Why make another Hulk movie?
Honestly, I think the masses do kind of want to see a new Hulk movie. I was fine with the Ang Lee version, but the general imperative seems to be: Hulk smash. The Incredible Hulk (6/13) looks to contain plenty of that. Universal is probably jumping the gun — a reboot after a more sequel-y amount of time — and the movie itself looks more than a little silly, mixing the director of The Transporter with the star of American History X. But like I said: Hulk smash.
How long can Pixar extend its winning streak?
At least one more movie: Wall-E (6/29) looks as superior to Robots as Finding Nemo was to Shark Tale.
Is it kind of weird to make a sequel to a movie that wasn’t that big a hit?
Yeah, and isn’t it also kind of awesome to give Guillermo del Toro over $70 million to make Hellboy II: The Golden Army (7/11)? And, more importantly, that he seems to have spent most of it on creatures?
Does Step Brothers (7/25) have anything to do with sports?
It does not! The new Will Ferrell picture is his first big non-sports comedy since Anchorman, with John C. Reilly costarring and Adam McKay directing. If giggling over Ferrell and Reilly acting like children who just discovered swears is wrong, I don’t ever want to be right.
What’s gonna bomb?
I’m thinking that third Mummy movie (8/1) could cost some jobs. The previous Mummy films are clearly the work of people who never thought they would be competing with an actual Indiana Jones movie. Good luck with that, Fraser (P.S. I find you underrated!).
I understand David Gordon Green is directing a film called Pineapple Express (8/8). Is it about post-industrial Hawaiian youths riding the rails?
It is in fact a stoner action-comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. I have no idea how this happened, but if Green pulls it off on the heels of the excellent Snow Angels, I’m prepared to anoint him the best director in the world.
Will Anna Faris finally break out of Scary Movie jail?
I’m not expecting high art from The House Bunny (8/22), wherein an ejected Playboy Bunny becomes house mother to the nerdiest sorority on campus, but I am eagerly awaiting a female-driven comedy without any weddings or pregnancies. Plus, Anna Faris is kind of amazing. In fact, when The Mummy 3 comes out, stay in, crank the AC, and rent Smiley Face.
Dude. How much ass is The Dark Knight (7/18) going to kick?
Dude, so much. [Head explodes.]
...And 41 More summer movies
Horror maestro Dario Argento completes his witch-themed trilogy in Mother of Tears (6/6), starring daughter Asia, who also stars in Catherine Breillat’s pheromonal period-costume study The Last Mistress (6/27). Werner Herzog visits Antarctica for his Encounters at the End of the World (6/11), Mad Detective (7/18) is Johnnie To’s latest Hong Kong crime thriller, and I Served the King of England (8/22) is another seriocomic Bohumil Hrabal adaptation from Czech New Waver Jirí Menzel. The Wedding Director (6/4) comes from Italy’s furious conscience Marco Bellocchio, and Sukayaki Western Django (8/29) is a spaghetti Western pastiche (co-starring Quentin Tarantino, natch) from Japan’s celluloidorrheic Takashi Miike. Underground legend Ken Jacobs presents the experimental film-historical meditation Razzle Dazzle (6/27), and co-stars (with wife Flo) in his son Azazel’s intimate Momma’s Man (8/22). The summer closes with two love triangles: Claude Chabrol’s A Girl Cut in Two (8/15) and Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona (8/29).
Like Me? See My Movie!
Summer ‘08 is filthy with transparently titled artist documentaries, beginning with Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine (6/25), Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (7/4), Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (7/11), Lou Reed’s ‘Berlin’ (7/18), a concert film from Lou’s friend Julian Schnabel, Patti Smith: Dream of Life (8/6) and Richard Serra: Thinking on Your Feet (8/20). Trumbo (6/27) is a star-powered adaptation of a monologue by blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, and Guy Maddin’s boffo My Winnipeg (6/13) is a kind of autobiography via hometown profile and silent film pastiche.
Popcorn Is Buttery and Yummy
Adam Sandler and Mike Myers talk funny in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (6/6) and The Love Guru (6/20); Ben Stiller’s metamovie action comedy Tropic Thunder (8/15) features Robert Downey Jr. in blackface and Tom Cruise in a fat suit; the perfectly cast — Anne Hathaway as 99! — Get Smart (6/20) sates our Nick at Nite nostalgia. Studios thank heavens for the little girls padding their bottom lines with multiple trips to Kit Kittridge: An American Girl (7/2) and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (8/8), the latter incongruously co-starring Serena van der Woodsen. M. Night Shyamalan drops the apocalyptic The Happening (6/13) on a schadenfreude-hungry public, Will Smith gets self-parodically superheroic in Hancock (7/2), and Harrison Ford and Sean Penn are among the Everything that’s Connected in the border drama Crossing Over (8/22). A number of foreign directors try for their own crossovers: the Russian Timur Bekmambetov with the Angelina Jolie-featuring hitman mumbo-jumbo thing Wanted (6/27), Hong Kong horror mavens the Pang Brothers with an English-language remake of their shoot-em-up Bangkok Dangerous (8/22), and one-time arthouse toast Mathieu Kassovitz with the near-future Vin Diesel vehicle Babylon A.D. (8/29). And cred comes from Brick Lane (6/20, from Monica Ali’s same-title Londonstani novel), Elegy (8/8, from Philip Roth’s The Dying Animal) and Brideshead Revisited (7/27, from the BBC miniseries).
Notes from the American Underground
Some titles already familiar to those tracking this year’s film circuit: alternately crowd-pleasing and panned 90s coming-of-age comedy The Wackness (7/3), in which Mary-Kate Olsen and Sir Ben Kingsley make out; mumblecore horror movie(?) Baghead (7/25); Breakfast Club-but-real doc American Teen (7/25), upstate human traffic drama Frozen River (8/1), Chuck Palahniuk adaptation Choke (8/1), Steve Coogan-starring high school musical Hamlet 2 (8/22) and Ballast (8/29), a visually impressive chronicle of grief in the rural South.
The Rep Report
For seven weeks starting June 20, Film Forum fêtes the bug-eyed, velvet-throated Japanese leading man Tatsuya Nakadai, whose career is a history of postwar Japanese cinema. June 20 is also the kick-off date for the New York Asian Film Festival (at IFC Center; Japan Society’s affiliated Japan Cuts runs the first two weeks of July), featuring a lineup so radioactively poppy you can fry green eggs and ham on it; concurrently, anime head-tripper Satoshi Kon presents his new Paranoia Agent during the Walter Reade’s mid-career retro. The Walt will also salute Hollywood Golden Boy William Holden (July 2-15) and American axiom Charlton Heston (Labor Day weekend, a series programmed before his death). BAM counter(culture)s with an August Elliott Gould tribute, along with a survey (June 13-July 3) of the Cannes Film Festival’s adventurous Directors’ Fortnight program, featuring selections from Rivette to Jarmusch. In late July and August, MoMA programs on Salvador Dalí and film (he was a big Marx Brothers fan). Anthology presents the autumnal work of Howard Hawks from June 4-15, and, from August 1-7, present John Gianvito’s much-praised blend of landscape film and radical agitation, Profit motive and the whispering wind.