Ah, the month of May: not only is it a fricking great track from Arcade Fire’s third album ‘The Suburbs’ but it’s also the month we seem to be sitting beside, occasionally glancing over it’s shoulder to see what he’s reading like the nosy sods we are. Turns out it’s a hastily scrawled list of soon-to-be-released films entitled “Dear God It’s Almost Blockbuster Season”. Surely there’s no need for such panic? Surely film releases these days have dissolved the idea of a “Blockbuster Season”? Surely May can’t be serious? [insert ‘Airplane!’ quote] Well let’s find out for ourselves, shall we?
Blue Ruin – 2nd May
May opens with a kick to the face using an indie flick that’s been taking film festivals by storm for the past year and a bit. ‘Blue Ruin’ follows a peculiar man, Dwight, (Macon Blair) seeking vengeance against the recently-released criminal who wronged his family. As it turns out his quest is hampered by his naivety in the realm of revenge, but not in the ways you’d expect. I can’t really say more about ‘Blue Ruin’ as it’s made by a collective of mostly low-profilers, but I can point admiringly at it’s cracking trailer and insinuate it’s greatness. Hint hint. Insinuate insinuate.
The Wind Rises – 9th May
Ladies and gents, it’s the end of an era. ‘The Wind Rises’ marks Hayao Miyazaki’s departure from leading Studio Ghibli’s innovative and frankly astonishing gamut of animated exploration. The man who brought us ‘My Neighbour Totoro’, ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘Ponyo’ bids his farewell with a film all about the creation of the Zero, the Japanese World War 2 fighter plane… Hmm… By all reports this film leans more towards Ghibli’s more serious, personal outings such as ‘Whisper of the Heart’ and ‘Only Yesterday’, but you can still expect gorgeous animation, dreamlike piano-led scores and a whole lot of adorable. That’s right, if anyone can make the Zero adorable, it’s Studio Ghibli.
Frank – 9th May
‘Frank’ is the posthumous not-a-biopic of Chris Sievey’s 80s musical alter-ego Frank Sidebottom: the lone ranger of the British music scene with a lot more mask. ‘Frank’ pairs Domnhall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal up with the enigmatic Man In The Paper-Mache Mask (who’s Michael Fassbender, by the by) in a ridiculous tale of grabbing at fame the only ridiculous way that musicians who wear ridiculous masks know how: ridiculously. Even if you’re unsure of the who/what/why of Frank Sidebottom, if you’re down for a silly little film about musicians and paper-mache you’ll be in for a treat.
Godzilla – 15th May
You know a studio likes your work when they’re willing to give you a budget 200 times bigger than your first film to do your next one. When that happens it’s only natural to keep with the theme of ‘big’ and make a film with the world’s biggest stars dealing with the biggest iteration of cinema’s biggest beast. Bryan Cranston’s beleaguered scientist and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s token-soldier-guy-slash-Bryan-Cranston’s-son lead a cast of tiny terrified people against 350 feet of scaly atomic monstrosity in Gareth Edward’s second (SECOND!) directorial outing following 2010s ‘Monsters’.
X-Men: Days of Future Past – 22nd May
Oh lordy-lord how we’ve been waiting for this one. I say ‘we’, I mean X-Men fans. So, y’know, people like me. ‘Days of Future Past’ is one of the greatest X-Men stories that involves the end of the world, an army of mutant-hunting robots, time-travel, two Professor Xs, two Magnetos and a whole lot of 1970s schtick. The fact this tale is being helmed by self-confessed ‘director of the two good X-Men movies’ Bryan Singer and brings Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry with the younger X-People from ‘First Class’ means this is going to cause a serious amount of geek overload when it opens. Like, a lot.
Maleficent – 28th May
You remember way, way back in the distant annals of time when Tim Burton floated the idea to Disney about making a film all about the spooky green sorceress made of cheekbones from Sleeping Beauty, the nominal Maleficent? Well I do, and apparently somebody with some clout over at Disney did too. This reworking sees Angelina Jolie taking the reigns of the title character (significantly less green than we remember) and aim to make the mistress of dark magic a more sympathetic character. That said she does plot to kill a child after not being invited to her christening. You’ve got your work cut out for you, Ange,
A Million Ways to Die In The West – 30th May
Seth MacFarlane, not content with making a hundred animated shows all at once and providing the voices for 50% of the characters, decided not too long ago to make a film about a foul-mouthed teddy bear and it’s dopey Mark Wahlberg sidekick. I was pleasantly surprised. This year sees him return to moviedom with a story all about cowboys, the frontier, Liam Neeson and a whole lot of people getting killed. I don’t know what to make of it just yet but Neil Patrick Harris has a comic moustache in it. I hope that’s not one of the jokes.
Edge Of Tomorrow – 30th May
Tom Cruise running. If we’ve ever had a better indicator of Blockbuster Season starting, it’s of a diminutive Scientologist pumping his crazy little legs either to or from something exploding. Edge of Tomorrow seems fit to burst with explosions as it sees Cruise and Emily Blunt clad in bulky power armour fighting against an alien threat. However, Cruise’s inexperienced soldier keeps on getting killed and having to go through a ‘Groundhog Day’-esque routine until he can save himself and win the war. Also probably learn something about what it is to be alive. Themes!
Also, FYI here’s that Arcade Fire song: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYxsucvJPRM