Thursday, July 1, 2010

July Movie Releases

Um, why are there so few movies slated for release in the middle month of the summer? Look at July 16, for example. I mean, I know no one wants to go up against a movie made by the "Dark Knight" guy, but damn. One movie (plus another that's going to try for a two-day jump on the weekend)? I suppose if nothing else, this is a sign that Hollywood is hurting as much as the rest of the world right now.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - Apparently the least sucktastic (no pun intended) of the series so far but that's certainly not saying much. There is probably nothing that will convince you to either see this or not see it, so I'll leave it there.

The Love Ranch - Taylor Hackford (Ray) directs his wife, Helen Mirren, in what looks like a fantastic B-movie about the couple that owned the first legal brothel in Reno, NV.


The Last Airbender - I have heard - literally - nothing positive about this movie. This makes me sad, but perhaps it's not surprising. Anyway, in case you hadn't heard already, this film is apparently not even worth seeing to spite the sparkle.


Grease Sing-Along - If this doesn't make you excited, you are dead inside. That is all.


Despicable Me
- I don't care what anyone thinks, I want to see this. The marketing has been all over the place, from the excruciating teaser trailer (dumb American crackers in Egypt, yo!) to the enigmatic ads that feature nothing but those adorable yellow minions. This looks like fun, and the voice talent is intriguing on its own (Julie Andrews, FTW!), but after over a year of seeing ads for it, I still don't know what it's about. I *think* it's about an evil mastermind who's put in charge of a couple of cute kids, but after all the marketing whiplash, I'm not entirely sure.

Predators - Am I a bad geek for having never seen the original Predator? This is supposed to be a reboot, directed by Nimród Antal and produced by Robert Rodriguez. It's got a pretty kick-ass cast, so that's worth something right there. I feel like I need to see the original first, though.

MUST SEE: The Kids Are All Right - (limited) One of the darlings of Sundance, this may actually have legs as an early award bait movie. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play lesbian parents whose kids seek out their sperm donor dad. The trailer, at least, is very warm and funny, and I get some You Can Count On Me vibes from it, which is no bad thing.


MUST SEE: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
- There is some good word of mouth on this, and I have to say it looks like something worth checking out. Jay Baruchel's star may finally be on the rise, after watching the enormous successes of his friends and sometime co-stars Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Jason Segel. And man, it's good to see Nicholas Cage back in the game.


MUST SEE: Inception
- Yep, this is the one most of us have been waiting for most of the year. Christopher Nolan follows up the jaw-dropping success of The Dark Knight with something more like the films he used to make (like Memento and The Prestige - the latter being probably my fave of his), but with way more cool toys at his disposal. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a thief who takes ideas from people's dreams. There's been positive early feedback, though some people seem to be disappointed that it's not the BEST MOVIE EVER OMG. Anyway, for once, I can't wait to go into a theater not knowing a thing about what to expect.


- I don't know why, but this just doesn't interest me. I love that this character was originally a man, but the comment from someone involved with the film about changing the script to avoid having Evelyn save (and therefore metaphorically castrate) her husband? Seriously sold me a ticket to another movie this weekend.

Ramona and Beezus - I might dig the trailer for this more if it didn't have Selena Gomez's inspiration-y theme song all over it and just let it be quirky, like Cleary's stuff should be. This isn't top priority, but it's still ahead of Salt if those are my only choices for that weekend.

Countdown to Zero - (NYC, Wash. DC) From some of the folks who brought us An Inconvenient Truth comes a documentary about the escalating nuclear arms race, from the Cold War to the present.


MUST SEE: Dinner For Schmucks
- Saw the original French version, called The Dinner Game, when I was in college, and it's a pretty great character comedy. I'm wary about what looks like a ratcheting up of the goofball quotient, but I hope they at least do justice to the friendship between the two guys.

MUST SEE: Get Low (limited) - This one has been around since last summer's festival circuit, and there was strong buzz about Robert Duvall in last year's Best Actor race until they pushed the film to this year. The story is basically about a man in 1930s Tennessee who wants to hold his own funeral while he's still alive. Also stars Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, and Gerald McRaney. Cannot wait to see this.

Charlie St. Cloud - Looks like Zac Efron is starting to break out of the teen idol mold and take on some more challenging roles. This movie seems an awful lot like a three-hankie weeper, and as such I will probably skip it for now and wait until it shows up on cable.

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore - I confess, I saw the first Cats and Dogs and it was mildly funny (Sean Hayes as Mr. Tinkles = WIN). But every time I see the trailer for this new movie I want to slash my wrists. I'm sure kids will eat this up, but they will forget about it five minutes after they leave the theater. I also hate the deliberate attempts to crack "grown up" jokes (Kitty Galore, "hopped up on catnip," etc.). Just no.

Twelve (limited) - This kind of movie is right in director Joel Schumacher's wheelhouse. He does so much better with more intimate, relationship-driven movies than with big studio fare. This movie, which made its debut at Sundance, has been savaged by critics - except for Roger Ebert. I'm interested in it, if for no other reason than the narration by Schumacher alumnus Keifer Sutherland.

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