Although the calendar doesn’t have summer officially starting until June, summer starts in May for movies. And if you don’t believe me, just look back over the past few years at what the fifth month of the year has earned domestically. Just last year, we saw a huge May open with $1.4 billion and while I doubt we see that same number this year, I do think we will get close to the $1.1 billion that was earned for this same month the two years prior. Keep in mind, this will all be after a record April, which as of yesterday had accumulated an impressive $515 million thanks to “Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier” and its $225 million. So, what does all that mean? Well, for one, a promising May and two, a summer that may not be as bad as some are predicting; at least from a numbers standpoint which doesn’t tell the whole story.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (5/2)
For those like me that follow the box office numbers each week, I think this film might wind up being the winner for this month. It’s essentially the first film of the month and will pretty much have its reign until “X-Men: Days of Future Past” comes along. I just hope this actually lives up to that, as the last one left me wondering why they rebooted this franchise to begin with. I don’t know; maybe I’m just too much of a fan of what Sam Raimi did with Spider-Man to accept what Marc Webb is doing or maybe I just hate Andrew Garfield in this role that much. Either way, I hope they each took some lessons of what didn’t work with the last one so this sequel has a chance at being something we can be proud of. The trailer looks ridiculous, so let’s hope the additions of Jamie Foxx as Dethro and Paul Giamatti make a difference. Otherwise, I fear for the worst for a series I guarantee Marvel wanted more from when they made the decision to reboot it back in 2010. (CLICK HERE to read my review on the prequel, “The Amazing Spider-Man”).
Just watch the trailer for this film to see why I had no choice but to include it in this preview. I’ve maintained comedies are hard to grade given how different our sense of humor is from one another. But, at some point, funny is just funny and this film certainly looks to be that way. I mean, clearly with any comedy, you have to go in with lower expectations, but at least on the surface, this cast appears to be perfect for this story. And it starts with Seth Rogan, who for many is enough to give this one a shot. This guy gets it when it comes to comedies and rarely disappoints you, no matter how absurd the subject might be. Plus, this one follows in a long line of frat movie’s that either hit or miss, but usually make you laugh enough in the end. Well, that’s all any of us should expect, especially when it comes to a comedy.
“Million Dollar Arm” (5/16)
I almost started to preview “Godzilla,” the other film coming out this same week. But, then I thought better of it, considering most people reading this could care less about yet another “Godzilla” film. So, instead let’s look at “Million Dollar Arm,” a film you may not think twice about, but should considering the incredible story it’s based off of. Now, I admit baseball is my favorite sport, so any film in or around it will be easy for me to like. But, having said that, I still want a good overall film and I believe the one that was put together here by director Craig Gillespie will be. Especially when you figure his leading man, Jon Hamm, is just as big a baseball fan as I am. So he jumped at the chance to play sports agent J.B. Bernstein, who this story was based on. And what I like is how it speaks to what has been happening to the sport of baseball for the past decade or so with so many MLB clubs finding talent outside our own country. It’s something any baseball fan has noticed and would be intrigued in knowing more about, so I’m glad this is here and look forward to checking it out.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” (5/23)
Forget about everything you think and know about this series and focus on the name Bryan Singer. Yes, the same director behind both “X-Men” and “X2,” the last time this series was truly great in my mind. Sure, he was producer for the prequel to this film, but that doesn’t really count given what we know he can do behind that camera. And after an 11-year hiatus, he is back as director for this expensive sequel said to cover both the past and present time periods with all the characters we have grown accustomed to. Sounds like a lot, especially for a guy many fans were not happy after his departure to go make the underachieving “Superman Returns” which I personally think was better than the reviews it received. Nevertheless, he’s back in the saddle for what will be his third “X-Men” feature, one that has a lot of pressure on it to be right after the last one’s lackluster numbers.
Leave it to Disney to quietly keep this one under wraps for so long. At least it appears that way to me as I really haven’t seen a whole lot of press for this film. But, I guess that is in purpose considering the dark story being told is based from the 1959 “Sleeping Beauty.” Only this time it’s live-action and told from the perspective of the antagonist, Maleficent. And that in itself presents an entirely new vision and way to tell a story so many people know, but have not yet seen on the big screen. As Angelina Jolie said in an interview with EW, “Children have always been told she’s pre evil, but it’s not all she is, and it’s not fair that her story was left there. For kids, it will be like unwrapping a present to find out what was really going on.” Well-spoken by the face of this film and only reason I will be in attendance to see it given my own ignorance of anything related to this or “Sleeping Beauty.”
“A Million Ways to Die in the West” (5/30)
There’s no doubt this film, by its title alone, will be left off many people’s “must-see” lists for May. But, what I was to tell you the same guy behind “Ted” is behind this film? And then told you that same man, whose voice has been heard in hundreds of episodes of TV’s Family Guy, is playing the lead in this film? That should be enough to at least check it out; I know it will be for me, but I’m a Seth MacFarlane fan. For anyone else, look at this as an opportunity to watch an old-school western filled with laughs, a film we don’t often get anymore. In fact, the last time might have been back in 1974 with the Mel Brooks classic “Blazing Saddles,” a film as goofy as it comes. But, Mel Brooks didn’t take it as far as MacFarlane does, which if anything has become the unwritten ‘mantra’ for the young writer/director early on in his film career. And that my friends, is just one of the reasons why I like him so much and why I can’t wait to see this one.
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