Off-Topic Thursday: Summer Trailer Spectacular

During the off-season, I occasionally had a “Off-Topic Tuesday” where I talked about stuff outside of baseball- usually something related to popular culture. Well, during the season, look for “Off-Topic Thursdays”, in which, well… you’ll see stuff that is off-topic. Like this:

Okay, so the summer slate of movies is coming, and while I have yet to see 42, it looks like it could be a fun summer with lots of interesting movies to go see. So, below the jump, I go through some of the trailers and give my thoughts. Note that I’m only going to look at traditional summer movie fare (action, adventures, maybe a comedy here and there)- if you wanted to hear my thoughts on the upcoming Great Gatsby movie, well, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 2
had it’s moments, but overall it was kind of a disappointment. However, the Iron Man train got going again with his key role in The Avengers. So, now, it’s time for Iron Man 3, this time with Robert Downey facing off against Sir Ben Kingsley, who is playing the Mandarin. Now, the Mandarin is probably Iron Man’s archnemesis in the comics, and he’s been hinted at in the previous movies, but he hasn’t shown up until now. Thankfully, it seems like he’s going to be worth the wait, with Kingsley portraying him as kind of a Joker-meets-Bond-Villain-meets-Bin-Laden instead of the techno-magical pre-communist Chinese warlord of the comics (or something like that). And, hey, Robert Downey Jr. is still in this thing, and he’s awesome as Tony Stark. Oh, and it seems like they are basically throwing every single possible Iron Man suit into the film, which is cool.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Okay, so basically, there’s some evil terrorist guy who may or may not be a disguised character from the TV series who forces Captain Kirk to go on a vendetta that stretches from the final frontier to under the sea? I’m in. Although I’m a little worried, judging by the trailers, that it’ll be more like J.J. Abrams’ demo reel for the action sequences of the new Star Wars movies, although admittedly trailers are always filled with violence and explosions, and the last Trek movie certainly had some good character moments too.

After Earth

Will Smith and son (played by… his own son) land on post-apocalyptic Earth, which apparently had to be abandoned when all the creatures from Avatar showed up. And M. Night Shyamalan directs, so it’s entirely possible that in the end it will turn out not to be Earth. I’ll wait until cable.

This Is The End

This movie is about various celebrities (played by themselves) who find themselves caught up in the apocalypse during a party at James Franco’s house. In other words, it’s practically a documentary. I’ll wait for cable.

Man of Steel

I was having a hard time getting hyped for this film before this trailer came out. Superman is probably the hardest comic book character to put to film, simply because, well, he’s Superman. It’s hard to really write a story where the protagonist is a messianic god amongst men. Even the classic ones with Christopher Reeve were kind of stupid. The last attempt to make a Superman movie, Superman Returns, was basically meant as a sequel to those classics, and while it had it’s moments, in the end it wasn’t very good, especially compared to the more serious fare being done with Batman and Marvel superheroes. But, of course, that leads to the problem of how you CAN do a serious Superman, since by his very nature he’s supposed to be the ultimate good guy. However, this trailer makes me optimistic about this film: the world may be cynical and General Zod is invading, but Superman is out to prove that there is hope in the world. I really hope this movie ends up living up to this trailer.

Monsters University

Does anybody know why we are getting sequels to Cars and Finding Nemo and now a prequel to Monsters Inc. but nothing to The Incredibles, which basically ended with a hook for future movies? I know, it has to do with merchandising. But, still, c’mon. Aw, well. Anyway, Pixar has made a grand total of one bad movie, so the odds are this will be good.

World War Z

World War Z, the book written by Max Brooks (the son of Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft) was a slow, horrifying masterpiece that followed the oral histories of dozens of people around the world during a zombie uprising. This film seems to just be a standard fast-moving action movie about Brad Pitt trying to more-or-less single-handedly stop the zombie apocalypse. One of these things is not like the other. Maybe someday they will make a World War Z miniseries on HBO that better captures the book… because this movie seems to me to be World War Z in name only.

White House Down

Didn’t this movie just come out? Y’know, with Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman? Weird how often two movies with basically the same plot sometimes come out only a few months apart. I’ll wait for cable.

The Lone Ranger

This movie is going to be bad. The only question is whether it’ll be so-bad-it’s-good or so-bad-it’s-stupid.


Based on a comic book series I’ve never heard of and starring Jeff Bridges and the guy who pretended he was Green Lantern in that movie that never happened, this looks like it is Men in Black meets Ghostbusters. Which is far from the worst thing to be called.

Pacific Rim

Giant robots fighting giant monsters? With rousing speeches and big battles? WHERE DO I SIGN UP!?!!?

The Wolverine

It has to be better than the last Wolverine movie, and at the very least, Hugh Jackman will be good in it. And the idea of removing Wolverine’s immortality could make for a neat premise.


Done by the guy who made the underrated Apartheid metaphor flick District 9, this seems to be about a criminal who tries to break into a space station that is a paradise for the super-ultra wealthy. Interesting. Might check it out.

This has been “Off-Topic Thursday”, thank you for reading.

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