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2010 Summer Movies

Movies | By Nicholas for The Top 13 on May 13, 2010

This past Friday, Iron Man 2 debuted to ravenous fans nationwide and with it this summer's blockbuster season officially began. Each summer, studios roll out their big-budget, tent-pole releases in hopes that audiences will attend in droves – generally this means the multiplexes are filled with the most mind-numbing cinema ever made (see The A-Team or Marmaduke, both opening this June). Amidst all the interminable crap, though, there are those few proverbial diamonds-in-the-rough. Here, we present the Top 13 2010 Summer Movies, or the "blockbusters" we're most looking forward to seeing this summer.

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Inception

1

Inception

July 16

It's difficult not to be excited for this high-concept thriller from writer-director Christopher Nolan, whose track record is unthinkably good (The Dark Knight, The Prestige and Memento). At least from the trailer, the story is almost completely indecipherable (though it appears to have something to do with Leonardo DiCaprio stealing secrets from people during their dreams). But with such a powerful cast (DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine, among others) and a knockout director at the helm, this is the film we're most excited about seeing this summer.

The American

2

The American

September 1

Dutch photographer and director Anton Corbijn's debut feature Control, about the life story of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, rightfully won him accolades; the film was beautifully shot in black and white and meticulously directed all without losing a speck of energy. The American, which is Corbijn's sophomore effort, brings his immense artistic talents to a more typical Hollywood trope: the aging hitman (here played by George Clooney) in for one last kill. It's rare that a director with such an art-house pedigree is given the reigns to a summer studio production, but the combination is certainly a promising one.

Toy Story 3

3

Toy Story 3

June 18

From The Incredibles to Wall-E to Finding Nemo to last year's powerful Up, it would seem Pixar can do no wrong, but when Toy Story 3 was first announced, it was met with a predictable (and understandable) number of groans. However, as soon as the first teaser trailer was unleashed, those detractors were silenced, and with the entire original cast returning and a screenplay penned by the author of Little Miss Sunshine (Michael Arndt), there's no denying it: lightning just might strike thrice.

Salt

4

Salt

July 23

This Phillip Noyce-helmed action flick was initially pitched as another Tom Cruise comeback attempt, but when Cruise bailed for the incredibly banal looking Knight and Day, he was replaced by Angelina Jolie. It might turn out to have been the best thing to happen to this film. In a role almost exclusively inhabited by men, she plays CIA officer Evelyn Salt, who is on the run and trying to clear her name after being accused of being a KGB sleeper agent. The film, which was shot all over Washington, D.C. and Manhattan, also features the reliable Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

5

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

August 13

Written and directed by Edgar Wright (of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame) and based off of the graphic novels of the same name by Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim promises to be an absolute blast. The trailer is packed from start-to-finish with the same sort of giddy, genre-subverting, self-referential pastiche that has become synonymous with the Edgar Wright name. As if that weren't enough, rumor has it the songs of the titular character's fictional band, Sex Bob-omb, are actually written by Beck.

Get Him to the Greek

6

Get Him to the Greek

June 4

The latest comedy opus from the Judd Apatow stable of rotating artists, Get Him To The Greek, is actually a spin-off of one of the best films of 2008: Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The film, which centers around Russell Brand's scene-stealing rock-star caricature Aldous Snow and Jonah Hill as his admiring fan, should certainly give audiences their yearly fill of producer Apatow's particular brand of R-rated humor. Plus: Aziz Ansari. Need we say more?

The Other Guys

7

The Other Guys

August 6

The buddy-cop film spoof is, at this point, probably more ubiquitous than its straight-faced counterpart, but if anything can bring new life into the staid conventions of these spoofs it's collaborators Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. The pair have produced some of the most off-the-wall comedies of the past decade, including Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and the underrated Step Brothers. All signs, including the hysterical trailer, point to another ludicrous and laugh-filled comedy for the team, who bring along quite the ensemble cast this time around.

Predators

8

Predators

July 9

It doesn't take a genius to see that the franchise reboot is the latest trend in horror; Halloween, Friday The 13th, and, most recently, Nightmare on Elm Street have all been rebooted to varying degrees of success. In each case, though, the reboots have felt patently unnecessary – not so with Predators. Here, director Nimród Antal has wisely decided to eschew the campiness of the original Schwarzenegger vehicles and has opted instead to amp up the atmosphere. The result should, at the very least, provide a thrilling distraction on some uncomfortably muggy afternoon.

