2010 Summer Movie Pool Preview | Toy Story 3 | Iron Man 2 | The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

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2010 Summer Movie Pool Preview

Toy Story 3
Iron Man 2
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Despicable Me
Shrek Forever After
Grown Ups
The Last Airbender
The Other Guys
Robin Hood
The Expendables
Sex and the City 2
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Eat Pray Love
The A-Team
Knight and Day
Dinner for Schmucks
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Get Him to the Greek
Letters to Juliet
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Step Up 3D
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang
Piranha 3D
In case if you don't know what's coming out for this summer season of 2010, check below for a detailed list of this year's crop!

May 7
- Iron Man 2
For the fourth straight year a Marvel movie kicks off the Summer Blockbuster Pool. While last summer's Wolverine didn't exactly claw it's way to the top (I mean, when you think menacing super villain, everyone thinks Liev Schreiber), 2008's Iron Man made $319 million and provided Robert Downey Jr. his best movie since Soapdish. While the sequel seems to be like the disco song singing "More, More, More," we've all seen how "more" can actual make films worse, i.e. Batman and Robin, Spider-Man 3, and Stakeout 2 (Ok, so all they added was Rosie O'Donnell, but that was enough to tip the scales… uh, no pun intended, but I'll definitely take it).

May 14
- Just Wright
I remember thinking when I saw Queen Latifah singing America the Beautiful at this year's Super Bowl, "Hey, remember when she was a rapper?" Now she makes U-N-I-T-Y seem older than Salt-n-Pepa. In her latest film she plays the physical trainer that gets a basketball player back on his feet while her friend gets him back on his back. Well, anything that keeps her from making a Bringing Down the House 2 is all good with me.

- Letters to Juliet
I'm not sure if Amanda Seyfried is under contract to only star in movies that involve letters, yet just two months after Dear John she's now in voice-over heaven again with Letters to Juliet. Maybe writing is the only way she can work through the suffering she undertook having to sing scenes with Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia.

- Robin Hood
This film sounded cooler when it was going to be called Nottingham. Now it just looks like Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe are giving us Gladiator with a quiver. And before you get too excited about this reunion of talent, remember they already gave us A Good Year in 2006 (which you probably needed to be reminded of since it made about $3 and 24 cents). Maybe I'm all wrong and this will be "the" Robin Hood film people have been waiting for, however, without a Bryan Adams ballad attached how is that even possible? I mean, everything he did, he did it for you. There's no topping that.

May 21
- MacGruber
Admittedly, I stopped watching SNL once I got a car and didn't have to stay at home with nothing to do on Saturday Nights. But, Matt, you're missing out on all the great skits that have brought us movies like Night at the Roxbury, Superstar, Stuart Saves His Family, and It's Pat! Yes… yes, I am. Apparently, this character is a parody of 80's icon MacGyver, and while this could provide some enjoyable moments, an R-rating seems to work against the current teen crowd that does stay at home with nothing to do on a Saturday Night and might actually care about this movie.

- Shrek Forever After
I'm a little torn here. Do I go see this movie to say thanks for putting an end to this series that's dragged since the first film or, by going and adding more money to their totals, will that get Dreamworks to go back on their word and make a Shrek 5? What to do, what to do. It must be noted, though, that Shrek 3 made $321 million and that was without the additional 3D revenue that this flick will be sporting. Personally, I'm just hoping Mike Myers works in his Love Guru character because that's a film people will never be able to get enough of.

May 27
- Sex and the City 2
There's no truth to the rumor that the SATC 2 running time is going to be even longer than the director's cut of Return of the King, but it'll probably feel true. While I was blindsided by $152 million total for the first film (I didn't think it would flop, just make only half that), are we entering a New Moon phase where this flick's even bigger than the first or is this series wearing last season's shoes?

May 28
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
I have no idea about whether I'm ready to buy Jake Gyllenhaal as an action star (were any of us ready to buy Bruce Willis as a tough guy before Die Hard?), but I do know this was one of my favorite video games on the Nintendo GameCube. That's more than I can say about the Brokeback Mountain video game.

June 4
- Get Him to the Greek
Let's see. We have two supporting characters from a mediocre performing movie. How about we give them their own movie next time? People will love that! Granted, Russell Brand and Jonah Hill have more net buzz than the actual stars of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but making them carry over their characters instead of just calling this a "new" film seems ill-conceived. You can't get people excited about a pseudo-sequel to a film most didn't see the first time.

- Killers
Maybe it's time to start singing Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves. Ashton Kutcher can't even get top billing in his marriage and now he's playing second fiddle to Katherine Heigl. It's totally deserved, though, as just one of her movies has probably out-performed his collective works at the box-office. She's quietly been the #1 actress for opening weekends the last few years while many believed the old school of bigger names still sold tickets. That said, this might be the goofiest concept of the bunch as she plays a wife who finds out her husband was actually a super spy. Well, this isn't goofy if the film starred Arnie or Jackie Chan… Then it would make perfect sense. However, this doesn't seem to be typical Heigl territory (though it gives me a chance to give a shout out for the first time I saw her in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory).

