Suns Out, Funs Out
Summer 2019 New Movie Preview
Summertime brings with it all the big movies. Or, it's supposed to, except that we already had a bunch of big movies in the spring, and now summer is starting to feel like a time of cast-offs. Sure, we have a Spider-man coming, but then it's a lot of B- and C-list franchises. What happened to our summer experience?
Regardless, let's enjoy these hot months in a cool dark theater with any movie we can find to pass the time:
Spider-man: Far From Home
Comes Out: July 5, 2019
I'm unabashedly a huge fan of the previous Marvel Cinematic UniverseWhen it first began in 2008 with a little film called Iron Man no one suspected the empire that would follow. Superhero movies in the past, especially those not featuring either Batman or Superman, were usually terrible. And yet, Iron Man would lead to a long series of successful films, launching the most successful cinema brand in history: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. SpidermanSure, DC Comics has Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, but among the most popular superheroes stands a guy from Marvel Comics, a younger hero dressed in red and blue who shoots webs and sticks to walls. Introduced in the 1960s, Spider-Man has been a constant presence in comics and more, featured in movies regularly since his big screen debut in 2002. film, Homecoming. Honestly, I also really loved Into the Spider-Verse, and I'm super excited that right now we're looking at the possibility of back-to-back-to-back awesome Spider-man movies. Even Sam Raimi's beloved trilogy couldn't pull that off. That means the new film, Far From Home, really needs to kick ass. And, so far, the trailers one and two show a very assured, awesome movie in the works.
From the trailers we see that Peter Parker (aka Spider-man), has gone on vacation to Europe with his classmates to just enjoy life after the Snap. However, while overseas he gets an unexpected call from Nick Fury, and is they pulled into an adventure against a, so far, unnamed villain. Aiding Peter, along with the assets of SHIELD, is an alternate-universe version of Mysterio (played by Jake Gyllenhall). Peter will have to decide if he wants to "be the next Iron Man" (as second trailer goes on about), or just be a normal guy.
One thing that's really awesome about this film appears to be the emphasis on Spider-man finding his place in the post-Snap world. I mean, I know when Avengers: Infinity War, I'd already been assuming that Peter would pick up Iron Man's mantle (although I'm sure I got the details wrong) -- it's just a natural growth of their relationship and I appreciate that they're moving Peter into that role. Spider-man is a popular character, and it's a great way to transition from the MCU of old to where it's going in the future.
Also, we're apparently getting the Multiverse. That has so many awesome potential consequences (like What If? stories, which Disney+ is already pursuing) that I appreciate its inclusion. Just the possibilities of it -- the MCU bringing in the X-MenLaunched in 1963 and written by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the X-Men featured heroes distinctly different from those featured in the pages of DC Comics. Mutants who didn't ask for their powers (and very often didn't want them), these heroes, who constantly fought against humans who didn't want "muties" around, served as metaphors for oppression and racism. Their powerful stories would form this group into one of the most recognizable superhero teams in comics (and a successful series of movies as well)., and then we get Exiles -- that I'm stoked from the next phase of he universe.
There's a lot riding on this movie, but from the trailers, and the fact that both Marvel and Sony have been treating the Spider-people right these last couple of years, I have faith this movie is gonna be awesome. I'll be there opening weekend.
The Lion King
Comes Out: July 19, 2019
Okay, I'm a child of the 1980s and 1990s. For most of us (really, probably all of us), The Lion King
Modern Disney is big on remakes, though. None of the Disney classics are safe, and we've already been subjected to Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, and Cinderella, not to mention the film that kickstarted this craze, the pretty good retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the villain's perspective, Maleficent. Most of these remakes have felt unnecessary, even to the fans of them, and there's no reason to think The Lion King would be any different.
Certainly the trailer doesn't dispel this. It looks like a shot-for-shot remake of the original, just in a "live action" style (so animated, but realistically) and with different voice actors for the roles (aside from James Earl Jones). It is, as per all evidence available, the same exact movie we got, and that movie was magnificent. Is anyone really excited for the exact same movie all over again? I'm not.
