First up this month is Pompeii (May 2), starring Game of Thrones’ Kit Harrington. Now, as anyone familiar with Ancient Rome will know, if you were a male slave in possession of rippling muscles and no unsightly body hair, you had to be a Gladiator. (I think it was probably Caligua who instituted that law.) Anyway, Milo (Harrington) is a slave in pre-eruption Pompeii forced to battle other glistening dudes in the arena, clad in a nought but a skimpy subligaria. Poor thing. Anyway, he falls for a lady above his status and so begins a desperate race to save her from a loveless marriage to a corrupt senator/ the approaching volcanic eruption ensues.
Next up this month, Bad Neighbours (May 3). Say what you will about Zac Efron (he’s a talentless tool, he’s too short, he’s the poor man’s Elijah Wood etc) but he’s got it going on, aesthetically speaking. The story is thus: couple Mac (Seth Rogan) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are enjoying the joys of new parenthood: existential terror, insomnia, newly-hatched resentment etc. That is until a Fraternity moves in next door with its testosterone-filled Bros and their hard-partying ways. Cue lots of scenes of utterly ripped Zac sans shirt, throw in some amusing pranks and you’ve got the whole movie. Not entirely terrible.
Also out this month is X Men: Days of Futures Past, (May 22) which, like most of the stand-out Chris Claremont X stories, can be seen as a thinly-veiled allegory for the gay rights struggle – or every civil rights struggle really. It’s set in a dystopian future where mutants are vilified and interred in camps following a catastrophic event that creates widespread anti-muti sentiment. Lots of famous faces – including New Gay Ellen Page and Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage – appear, but the only important question is this: will it be good like X-Men 2-3, or shit like the overhyped, utterly terrible X Men: First Class? (Darwin? What the hell? A universe of ten thousand characters and that’s who they picked?!) Time will tell.
Finally, this month Maleficent (May 30), starring Angelina ‘Octomom’ Jolie. Maleficent is – to borrow from the comics lexicon – the ‘origin story’ of the villain from Sleeping Beauty (the witch who curses SB). Finally, all the things that made her so mean will be revealed, like the fact that she was a middle child, or she did an internship in GCN. It was probably the latter.