- Marmaduke
I think Owen Wilson has actually gone to the dogs now. After the surprise smash of Marley & Me, he's now the one voicing a canine character. If I say it's like G-Force with dogs and minus secret gadgets, is that giving too much away? Oh, and I bet there's some song and dance number to appeal to the Alvin and the Chipmunks crowd. I'm starting to think 90% of parenting is directing kids toward good movies to see (like Up) and away from shiny Chuck E. Cheese prizes that are actually crap (like Land of the Lost).

- Splice
Hey, is this going to become known as the summer of Adrien Brody? This is the first of two films of his this season (Predators being the second). Suffice to say, if this isn't the season he cements his lead actor status (and honestly, the outlook isn't good), he'll be vice-president to Jude Law's president in the League of Good Actors Who Continually Choose B-Movie Scripts To Try and Gain A-Level Status. Seriously, the plot here is about a geneticist who creates a new species and, of course, something goes wrong. You can find eight of these exact same movies on the Sci-Fi (sorry, SyFy) Channel this week between the hours of 12 and 6 am.

June 11
- The A-Team
This film has a special place for me as this may have been the most debated topic ever between my friends and I in the late 90's: If you were to make an A-Team movie, who would you cast? While we declared locks on Jim Carrey as Murdock and Ving Rhames as B.A. and couldn't think of anyone better than Bruce Willis as Hannibal, Face was always the challenge. Most wanted to go with a Val Kilmer or James Spader, but I saw a spark of freshness by going with a Face with a short-man complex and lobbied for Michael J. Fox. Regardless, ten years passed and I have no open complaints for who they actually ended-up casting. I will only complain if they don't have the classic "people running away from a car that crashed while falling a cliff before it explodes" scene. (To avoid censuring from "all the violence" that was in the show, the producers made sure no one actually died despite the endless array of bullets and explosions airing during the 8pm Family Hour of Network Television… genius!)

- The Karate Kid
Two 80's classics being brought back together in the same movie weekend? It's like a Thompson Twins/Mr. Mister concert! Here, Daniel-son is really Will Smith's son and Arnold from Happy Days is really Jackie Chan. Also, Reseda has been changed to Beijing, but with all the Best Buys and Chili's in China now, you won't even notice the difference. All this movie needs is a cover of Cruel Summer by Ke$ha and I will buy $50 million worth of opening weekend tickets all by myself.

June 18
- Jonah Hex
If Wesley Snipes could make a hit of a lesser known Marvel character like Blade, why can't Josh Brolin make a hit of a lesser known D.C. character like Jonah Hex? Wait, uh, who's Josh Brolin again? Is that the guy married to Barbra Streisand?! Look, I love genre mash-ups and this puts the old-west with some sci-fi super-naturalness, but when audiences know less about something that's when you need someone who can sell it. Sure, that's why they put Megan Fox in the movie, yet she couldn't even sell Jennifer's Body… and she was Jennifer!

- Toy Story 3
In some ways we maybe do have Pixar to blame for all the "sequels" to animated movies. Their third movie, Toy Story 2, was a sequel to their first movie. Sure, that second Story was great in its own right and it led to an unprecedented success rate of fantastically original animated smashes over the next ten years (well, Cars counts as original as long as you consider Doc Hollywood with talking automobiles as something different), but now we're heading into the 2010s with Pixar going sequel crazy on us with Toy Story 3, Cars 2 next year, and Monsters Inc. 2: Boo Harder in 2012. Maybe TS3 turns out as swell as the first two and there's nothing to worry about. That's probably what most of us were hoping when we walked into Alien 3 as well.

June 25
- Grown Ups
I can't tell which is more fantastical: that Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider are all in the same movie or that they were supposed to have all been on the same high school basketball team. Egad, that must've been the worst basketball team in the history of the universe. Teen Wolf couldn't have even saved that squad. Anyway, time has passed and now they have to self-assess themselves because that's what people when they turn 40. That and make fart jokes.

- Knight and Day
Surprising, in the 90's my friends and I never thought about how we would recast a Bird on a Wire remake, but if we did I'm sure Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz would've topped our list. That is the third page of our list. Ok, so this isn't quite Mel Gibson dragging Goldie Hawn through his past life as a hairdresser, but it's a super-spy taking an innocent along on his adventure to save the world. These films were always the best in the 80's with characters going, "Wait, we can't do thaaaaaaat!" as they leap out of windows, jump out of planes, or speed their cars over Michael Bolton's hair. Are we retro enough to enjoy this type of film again? In a way, I hope so… I really, really do.

