Reading articles in magazines and websites about the highly awaited films coming this summer has filled me with a lot of excitement and impatient enthusiasm. It looks like one of the most monumental years for cinema in a long time, and seeing as the summer season in terms of film starts in about April and ends in September, it seems the ideal time to have a look at this year’s offerings. With The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games, I cannot think of a trio of more hotly anticipated blockbusters in the last decade. And, they are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, it was not since the summer of 2002 I feel that audiences have been treated to so much in one season.
Back in ’02 you have the best of the big blockbuster fare with Spiderman, Attack of the Clones, and Minority Report, which to a 12 year old boy, could just have been about the greatest triumvirate of films one could possibly imagine. Then you had a very strong contribution from Pixar with Monsters Inc when we started seeing how consistently brilliant these computer generated films were going to be.
The movies just kept coming with Signs from M Night Shyamalan at the height of his career and while his twists were still bold and unexpected. The sequels such as Austin Powers and Goldmember and Men in Black II also did the job. Then you have the lesser known films that took the cinema by storm such as My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding which kept refusing to get off the box office top ten list and One Hour Photo, a chilling, psychological thriller with Robin Williams which still haunts me to this day. It was a magnificent year, let alone summer for film. Although, the less said about The Adventures of Pluto Nash, the better.
Since then the summer offerings on the whole have been hit and miss. Sure, we have had fantastic offering in an individual sense, with Inception, Ratatouille and the Harry Potter franchise migrating from the winter to summer but there has not been a summer of cinema in terms of its consistently since 2002.
Now again we have the variety needed throughout the summer. Not just the big money blockbusters such as Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers but the non franchise films such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Jeff Lives at Home which could turn into big hits. The latter especially considering there always seems to be some huge breakout comedies during the summer in recent years such as The Inbetweeners Movie and The Hangover.
As always a couple of sequels are thrown into the mix for good measure in Wrath of the Titans, American Pie: The Reunion and Men in Black III. There is the chance to see if The Amazing Spiderman reboot will wow us as the original did a decade ago and Ridley Scott returning to Alien territory with his prequel to the saga Prometheus.
Pixar’s offering Brave looks strong, and since the company seems to have been improving with age and continuing innovating it’s going to up there with the big hitters too. There is also the newfound enterprise of re-releasing classics in 3D with Titanic leading the way this year.
In terms of a summer of film this looks as strong and diverse as ever and although there are a few that might raise some eyebrows and fail at the box office such as a remake of Total Recall, another addition to the seemingly unending Ice Age franchise, StreetDance 2 and a sequel to G.I Joe, which although the original grossed $25 million under its budget has still been given the green light. Despite this, we could be pleasantly surprised.
However, none of these films have been seen yet and it is all just buzz, which we know from The Phantom Menace in ’99 can be a whole lot of hot air. With the Olympics and the European Championships dominating the television listing some of the films may not receive the acknowledgement and the box office numbers they deserve. Whatever the case, a large amount of the excitement comes from the anticipation, which is in no short supply this summer. And even if it is hugely disappointing, at least we have Skyfall to look forward to in October.