Thursday, May 3, 2012

2012 Summer (Indie) Movie Preview

In terms of cinema, the summer is all about blowing shit up and making money. Notions of physics, logic, common sense and human decency are suspended so that people can escape into worlds of aliens, fighting robots, super heroes and pot-smoking teddy bears.

But recently, studios have realized that there is indeed a market for independent and/or foreign films amidst the shit show of summer blockbusters. In fact, many of my favorite films from 2011 were released last summer, including Bridesmaids, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Midnight in Paris, The Double Hour, The Tree of Life, Beginners, Incendies, A Better Life, and The Trip.

While I doubt this summer is as fruitful as that, there are a lot of indies coming out over next few months that you can be excited about. And with the presumed greatness of the summer hat trick that is The Avengers, Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises, summer 2012 is shaping up to be a hell of a season.

The Indies
The Intouchables – May 25
Because the trailer is oddly moving, and the fact that it is already the second most successful French film ever doesn’t hurt either. Also, after Tell No One, I’ll watch François Cluzet in anything.

Moonrise Kingdom – May 25
Because although this looks more The Life Aquatic than The Royal Tenenbaums, this is Wes Anderson, which means I’m there.

Olso August 31st – May 25
Because its successful festival streak is evidence that this could be foreign, indie bliss.

To Rome With Love – June 22
Because it’s directed by Woody Allen, for better or worse.

Beats of the Southern Wild – June 27
Because it was a monster hit at Sundance, so much so that people are already predicating Oscar.

Take This Waltz – June 29
Because even though I am completely uninspired by the casting of Seth Rogen, if this is anywhere near as effective as Sarah Polley’s first film, Away We Go, then we’re in for something great.

The Queen of Versailles – July 6
Because this doc has been gaining steady buzz since its ecstatic debut at Sundance. And the trailer is damn amusing, too.

Celeste And Jesse Forever – Aug. 3
Because this could turn out to be a worthy romantic comedy starring people who (finally) deserve one.

2 Days in New York – Aug. 10
Because if it’s anything like 2 Days in Paris, we’re good as gold.

Lawless – Aug. 31
Because the trailer appears to be displaying the full talents of everyone involved.

Modest Budgets
Piranha 3DD – June 1
Because at least once a summer, you deserve to slug back a few too many beers at happy hour and sit it off in a mindless, absurd disaster flick that pretends to be nothing more than a mindless, absurd disaster flick.

Magic Mike – June 29
Because a male stripper movie starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey (with a really crappy trailer to boot) doesn’t interest me at all. Know what does? The words “Directed by Steven Soderbergh.”

Savages – July 6
Because it’s Oliver Fucking Stone.

Big Budgets
The Avengers – May 4
Because I have yet to see a Marvel film that I loved, which makes the early enthusiastic praise for this movie that much more intriguing.

Prometheus – June 8
Because this trailer is enough to knock you on your ass. There’s nothing I’m not looking forward to about this.

The Dark Knight Rises – July 20
Because I’ve heard the first two were okay.

The Bourne Legacy – Aug. 3
Because Jeremy Renner is going to kill it. And Edward Norton won’t do half bad either.

Up in the Air
A few flicks I’ll see, but am not sure I’ll enjoy:

Dark Shadows – May 11
The Dictator – May 18
Snow White and the Huntsmen – June 1
Rock of Ages – June 15
The Amazing Spider-Man – July 6
Total Recall – Aug. 4
The Expendables 2 – Aug. 10

Couldn’t Care Less About
A few flicks I’ll see, and am positive I will not enjoy:

Battleship – May 18
Men in Black III – May 25
G.I. Joe: Retaliation – June 29
Ted – July 13


  1. Great piece, Alex. I must be one of the few people in this world who simply doesn't get Wes Anderson. Really liked Fantastic Mr. Fox and enjoyed most of Rushmore, but everything else he touched didn't do a thing for me.