June 30
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
I'm getting a little confused by this series. I get how you can go from twilight (which is dusk) to a new moon (which is night time) and finish-up with a breaking dawn (the beginning of the next day), but where the crap does an eclipse fall into all this? You can't have an eclipse at night time unless there's a visible moon and we've already covered that you can't see the moon because it's a new moon. So, where does this story fit at all? Are we calling a new moon an eclipse now because the earth is blocking the sunlight from it? Stephanie Meyer wasn't content enough to screw-up everything we had already established about vampires and werewolves… now she has to mess with astronomy too?!

July 2
- The Last Airbender
For awhile we've been wondering what would happen if we could get M. Night Shyamalan away from writing his "twist" movies and direct something based on an existing property. Seriously, having people be afraid of wind in The Happening is not a twist… it's just silly. Now we get our chance as he's taking on The Lord of the Rings of kids animation, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Everything's in place for a really great movie: revenge, redemption, hope, betrayal, success, failure, and then the last airbender realizes he actually did die when he was frozen in an iceberg for 100 years and he's just a ghost now. Oh, uh, maybe they did let M. Night add something to the story.

July 7
- Predators
The only divorce messier than Jon and Kate were the Aliens and the Predators. While Ridley Scott is moving forward making two new Alien prequels, Robert Rodriguez is already ready to show us his new Predator movie. Here he drops Adrien Brody and a cast of others into a game preserve where they are the ones hunted by the Predators. It should be noted that these Predators should really upgrade their fitness plan. It took a former Mr. Universe to stop the first Predator. Then, in Predator 2, an over-weight and over-age Danny Glover was able to do it. Now, these guys are in peril from wafer-thin Adrien Brody. I'm sending these guys to The Biggest Loser ranch, stat!

July 9
- Despicable Me
Universal Studios isn't kidding around with its first foray into CGI animation as they're launching Despicable Me right into a crowded summer landscape. While Sony, Fox, and Dreamworks usually let their non-franchise animated films go in the spring or fall, Uni is all-in and banking on Steve Carell to bring the thunder. I think its success will all be based on which fast-food joint ends up with the Happy Meal toys. If they can get into Mickey D's, they'll be set. If you find them at Wendy's with the seven gray-haired people that are legally obligated to be inside a Wendy's eating area at any given time, they've got trouble.

July 16
- Inception
Christopher Nolan wanted to get away from brooding Christian Bale and so he partnered up with brooding Leonardo DiCaprio this time around. The trailers tell us little except for there being some mind-bending special effects and the mystery behind stealing an idea. A lot of it looks very "Matrixy" but is that a good thing 11 years after the fact? Maybe we've (slowly) moved beyond slow-motion camera tricks.

- The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Director Jon Turteltaub and Nicholas Cage have found a huge niche in the Bruckheimer cannon for making family friendly adventure movies like the National Treasure series. Now they're at it again with the tale of sorcerer Nic bringing-up an apprentice to help him defeat Alfred Molina. Wait, I thought Tobey Maguire already stopped him Spider-Man 2. Movies can be so confusing some times.

July 23
- Dinner for Schmucks
While traditional TV sit-coms are on life-support, the buddy-comedy refuses to die. Steve Carell and Paul Rudd play the polar opposites that find the molten core in the middle that brings them together. Should Neil Simon receive a percentage every time someone borrows from his Odd Couple routine?

- Ramona and Beezus
It's a G-rated movie with Selena Gomez. I don't even know what else to say. Is she the one with the clothing line at Sears or is that the High School Musical girl? I'm am soooo glad I have two boys.

- Salt
Angelina Jolie kicked some butt in Wanted a couple of summers ago and now she's trying to do it all over again playing an on-the-run maybe-she-is/maybe-she-isn't double agent. After Killers and Knight and Day we might be all spied-out by this point of the summer, but it'll still be fun for the tabloids to discuss how the film does in comparison to Jennifer Aniston's The Bounty Hunter earlier in the year.

July 30
- Beastly
Wasn't I just talking about Vanessa Hudgens? Here she stars in a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast… and I mean modern! The beast is a socialite who gets cursed into beasthood by blowing off a goth girl at the high school environmental extravaganza. Vanessa plays the daughter of a drug addict who has to stay with the "beast" in order to hide from the drug dealers trying to kill them. I hope this flick isn't so modern that they try to explain how geriatric Mrs. Potts from the Disney version had a five year-old son named Chip. Some things are better left unanswered.

- Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
I was a lot more excited when I thought this was a sequel to The Truth About Cats & Dogs, a very underrated 90's rom-com, instead of to the forgettable "family" flick which featured talking cats and dogs in organized spy regimes. It's almost like Warner Bros. said, "Hold up, if Disney can make $120 million of something crappy like G-Force, we can easily slap something together and make $90 million." Sadly, they just may be right.

- Charlie St. Cloud
Is this National Disney Channel Month? Zac Efron stars in this drama about a young man who must find a way to embrace the dark past and move on to a brighter tomorrow when he… uh… zzz… oh, sorry, must of dozed off there for a second. When you don't have aliens or explosions it's really hard to keep my interest.

August 6
- Middle Men
Poor Luke Wilson. People forget he was actually the star of Old School even though Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell have lapped him several times around the track now. Seeing Luke shilling for AT&T reminds me of the post-Mad About You Paul Riser doing the same thing in the 90's and it just makes me sad. Unfortunately, this film about a straight-arrow business man who just happens to build a billing system for the porn industry doesn't look like it's going to change that outlook any time soon.

- The Other Guys
Speaking of Will Ferrell, he's partnered up with Mark Wahlberg to become The Other Guys. While Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock are the best police team in the force, a case arrives where "the other guys" have to come up to the plate. Both Ferrell and Wahlberg could use a hit at this point and we all know how well this type of buddy-cop thing turned out for Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi in Red Heat. What, you forgot about Red Heat? Yeah, so did everyone else.

- Step Up 3D
I'm sure there's a plot in here somewhere, but they probably take a page from Lady Gaga and Just Dance… In 3D, that is.

August 13
- Eat, Pray, Love
Julia Roberts used to find herself very at home in the summer season with My Best Friend's Wedding, Notting Hill, and Runaway Bride, but it's been nine years since her last summer hit, America's Sweethearts. Here she seems to find a more mature role as well playing a divorced woman trying to find herself by traveling the world. I was always told just to sit down wherever I was when I got lost, but I guess that wouldn't make for a very interesting movie.

- The Expendables
On the opposite side of self-exploration is this tale of mercenaries who must fight back against the dictator who wants them dead. It's a who's who of testosterone with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. It's also a who's who of people you'd most likely see "Direct To DVD" next to their names unless they were all working together.

- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
From the director of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead comes this tale of Scott Pilgram, played by Michael Cera, who must battle the Seven Evil Exes of his new girlfriend. I know, I know, this sounds ridiculous, yet it might be just the right type of ridiculous we're looking for at the end of summer.

August 20
- Lottery Ticket
It's as if someone said, "What if the movie Friday lasted over a whole weekend?" Here Bow Wow (I guess he lost the Lil along the way) wins the lottery but he has to make it through three days with his opportunistic neighbors and community before he can claim his prize. Now shouldn't there be some sort of halfway house for lottery winners where they can hide out? If they can pay out $300 million to winners, there should be a little scratch they can use to pay for this.

- Nanny McPhee 2
Just the idea of making Emma Thompson uglier when I actually found her attractive in her Kenneth Branagh days bothers me. This means I completely rejected Nanny McPhee 1 on principle and refuse to go there again when she probably needs less make-up to create the effect as the series goes on. Sometimes you just want to hold on to people as they were.

- The Switch
You would think the last type of fodder Jennifer Anniston would want to give to tabloids is her being in a movie about having a baby. Better yet, she's being artificially inseminated. However, when best friend Jason Bateman messes with her sample, he decides to make a donation of his own. Thus, the title, as Jennifer thinks her seven year-old is the offspring of Patrick Wilson, but it's really Jason's. More importantly, is Justine Bateman secretly ticked that her brother still has a career while she's still waiting for a Family Ties reunion movie?

- Takers
If Armored was last year's "Let's throw a bunch of B-Listers around the King of B-List Matt Dillion" movie, then Takers is this year's model. Paul Walker, Idris Elba, and Hayden Christensen, check, check, and check. Last year it was about robbing an armored car, this year it's about robbing bank. Rinse, cycle, repeat.

August 27
- Going the Distance
I'm confused. Are Drew Barrymore and Justin Long still an item or are they broken-up? They're in another movie together playing a couple whose professional lives keep them on separate coasts. Can their love survive amongst all these obstacles? And am I talking about Drew and Justin here or their characters?

- Piranha 3D
This film was announced almost at the same time as My Bloody Valentine 3D. That film came out almost a year and a half ago and capitalized on being the first of the "new" horror films in 3D. With all the others that have followed, is Piranha 3D going to have any juice left or will it serve as an under-the-sea National Geographic picture as well.

by Matt Neuenburg on 05/03/2010

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Despicable Me, Dinner for Schmucks, Eat Pray Love, Get Him to the Greek, Grown Ups, Inception, Iron Man 2, Killers, Knight and Day, Letters to Juliet, Marmaduke, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Piranha 3D, Predators, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Robin Hood, Salt, Sex and the City 2, Shrek Forever After, Step Up 3D, Takers, The A-Team, The Expendables, The Last Airbender, The Other Guys, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Toy Story 3
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