My wife wants to see it, though, so I'll likely go. I could resist, but if she's going I may as tag along. Then I can review it for this site and complain even more about how unnecessary it is. I'm such a hipster.
Once Upon a Time In... Hollywood
Comes Out: July 26, 2019
As I'm a film guy, it should come as no surprise that I'm also a fan of Quentin Tarantino's works. Sure, not all of them have been absolute winners (Django Unchained was good, but I've also never felt the need to go back to that weird, over-the-top cowboy revenge flick) but I've generally enjoyed each and everyone one of this movies. I certainly dig his weird sensibilities -- the winking nods to the audience, the strange timelines, and the general love you feel for movie making in every frame of one of his films. Every time a new movie comes out from the director, I'm generally interested in it and assume I'll see it in theaters. The same goes from his new movie, Once Upon a Time In... Hollywood.
That said, this film is not without its caveats (not unlike his last two films, Django as well as the super bleak, hyper violent The Hateful Eight). For starters, this film, from it's teaser trailer and full trailer, seem to show a lighthearted romp through Hollywood of the 1960s. And yet, there's also a darker thread to the film, one about Charles Manson and his eventually murder of Sharon Tate. How the two sides reconcile is the question and, normally, I'd assume Tarantino had that all worked out. Normally the guy can be trusted to take whatever material he's working with to it's farthest out conclusion, so if he's going to include Charles Mansion in a movie, we can be sure he'd explore that material fully, and in weird and dark ways.
And yet, the previews I've read about have been mixed. The Hollywood material in the film is apparently great, but the stuff dealing with Manson and Tate is apparently shallow and weirdly dismissive. Maybe that was just the reviewers bagging on the film, not getting it, but it's also possible the reviews are spot on and this movie doesn't really do everything it needed to given the material chosen.
Whatever the case, this is a movie I'll see and then dissect fully in its review. It could be a masterpiece but I'm dreading it's another late-game oddball from the director.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Comes Out: August 2, 2019
I don't think I've ever been less excited for a movie in my life. As you well know, I'm a big fan of The Fast and the FuriousStarted as a film about undercover policing in the illegal street-racing community, this series has grown to encompass a number of different genres and become one of the most bankable franchises in the world. movies, having watched and reviewed all of them for the site (and then some). A spin-off featuring two enjoyable characters on an international romp should be an instant winner. And yet, instead of seemingly like another great entry in the series, Hobbs & Shaw seems like clear evidence the big, dumb franchise has finally jumped the shark (or, considering the second trailer, should that be "jumped the helicopter"?).
To be fair to the movie, the first trailer (which doesn't really reveal that much) makes the film look like fun. Stupid, sure, and it introduces all kinds of elements that pull the franchise further and further from reality -- such as genetically enhanced super soldiers -- but still fun. It's the second trailer that looks just plain awful. It's hokey and stupid and seems like it's constantly mugging for the camera. What it doesn't look like is a fun action movie. Nothing about this film seems fun. Like, at all. It's just painful.
Honestly, this feels like the first film in the franchise I'll skip seeing in theaters; that's how much I hate the look of this movie. Sure, I'll eventually watch it on video and review it for the site, but I already know I won't catch this while it's in theaters.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Comes Out: August 8, 2019
We don't cover a lot of YA stories on this site. Sure, there's the occasional Harry PotterFirst released as a series of books (starting in the UK before moving worldwide), the Harry Potter series gained great acclaim before even becoming a series of successful movies. Now encompassing books, films, a prequel series, and a successful two-part play, the series even now shows no end in sight., but unless it becomes a cultural phenomenon, Asteroid G tends to avoid going on YA stuff (except in these Trailer Frenzy articles). However, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is the first YA property we'll probably cover in detail right off the bat.
For starters that's because this was a series of short stories the creators of this site read when they were kids. The stories were genuinely creepy, great nightmare fodder for those cold, scary nights. You couple great source material with Guillermo Del Toro, the master of weird-ass fantasy creations, and you've got the right mix for a truly scary YA adaptation.
