Summer Movie Guide: May 2010 Movies to Watch, and Skip

Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man 2The summer movie season is only days away, which means it’s time for every movie website on the planet to come out with their summer movie guides. But you’re not going to waste time on those other sites, right? We’ve got everything you need to know about 2010’s summer movies right here at FilmJabber, starting with the movies to watch – and the ones to skip – in May.

Summer Movies to See in May 2010

9. Holy Rollers – May 21, 2010 (limited)

Jesse Eisenberg, who also has Solitary Man (see next entry) coming to theaters in May, stars as an impressionable youth from an Orthodox Brooklyn community. He’s lured into becoming an Ecstasy drug dealer by a friend (Jason Bartha) with ties to an Israeli drug cartel. Needless to say, things spiral out of control from there.

Our take: I like the premise (which is inspired by true events) and cast, though there’s nothing particularly engaging about the trailer. Still, Holy Rollers has promise.

8. Solitary Man – May 7, 2010 (limited)

Michael Douglas stars as an aging car magnate who, as any good man should, takes pleasure in youthful flesh. Unfortunately, he’s also married and has a daughter older than some of the women he’s sleeping with. His business failing, he’s also struggling to make ends meet. I wish I had him for a father…

Our take: Given its cast (Susan Sarandon, Danny Devito, Mary-Louis Parker, Jenna Fischer and Jesse Eisenberg), it’s a little troubling this movie isn’t receiving a wider release, but the trailer is funny and it’s good to see Douglas doing what he does best.

7. Happiness Runs – May 7, 2010 (NY)

This indie film is about a young man who realizes the shortcomings of the utopian ideals on the hippie commune where he was raised. As he tries to escape from the free sex and drugs culture that has corrupted him and others around him, he is torn between tough decisions that could lead to his demise.

Our take: This one looks f**ked up. Hence, we’re intrigued. Sex, drugs, youthful rebellion, hippie communes and some elements of suspense make for a good combination.

6. Sex and the City 2 – May 27, 2010

Luckily, there’s no cheesy tagline. The girls are back, which is surprising given the last movie wrapped up their stories so well and not at all surprising given how much money this female-themed movie made. This time around, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) runs into her old flame Aidan (John Corbett) while on vacation in Dubai with her friends. Uh-oh!

Our take: As a guy, I shouldn’t be recommending this movie, but the HBO shows was really good and the first movie was pretty good, too. This one feels like more of a money grab, but it still has the potential to be entertaining.

5. Casino Jack and the United States of Money – May 7, 2010 (LA/NY)

Interestingly, the film’s official synopsis does not state the name of its focus: Jack Abramoff, once the most powerful lobbyist in Washington, now a convicted felon for bribery and a variety of other crimes that can be linked all the way to the top of the federal government.

Our take: The documentary is from Alex Gibney, the director of such excellent documentaries as Taxi to the Dark Side and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. One can expect nothing less from his latest.

4. Babies – May 7, 2010

Babies are cute. Well, most of them. In Babies, a documentary about babies, we get to see four cute babies (you see, the movie is about babies. BABIES!) from different parts of the globe as they progress through various stages of their early life.

Our take: Who knows if the movie can remain interesting for an hour and a half, but the trailer is slick, adorable and downright entertaining.

3. Micmacs – May 28, 2010 (limited)

In Micmacs, Bazil (Danny Boon), a man whose father was killed by a roadside bomb, is hit by a stray bullet in a freak drive-by shooting incident. When he gets out of the hospital without a job or any money, he falls in with an ex-con who lives in a scrap dump and makes plans to get revenge on those responsible. He somehow winds up in a magical world.

Our take: This imaginative-looking film is directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the creative director who made Amelie. That reminds me… I need to watch Amelie again.

2. Robin Hood – May 14, 2010

Russell Crowe was, in an early incarnation of the film titled Nottingham, was to play the hero the Sheriff of Nottingham (with Christian Bale rumored to play the villainous Robin Hood), but director Ridley Scott decided to go the more traditional route, treating Robin of the Hood as the heroic outlaw everyone knows him as. Well, with a little more grit and war than we’re used to.

Our take: Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott are dynamite together, and the movie effectively looks like a sequel to Gladiator. We’re sold, though we question its box office capabilities.

