to the second-to-last big score?

Up [IMDB] By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn’t alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip.

Jay Jammer - Pixar and Disney have not disappointed me yet. I will see this film and the new trailer is just funny. Greatness indeed. It will fall right behind Wolverine and be at number 4 on the top ten list.

Judge - Early buzz is that this is a fantastic film, but I'm actually getting tired of Pixar's ability to print money so effortlessly.

TV Maven - The direction in which I will throw if forced to watch this movie.

June 5
Land of the Lost – Will Ferrell...on a routine expedition.

Jay Jammer - The TV show sucked hardcore, but I watched it every afternoon. This movie might be in the same light, but I have to. It’ll bring back memories I didn’t even know I had.

Judge - One of the things that I thought was fun about the original series was the cheap effects and low budget feel to it. Story-wise stunk. This is a remake of a bad TV show with a guy that tends to polarize audiences, so if you are not a fan of Will Ferrell, you will probably hate this movie.

TV maven - I'm not enough of a Will Ferrell fan to appreciate this one.

June 12
The Proposal – A pushy boss forces her young assistant to marry her in order to keep her Visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada.

Jay Jammer - Sandra Bullock is in this film. One very good reason to see it and the fact that the trailer made me laugh hard when I saw it. “It’s like an Easter Egg hunt.”

Judge - Everything you need to know about this movie can be seen in the trailer. Formula, cheesy, pointless. No thanks.

TV Maven - Sandra is yummy, though....

The Taking of Pelham 123 [Courtesy IMDB] Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garbe into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

Jay Jammer -It just looks really interesting.

Judge - I'm good with this one. Looks like it could be a great Summer popcorn flick.

TV Maven - This is a remake of a 70s flick. Despite its association with that decade, this may not suck.

June 24

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – More big explosions and robots that turn into things, courtesy of Michael Bay and a wheelbarrow full of cash.

Jay Jammer - I think it will be top five and fall right after Up in making money this year. I’m excited to see this film. It’s a blast from my childhood and the first one entertained me and I see this one doing the same.

Judge - Yeah, whatever. They're more than meets the eye, blah blah blah.

TV Maven - Anyone else picture that old lady with the medic-alert thing "I've fallen, and I can't get up!"? Didn't think so...she'd make an awesome transformer...changing into a car that goes 50MPH in the fast lane with its left blinker on.

July 1
Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (no website available at the time of posting)– More animated wacky zany fun with the guys you've seen before.

Jay Jammer - Yes I’ll be seeing this one. Not high expectations for it, but I’m sure it’ll make me laugh. I would place this seventh on the list.

Judge - No doubt this will be a great one for the kids.

TV maven - I may have to fake a brain tumor to get out of this one. Hey! I'll just start talking like Ray Romano! That would convince anyone that I have brain damage.

Public Enemies[IMDB] The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.

Jay Jammer - This will fall eighth on the over all list. This film will be exciting because rarely does Johnny Depp disappoint. Couple him with crazed Christian Bale and it ought to be a real blow out…in this case shoot out.

Judge - This film immediately had people drawing comparisons to "The Untouchables" but its anyone's guess if its got the stones to deliver the way that previous film did. I love the setting and the art direction of this one, so its at least got that going for it.

TV maven - I'll see it. I hope the lighting director got it right for Bale....

July 17
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince[IMDB] As Harry Potter begins his 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he discovers an old book marked mysteriously "This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.

Jay Jammer - The number 2 movie of the year is here! Two more movies after this and that will be that. The early trailers just look darkly exciting. These movies have made it easier for me to know things without ever having to read the book. And no I don’t feel like I’m missing out because I didn’t read them.

Judge - I'm pretty much done with this series, but it still looks to be a solid film.

TV Maven - Books are better, although they've done a remarkable job staying true to the books.

August 7
G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra [IMDB] An elite military unit comprised of special operatives known as G.I. Joe, operating out of The Pit, takes on an evil organization led by a notorious arms dealer.

Jay Jammer- Childhood cartoon turned live action. Yes I am seeing it. It might just be crappy, but it’ll be my childhood crap and that makes it far better than just any ordinary crap.I think it'll round out my top 10 on my who will get the most money list.

Judge - Not my thing, but it seems clear this will be a blockbuster.

TV Maven - But does he have the kung-fu grip?!

August 21
Final Destination: Death Trip 3D (no website available at the time of posting) – [IMDB] After a teen's premonition of a deadly race-car crash helps saves the lives of his peers, Death sets out to collect those who evaded their end.

Jay Jammer -OH yeah…nothing like death in REAL-D.

Judge - Please, oh PLEASE let this be the final of the final destination films. There's only so many Rube Goldberg-ian ways to die.

TV Maven - Yeah...they've got to be venturing into Wile E. Coyote territory here soon. Some gratuitous nudity in 3-d wouldn't be amiss, however...

So there you have it for this Summer. What are your picks? Which films do you think will be the must-see movie of the season? Add your comments below.

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