Today wraps Vulture’s week of summer movie madness: We’ve told you which of the season’s films we want to F, Marry, or Kill; explored the history of the prequel; investigated the ways in which superheroes protect their junk; and forced good people who never did anything to anybody to watch the American Pie franchise in its entirety. But now, before you are let loose to the ticket counter to pick and choose your movies for the next three months, we decided to pass on one more post of advice: We asked nine actors and filmmakers to tell us which movies they’re dying to see, which they’re running from, and which they just don’t understand. Grab some popcorn: Here’s what our opinionated star panel had to say …
Paul Scheer (Human Giant, Adult Swim’s upcoming NTSF:SD:SUV)
Summer movies are all about things blowing up and you going, “Yeah!” I don’t want to see The King’s Speech in the middle of summer. I want to watch Will Smith punch an alien in the face and say, “Go back to Uranus,” and then everyone laughs. Beautiful Boy? Save that shit for October, save it for Academy Awards time. I don’t want to see Michael Sheen crying or anyone crying. Save your Oscar bait for later on. Unless Michael Sheen blows up that beautiful boy, or that beautiful boy is an alien, or Maria Bello is a terminator from the future sent to kill Michael Sheen, I do not want to see it. The heaviest I could probably go is Harry Potter. I have a love-hate relationship with Transformers. That is a movie franchise that I feel like a battered wife for: I didn’t like the first Transformers, but then I got myself so psyched up for the second one. Like, Oh, but the second one is gonna be good. They’ve learned their lesson. And that one, that was really bad. That was, like, upsettingly bad. That made me never want to see movies again. It was, like, longer than Gone With the Wind. And yet again, I’m psyched to see Transformers 3. I’m like, Now it’s going to be good! And I believe it when the actors say it. Shia LaBeouf is like, “Nah, nah, this one’s gonna be good.” And I’m like, Yeah, Shia, I believe you! The trailer for Horrible Bosses looks super funny, but we’re supposed to believe that Jennifer Aniston wanting to have sex with you is a bad thing? It’s like, “Oh, my boss wants to have sex with me.” Oh no, not your super-hot boss Jennifer Aniston! Rise of Planet of the Apes: I don’t know about this movie. This is a movie where I feel like it’s going to be all setup for the next movie. I want to see the apes running around beating people up. This one just seems like the apes are getting smart. It’s like, getting smart? I want to see them be smart.
Diablo Cody (Juno, United States of Tara)
I’m not normally a summer movie person. I usually look forward to my pretentious December movies. Obviously our culture has become kind of Hasbro-ized, so a lot of summer movies feel like extended commercials to me, or like the studio is deliberately trying to create a franchise. And I don’t like to feel manipulated. But I do think I’m going to get out there, enjoy some movies this year. I am excited about Bad Teacher. It looks like Bad Santa in a school. I think it’s an interesting turn for Cameron Diaz. I think she’s funny, and I think there’s going to be, like, interesting fucked-up chemistry between her and Timberlake because they used to do it. And not to put my ever-present feminist hat on, but I feel like it’s cool to see a woman playing a dark, irredeemable character. I heard that in the movie she’s trying to get a boob job. That’s, like, her hero’s journey. That’s awesome. I think Horrible Bosses is gonna be my jam. I’ll really go see anything Jason Bateman does. Because of Juno, and also because of The Hogan Family — let’s credit the right projects here. I thought the trailer looked funny. I saw Jennifer Aniston with a banana. And the mystery of her midsection will finally be revealed to all. I’m boycotting Transformers 3 because it’s Megan-free. I have to. I’m a huge Megan Fox loyalist. I adore her, and I loved her chemistry with Shia. No offense to, uh, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, she looks like a lovely girl — but I feel like Megan brought a special sparkle to that series. I mean, it’s pretty unprecedented for an actress to talk shit about a director like that, so I can kind of see why Michael Bay got pissed off. It’s his prerogative. But Megan will be missed.
Rob Corddry (Children’s Hospital)
I’m mostly looking forward to this summer’s comedies: The Hangover Part II, Bad Teacher, Horrible Bosses. I’m really looking forward to 30 Minutes or Less because I love everyone in it, but I have no idea what it’s about. I may even close my eyes and block my ears during the trailer so I’m surprised. And you can bet I’ll be yelling “LALALALALALALALALA!” at the top of my voice. I’m not going to see Transformers 3. Looks a little too “LaBeoufy” for me. But I’m oddly fascinated by Cars 2. Cars was easily the worst of all the Pixar movies, meaning that it was only near-perfect.
