2013’s summer movie slate is shaping up to be an uncommonly weird one. There are few of the slam dunk, I-gotta-see-it-at-midnight films of the past three years, like The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and the final Harry Potter. Instead, all the big movies seem a little... off. I'll explain: As I ran ran through IMDB’s coming attractions list while preparing for this article, I kept hearing Ari Gold yelling to me from a cell phone located somewhere near my frontal lobe. Do you remember when Ari would deliver movie pitches to a normally stoned or not-having-it Vince? They always sounded kind of realistic, but the pitches were told in a way that never made you forget you were watching a TV show. Hence: Fake Entourage films about the dumb misfit of the Super Friends, or Gatsby as interpreted by Scorsese, or forest firemen not named Smokey.
I couldn’t shake that feeling while previewing the precious two-hour blasts of air conditioning we’ll take in over this summer. For instance, there’s a Michael Bay flick.... But it’s a $25 million Point Break with bodybuilders. There’s a huge, glitzy DiCaprio film.... But it’s based off a novel known more for what it didn’t say than what it did. There’s Johnny Depp teaming up again with Pirates director Gore Verbinski.... But Depp, kind of unbelievably, plays a staccato-voiced Native American.
Even the one constant of summer films' last decade—the superhero flick—is barely represented this year. Man of Steel looks terrific, and Iron Man 3 will be fun, and The Wolverine hopefully won’t be just a cash grab, but that’s it.1 In their place? Unquestionably, science-fiction blockbusters. But more on that later.
So this is a weird year. And it didn’t feel right to give it a normal preview. We’re breaking everything up, then, to reflect both the schizophrenia of Hollywood, and the increasingly schizophrenic idea of what it is to be a bro itself. (DEEP!) Enjoy!2
1Kick-Ass was more of an ironic twist on the genre than a full-on embrace.The sequel will be more of the same.
2"Must-see" might be an overstatement.