A Geeky Girl’s Guide to Summer Movies Part 2: They Want Your Money

If like me, you have survived the onslaught of witty repartee between Iron Man and War Machine, time standing still in Robin Hood, and the hot mess of CGI and Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia then you are ready for what awaits you in June. Make no mistake, you may not have the monster in Manolo’s, otherwise known as Carrie Bradshaw, to suffer through but you do have a mêlée of 80’s rehashes that studios happily throw money at.

So, suit up, grab your popcorn, and prepare yourself for the next adventure that await you.

JUNE

June 4th

Ondine

Were you expecting a description of The A Team perhaps? At this point, anyone who is seeing The A Team on Friday already has their tickets, and even my words of wisdom will be unable to stop them. Instead I’ll spotlight a film that deserves attention.

Ondine is an independent film starring Colin Farrell as a fisherman who pulls up a beautiful woman in his nets. His sick, precocious daughter believes she is a Selkie, a Scottish seal who becomes a human wife on land. Time will tell if she is really as she seems.

Geekiness Factor: As a fairytale set in the modern era, it combines Splash and Heroes with a dose of romanticism and second chances. This movie works because it doesn’t use CGI, in fact the only special effects it uses comes from your very own imagination in overdrive. Its sense of wonder on faith, entrances you back to a time when you still believed in Santa Claus.

Screen Steamer: Colin Farrell has served me a heap of B movie bad boy charm in past films like The Recruit, S.W.A.T., not to mention a harmonious turn in Crazy Heart. Here he takes off his shirt only once, but seems well cast as a fisherman down on his luck and striving to be sober. Alicja Bachleda keeps you guessing as Ondine, which means “from the water.” She is alluring with a subtle sensuality in ocean soaked dresses, only coming up for air to coyly flirt with a scruffy Colin.

Great Expectations: I hadn’t heard of this film until I was searching for other movies to watch besides Iron Man 2 again or Killers. It’s a little film with misty cinematography and an anagogic aura that makes you curiouser and curiouser as it progresses. Go and be mystified.

June 11th

The Karate Kid

Not a sequel, not a prequel, but a re-telling. Is it just me, or have studios run out of original material? Or, are these massive, omni-important studios just shaking in their boots at giving another $100 Million to a potential flop? I’d wager the latter.

Geekiness Factor: Although not based on a comic book, it is based on film that inspired many kids to wrap a head band around their heads and practice their crane kick spryness. Daniel Larusso might not have been a super hero but he did stand up to preppy towheads- a battle Jaden Smith would pray for.

Screen Steamer: Jackie Chan has seen better days. He may have been a hot slab of ever-moving karate kicks in Rumble in the Bronx, but since then he’s traveled down a long downward spiral of cartoon antics and one-liner bliss. Whether he’s wearing a Tuxedo or pretending to be The Spy Next Door, Jackie needs a serious turn to amp up his cred. This may not be it, but the heft amount of marketing certainly helps.

Great Expectations: I expect a little less waxing and a little more jacket-on, jacket-off martial arts training. I expect a hip-hop soundtrack instead of “The Glory of Love” and I expect flies to be wary of being caught.

June 18th

Jonah Hex

During the month of June, only a single comic book adaptation seeks to stand tall. Jonah Hex is the story of an old west bad boy with a storied Apache history which kindly gave him a mark to remember them by. Well, it was simply that until Warner Bros. Studio got their slick hands on it and decided to give the gun slinger a dash of the occult.

Geekiness Factor: It started as being supremely geeky with it’s DC comics cred and gruff as a grizzly lead. Warner Bros. development must have been perplexed by the lack of superpowers in a comic book. So, they decided to spit in the eye of comic fans and give him a radioactive spider bite. It’s one thing to give Nightcrawler angelic tattoos, but it would be quite another to make him a green zombie and think no one would notice.

Screen Steamer: Josh Brolin steams up the screen as a no-nonsense son of a gun who is partially mangled and walks a rough road. Two-Face should take lessons on how to take lemons and make them into some hard lemonade. Yeah, Megan Fox is also in it and she looks as hot as a magnifying glass on an ant. Then she opens her mouth.

Michael Bay would agree it’d be better if she didn’t. Although it’s not a stretch for her to play a saloon hooker, it does force her to use facial expressions, which is not her strong suit.

