By Kristen Lopez | The Playlist May 1, 2014 at 1:05PM
The rising temperatures signify one thing: Summer Blockbuster Season! The summer movie season used to start on 4th of July weekend, but as our box office format changes, the blockbusters have started peeping out earlier and earlier with our first summer-time comic book movie coming to us the first week of May. As always, I’ll list the ten movies you should make time for this month!
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
Synopsis: The continued adventures of Spider-Man, aka Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), see him battling various villains including Electro (Jamie Foxx) and ingraining himself deeper into the world of Oscorp after meeting the founder’s son, Harry (Dane DeHaan).
What You Need to Know: The Spider-Man franchise has seen its share of hits and misses, starting with the original trilogy back in 2002. Marc Webb’s 2012 reboot, “The Amazing Spider-Man," returned Peter Parker to the world of mild-mannered high-schooler coping with great power which brings… well, you know the line. The reboot eventually grossed over $700 million worldwide after a soft start in North America and mixed critical reception. During filming last summer, the movie received a bit of controversy over Shailene Woodley’s casting as Mary-Jane Watson. Court of public opinion online questioned whether Woodley was “hot” enough to play the red-headed love of Parker’s life, and there were additional questions after it was announced Woodley was cut from the finished film. Whether or not she reappears remains to be seen, but the third movie already has a release date. The trailers are hyping the sheer amount of villains in this feature, conjuring up images of the failed “Spider-Man 3,” and from Oliver Lyttelton’s review of “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the comparison is apropos. “We left thinking that, if [the franchise] continues on this downward curve, we’d avoid future Spider-Man films like the plague.” Only time will tell if this is the summer’s big disappointment, but there’s a virulent fanbase for Spidey, so regardless of bad reviews they’ll be out to sling through the air with Peter Parker.
Release Date: May 2nd
Synopsis: Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) is an isolated young man struggling to stand out to his family and crush. A new employee in his office, James, is a perfect physical double for Simon, only James has the personality Simon craves. This become irksome when James starts taking over Simon’s life.
What You Need to Know: There’s an added level of irony in discussing director Richard Ayoade’s “The Double” considering last month saw another movie about doubles, the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller “Enemy.” Ayoade is better known as an actor, especially in the BBC comedy “The IT Crowd,” but he’s carved out a niche as a stellar director after his debut, 2010’s “Submarine.” The first trailer for “The Double” is all about mood, as evidenced by the emphasis on lights and music as opposed to dialogue. The cast is comprised of indie darlings including the aforementioned Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) and Mia Wasikowska (“Jane Eyre”). Our own Kevin Jagernauth was thrilled by “The Double” when he reviewed it back at TIFF last year. His “A-” review praises Ayoade’s “voice and vision.” If you’re looking for something “totally bonkers, hilarious, and wickedly clever,” here’s a movie for you.
Release Date: May 9th in limited release.
Synopsis: A suburban couple (Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne) get more than they bargained for when a fraternity moves in next door.
What You Need to Know: Nicholas Stoller is a director with a penchant for comedy. The two movies he penned with actor Jason Segel, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Get Him to the Greek” turned in to quotable hits (their third collaboration, “The Five-Year Engagement,” not so much). Stoller turned to Seth Rogen (“This is the End”) for his next feature, “Neighbors,” centering around a raunchy war between the routine world of suburbia and the chaos of college. Drew Taylor adored the movie at SXSW, giving it an “A-.” “Away from the slightly pat comedies that he has made in the past, Stoller shines.” The movie should pull in Rogen fans although Zac Efron is a bit of a wildcard at this point. His personal issues notwithstanding, his last feature, “That Awkward Moment” failed to ignite audiences’ passions a few months back. If anything, pairing up with Rogen for this comedy, playing a frat boy no less, should restore faith in him.
Release Date: May 9th