Summer of the Unexpected.

It’s been about a month and a half or so since the summer movie season has officially kicked off (with Iron Man), and it’s been a weird summer experience thus far. Movies that were expected to be bad or mediocre at best turned out to be good or the best, while movies that were expected to be good or the best have turned out not so great. And I’m not just talking about box office revenue or critic appraisal or denouncement, but average reception.

For instance, Iron Man didn’t have a whole lot of hype around it before it was released, and it turned out to be the biggest and best movie of the summer so far. Similarly, Speed Racer, while it was a flop at the box office and had a bad reception from professional critics, was mostly loved by the people who actually decided to go see it. On the other side of the spectrum, Narnia: Prince Caspian and Indiana Jones 4 were two sequels that were widely anticipated, and both turned out to be relatively average at best (the latter moreso hated than loved). More recently, Kung Fu Panda was a hit, Zohan was average, The Strangers wasn't scary, and The Happening—which had so much potential—is widely loathed. And now The Incredible Hulk, which had received flak simply because of the 2003 version and was all but ignored by bloggers everywhere, turned out to be just as good as if not better than (but at least compared to the success of) Iron Man.

So what does this say for the rest of summer? Is this a foreshadowing of events that means the movies that look great won’t be, or the movies that look awful will be great? If this is the case, then that means the following:

(Edit: Because more than one person has seemed to not get the joke of this post... the following list is actually the OPPOSITE of what my current feelings are for the movies... because, as mentioned before this point, every other movie has done opposite of what I have expected... so without further ado:)

-Get Smart won’t be funny at all.

-The Love Guru will be the next Austin Powers (oh wait...)

-Wall*E will bore kids and will be terrible.

-Wanted will be boring.

-Hancock will be truly disliked.

-Hellboy II will be one of Guillermo Del Toro’s worst movies.

-The Dark Knight will be like Spider-Man 3 (a lot of money, but widely disliked).

-Step Brothers will actually be funny.

-The X-Files is actually going to have an audience.

-The Mummy 3 will be the best in the series.

-Pineapple Express will be the worst Judd Apatow movie.

-Star Wars: The Clone Wars is going to set Box Office records.

-Tropic Thunder will flop, regardless of Robert Downey Jr.’s recent Iron Man success.

I mean, I’m hoping this is all false, because I’m looking forward to at least half of these films. But the way summer has been panning out recently, regardless of the money paid or the professional critic hatred, movies have been seemingly the opposite of what has been anticipated. So what are your thoughts? Leave me a comment or two, let’s have a discussion!


  1. Speed Racer was an unmitigated flop. If people who saw it did like it, the box office thinks they kept it to themselves.

    I think the only movies that will live up to their hype will be TDK, Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder. Everything else is just kind of filler.

  2. Mike: Go check out some blog reviews for Speed Racer. Or even some comments on imdb. And while at imdb, look at the rating for Speed Racer (at this point it's at 6.6). I can almost assure you that the majority of comments you read are highly positive. The issue Speed Racer had was that people were turned off by the Eberts of the world, and then word of mouth didn't help any. Then again, Ebert also loved the Ang Lee Hulk and hated the new, much better version. But the people who went to see it, as far as I've read, have loved it overall.

    As for your other comments... I also believe that, if anything, The Dark Knight will live up to its hype. And most likely Pineapple Express, as well. I'm not sure about Tropic Thunder, but here's to hoping it will.

  3. My hope's for greatness: Get Smart, Hellboy II, The Dark Knight and Stepbrothers. Hopefully, Tropic Thunder will be good but if so, it will be due mostly to RDJ.

    I get really bad vibes off Wall-E, Wanted and especially Hancock. Maybe they do this every year, but I have never seen so much hype for a July 4th film as I have for Hancock. The new cut of the trailer (all action no story) begs come see me! I thought Summer + Will Smith = megabucks?

  4. Interesting - playing the opposite expectation game. I think you'll end up about 50% accurate here, actually.

    Hellboy II could stink, for sure.
    I could see Hancock going either way.
    I already think Wanted looks awful (I know you disagree).
    I'm worried about by Pineapple.

    Who knows?

  5. I don't get all the hate against Step Brothers. I think it looks hilarious. Then again I thought Arrested Development was hilarious and 99% of the world didn't get it.

    Same goes for Get Smart, but I will never understand the world. I'm so alone...

  6. Jason!! Yes! Arrested Development is one of the, if not the best sitcom ever. We watched all three seasons not too long ago (after catching only a few when it originally ran) and we're both ready to re-watch. Goddamn that show's great.

    Step Brothers looks ok to me; not great, but who knows. They have a ton of talent, and the supporting cast looks strong...

  7. Arrested Development Rules! I agree Jason, StepBrothers and Get Smart look and should be hilarious. I am trying to keep my twitterpating heart calm so my expectations don't run too high for either.

    Glad I'm not the only one squirming after the Wanted trailers Fletch.

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  9. Alright, although I agree with about 90% of your predictions, I personally think a few on the list might actually be good.

    First of all, as much as Pixar has totally crapped children's movies with their god-awful dialogue and casting; Wall*E actually looks like a welcome change in all these smart-assery animations. Seriously, I'm actually gonna cough up money for a ticket. What the hell.

    Tropic Thunder... Ben Stiller should never have been allowed anywhere near a movie set or a camera of ANY kind; I've felt the Robert Downey Jr. tractor beam pull me in. What the hell; this might actually make up for some past Stiller follies... ok, at least The Heartbreak Kid... god I hope so.

    Oh and Dark Knight; c'mon Heath Ledger is going to carry that film single-handedly (posthumously of course) with his acting chops... Joker isn't an easy character... he isn't any easy anything... Everyone else there just puts me to sleep.

    I'm so depressed by what they are doing to Maxwell Smart. One of my all-time favorite characters. Does anyone notice Steve Carrell plays the same character in EVERY film?

    R.I.P Maxwell Smart

    Love your blog

  10. Mavin: While I thank you for your comments and graciously appreciate your liking my blog... I have to go on record by saying I think you missed the point of the post :P .

    The 'predictions' are actually the OPPOSITE of what I feel (which was the joke of the post). Personally, I'm super-psyched for both Wall*E and The Dark Knight and think both will be awesome.

    So if this is the case, then you actually only agree with about 10% of my actual predictions :P .

  11. Lol, aww, did I miss the joke? Ooops

    Oh well, you are the ying to my yang.

    A formidable opponent.

    Still love the blog.

  12. i saw pineapple express in a screening about three weeks ago - with a q/a session with james franco and seth rogen afterwards . i wouldn't say it was the worst, but it was better than knocked up, and pretty much on par with superbad.

    it was hilarious because it was ridiculous.


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