Summer 2011 has plenty of blockbusters in store, from long awaited sequels to brand new hits. A brief look at some of the latest.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ***
Pirates four takes the series in a new direction, far away from the Will/Elizabeth love drama and the familiar settings. So far away in fact that Jack ends up insulting the King of England. In person. In London. This adventure finds Jack, Barbossa, and Blackbeard racing against the Spanish to reach the Fountain of Youth. Zombies, pirates, mermaids, treasure, and Penelope Cruz dressing in drag, what else can you ask for in a Summer flick? It’s a breath of fresh air to the stagnating franchise that is sure to beat out expectations.
“Thor” is the latest addition to the Marvel Movie Universe in the setup for the highly-anticipated “Avengers” film. So highly anticipated that it is announced at the end of the film that Thor would be returning in the Avengers. No big surprise. Thor, god of Thunder, starts a war, and is banished from Asgard by his father, Odin. He is sent to Earth and stripped of his powers as an evil plot is laid out by Thor’s brother, Loki.
“Thor,” like most other comic book movies, struggles to maintain a coherent story line that stays true to the source material. As such, “Thor” doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a fun action movie with some romantic drama, that delves into Lord-of-the-Rings-esque medieval magic combat, unlike the mechanical/science style of “Iron Man” or even “X-Men.” If you’ve seen “Iron-Man 2,” don’t miss “Thor,” as the story line happens concurrently with the ending of “Iron Man 2.”
Kung-Fu Panda 2 **
As far as Dreamworks sequels go, its a good policy not to set your expectations too high.
“Kung Fu Panda 2” plows straight into the action cutting out much of the emotion or plot development of the previous film, so the depth leaves wanting in the beginning. Po is finally a successful kung-fu master and living the dream, when a new villain arises with a powerful weapon. Little does Po know that the villain holds the key to his own mysterious past. The plot really picks up depth when Po needs to confront his own inner turmoil in order to confront his foe. A fun cute movie if you’re looking for it.
Super 8 ****
Quite possibly one of the best movies of the season, not to be missed. Often compared to The Goonies meets ET, but that hardly does it justice. “Super 8” is about a group of kids in 1979 who witness a train crash while shooting their super-8 zombie film. It quickly becomes obvious that the train wreck is no accident when the military arrives to contain whatever the precious cargo was. After a series of disappearances, and mysterious military activity, the kids discover the truth, and only they can save their small town. The story has great depth and is perfectly paced with a great balance of special effects, emotion, and iconic imagery. Sure to be one of the best films you see this year.