Finals are winding down, which means many students are gearing up to execute the break plans they’ve been fantasizing about all year, including midnight showings of highly anticipated movies.
With a few exceptions, last summer the movie scene was not very impressive. Movie critics like Scott Mendelson called last season “mediocre.”
If you had polled pundits at the beginning of the summer over the top four films of summer 2012, they probably would have told you some combination of The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Brave. And three of those films did pretty much what should have been realistically expected of them. The core artistic pattern of summer 2012 was pretty simple: Most of the mainstream entries, even the ones expected to soar, ended up being artistically disappointing while the indie scene was on fire all season long.
“Iron Man 3” is not only the next chapter in the “Iron Man” series but also the first follow-up to “The Avengers” movie from last year. Great expectations have been given to this movie, but already it has a 93% on Rotton Tomatoes from movie critics. “The Wolverine” is the second solo film for this X-men superhero after “X-men Origins: Wolverine” from 2009. The last attempt at a solo film did not get great reviews from viewers or critics but was a box-office success nonetheless. “Man of Steel” has a task similar to Wolverine’s. “Superman Returns,” like “X-men Origins: Wolverine,” was a box-office success but not well-received by critics or viewers. However, “Man of Steel” is not a sequel to “Superman Returns” but a reboot of the series itself.
Although “Star Trek: Into Darkness” is not technically a superhero film, it will be in competition with these films when it hits theaters on May 17, and the early reviews suggest that, like the 2009 hit, the Star Trek sequel will be a must-see for everyone, not just trekkies.
As always, Pixar has a movie release, and at least one other animated film will do its best to live in Pixar’s ever-growing shadow. “Monsters University” will hit theaters on June 21, and “Despicable Me 2” comes out on July 3.
Not falling into any particular category is Baz Luhrmann’s latest project, a film adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s homage to the Roaring 20s. This film was supposed to be released in December 2012 but was postponed to May 2013 last August. Since then the hype for this film has only grown with its star-studded cast and crew (even Jay-Z is involved as the soundtrack producer); this film will undoubtedly be a box-office hit.
This post hasn’t even covered half of the movies that will be released this summer. Hopefully no one will walk away disappointed from any of these films, and hopefully there will be a few surprise hits as well.