1. Iron Man 2 – May 7, 2010

Robert Downey Jr. reunites with director Jon Favreau for the sequel to one of the biggest blockbusters ever. Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle and Mickey Rourke join Gwyneth Paltrow as supporting characters in what is promised to be an entertaining, action-packed and at times humorous film.

Our take: It has all the elements that made the first one so good, plus an even better cast. Johansson in a skin-tight outfit seals the deal. We’re seeing this one at midnight.

Summer Movies to Skip in May 2010

While there are some great movies come out in May, there are ones you can just as easily skip. Some may be worth seeing on DVD, but others just look downright bad.

Mother and Child – May 7, 2010 (LA/NY)

Three women’s lives share a common core: they have all been profoundly affected by adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) had a baby at 14, gave her up at birth, and has been haunted ever since by the daughter she never knew. Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) grew up as an adopted child; she’s a bright and ambitious lawyer, but a flinty loner in her personal life. Lucy (Kerry Washington) is just embarking with her husband on the adoption odyssey, looking for a baby to become their own.

Our take: This drama doesn’t look particularly bad, but it doesn’t look particularly good either. If it were being released in December, I might think twice, but given its May release, I can’t expect much.

Just Wright – May 14, 2010

Queen Latifah stars as a sports trainer who falls in love with a professional basketball player (Common) while rehabilitating him from a career-threatening injury. Things are further complicated because her closest friend (Paula Patton) is also pursuing him.

Our take: This romantic drama-comedy looks like your run-of-the-mill film. People who don’t mind generic movies may find Just Wright just right, but we don’t.

Letters to Juliet – May 14, 2010

When a young American (Amanda Seyfried) travels to the city of Verona, home of the star-crossed lover Juliet Capulet of Romeo and Juliet fame, she joins a group of volunteers who respond to letters to Juliet seeking advice about love. After answering one letter dated 1951, she inspires its author (Vanessa Redgrave) to travel to Italy in search of her long-lost love and sets off a chain of events that will bring a love into both their lives unlike anything they ever imagined.

Our take: Amanda Seyfried is a decent actress, but this film looks like a generic romantic drama, sure to have sappy, melodramatic moments. We’ll pass.

MacGruber – May 21, 2010

The latest SNL skit to be adapted to the big screen, MacGruber stars Will Forte as an idiot American hero who is known for his ability to make weapons out of just about anything. A spoof of “MacGyver,” clearly, the movie promises action, laughs and more.

Our take: The film may promise those things, but the trailer implies it won’t deliver. As with other SNL adaptations, MacGruber looks like a one-note comedy that will be flat from start to finish.

Shrek Forever After – May 21, 2010

Everyone’s favorite green ogre who sounds a lot like a Scottish Mike Meyers is back, along with pals Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas. Now royalty and longing for the days when he felt like a “real ogre,” Shrek is duped into signing a pact with the smooth-talking dealmaker, Rumpelstiltskin. Shrek suddenly finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where ogres are hunted, Rumpelstiltskin is king and Shrek and Fiona have never met.

Our take: The premise is a good idea, allowing the filmmakers to get back to what worked with the first two movies, but we can’t get the bad taste of the third one out of our moths – and the sense that Shrek and his bag of jokes are out of date.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – May 28, 2010

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a rogue prince who reluctantly joins forces with a mysterious princess (Gemma Arterton, who can currently be seen as Io in Clash of the Titans) to combat dark forces looking to take advantage of an ancient dagger, which can release the Sands of Time.

Our take: This one could be fun, and I’ll likely go see it, but this one just looks like a stinker. From the over-the-top special effects to the odd casting choices, Prince of Persia could be a real disaster.

George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead – May 28, 2010 (limited)

Immediately following the events of Diary of the Dead, the 6th film in Mr. Romero’s zombie series looks at a world where humans are in the minority and the zombies rule. Zombie carnage ensues – the plot is hardly important.

Our take: Why is George Romero still making movies? Not only have his last few zombie flicks sucked, but they all – including this latest incarnation – look like they were filmed in the 1980’s. No thanks, and this coming from someone who loves zombie movies.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Top 10 Movie Lists
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