Get the Picture

The ONLY film I am thinking about this summer is The Great Gatsby. Not only is it based on arguably one of the greatest books in history but it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. There also already exists a good predecessor in Jack Clayton’s 1974 film starring Robert Redford. This film has a lot to live up to. But I will leave it to the end. First, some other blockbusters…

It’s a summer of sequels apparently:

Kicking off with Iron Man 3, Star Trek 2 and Wolverine 2, you might also think it is the summer of sci-fi. But who didn’t enjoy the first of any of these three films? At least for Hugh Jackman, Robert Downey Jr., or the really attractive one in Star Trek? I openly admit that Hugh Jackman can do no wrong in my eyes. But actually, after the last Wolverine film, who can really be bothered…? The return of the Star Trek franchise was a massive success about four years ago… unfortunately information about this one is difficult to weed out. But I can tell you it has Benedict Cumberbatch (who played our beloved new incarnation of Sherlock on BBC). Iron Man 3 might be a risk if you are basing your decision on the last two; it is a different director this time round. Shane Black (of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang notoriety) is in charge, and Stark seems to be fighting someone called ‘Mandarin’. As someone unfamiliar with the comics, I cannot tell you whether this is a global terrorist, super villain or some kind of menacing orange…

(3rd May, 17th May & 26th June respectively)

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!! According to at least five big films this summer:

Oblivion, on the whole, looks like the usual: the human race (what’s left of it) is in danger, an implausibly good looking woman is in love with Tom Cruise, and Morgan Freeman must reveal some concealed truth about existence. On the other hand, it has the outstanding Andrea Riseborough in it. Only Keira Knightley has ever managed to make one of Andrea’s films unbearable before, although I bet Cruise does his best. After Earth similarly looks to have the generic plot base, only Will Smith has to work a bit harder since ‘everything on this planet has evolved to kill humans’… The Apocolypse stars Seth Rogan. That’s probably all you need to know. World War Z has been labelled ‘unfilmable’… and has Brad Pitt with his ridiculous long hair. I still haven’t forgiven him for that Chanel perfume ad, ‘inevitable…’. Plonker.

(26th April, 7th June, unknown, 21st June)

For the child in you:

Leafmen. I’m guessing something like Ants crossed with A Bug’s Life crossed with James and the Giant Peach… does that make me lacking in imagination? There’s also the much awaited Monsters University, it’s Mike and Sully… I bet you right now that you’ll laugh. Jurassic Park 3D we all remember the film fondly. It’s the same. Smurfs in film just look wrong to me, maybe I’m alone in that. But The Smurfs 2 is here regardless. Despicable Me 2 and Turbo too.

(Turbo – 19th July, The Smurfs – 31st July)

Yet more sci-fi:

RIPD, I have no clue; Robopocolypse, I know, I laughed too, but it’s Spielberg so maybe give it a go; Pacific Rim, again I have no clue; Robocop, (see previous). But Christopher Nolan’s film about Superman, Man of Steel, promises to be the best we’ve seen in a long while.

(28th June, 3rd July, 12th July, 9th August, and 14th June)

Almost finally:

Is a prequel to 300 really going to be worth it? Probably not. The Hangover is back, again… I know I can’t stop you, so go for it. All the old codgers have teamed up in Red 2 (2nd August). Grown Ups 2; YET ANOTHER SEQUEL, I’m running out of steam to say the same thing – go if you enjoyed the first one, but expect disappointment. Oh, I almost forgot, there is a Fast & Furious 6. SIX, guys, think about it. And thankfully the only big rom-com to annoy us this summer is Dirty Dancing… again.

Now, if you haven’t read Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, you should. It is excellent, and won’t take an afternoon – providing you are literate, but since you’re reading this I’m taking that as given. But for now: Nick Carraway moves to Long Island in 1922. He becomes embroiled in affairs of the past between his ostentatious neighbour, Jay Gatsby and his cousin, Daisy Buchanan; and things get tricky. However, all the 1920s splendour will no doubt suit director, Baz Luhrman, down to the ground. His other (good) films include Romeo + Juliet, also starring Leo; and Moulin Rouge. Although you can probably expect more from The Great Gatsby than the latter, if it made you want to scratch out your eyes and throw them at Nicole Kidman, don’t go see his new film… $125million has been spent on this lavish production, and it’s soundtrack has been playing everywhere already so anticipate Luhrman to indulge every Gatsby-esque whim in him. (Friday May 17th)

Check out listings at the New Picture House Cinema here.


Images compiled by Lori Anderson.