This Summer’s Biggest Hopes

“Busier than a grave digger on Armageddon*,” I told my friend Jonathan Ward. I have been bad and too focused on other projects to spend the 30 minutes it would take to review his short story he intends to submit. Fortunately, I finished and sent it last night, and the guys and I are rather excited about developments that we’ll announce a few months from now.

But now it’s time to think about the summer’s best trait: The blockbuster movies.

The summer started off just right, too. Friday night, I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier and I have to say that my faith in Marvel has been restored. Although I enjoyed The Avengers, I wasn’t absolutely floored by Thor or Captain America: The First Avenger. The first movie with our good Captain was pretty good but lost some steam towards the latter half. But The Winter Soldier really revived my interest, being darker and more thoughtfully inclined.

Despite the movie’s name, Captain America: The Winter Soldier didn’t feel like it had a central villain. The beauty was that instead of engaging one man, Steve Rogers fought an army, and an army has to be inspired by something great, something they believed in. A view, a vision of how the world ought to be. The movie was afraid to go into the depths of how each side defined things like freedom and control, which is reasonable to understand as you cannot do such a thing without risking proto-partisan philosophy. Things get intriguing when you loathe to admit that, on a few points, you actually agree with the villains even if you disagree with their methods.

The movie was just overall well done. Fine character development including the introduction of the awesome Falcon, fantastic action, a great story plot and the right mix of heart and head. It’s the right blend of superhero and spy.  You know, fans of Joss Whedon or The Avengers are probably going to hate me but… this was probably Marvel’s best movie. I wouldn’t want the next Avengers installment to be like this, but as long as we get great films like The Winter Soldier alongside the rest of the Marvel universe, I’ll be one happy fan.

So trust me. If Marvel’s movies have been sagging for you, the latest from the good Captain will put you back in the theaters. But with that out of the way, it’s time to talk about that which is upcoming.

Time for some film noir.

Time for some film noir.

Top Picks:

Wally Pfister’s Trancendence has my eye. Pfister has been Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer for sometime, but at last he goes out on his own in a movie with Rebecca Hall and Johnny Depp.

Edge of Tomorrow also has my eye. I can’t help it. No matter how you feel about him, I have to applaud Tom Cruise for…
1) Making the sci-fi movies I want to see.
2) Actually making an effort to make them relatively interesting and original.
3) Sparing no expense to make it look good.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For as this movie has been stuck in development hell for some nine years. But I’m really, really looking forward to it after all this time.

Guardians of the Galaxy simply because it’s a departure from almost everything we see from Marvel in every way.

The Giver is scarcely the first thing that comes to mind when people think of action blockbusters, but as it is based on a book I remember reading from my childhood, I am somewhat relishing the thought of seeing Jeff Bridges as the titular character.

And finally, although it’s a little after summer, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.

Potentials:

Alright. So if I hear good things about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 I will probably check it out. It’s not that I’m against it, but it does feel like they’ve gone over and pushed too many villains into it again, without too much time to let them grow on the screen. We will find out.

X-Men: Days of Future Past because although I’m not much of an X-Men movie fan, I am a sucker for time travel stories.

Finally, I won’t get my hopes up for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but I’ll try to have an open mind.

*- A war torn world in the Warhammer 40k universe.

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