With this months article, it is time once again to look towards the Summer, 2009 movie releases. What I will give you is the top 10 films that you should see this summer and the 10 that you should avoid at all cost. I will also list the opening dates of the film in Korea. I will also be listing what will be playing at the IMAX cinema this summer also.
Top 10 Films to see this Summer.
1. Terminator Salvation (May 22)- I have no real idea why but Christian Bale as John Connor just seems to sound so right for this role. I have seen the preview and it looks great. I have no idea how the Terminator will play here in Korea. My advice is to see the film in one of the many digital screens here in Daejeon and enjoy it.
2. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (May 21, IMAX)
I still have no idea why I like the first film but it did very well in Korea with Over 3 millions tickets sold. Part 2 of this series has some better actors in it and could you just think of Apollo 11 actually being launched from the Smithsonian? Please see this film in IMAX when it arrives in Korea.
3. UP- The first Pixar film to be made for the Disney Digital 3-D format. I have no idea if we can see it in 3D here in Korea. The idea is very simple, an old man decides to go on one more adventure and see the world. The only problem is that he has a child along as his sidekick. Please remember that this is a cartoon and that Korea has a very bad habit of dubbing it into Korean. Please see the film during the opening week where some cinemas with have it in English along with Korean.
4. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3- For those who do not know, this film is a remake of a 1974 film about men, who, hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom. The only reason I am recommending this, is because it has Denzel Washington vs. John Travolta. I still have no idea why they wanted to remake this film but it is worth at least one viewing to see if they got it right.
5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (June 26, IMAX) The first film was a huge hit here in Korea with over 7 million tickets sold, making the first film the all time foreign box office champion here in Korea. With this film also going into the IMAX and with the small pictures that I have seen of the new Transformers, This film should be a huge money maker for Michael Bay. With a plot that opens with the Decepticon forces return to Earth on a mission to take Sam Witwicky prisoner, after the young hero learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers. Joining the mission to protect humankind is Optimus Prime, who forms an alliance with international armies for a second epic battle. All of this and in IMAX.
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (16 July, IMAX) Of all of the 7 Harry Potter books, this one is my favorite and some of the previews of it have had me scratching my head. The plot of this film is simple enough, 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. It is my favorite book because you get to see what formed evil and what loyalties ultimate price can be. I still contend that from film 4 to now,that the films should be at least 3 hours long or given the "Kill Bill" Part 1 and 2 treatment. I will see this film and hopes that it does not highly disappoint me.
7. Brüno- of all of the films that I am recommending for this summer, I can not actually believe that I am going with this one. To be honest, I have no idea if this film will ever see the light of day in Korea. If you remember Sacha Baron Cohen last film "Borat" 20th Century Fox had it scheduled for release, here in Korea but at the last minute gave it a 19 screen release and dumped it onto the dvd/vcd market. The scene of him adopting a child from Africa is what sealed my recommendation of this film. Be careful, this film is not for kids at all and has been given the dreaded NC-17 rating for the USA market.
8. Inglourious Basterds- For the readers of this magazine, who know me, I am sure you are saying to yourself, "Yeah, right McStay, huge surprise here. You recommending a Quentin Tarantino film for people to watch." My only wish is that they would have had made it for modern times and not cast it as a World War 2 film. The preview of Brad Pitt unleashing hell upon Nazi Germany was just way too cool for words.
9. Public Enemies- (2 July) The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s. With the role of Melvin Purvis being played by Christian Bale, this looks like the firs real gangster film produced in while. I have no idea how much of this true story will be fictionalized in this film, but this film deserves at least one viewing to see if Michael Mann got it right.
10. Bakjwi (Thirst) (30 April) A failed medical experiment turns a man of faith into a vampire. Just on that alone and with the reteaming of Korean Director Chan-wook Park and Kang-ho Song (JSA, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) This becomes the must see Korean Film of the Summer 2009 season. What is even more interesting is that this film is a joint CJ Entertainment/Universal production. With the praise of "Twilight" and "Let The Right One In", this film could be Korea's introduction into the vampire craze that seems to have captured audiences around the worlds attention.
Now for the 10 summer films that I have my doubts about.
1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (30 April) with a plot of that the Wolverine lives a mutant life, seeks revenge against Victor Creed (who will later become Sabertooth) for the death of his girlfriend, and ultimately ends up going through the mutant Weapon X program. I've had the misfortune to see the "Workprint" of this film, I seriously have doubts that the finished product will be any better that the horrible workprint.
2. Star Trek- (May 7) With a preview of the chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members, I can't help but to think that we are getting a 90210 J.J. Abrams version of it. The previews have looked like love-tens and pain and confusion. I just have a very bad feeling about this film.
3. Angels & Demons- (14 May) They are going to release this crap on my birthday, what did I ever do to deserve this? The plot is simply that Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican. now please remember, Angels and Demons was written as a prequel to The Da Vinci code, but it will be filmed as a sequel. I still have no idea why the talk about the first film, it was boring. I will see the film but I do not expect much from it.
4. Land of the Lost (August 13) I sat back and watched the preview and I thought that I'd lost about 30 I.Q. points. For those who do not know, this film is a remake of a 1970's children TV show. In the show the story was that they are a family going on a river rafting trip and they get lost. So in the movie we get no kids and no family and they are trying to sell this junk as what? I have such low hopes for this film that I fear the day I see this at the movies will be a wasted day.
5. Imagine That. With a plot like a financial executive (Eddie Murphy) who can't stop his career down spiral is invited into his daughter's imaginary world, where solutions to his problems await. I just get the feeling that this sounds a lot like "Bedtime Stories" With this being a Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures, this will be a safe film for kids but mind-numbing for the adults.
6. The Proposal. With a bad plot idea of 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. So what we have here is an American actress (Sandra Bullock) pretending to be Canadian and in real life, Ryan Reynolds is from Canada, but in this film he is an American. Am I the only one not understanding this weird lineup? It looks like a "Cougar " film but with this sad plot, it is not just that original and a sad, pathetic attempt at a movie.
7. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. So they have survived the Ice Age and a flood and now we are given this. What did we do to deserve this? This film is being released in 3-D in various markets, no idea if we will see it her in this format. I have no idea why they are even making a 3 for this film.
8. GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. -So GI Joe is no longer an American Hero but now he/they are an elite military unit comprised of operatives known as the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity look to dismantle Cobra, an organization headed by a Scottish arms dealer. Are they fracking kidding me, they take an American hero and make him into the frackin UN? I really hate the idea of changing GI Joe from what made me, as a child, want a GI Joe, action figure into a weird UN plot.
9. Final Destination: Death Trip 3D. -Once again 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. Now how many times have we seen this type of story and the only twist is that this one is in 3D. I saw the first one and the errors in that film were just too much and now with this, what did we do to deserve it?
10. Dance Flick- Do we really need another comedy/spoof film from the Wayans Brothers and family. This one looks likes a sad remake of ,"Save The Last Dance For Me" "Step Up" and "Hairspray" I can't help but wonder why they quit making decent films and instead went straight for potty humor? It looks like another mis-step for this family.
Once again this is my Summer 2009 preview and remember, "I see the crap, so you don't have to."