Beth Littleford (Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Hard Times of RJ Berger)
I decided I wasn’t going to see any remakes, sequels, or movies about toys. So that leaves me with the movie about the family of the kid who shot up his college campus and then killed himself [Beautiful Boy]. It’s gonna be a fun summer. Friends With Benefits looks sexy and fun. They had me at Mila Kunis’s screaming orgasm (and Justin Timberlake’s singing along to “Jump” by Kriss Kross). I’m not counting FWB as a remake, even though the same movie came out six months ago with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. As for The Hangover Part II, I’m still hung-over from the guys yanking out their teeth with pliers and getting ass-raped in the first movie. Wait, did they get ass-raped? Or did I just think that, by the end, their characters deserved to get ass-raped? (Too harsh?) Lots of guy movies: Horrible Bosses … five guys and then one Jennifer Aniston, stunt-cast as a dentist who sexually harasses an employee … eh. By the way, girls have summer, too. Who do we have to collectively blow to get a summer movie about women? Maybe I’ll just see Bridesmaids a couple more times and call it a day. There’s also Crazy, Stupid, Love, which I’m in and saw a screening of and loved. But maybe you should talk about it ‘cause it would look cheesy if I do.
Rich Sommer (Mad Men)
My wife and I are very excited for Super 8. Not to compare everything that ever happens again to Lost, but we were Lost fans and I’m just looking for something fun and supernatural to fill that little void, even for a few hours. She’s also excited for Harry Potter, which I really have no sort of affinity for. I rented the first one once, and went on dates with her to a couple of the other ones in the theater and slept through them. I’m sure I would like it if I got into it, I just haven’t gotten there. But I feel like I’m not as educated as I need to be. It’s like research that you should be doing. I saw a segment on CBS on Cowboys and Aliens, about the merging of these two iconic genres, Western and sci-fi, which normally I would be like, Boo. It seems like such a cheesy idea. But then they showed some clips for it and it looks pretty awesome. Seeing a UFO crash in the middle of a one-horse town is kind of awesome. And, look, Harrison Ford did agree to do Indiana Jones 4, which is unfortunate — but besides that, he tends to make pretty good decisions. So I’m going to trust him and assume that Indy 4 was just a misstep. The Hangover Part II: I am salivating for this.
Miranda July (The Future)
I never thought of summer movies as a dumping ground, but now reading about it — because my movie [The Future] is coming out in the summer — it’s like, Oh! Apparently, summer films are supposed to be bad. But certainly not all summer movies are lightweight. Obviously I want to see Tree of Life. I don’t think I’m, like, a diehard Terrence Malick fan, but my production designer worked on it, so I remember hearing stories of it from way back. Hearing these stories for these last few years, you’re like, We both finally finished it! And you kind of always remember the movies that came out the same year as yours, like you’re in the same class. I want to see that movie Another Earth. I kind of like the sci-fi aspect. You get curious when you hear about it. I have this idea in my head of what it would be like if there were two Earths.
Craig Mazin (co-writer, The Hangover Part II)
I’m a big Harry Potter fan. Every time a new book came out, I had a little ritual where it would show up from Amazon at seven-thirty in the morning on Saturday and I would say, “Today’s Harry Potter Day!” Even the ones that got to be 800 pages I read in a day. I don’t understand the Transformer movies. They are a spectacle, for sure; they are impressive. But somewhere toward the third act of the first one, when they were running away from the secret military base, toward a populated city to have the final battle, I just went, I don’t get any of this, I’m so confused, I don’t know why any of this is happening.
Michael Ian Black (The State, Stella, Backwash)
I avoid summer movies the way I avoid anthrax. I quarantine areas. I hate summer movies. They’re terrible. Summer movies are terrible, as a rule, they are terrible. I’m not seeing any of those movies. My kids want to see Pirates of the Caribbean. The Hangover was really funny, so The Hangover Part II, maybe. Definitely won’t see Green Lantern. I do want to see Cowboys and Aliens. Maybe Crazy, Stupid, Love, but I don’t like the title. It’s an indie Hitch. My family is not going to see Harry Potter, but for a very different reason: We’re reading the books with the kids in order, and we’re seeing the movies after we read the books. We’ve just finished four [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire] and it’ll be years before we finish the series. We read them out loud, at bedtime.
Heather McDonald (Chelsea Lately)
I definitely want to see Horrible Bosses. I love Jennifer Aniston; she does not irritate me in movies at all. I thought Derailed was so good. I love juicy shit like that. My favorite genre is infidelity. I think the whole Schwarzenegger thing might hurt Conan; I think everyone is so disgusted with him. What he did is the worst. This woman was in Maria Shriver’s house for twenty years, taking care of her kids. Getting paid. You know, I once had a maid steal a $100 gift card from me from Target, and I was devastated. But I don’t really remember the original Conan anyway … I’ve just never been into those action-type movies. And nothing with space or space shuttles. Friends With Benefits also annoys me. I think this whole genre of “women just want to bone and they don’t want a boyfriend” is just stupid and unrealistic and I’m done with it. Like, I didn’t believe it when Kim Cattrall said it; I don’t believe it when Natalie Portman or this other chick says it.
Jordan Strauss/Getty Images for Bud Light (Sheer), Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images (Cody), Jason Merritt/Getty Images (Corddry), Angela Weiss/Getty Images (Littleford), Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images (Sommer), Sean Gallup/Getty Images (July), Jason Merritt/Getty Images (Mazin), Jason LaVeris/WireImage (Black), Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images (MacDonald)