SportsCenter’s resident film buff Adnan Virk’s summer cinema breakdown
Editor’s note: ESPN’s studio jack-of-all trades and Front Row’s big-screen consultant Adnan Virk submits his summer movie insights.
Summer movies are like college parties; boisterous, noisy and generally forgettable. If fall movies are the domain of prestige pictures seeking Oscar gold, then summer blockbusters are designed to create box office demand and flat-out entertain. The downside is that many of the movies can feel disposable but if you’re looking for a genuine thrill ride, then cinema’s silly season is for you.
Star Trek Into Darkness
Boldly revisiting where we’ve been before.
James Tiberius Kirk and his Vulcan friend, Spock, face a new enemy in the second installment of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. Solid reviews from critics but spoiler alert: You’ll be walking out of the theater shaking your fist in the air and screaming “KHAN!”
Fast & Furious 6
Vin Diesel milks the cash cow again
Who would have thought we would have six installments of this high-octane, adrenalized series? As many cinematic variations as Rocky, but at least the original Balboa won a Best Picture Oscar over classics like Taxi Driver and Network. This series has no such higher aspirations.
The Hangover Part III
Add, Rinse, Repeat
The first was inspired hilarity. The sequel was a note-for-note, highly disappointing remake. Is there any doubt the third installment will be devoid of any creative juice despite a likable and talented cast going through the motions again?
This Is The End
Granted, James Franco has had a wildly uneven career bottoming out with the worst received Oscars hosting since David Letterman’s gig, but generally he and Seth Rogen make for an entertaining tandem.
Man of Steel
Superman trumps all
This summer season is heavy on sequels and remakes, but advance buzz has been excellent for Zach Snyder’s reinterpretation of Superman. Snyder directed 300, so you know he’s capable of bombast. The fact it’s produced by the great Christopher Nolan (Batman Trilogy, Memento) bodes well.
Sully and Mike are back!
One of my favorite children’s movies is Monsters Inc. John Goodman and Billy Crystal hook up for the prequel of Monsters Inc. film from the hit-making factory that is Pixar. Little doubt it will pack plenty of heart along with wondrous visuals. Editor’s note: This film is distributed by The Walt Disney Company, the parent company of ESPN/ABC.
The Lone Ranger
From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, comes yet another update of a classic story. Another element in the Pirates connection? The always enigmatic Johnny Depp playing Tonto. Editor’s note: This film is co-produced by The Walt Disney Company, the parent company of ESPN/ABC.
Grown Ups 2
Sophomoric laughs again?
Adam Sandler and an all-star cast look to strike it rich after the original, which I found to be lame, tired and lackadaisical.
Only God Forgives
One of the best actors working today, the mesmerizing Ryan Gosling, hooks up again with the director of Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn, for a visionary Bangkok-set thriller.
Canadian superhero seeks justice
The versatile Hugh Jackman keeps his sideburns from Les Miserables to fight evil again with a script penned by the Usual Suspects Oscar- winning screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie and directed by Walk the Line’s James Mangold. Editor’s note: This film is co-produced by Marvel Entertainment, part of The Walt Disney Company, which is the parent company of ESPN/ABC.