BY: MATT GRIPPI
May 15th Rize of the Fenix by Tenacious D
Tenacious D has been gone for a long time. After their movie “The Pick of Destiny” did poorly at the box office, many said that they were done for good. However, like they say in their titular single for their upcoming album “Rize of the Fenix,” “The D will rise again.”
The single is an epic six-minute head-banging, multi-part odyssey through what the band has been up to since “The Pick of Destiny” bombed. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters returns as their drummer, and lead singer Jack Black delivers some of his best vocals ever.
Yes, Tenacious D is a comedy act, but the humor of their songs fades away after a few listens and then the songs become enjoyable on a legitimate level. It is exciting to see The D going back to their roots and working on just an album instead of the soundtrack to film or TV show. If the first song is any indication, this should really rock.
May 4th The Avengers
Finally we get to see if the experiment that began with Iron Man and continued through all Marvel releases ever since will live up to the years of anticipation. Never before has a studio attempted to combine all of their most popular characters into a blockbuster crossover release like this. If it fails, it will retroactively ruin the past five Marvel releases by making them seem pointless. If it is a success, it could be the most epic superhero film ever released.
Luckily, it has a lot going for it. Geek-king and comic fan Joss Whedon of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame both wrote and directed the film, which is sure to have his signature sense of humor and dedication to the characters.
May 16th The Dictator
Sacha Baron Cohen became a household name with his hilarious semi-documentary film “Borat.” His new film “The Dictator” is a completely scripted film about Admiral General Aladeen, a fictional dictator from the Middle-Eastern country The Republic of Wadiya. What makes it interesting is that the film is loosely based on a book called “Zabibah and the KIng,” which was written by the late dictator Saddam Hussein. This film should be good for some uncomfortable laughs, and will be a good gauge of whether or not Cohen can handle scripted comedy.
May 15th Men in Black 3
This film could either be really bad or surprisingly good. The second installment of the Men in Black series wasn’t much more than a rehash of the first film. At least this one seems to have a semi-interesting time travel plot that they’ve come up with. Josh Brolin plays a young version of Tommy Lee Jones, and his impression is pretty uncanny. Plus, it seems like the aliens in the 1969 Men in Black headquarters are homages to old-school rubber suited movie monsters, which is pretty great.
HBO’s new series “Veep” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the only survivor of the “Seinfeld curse,” looks hilarious and sharp. It is from Armando Iannucci, the creator of the popular British political satire “The Thick of It,” and is about a fictional female U.S. Vice President. In interviews it has been revealed that the actual president will be a completely off-screen character, meaning the show will be entirely about a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be one heartbeat away from the U.S. Presidency.
Fans of Arrested Development will enjoy this series created by David Cross about Todd Margaret, a bumbling American temp who accidentally gets the job of selling an energy drink called “Thunder Muscle” overseas in Britain. The series takes place over the course of a few days, and follows Todd through a series of misunderstandings, lies, and mistakes that may lead him to the end of the world, as we know it. This is extremely dark and uncomfortable humor, and might occasionally make you feel embarrassed to be an American.
DIG Later (this summer):
June 8th Prometheus
Ridley Scott is responsible for creating some of the most memorable visions of science fiction in film history. His films “Blade Runner” and “Alien” practically defined the genre. Now he is back with “Prometheus,” a mysterious film that promises to call back to “Alien” while also being something completely new. Not much is known about the actual plot of the film, other than it involves a group of scientists on a mission through space to find the possible origins of mankind. This is an exciting release because unlike other summer blockbusters, we know very little about this one. It is rare these days to actually be surprised by a film and not have it ruined by mass marketing.
July 3rd The Amazing Spider-Man
Spider-man fans know that 2007’s “Spider-man 3” was a disappointing end to an otherwise enjoyable series, but it is still strange that they are already doing a reboot of something so recent. The new film promises to be darker and grittier like the Batman reboot, so hopefully this film will be new and innovative enough to make us forget the old series while watching it. The villain in this one is The Lizard, a mutated monster who Peter Parker himself accidentally helps create.
July 20th The Dark Knight Rises
This is the one that everybody is waiting for. Christopher Nolan’s game-changing Batman series comes to a close. How will Nolan choose to end his Batman trilogy? Some people think he might actually kill off the caped crusader. “Bane”, the villain played by Tom Hardy in the film, is notorious for being one of the Dark Knight’s greatest foes. No matter what happens, this will undoubtedly be the movie event of the summer, and possibly the year. If it lives up to all the hype, maybe the Academy Awards will finally recognize Nolan’s efforts with this series and give him a nomination.
August 3rd The Bourne Legacy
When it was announced that Matt Damon would not return for another film, it was assumed that the Bourne series was done. Apparently not, because this August the series returns without Damon. Jason Bourne is nowhere to be seen, and instead the film focuses on a new agent, played by Jeremy Renner. It is unclear what this movie even has to do with Bourne, but it is assumed that his actions in the previous films may have an impact on the plot. Jeremy Renner did a good job in last summer’s “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”, so it will be interesting to see how he does in another established action series.