On Twitter: @JamesEppler
I'm always excited for the start of the summer movie season because we finally start seeing the big movies that have been promoted for up to a year. I'm not looking for potential award winners during these months - I just want something that will blow me away with sheer popcorn pow.
And so far, I haven't had that.
Yes, "The Avengers" was fun. I liked it - but it didn't impress me nearly as much as the first "Iron Man" or even "Thor." It was a huge event of a movie, but it just didn't knock me out because in the end, it just felt like a lot of sound and (Nick) fury, signifying not much, to paraphrase Shakespeare.
I expected impressive visuals and an empty head from "Battleship," and that's exactly what we got.
"The Dictator" was the first big comedy movie of the summer, and it mostly proved to be another misfire from Sacha Baron Cohen's arsenal of zany characters that wore out their welcome years ago.
"Men in Black 3" was better than I expected, thanks largely to Josh Brolin's dead-on impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones. But in retrospect, I don't remember much else about the movie.
Then came the divisive "Prometheus," a movie I liked, but found it fraught with problems. I know some people loved it, and would consider it the first truly satisfying movie of the summer.
I was also disappointed with "Rock of Ages," despite a killer performance from Tom Cruise that deserves Oscar consideration. I shudder to think what the movie would have been without him - something like a sexed-up version of "High School Musical."
I've yet to see Adam Sandler's "That's My Boy" or the fantasy "Snow White and the Huntsman" because of recent vacation time. Maybe one of those will be the first knockout punch of the summer. From what I'm hearing, I doubt it.
So that brings us to this upcoming weekend with four new movies ready to open on Lubbock screens. I'll admit, my hopes are up for a few of them.
--"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" looks like stylish, campy fun.
--"Brave" is the latest from Pixar, which needs to redeem itself after the clunker that was "Cars 2" last year.
--"Moonrise Kingdom" is a Wes Anderson movie, the auteur behind interesting and quirky movies like "Rushmore" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox," and less interesting and far more quirky ones like "The Life Aquatic." But this one has Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and Bill Murray. Sign me up.
--"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" looks like another in a series of pleasantly likeable Steve Carell movies like "Dan in Real Life" and "Crazy Stupid Love" before it. These are the kinds of movies he's decided to make.
In the weeks ahead, we'll run into the R-rated "Ted," a comedy about a talking teddy bear, "Magic Mike," starring Channing Tatum as a stripper (which is what he did before he got into movies), a reboot of "Spider-Man" with Andrew Garfield, another awful "Madea" movie, an Oliver Stone drug saga called "Savages," and in mid-July we get "The Dark Knight Rises."
That last one has me giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. A new trailer just released this week. Watch it here
, and get excited.
Am I wrong about the summer so far?