' ' Cinema Romantico: Summer Movies: Good News/Bad News

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Summer Movies: Good News/Bad News

Ah, summer, the scent of stale cinematic crap ready to fill the air. So often when I sit down to watch another over-hyped, star-driven blockbuster I foolishly let myself think that maybe this one will be a case of good news. You know, the pieces fit, the parts connect, the script was only re-written 9 times as opposed to the usual 52, and, finally, my prayers have been answered and a remedy to the unending humidity has been found. Instead, it's usually a case of bad news and I stumble out of the theater praying for winter (cinematically and meterologically).

Therefore I decided to take this little idea to heart in my annual summer movie preview and examine what the Good News might possibly be in some of the season's biggest releases and, on the flip side, what we can expect to be the inevitable Bad News.

“Star Trek.” Good News: William Shatner, wearing a polk-a-dot vest, makes a bloated cameo in which he constantly steps on the lines of Chris Pine (playing Kirk) and then serenades the crew of the Enterprise with "I've Got the World on a String" in a scene clearly improvised by Shatner on the spot while Simon Pegg (as Scotty) unsuccessfully attempts to wrestle him offscreen. Also, Victor Garber turns up as the Federation President in an eerily “Alias”-like scene in which he tortures a Klingon with a cravat and blowtorch. Bad News: The film involves one-too-many kung fu fights, an eerily “Lost”-like scene in which the crew of the Enterprise keeps hearing mysterious references to "The Others" (a group headed up by Scott Bakula) and a painful attempt at an homage to the “Italian Dinner” conversation from “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” that fails terribly. The film is universally hailed as being “worse than Star Trek V”.

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”. Good News: At the glitzy Las Vegas casino premiere director Michael Bay is eaten by a lion. The film flops. Shia LaBeouf takes a 12 year sabbatical to "find himself", Megan Fox decides to set aside acting to focus full time on a career of looking glamorous in various celebrity gossip magazines and Spike Lee announces that he will not be giving John Turturro any more obligatory cameos as punishment for appearing in this movie. Bad News: The film is so successful Michael Bay is commissioned to remake “The Third Man” and promptly announces that in his version the Harry Lime character will show up in the first five minutes because “who has the patience to wait so long to see him?”

“Terminator Salvation”. Good News: Christian Bale nails it, becoming the definitive John Connor. Bad News: Director McG goes overboard, scoring the film to the hits of Fatboy Slim, making the entire second act a montage and is ultimately done in by his decision to film the whole movie with handheld cameras. Audiences around the world ask for their money back as they vomit up their Milk Duds from motion sickness.

“Angels & Demons”. Good News: Midway through the movie Tom Hanks looks around, perplexed, and shouts: “Where is Audrey Tatou?! I only agreed to do this with Audrey Tatou! That's it! I'm walking!” He then storms off camera and is replaced for the remainder of the movie by son Colin in the hope no one will notice the difference. They do. It bombs. Reinvigorated, Hanks produces an award winning HBO miniseries based on the life of Benedict Arnold. Bad News: The film is a hit despite horrendous reviews. Hanks signs on for 10 more sequels and directs “That Thing You Do! 2” starring The Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus.

"X Men Origins: Wolverine". Good News: Due to the internet leak that allowed millions of people to see an unfinished rough cut of the action picture a month in advance, star Hugh Jackman decides to punish the perpetrators by reshooting the entire enterprise himself in a mere 3 weeks, transforming it into a re-telling of the musical "South Pacific" set in the "X Men" universe. Bad News: Hugh Jackman announces he will punish the perpetrators by agreeing to co-host next year's Academy Awards with Jessica Simpson.

"Land of the Lost". Good News: Will Ferrell is okay. The movie treads just enough water to be a box office success. Bad News: A film critic for the LA Times writes, "You know what? I think I'm a little sick of Will Ferrell." With one critic having finally said it, the floodgates open and critics from Topeka to Tokyo pile on Ferrell. Desperate, Ferrell does a beach volleyball movie, a ski jumping movie a pro bass fishing tour movie, and a rom com with Kate Hudson so putrid even Matthew McConaughey passes on it. They all fail miserably. Nowhere else to go, he returns to Saturday Night Live, lamely pitching skit ideas about Janet Reno. Not wanting to hurt his feelings, Lorne Michaels says he will air them only to have the show "run out of time" every week.

“Funny People”. Good News: Bruce Springsteen makes his long rumored cameo in this Judd Apatow comedy and grants release of his legendary unreleased tune “Lovers in the Cold” on the film’s soundtrack. Bad News: Bruce Springsteen chooses against making a cameo and Jon Bon Jovi turns up instead. Springsteen grants release of his recent song “Queen of the Supermarket” on the film’s soundtrack.

“Public Enemies”. Good News: Michael Mann cranks out his fourth official masterpiece and Billy Crudup (playing J. Edgar Hoover to Johnny Depp's John Dillinger) finally earns his first Oscar nomination. Bad News: It winds up more like “Ali” than “The Insider” while Billy Crudup's career officially stalls and Johnny Depp becomes so distraught over the film's fate he immediately agrees to appear in five more "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequels. Michael Mann meanwhile can't raise the finances for his next crime saga and finds himself making "Last of the Mohicans: Hawkeye & Cora, The Married Years", causing me to run up and down Michigan Avenue screaming obscenities.

“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”. Good News: There are scenes in which we see Sienna Miller as The Baroness twirling her finger in a scotch while gunning down an enemy with an automatic weapon, interrogating an adversary by taking a drag from a cigarette and blowing smoke in his face, and telling Snake Eyes "take off that f---ing mask already, you f---ing pisant". Bad News: Sienna Miller never drinks, never smokes, and never swears. Booooooring.


Megan Moon said...

I can't decide if I'd rather see the good news or the bad news come to fruition. I think ultimately I will now be disappointed though if I never heard William Shatner's rendition of "I've go the World on a String".

Nick Prigge said...

If "Public Enemies" can be a case of good news, I'll be the happiest of campers. That's really the only big summer movie I have any interest in seeing.

Unless, of course, they really do let Sienna Miller drink scotch in "G.I. Joe". If so, I'm there opening night.

Rory Larry said...

In point of fact I would pay to see Tom Hanks walk off set and be replaced with no explanation by his son. The already pretty low acting bar would fall through the floor.

Wretched Genius said...

1. I think Colin Hanks is a fine actor who gets stuck in lousy roles. I'd love to see him attempt to portray his father portraying someone else.

2. I'd also love to see Tom Hanks pull a Tracy Jordan and clearly show no interest in the role.

"Ok, let's go get the Masons! Or was it the Illuminati? We need to get them before they kill Claire. I mean Janet. Was that what I was supposed to say?"

3. If Last of the Mohicans: Hawkeye & Cora, The Married Years was a straight-forward character study directed by Jim Jarmusch, it would be kinda awesome.