July 2009 Forecast
By Shane Jenkins
July 3, 2009
Happy Fourth of July! Nothing is quite as emblematic of the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States as gaseous hamsters, straight guys in gayface, and Janky Promoters. Let's get to the forecast!
1) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
This is as no-brainer as they come. Remember all that talk about boycotting this movie when they postponed it from last November? Yeah, those "boycotters" already have their tickets and are trading wizard stat cards from their sleeping bags in front of your local multiplex. This will be huge. Huger than Transformers 2? I say no, and here's why: Don't you feel like you've already seen this movie? I certainly do. Between all the trailers we've been watching for a year now, and the new posters the studio releases every other week, I feel like it's already old (sorting?) hat. I think Warners maybe waited too long between installments, and some of the magic has dissipated. Still...huge.
2) Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
People seem to like these movies, and they give Ray Romano something to do every few years, so it's a bit cold-hearted of me to gripe. But since I have a degree in griping, I'm going to anyway. Sony has the animation down – these have all been great-looking films – but the writing has always been sub-par, sort of Shark Tale-esque. We here at BOP are often accused of being Pixar fanboys/girls, but there's just a level of quality with Lasseter and Co. that is missing from the competition (though Kung Fu Panda came pretty close). That extended gag in Ice Age 3's trailer about milking the bull basically says all that needs to be said about this series.
I have so many questions about Sacha Baron Cohen's latest movie/social experiment. Is it actually homophobic, as some early buzz is indicating? (Doubtful.) Will straight guys go see this, even with the reported amount of male flesh on display? (Probably.) Is Paula Abdul really that clueless? (Most definitely.) Those who have seen it have generally said it falls short of Borat in the laughs department, but pushes the boundaries of good taste even farther than that 2006 film. I think the curiosity factor (and nice job Universal in drumming that up, by the way) will give Bruno a solid opening weekend, and its rise or fall will be even more determined by word-of-mouth than a more conventional movie.
4) Public Enemies
Or, Johnny Depp Plays Dress-Up! There have been precious few movies this summer aimed at adults, and I think Public Enemies stands to gain from that. Director Michael Mann is known for his thorough research on the subjects of his films, even to the point of allowing the narrative drive to suffer. And this biopic about bank robber John Dillinger is no different. It takes a lot to drain the usually-charismatic Depp of energy, but Mann manages to do it, seemingly more focused on flipping cars and awkward grainy close-ups than the acting or story. It's a bit of a slog to be honest, but older patrons will still show up, grateful for the lack of Sleestacks and adamantium claws.
5) Funny People
First of all, I want to apologize for the overall negative tone of this forecast; I feel like Andy Rooney. And yet, I'm afraid I have a bone to pick with Funny People, and the bone in question is the trailer. If you haven't seen the trailer, please listen to my pleas and don't watch it. The movie's directed by Judd Apatow, it's got a great cast, and is probably going to be terrific - you know you already want to see it, and you shouldn't need any further convincing. But the rest of us now know the trajectory of the movie's story. Unless everything that happens in the trailer is contained in the first 15 minutes, the movie has been spoiled by its own preview. I know, I know, the most important parts of the journey are the things that happen along the way, but still - it's kind of like having Mr. Voiceover Guy be like "But Bruce Willis doesn't know he's dead!!" Boo, trailer-making people. Boo.
...trying to be positive...positive... Oh, here's something! Sam Rockwell is a voice in this, and Moon-- the Sam Rockwell movie out now that doesn't have farting rodents and 200 poop jokes in the trailer alone - just won top honors in Edinburgh! Hooray G-Force!
7) (500) Days of Summer
I have nothing but nice things to say here. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is adorable, Zooey Deschanel is some exponent of adorable, and the movie itself looks adorable. Ostensibly not a love story, (500) Days chronicles the year-and-a-half lifespan of our adorable couple's relationship. There are some fun-looking touches like musical numbers (complete with animated bluebirds) and a busful of Zooeys in a Being John Malkovich-looking scene. It might not open huge, but I think it will play for a long time.
8) I Love You, Beth Cooper
Do you know what this movie is? I had to look it up. Apparently it stars that cheerleading girl from Heroes and is directed by Chris "Bicentennial Man" Columbus. A nerdy guy graduating high school publicly proclaims his love for hot/popular Cheerleader Girl, who then takes him out. And they have sex or something. I don't know, it sounds like a lame version of Angus to me.
Plus, Aliens in the Attic with some girl from High School Musical, Orphan with Vera Farmiga (who, between this and Joshua, is cornering the market on malevolent kid movies), Janky Promoters, which has the best title ever, and The Ugly Truth, which probably belongs higher on this list, but looks so bad I'm relegating it to also-ran status.
Other BOP July forecasts: 0 Angus references.
Shane's July forecast: 1 Angus reference. I think we have a winner!