    It could be a fun summer. Always hard to tell just by trailers and their synopsis...but we gotta remain optimistic!

    1. I actually really like Anderson, but I thought The Life Aquatic was just plain bad - don't like a single thing about it. Other than that, I really dig him.

      I agree that trailers aren't the best way to judge if a movie will be good or not, but here's to hoping!

  2. As usual, a mixture of shit and hidden goodies in this years' releases, though since I live in New Zealand and only the shit movies get a cinematic release, I won't see half of these until the DVD release, which might be by the end of the year if I'm lucky. I'd really like to see 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK since there's a cameo by Vincent Gallo playing himself. Can't say no to that.

    1. Gallo is such a nut, can't wait to see him pop up in that. That is a major bummer that you get the good stuff so late. I don't know how I'd do it. Fight the good fight, brother.

  3. The films I want to see are... The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, To Rome with Love, The Queen of Versaille, Take This Waltz, Lawless, and Prometheus.

    Savages... and you say it's Fucking Oliver Stone. That doesn't give me much hope based on the films he's made recently.

    1. I'm with you on Oliver Stone, but I could say the same for Woody Allen too, you know? I just meant that I'll see anything Oliver Stone puts out, especially when it looks as batshit crazy as Savages.

  4. Great post! Looks like a lot of great movies is coming our way, though I'm only really excited about Prometheus. I'm definetly going to see Snow White, Dark Shadows and Take This Waltz. I love 2 days in Paris so I hope the new film will be at least half as good.

    1. Christ do I hope Prometheus lives up to your standards!

  5. Nice release schedule, Alex, quite a lot I am planning to catch later on! Olso August 31st is arty and bleak, it's a little uneven, but I enjoy it quite a bit.
    Savages looks, well, savage, reminds me of U-turn Oliver Stone made in 90s.
    How can Penélope Cruz become sexier the older she gets, how is that possible?! I'm thinking it depends on what she's wearing, and who she is acting next to.

    1. Good to hear a mostly positive review of Olso, I'm excited for it.

      I'm right there with you about Cruz. Although, I think a lot of women get better looking with age. Which is, you know... awesome.

  6. First of all, I also hope Prometheus rises up to Sati's standards, it would be sad to see her dissapointed.

    Moving on to the list, I am interested in: Moonrise Kingdom, Oslo August 31st(saw the review on BTs blog a couple of weeks ago), Beasts of Southern Wild, Take this waltz(just for Michelle Williams), The Queen of Versailles (really?biggest house in the world?), Savages, TDKR (you haven't seen The Dark Knight?), and Dark Shadows.

    No On The Road love? :)

    1. Course I've seen The Dark Knight! Just being silly.

      Honestly, I completely forgot about On the Road, but now that I'm thinking about it, I'd put it in the Up in the Air category. I just don't now about that one.

  7. Kind of disappointed you didn't just end this list at Indie movies. When is 'Your Sister's Sister' coming to theaters? Or for that matter 'Ruby Sparks' opens in July.

    1. I would've liked to stick to just the indies, but Prometheus and TDKR deserve to be called out. At least from me, as I am as far from a blockbuster film fan as you can get.

      Your Sister's Sister comes out June 29, but I didn't list it here because I do not enjoy the work of the Duplass brothers. Whether they are acting, writing or directing, their work isn't for me.

      I actually had Ruby Sparks listed here, and then I watched the trailer and removed it haha.

  8. Aside from Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises it is the smaller budgeted films that seem more appealing. Indeed, I had (have) no interest in The Avengers but I'll get around to seeing it at some point.

    I'm particularly interested in seeing Two Days In New York but it is a shame Adam Goldberg hasn't returned. I'm also eager to find out how Woody Allen's continued tour of Europe works out.

    1. I'm right there with you about 2 Days in New York, but I've heard Chris Rock seriously delivers in it, so that's settling. Woody's new one doesn't look very good to me, but if he's making it, I'm there regardless.