Plus, honestly, the trailer for this film really looks scary. It strikes a vibe similar to It and Stranger Things, but ups the creep factor further. It's not yet rated yet (probably because the studio is trying to avoid an R rating), but I really hope that whatever form it comes out in after the ratings board is done with it anywhere near as creepy as the trailer.
This film looks like a winner right now. Let's hope it stays that way so we all have another great horror classic to add the collection.
Angel Has Fallen
Comes Out: August 23, 2019
Okay, I'm not actually interested in this movie. I'm more just shocked that we have a third film coming out in the Olympus Has Fallen franchise. The first movie was terrible, a self-serious movie that was immediate deflated by the jokey, dumb, good-time White House Down (which came out around the same time and was 1000% better). For whatever reason, though, there was interest in making a sequel, and that movie, London Has Fallen was a low-budget, jingoistic, truly offensive on ever level, mess. Yes, I watched it out of curiosity; it disappointed on every level (even on how bad it was since it was worse than I could have possibly imagined)
So now we're getting a third film where Gerard Butler's Secret Service Agent (who's name I can't remember, and I don't care about, so let's call him Beef Thornbody) is framed for the attempted murder of the President and then has to do a Fugitive riff. The trailer looks terrible, making it seem like the film is continuing the low-budget, self-serious schlock that made the last two films so hard to watch. This movie promises to fail to be everything the last two movies also weren't. I will not see it in theaters.
Hell, I might not even watch it when it comes on video. I haven't watched the last two for the site and I can't bring myself to go back to them for a second time just to write articles. That's how much I hate these movies. Seriously, why are they making a third one?!
It: Chapter 2
Comes Out: September 6, 2019
When it originally came out, I skipped out on the It remake. I never could get into the original book (I tried reading it near the end of my Stephen King phase, and by that point I was pretty well off the author), and the TV mini-series simply didn't work (it wasn't scary or interesting, despite a fabulous Tim Curry). However, at the recommendation of just about everyone I did watch the remake when it came out on video and it was fantastic -- scary and creepy and weird. I dug it.
The thing about that remake, though, was that it really only adapted half the book. The original novel went back and forth between two time periods, following the protagonists as kids and adults. The first movie only covered the kids' side of the story, while now, in Chapter 2, we're getting the adult's side. Currently there isn't even a full trailer for it, this despite the fact that it's coming out in two months, but we do have a really creepy teaser trailer, which is basically just one scene from the movie. And even here, the sequel looks to live up to the first part.
I wish we had more to go on right now, but if the second movie is anywhere near as good as the original -- and with the director returning, and that teaser to go off of, it seems likely -- this will be a strong conclusion to the story.
Rambo: Last Blood
Comes Out: September 20, 2019
I've never watched a Rambo movie all the way through. I've caught most of the original film, First Blood, and it was a very different movie from whatever everyone describes as "Rambo". That original film was a dark look at a life of soldier returning from a war and getting beat down by the system until he snaps and starts killing his abusers. Everything else in the franchise, though, seems like a parody of that idea (and then a parody of a parody) until what it meant to be a Rambo movie was completely lost.
Now we have, presumably, the last Rambo movie, Last Blood, and (from the trailer) it seems like it wants to get back to what worked about the original. It's much more about John Rambo running from bad guys, setting traps to take them out, and getting his revenge. But I guess I just wonder why anyone would care. Will anyone be surprised by anything this one man army does? Does anyone even care about Rambo now that we 30 years removed from the 1980s? I certainly don't.
The Rambo franchise was huge at one point, and I know eventually I'll have to watch it for the site -- we want to cover all the big franchises eventually -- but this isn't something I plan to see in theaters, and I'd be surprised if anyone else was excited for it either.
And That's It...
After this, we exit the big movie season and head into fall where, supposedly, art house fare lurks in the shadows, competing for the souls of the damned (and the inevitable Oscars). Sure, Star Wars is coming out in December, but other than that, who knows? For now, let's enjoy the last months of the blockbuster season before we have to wait six more months for it to return.