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Summer is the time for tent poles and Hollywood cash grabs. These are the months students try to forget about their studies and those working 9 to 5 take a few days off to enjoy some downtime — which often includes grabbing a movie or two.
As a result, summer is when studios release films with easily recognized titles and make announcements for similar projects.
So if you're getting antsy for news about films with substance, original story lines and performances that complete you, hold on for a month or two. But until then, celebrate the wonder of summer spectacles and follow-up chapters to your favorite protagonists. The time for Oscar-bait is coming, but until then, let's talk about explosions and superheros.
The 2008 Liam Neeson film, "Taken," was a surprise hit here in the United States. In it, director Pierre Morel and writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen introduced retired CIA agent Bryan Mills to the world. Mills, a man with a particular set of skills, was forced to frantically race across Europe in an effort to rescue his daughter, Kim, from a dangerous group of Albanian kidnappers.
If you've seen the first film, you know things didn't end well for the kidnappers. So, now in the sequel, developed and produced by the same creative team, the story follows one of the kidnappers' fathers who vows revenge on the man who killed his kidnapping son.
Flipping the original film, Mills and his wife are now kidnapped, and it's up to daughter Kim to get Bryan the materials he needs so that once again he can unleash his skill set on villains audiences will thoroughly enjoy watching as they get what's coming to them.
20th Century Fox has released an international trailer for the much anticipated follow-up, which after viewing, will leave you wondering, why was anyone dumb enough to aggravate this guy for a second time?
You did too ask for it.
Apparently, Sony, easily the least exciting studio pushing out animation today, tapped director Genndy Tartakovsky, director of the upcoming "Hotel Transylvania," to bring the spinach-eating sailor to the big screen in, of course, 3D.
Variety reported the news while also noting that Tartakovsky is attached to a full-length version of Cartoon Network's "Samurai Jack," though it didn't make clear which project would be moving forward first.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on a roll lately. Shortly after the sure-to-be-successful "The Dark Knight Rises," Gordon-Levitt will be seen in a movie that looks every bit as intriguing as the marketing for 2010's, "Inception" — a film he also starred in.
If you haven't seen the domestic trailer for "Looper" at Yahoo! Movies, definitely grab yourself a soda, juice or sparkling water, push your work off your desk for a minute, and give it a look.
The thriller, which revolves around a man assigned the task of murdering his future self, has people genuinely excited for the post-summer movie season. And, if the film is half as good as the trailer, it may make people forget once and for all that Gordon-Levitt is actually that kid from "3rd Rock from the Sun."
"Guardians of the Galaxy," "Ant-Man" and "Captain America 2"
With Marvel and Disney announcing new projects almost daily, it's becoming increasingly difficult to decide which, if any, are worth following up on. Their announcements may slow after Comic-Con 2014, but until then, stories about the "Human Fly" and "Big Hero 6" are going on hold. For this week's article, we'll stick with "The Avengers" related news.
If you're a Marvel fan and you haven't heard of "Guardians of the Galaxy," you may want to start doing some research as they're rumored to be the next big Marvel film in 2014, and a major tie-in for the upcoming "The Avengers 2."
Latino-Review broke the story and also did a fairly decent job of explaining who on earth the Guardians of the Galaxy are. Here's what Da7e of Latino-Review had to say on the issue:
"The Marvel comics universe is called 616. Long story, just accept it. The Guardians of the Galaxy are a team of superheroes from the future of Universe 691. There, an evil alien race called the Badoom is trying to take over the universe. And then the Badoom create the Korvac, and … don’t worry, we have until 2014 to slowly educate ourselves on Guardians of the Galaxy.
"The important thing is, at some point, the Guardians get all time-hoppy and jet back to the 20th century (yes, 20th. Probably the 21st in the movie universe) to meet with the Avengers and fight some aliens."
Which Avengers you ask? Well, seeing as you already know the core team, and you've probably already heard that next year will include the release of "Thor 2" and "Iron Man 3," and 2014 is bringing us "Captain America 2," the superhero you're probably wondering about is "Ant-Man."
No? Well, some fans are. The Avengers teammate that has the ability to shrink himself and others to the size of an ant while donning a cybernetic helmet that allows him to telepathically communicate with insects has been looking for his own movie for several years now.
Well, "The Hollywood Reporter" recently announced that director Edgar Wright of "Scott Pilgirm vs. the World" fame has created a test reel to pitch to Marvel. No word on whether the studio has given the footage a thumbs-up or down, but people are really interested in giving Ant-Man a film, with the underlying motive of eventually teaming him up with Stark, Thor and Captain America.
Odds and ends
In some last minute news, "Frankenweenie" has a new trailer and has been announced to open Fantastic Fest; "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D" also has a trailer that reveals an interesting look at how they've turned the popular Vegas show into a film; Alex Kurtzman will be reinventing "Van Helsing;" Chloe Moretz has been seen in costume for the "Carrie" remake; Batman and Superman will join forces in a new Lego film; and finally, for those of you who simply can't wait to see Tom Cruise as "Jack Reacher," a Russian trailer is online for now. It may not be however, by the time you click the link.
You can contact Travis Poppleton at TSPoppleton@gmail.com.