Well, spring has flown by with her usual two week briskness and the summer doldrums are officially on their way. No doubt you’ll be knee deep in crawfish boils and wedding receptions. I know I will.
So if you’re interested in air conditioning or music not hand picked by a man with a MacBook plugged into a speaker, we should be off to the races.
The Purge — I don’t know where this fascination with horror that Ethan Hawke has suddenly developed came from but I do know that I like it. From the folks that brought you “Sinister” comes a horror movie ripe with satirical possibilities. Once a year for twelve hours all emergency services within the United States are suspended and all crime is legal. This is a story of that night.
Much Ado About Nothing — From the director of “Marvel’s The Avengers” and the creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” comes a black and white Shakespeare production shot on a shoestring budget! Honestly this film looks as comforting as a warm bath or a cold glass of beer. Starring a host of Whedon alumni including Amy Acker and Nathan Fillion, this little project was shot in between the director’s days filming Mark Ruffalo pretending to be a green monster.
This is the End — James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel and Craig Robinson versus the apocalypse. Oh and they all play themselves. Also, Rihanna probably dies in this movie, once again failing to shine bright like a diamond. If you’re wondering, the first time was in the cinematic achievement known as “Battleship.”
White House Down — I know what you’re thinking. Wait, the same guys who made that awful
“Godzilla” movie are behind the second movie this year that’s basically Die Hard in the White House? Yes and yes. But unlike that first one you don’t have to listen to Gerard Butler attempt what studio executives think is an American accent. Also, name the last good movie Gerard Butler made — “300” right? That came out more than six years ago. The last good movie Channing Tatum made was “21 Jump Street,” which, at the time of this writing, is one year old. It’s just math folks.
Pacific Rim — Speaking of giant monsters, I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better formula for a summer blockbuster than giant robots fighting giant monsters. From director Benicio Del Toro comes a love letter to the Toho monster movies of Japan. If you need more than that I submit to you a cast that includes Charlie Day of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” We can only hope for a game of “night crawlers.”
The Wolverine — Here’s a question: how much do you want to watch Hugh Jackman fight hundreds of ninjas and cut them to pieces? The answer ought to be “a lot.” You’re in luck, citizen, because that is exactly what you’re going to get in this little motion picture. Based on the acclaimed mini series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, this is the tale that launched Wolverine from a guy on the X-Men to one of the top five most popular characters in comics. Yes, dear friends long before Robert Downey Jr. put on his iron helmet there was a time when you couldn’t swing a dead Phoenix without hitting a comic guest starring Wolverine.
Smurfs 2 — We should all be ashamed of ourselves for allowing this to happen. Write your congressman and let’s get a head start on legislation to prevent a third outing. It’s too late to stop the Chipmunks but these little blue bastardizations of our childhood can still be vanquished.
Super Collider by Megadeth — Remember when metal meant something? And I mean something besides skinny boys with hair in their faces screaming unintelligible lyrics while their even skinnier guitarists try desperately not to sound like the former emo band members that they are? Me too. Thankfully one of the greatest metal bands to ever crawl out of the depths of Hell is releasing what could easily be described as the loudest record of the year. Featuring 11 tracks that will surely drive your parents or legal guardians insane, this is the album to watch for this summer. And by watch I of course mean listen to. Early reviews indicate just holding it in your hand can turn your t-shirt as black as a moonless night.
Ben Folds Five Live by Ben Folds Five — Earlier this year Ben Folds Five reunited for a world tour. This album features tracks recorded during those shows from Tokyo to Toronto and a lot of places in between. The years have definitely been kind to the band and they remain as tight and energetic as ever. The disc will be available on iTunes, on a double vinyl and a, let me make sure I’m reading this right, a compact disc, whatever that is.
And that’s it’s for me. I know we’re a little heavy on movies this year but what do you want from me, it’s summer. I’ll be preparing my palate for the wealth of finger foods being served at the barrage of weddings this summer. My advice to you would be to avoid three-piece suits all together and spend a few air conditioned hours in a cinema. God knows I’ll be dreaming of it.
Issue Magazine – June 2013
Commentary by Jeff Dixon
(Jeff Dixon loves movies and comic books in a way that often terrifies him.
You can follow his insane ramblings on Twitter @RoiVampire if he let’s you)