Toon Talk: Summer Nights
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by Kirby C. Holt
A Toon Talk Special Look at This Year's Summer Movies
Since Jaws and Star Wars and the dawn of the “Summer Movie” just over thirty years ago, film studios know that when the sun is high and the kids are out of school, all they want is something to do; if they are entertained in the process, all the better. And what better way to have fun then to sit in an air conditioned theater and watch the latest blockbuster with all your friends. Which explains the steady stream of superheroes, sequels and superhero sequels that strike when the summer season surfaces, see? Si.
Over the years, summer movies have become louder and bigger (though not necessarily better), and 2008 is no different. And whereas last year was the “year of the threequel” (Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), then this year is surely the year of the superhero.
Kicking the season off May 2 (yes, summer movie season starts a full month and a half prior to actual summer) is Iron Man, the first film produced by Marvel Comics very own new movie studio. Robert Downey Jr., starring as billionaire playboy Tony Stark (think an angst-free Bruce Wayne), who dons a high tech super suit to fight the big bad, may not be one’s first idea of someone who, well, dons a high tech super suit to fight the big bad. However, his presence should elevate the material as a whole; think Johnny Depp in a certain sea fairing trilogy. Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow (as Stark’s love interest, Pepper Potts … seriously) also star.
Although the armor-plated Iron Man lacks the pop culture punch of a certain wall-crawler, hopes are high for this one due to a high-energy trailer and a better-then-average cast, led by actor (Swingers) turned director (Elf) Jon Favreau.
Another Academy Award nominated actor you wouldn’t expect in a comic book movie is Edward Norton, who not only stars in but co-wrote The Incredible Hulk (June 13). Marvel’s second attempt at a hit this year is also the second attempt to bring the big green guy to the big screen, after Ang Lee’s cerebral attempt just five years ago.