Great Expectations: I was expecting an expert marksmen with an attitude but now I’m expecting Ghost Rider in the wild west. I was also expecting a wife by the name of Mei and not a Jolie wannabe by the name of Leila. I think I’ll just rent Bad Girls and Jimmy Stewart’s Broken Arrow and call it a day.

June 18th

Toy Story 3

Time for another spin in the playpen with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang. Andy is showing his years and Woody faces yet another mid-life crisis of how to stay relevant. Metaphor, much? Lacking in pop culture references but high on nostalgia, this film reminds you of times gone by.

Geekiness Factor: To infinity and beyond! Every time I head to California Adventure, I have but one goal: to vanquish the evil Zurg from the galaxy and beat my friend’s ranger score. Before the days of World of Warcraft, there were toy soldier battles to be won in the vastness of the backyard, Legos waiting to be built into empires, and Barbies racing to their dream houses in white Ferraris. I remember using my imagination instead of going online. I might just geek out a time or two at toys long forgotten.

Screen Steamer: None. There is no Prince Charming, no Puss in Boots, no..wait sorry wrong review. There might not be in any screen steamers (this is an animated kids movie) but there is one prominent clef chin a la Buzz.

Great Expectations: I foresee new toys to abound in one wild daycare center. Buzz and Woody better be on their game if they’re going to withstand the terrible twos and the brutal war games of barely supervised minors.

June 25th

Knight and Day

First there was the summer of Armageddon and Deep Impact, then A Bug’s Life and Antz, and then Paul Blart Mall Cop and Observe and Report, and the list goes on. This summer we have Killers and Knight and Day. Two movies with two hapless women thrown into the speedy world of super slick spies with a license to blah.

Geekiness Factor: In terms of action movies, this is typical geeky fare. Tom Cruise shoots at bad guys, escapes explosions, and saves a damsel in distress. Total snooze-fest.

How about a heavily armed Tomb Raider throw her hesitant, office worker boyfriend, Jim Halpert, into a fast car and shoot for the best? Sadly, the movie studios are only too happy to give Tom Cruise yet another break.

Screen Steamer: Normally the male lead is a screen steamer, but in this case it’s Tom Cruise. Studios are hoping you will forget his couch jumping antics, his lack of acting in Mission Impossible III, and remember the days when he saved the world with a dashing smile. Their brainwashing techniques may have gone into overdrive but I refuse to break!

Great Expectations: The only thing I can hope for is a killer soundtrack as epitomized by Muze in the trailer and some witty antics past the debonair grins and powerful punches. I also hope Tom Cruise works for his paycheck and decides to act as someone other than himself. A girl can dream.

June 30th

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

I’m proud to say I raucously booed the latest trailer of Eclipse, along with the entire Dome Arclight audience, during the Iron Man 2 midnight screening. If you have read my other posts you know I am no fan of Bella and Edward and rather see a 90’s redo of Buffy staking vampires left and right. That being said, I intend to see this latest film and giggle like a madman during the silent stares between Edward and Bella.

Geekiness Factor: If the line around the San Diego Convention Center for Hall H last year is anything to attest by, this film is very geeky — albeit for a certain type of girl who has a death wish for Edward or is over the moon for Jacob. This certain type of girl also tends to make fun of the other geeks at Comic-Con, all the while screaming at the faintest sight of blood.

Screen Steamer: I can only hope that Taylor Lautner aka Jacob Black will be back in action and in good form. I was in rapt attention every time his smokin’ hot bod was onscreen. I give props to the costume designer for forgetting to give him a shirt. Unfortunately that same costume designer was out to lunch when Robert Pattinson appeared sans shirt and plus his white, emancipated physique.

Great Expectations: I expect Edward Cullen and his gang of ruthless vampires to be staked in the heart by Blade and Jessica Biel. Ok, so I don’t expect that. I only hope to God Edward and Bella do more than walk on by as humans get slaughtered in the Vatican.

Ok, so there you have it, the month of June in a Moviefone nutshell. And no, I didn’t forget about The A-Team, I just don’t think it’s worth more than a wait in your queue. I pity the fool who yearns to hear B.A. Baracus shout those famous words only to be rewarded with a nod to it on his tattooed knuckles.

Stay tuned for A Geeky Girl’s Guide to Summer Movies: Part 3: The Never-Ending Assault of the Ads, which will arrive in time (and hopefully not late) for the steaming month of July. Until then, I caution anyone to turn on a TV as they will be assailed with one-liners gone awry and a barrage of glittering vampires.

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