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– by Nick Doll

Welcome to Breaking Geek, a weekly column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week, using his expansive knowledge of all things geek!

It’s going to be on hell of a summer!

Full of franchises, sequels, remakes, and more sequels.

But, honestly, that’s my kind of film. The farther removed from my years at film school I become, the less I care about the Oscar picks and the more I care about action, excitement, laughs, and explosions.

Blockbusters, baby!

Now, summer is not the same behemoth it once was, or rather the rest of the year has grown up to catch it since the film industry of my youth. For most my life, the so-called “summer movie season” began the first weekend of May. In 2002, Spider-Man established the weekend as one of the most profitable of the year, and (nearly) every year since, the first weekend of May has rung in the summer with a superhero film. And this summer was to be no exception.

Then Marvel Studios turned the world on its head. Avengers: Infinity War would come out a week earlier, on April 27!

April has had its blockbusters before, including Fast 5 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In fact, every month in 2018 has a film we would have considered a summer or holiday blockbuster back in 2002, with Marvel’s Black Panther out grossing just about every summer and holiday movie ever, back in February. But we cannot call the whole year summer movie season, nor can we split the year between holiday movie season and summer movie season. That being said, for 2018 at least, Marvel has shifted the start of summer again with Avengers: Infinity War, likely to be the biggest film of the year…if it can beat Black Panther.

So, I present the five movies I am most anticipating this “summer,” running April 27 through the end of August. From least excited to most excited; but let’s be honest, if a movie makes my Top 5 Most Anticipated Movies of the Summer, I’m pretty damn excited for it.

Nick Doll’s Top Five Most Anticipated Movies Of The Summer

Honorable Mention: Ant-Man and the Wasp

I wanted to keep this down to five, because I knew I would go on and on about the films I did pick. This film looks adorable and super-creative, and there are a dozen other films I just couldn’t include, like fun comedies that I love, but never really compete with franchises and sequels as far as my excitement level goes. So, Ant-Man gets the short straw (laugh, motherfucker!), just not making the cut, though Marvel as a whole is more than represented.

Let’s try this again…

NICK DOLL’S TOP FIVE MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF THE SUMMER!

5. Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 all the way down at No. 5? What am I smoking, right?

Nothing! I write a majority of Breaking Geek before Friday, thank you very much. And just because I live in Colorado doesn’t mean I’m smoking anything. At the moment.

But here we are, at our first “Marvel” movie on the list.

Deadpool was great — not fantastic, but great — and I eagerly look forward to Josh Brolin’s Cable even more than Josh Brolin’s Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. But … the trailers are beginning to make the franchise look at little “X-Men-y” for me.

I liked it when Deadpool didn’t have a bunch of friends. Yes, I look forward to Rob Liefeld’s creation, the X-Force, but there are a lot of mutants in this film, from the prison sequence to nearly any other sequence. I loved Deadpool, Logan, and enjoyed The Wolverine (Extended Cut, of course) because they limited the mutants. Because Fox drove mutants into the ground.

But that’s mostly a gripe, otherwise the film excites me very much. Ryan Reynolds is fantastic as Deadpool, even in the oddest of marketing for this film and the first. And, as I said earlier, Josh Brolin is killer, as is the most recent trailer.

I safely expect extreme and creative violence (like that gun through Deadpool’s hand shot), dirty jokes and nudity, and superhero action. In this case, I actually hope the superhero action with a larger budget doesn’t interfere with the other two.

This one just worries me slightly more than the others because it is the only second film in a franchise on this list, whereas we’ve seen the ups and downs of every other franchise I get into, making it slightly easier to predict an enjoyable or flawed movie.

4. Solo: A Star Wars Story

Again, I’m not smoking. I think this movie looks better with every trailer.

RELATED: Solo: A Star Wars Story — Should We Be Worried? | Breaking Geek

Honestly, it would be obtuse of me to write an entire section about this film, when I laid out all my thoughts on just last week’s Breaking Geek. Instead, just follow the link for all my Solo: A Star Wars Story  thoughts, good and bad!

To boil it all down, I am excited mostly about everything that makes this film look the least Star Wars of all of them. At film No. 10 in the franchise, I want the new, not the familiar. It’s all a matter of how Solo balances that.

3. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Hey there. Still sober.

If the most recent trailer didn’t convince you, I don’t think I can.

Throw out the first trailer! I didn’t want to see a film about rescuing dinosaurs from a Volcano. But, the fact that this is just an excuse to get 11 species off the island, including the T-Rex and Blue, for nefarious experimentation related to the dinosaur blending in the first Jurassic World, to make the ultimate weapon for the highest bidding nation is an awesome direction to take the franchise. And they actually set it up nicely with the last film!

I’m really, really, really looking forward to the second half of the film with sleazy executives, and “ghost in the house” horror with an Indoraptor hunting our protagonists, recalling the raptors in the kitchen of old. It simply looks the scariest, most creative, and most iconic take on the franchise since 1993, twenty-five years ago. And I couldn’t be more excited!

2. Mission: Impossible – Fallout

This one some people actually hopefully agree about. Based on the quality of the last one in particular, I would hope.

I f**king love the Mission: Impossible franchise. The first film was a brilliant Brian de Palma thriller. (Come, join me on memory lane for a quick jog!)

The second film… well… the second film sucked, but it did push the franchise from tight thriller to spy action film, just as Jurassic Park evolved from a horror/thriller into an adventure franchise (and hopefully back again this summer?). So, not a great step. Also, the stunt was sort of copy the first stunt with no real danger to Tom Cruise? This is supposed to be M:I:II!

M:I:III (Sorry, but that was the title), began JJ Abrams impressive film career and righted the franchise with fantastic action, tension, and a killer villain performance by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. And goddamn I respect that movie because it never even showed us the use of the MacGuffin. It was a “pure” MacGuffin, all it did was drive the story forward. This one did skimp on a grand stunt tough as well, and it really does hurt the film a bit.

The franchise finally got smart with subtitles in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, also getting even smarter in director choice with Brad Bird directing his first live-action film. Expert action pacing, great twists, (mostly) laying off the mask cliché, and a killer stunt made up for the weak villain whose “evil” plot was far more interesting than he was.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is the best film in the franchise since the untouchable original entry (it’s too classic now).  Christopher McQuarrie wrote a fantastic script (having also written Usual Suspects and Edge of Tomorrow) and killed it as a director, with the best stunts from any entry. Yes, that’s stunts with an ‘s’ because every action scene felt like a stunt, and even if you think that is an exaggeration, you have to at least count the underwater stunt alongside the plane.

I’m excited to see what Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise cooked up next, joined by most of the last film’s cast and Henry Cavill’s moustache. (Cavill himself looks like he is involved as well).

1.Avengers: Infinity War

Was there ever any doubt in your mind?

Yes, I’ve seen the memes making fun of Feige calling Avengers: Infinity War (do I even need to say Avengers anymore when referring to the title… ever?) the most ambitious crossover of all time. And I agree! Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of the best films ever, and The Lego Movie and Ready Player One had a beautiful mess of characters. But this is where the action is at.

This is the first film to tie together narratives of eighteen other films in an effort to begin to tell the end of a ten year story. And if you do still consider each characters’ films as their own franchise, instead of the Marvel Cinematic Universe being one big franchise, then it totally is the most ambitious crossover of all time, bringing in important side-characters from each main Avengers world.

Has Thanos got the (Infinity) Stones to destroy our heroes? Who will live or die? How will this film NOT end in a cliff-hanger as the directors have promised? Find out next week! Huzzah!

Final Thought: I expect Infinity War to get smacked around by critics. “It’s too big, it has too many characters, it’s not Black Panther, and superhero fatigue has finally set in,” I see them saying. But this movie was made for me. If you are reading this, it was made for you too. I look forward to every damn confusing connection to all these films I’ve seen countless times. I expect this to blow my socks off like the first Avengers, whether critics recognize this achievement in Geek Culture or not.


Now, I want to hear from YOU! Agree with my opinions? Think I’m wrong about everything? Let me know! Let’s get some fun discussions and arguments going in the comment section below.

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