Cyrus

9

Cyrus

June 18

Though not a "summer blockbuster" in the traditional sense of the word, Cyrus could represent a major turning point for "mainstream indie" cinema. That mumblecore scene-kings Mark and Jay Duplass have been given the reigns of a star-studded, big-budget, summer comedy is a huge risk, but the payoff (especially considering how hysterical the trailer is and how relatively cheap mumblecore films are to produce) could be enormous. At the very least, it should spark some otherwise oblivious filmgoers to investigate the rest of the Duplass brothers' wonderful filmography.

MacGruber

10

MacGruber

May 21

MacGruber's latest one-sheet proudly showcases a quote from the movie blog Cinematical calling it the funniest Saturday Night Live film since Wayne's World. Of course, that's pretty empty praise considering the slate of the show's post-Wayne's World films. Even so, this feature-length adaptation of a series of 15-second sketches does look promising, thanks in large part to it's writer and director, Lonely Island member and SNL writer Jorma Taccone.

The Last Airbender

11

The Last Airbender

July 2

Adapted from the surprisingly great Nickelodeon action-cartoon of the same name, The Last Airbender looks positively exhilarating. Of course, the most action-packed trailer in the world couldn't distract audiences from the fact that the film comes from M. Night Shyamalan, whose last few films (The Happening and Lady In The Water) have been among the worst of the past decade. Here's to hoping the stellar source material and the return of assistant director Larry Fulton (who collaborated with Shyamalan on The Sixth Sense and the woefully underrated Unbreakable) signal a return-to-form for the director.

Splice

12

Splice

June 4

Best known for 1997's bizarro thriller Cube, director Vincenzo Natali scored a bit of a surprise hit at this past year's Sundance with Splice, a film about two young scientists who accidentally unleash an unholy chimera on the world. Starring Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley as its fresh-faced scientists, Splice looks absolutely stunning, particularly for an indie feature, thanks to Tetsuo Nagata's (La Vie En Rose) cinematography. The film's word-of-mouth buzz has been building ever since its Sundance premiere, and the trailer, at least, seems to hit all the right notes.

Machete

13

Machete

September 3

Much like MacGruber, there is some question as to whether the latest from Robert Rodriguez will work as a full-length feature film. What was a blast for two minutes sandwiched between Grindhouse's features could grow tiresome over 90 minutes. Luckily, Danny Trejo's scenery-chewing take on the exploitation film hero looks to be intact, so if Rodriguez can manage to strike the same balance between homage and parody as he did in Planet Terror, the two of them may very well have a great film on their hands.

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Comments Leave a comment

tloveisready ★★

Inception and Splice ftw

9:08 AM   May 13, 2010

ajay ★★

I'm excited for Scott Pilgrim more than anything right now. I'm not one of Michael Cera's many haters - he does what he does best - but while I'm not totally sure the character and Cera are that alike... Edgar Wright can do no wrong. And I'm pretty sure he was born to make this movie.

I hope that Cyrus succeeds. John C. Reilly is one of the funniest men alive and mumblecore is a fascinating genre.

Just watched season one of Airbender, so I'm pumped to see the movie. I still believe in Shyamalan, but I also know his films are rarely funny (intentionally) and this movie better capture the show's quirkiness. The trailers only suggest action, action, action...

And Inception looks like it could be one of the best things ever.

9:14 AM   May 13, 2010

Travelin_Jack 

The Last Airbender looks worrisome, and this is coming from a Shyamalan apologist.

9:37 AM   May 13, 2010

jason ★★

I could not be more excited for Inception, and I didn't know about it until reading this list. Also, I had to google "mumblecore."

10:48 AM   May 13, 2010

oshoney 

Inception and MacGruber ftw.

11:53 AM   May 13, 2010

ajay ★★

1 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
2 Toy Story 3
3 Inception
4 Cyrus
5 The American
6 Machete
7 Get Him to the Greek
8 Predators
9 The Other Guys
10 MacGruber
11 Salt

Did not see Splice. Will not see the other one. Ever. I hate M. Night Shyamalan.

3:27 AM   Oct 07, 2010

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