Weekend Movies: Summertime, and the Livin’ Is Easy

With hundreds of millions of dollars already in the bank after playing for one week in international markets, the biggest movie of the year is finally here.

I think I could go this whole post without writing the name of this week’s only big release and you wouldn’t skip a beat. Everyone knows what’s hitting the 3D silver screens today, but I’ll say it anyway. ‘Iron Man 3‘, the character’s first post-‘Avengers‘ follow-up, is no longer helmed by Jon Favreau. Instead, Shane Black is the man in charge, and he’s brought his usual elements with him. The movie is set during Christmas time and Tony Stark always has a sidekick. Imagine ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang‘ with loads of visual effects. After the terrorist group behind Stark’s cave kidnapping (the Ten Rings) plan an attack that’s too close to home, Stark heads off on a buddy-movie mission to bring down its Bin Laden-esque leader, the Mandarin, in a plot that attempts to bring the trilogy full-circle. Despite inevitably making boatloads of cash, will the new ‘Iron Man’ sequel rise to ‘Avengers’ levels? Probably not.

Truthfully, with a release this anticipated and this big (it’s showing on more than 4,000 screens), do I even need to mention a few of the little independent flicks opening against it? Why not? After all, many of you won’t be able to get into a showing of ‘Iron Man’ this weekend if you don’t already have tickets.

The only prospect that I’d accept as a worthy replacement is ‘The Iceman‘. No, it’s not a spin-off about the ‘Top Gun‘ character. (Would Val Kilmer even fit in a cockpit these days?) Instead, this is a crime drama starring Michael Shannon. Anybody who knows anything is aware that you never pass up a Michael Shannon film. In ‘The Iceman’, he stars as the notorious real-life ’80s hit man whose family was oblivious to his profession. Co-stars include James Franco, Stephen Dorff, David Schwimmer, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans and Winona Ryder.

Coordinated with Cinco de Mayo, Lionsgate is releasing the Mexican war drama ‘Cinco de Mayo: The Battle‘ on 20 screens. The film depicts the 1862 Battle of Puebla, which pit thousands of Mexican soldiers against the French army to defend their freedom.

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