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Summer Movie Preview

bill bodkin looks at the summer movie season and realizing he’s going to be spending some serious dollars at the cinemas this summer

There are so many reasons why I love summer — sand in my flip flops, the smell of the ocean, the energy of the boardwalk, a sweaty bottle of beer with friends, fried Oreos and of course, the summer movie season.

Here are my Top 10 Films to see this summer.

1. Inception:

Release Date: July 16:
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, Mario Cotillard
Director: Christopher Nolan
A vague trailer filled with mind-blowing visuals of cities transforming before the eyes of Leonardo DiCaprio intrigues me more than any film that has been released in years. Director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight), the king of intensely cerebral yet entertaining films, assembles an amazing cast for what I believe can either be an early candidate for Best Picture or can gain a Matrix-like cult following.

2. Iron Man 2:

Release Date: May 7
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwenyth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Scarlet Johansson, Sam Rockwell
Director: Jon Favreau
The quick and loveable wit of Robert Downey Jr. is all this film needs to be solid and however I believe the film as a whole will probably deliver exponentially more than can be imagined. As for the plot suffering from sequel-itis, with the character obsessed Jon Favreau at the helm again, it seems hard to fathom that he’d let the script suffer from the pitfalls of creating a cash-cow sequel that relies more on effects and action (see: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) than good writing, dialogue and character development.

3. Robin Hood:

Release Date: May 14
Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Max Von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Addy
Director: Ridley Scott
A stream of blood trickling down Russell Crowe’s bewhiskered face as he lets an arrow fly, sold me immediately on this film. Sure, this won’t have the frivolty of the Errol Flynn classic or the mainstream appeal of the Kevin Costner blockbuster, but what this will have is the sweeping grandeur of Ridley Scott’s direction and the return of the gritty, bloody and brusque performances that once made Russell Crowe a household name. The action will be often and intense, the music sweeping, call it Gladiator with a bow and arrow– but is that a bad thing?

4. The A-Team:

Release Date: June 11
Starring: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Patrick Wilson
Director: Joe Carnahan
In the wrong hands this movie would be an epic fail. However, under the guidance of underrated caper king Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces) this adaptation of the classic 80 series should be an extremely fun popcorn flick. His run-n-gun style with a penchant for snappy dialogue and well-timed comedy combined with the best cast he’s ever worked with, should allow for one of the most fun films of the summer of 2010.

5. The Expendables:

Release Date: August 13
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lungren, Steve Austin, Brittany Murphy
Director: Sylvester Stallone
Do we need to even explain this one? Written and directed by Stallone himself, this film stars every run-n-gun faded action hero going. And yes, at one time Wesley Snipes, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal were attached to this film. This is going to be a pure testosterone thrill ride that will more than likely lack a plot, but will undoubtedly be chock full of gore and cheesey one-liners.

6. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:

Release Date: August 13
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzmen, Brandon Routh, Chris Evans
Director: Edgar Wright
The cult graphic novel about an indie bass player fighting his new girlfriend’s seven “evil exs” is told in whiz-bang glory by the premiere director of our time Edgar Wright. A brilliant filmmaker, Wright has amped up his visual wizardry which no doubt will complement his witty script. Michael Cera will finally get to kick some ass in a film while still maintaining that lost puppy dog charm he’s nearly outplayed.

7. Jonah Hex:

Release Date: June 18
Starring: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Michael Fassbender, Aiden Quinn
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Brolin as a surly cowboy worked in No Country For Old Men and it’ll work here too. Seemingly channeling a 70s Eastwood character, Brolin’s grit will match perfectly with John Malkovich’s verbosity and penchant for villainous panache. My only two concerns are the casting of “uber-hottie” Megan Fox, who has yet to prove she can actually act and the last film director Jimmy Hayward directed was Horton Hears a Who.

8. Knight & Day:

Release Date: June 25
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano
Director: James Mangold
Tom Cruise as an actor is one of my top guilty pleasures. Sure he may be a loony toon off-screen, but on-screen he’s delivered in every genre (minus horror) and I think Knight & Day will too. It’s good to see Cruise return to the action genre, however it’s also refreshing that this film is a lot lighter than his past few outings. Maybe being on the set of Tropic Thunder, loosened him up? And Peter Sarsgaard rules.

9. The Other Guys:

Release Date: August 6

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton
Director: Adam McKay
This could be a really, really funny sleeper. The pairing of Wahlberg and Ferrell should be rock solid and I think Marky Mark could surprise people with his funny bone. From the trailer alone the duo of Johnson and Jackson will steal the show — and that’s perfectly fine. Ferrell reuniting with Anchorman director McKay is also a very good thing.

10a. Salt:

Release Date: July 23
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schrieber, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Director: Phillip Noyce
Angelina is back in action as a “is she or isn’t she” superspy. Movies where you can’t trust the main character’s allegiance intrigue me. Bolstered by two top supporting actors (Schreiber and Ejiofor) as well as a seasoned action director, Salt should be a fun “rainy day” action flick — a movie reserved for when your plans are shot for the day.

10b. The Last Airbender:

Release Date: July 2
Starring: Jackson Rathbone, Dev Patel, Cliff Curtis
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Finally M. Night Shyamalan presents a film that doesn’t have his patented “so what’s the twist” hype. The film is a make or break film for M. Night, he’s made a few turkeys recently and I think by going in a different direction, he’ll prove to his disillusioned fans how good of a director he can be. If not, don’t expect to see behind the helm of too many more films.

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.


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