Summer Movie Preview: July

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Summer 2010 proved to be an absolute flop by many’s standards and so Hollywood has responded by giving us a lot of the same. This means sequels, remakes and adaptations up the wazoo. Will Hollywood miss the mark again? July sees one of the most anticipated films of the summer, the last big super hero movie and what could be a nerd’s wet dream (Han Solo + James Bond + that girl from Tron + that guy from Moon). We will also see a lot of the best from the Sundance Film Festival and a few hotly anticipated comedies. Will July end the summer with a BANG?

July 1: Larry Crowne, Terri
July 8: Horrible Bosses, Zookeeper, Project Nim
July 15: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Winnie the Pooh
July 22: Captain America: First Avenger, Friends with Benefits, Another Earth
July 29: Cowboys & Aliens, The Smurfs, Crazy, Stupid, Love., Attack the Block, The Devil’s Double, The Future

crowne-poster

Directed by: Tom Hanks

Starring: Tom Hanks, Nia Vardalos

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Larry Crowne (July 1)

Grisly Gunnar: I like Tom Hanks. Hell, I even like Julia Roberts. But this sadly looks awful. Although he’s only directed one film before (That Thing You Do!), Tom Hanks directing is the only reason why I have any curiosity in this. (Anticipated Grade: C-)

Noah Nickels: I like both of them too, and I did kind of like That thing You Do, Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters! Steve Zahn saves that movie. But I will wait for this on DVD and see Terri this weekend instead. Something about a gang of scooter riders that makes me want to go watch The Wild One and read Hunter Thompson to get that image out of my head. (Anticipated Grade: C)

terri-poster

Directed by: Azazel Jacobs

Starring: John C. Reilly, Jacob Wysocki and Bridger Zadina

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Terri (July 1)

Grisly Gunnar: There aren’t bigger John C. Reilly fans than me, so I’m certainly looking forward to seeing Terri. The premise seems a little skim, though. (Anticipated Grade: B)

Noah Nickels: I too love the JCR, and am psyched to see this one. At first appearance you may think the plot is a smidge derivative, but pretty much every good high school movie follows the same principal, loser finds out it’s OK to be be a loser. For this kind of movie its all about the characters and how well they’re developed. From the looks of the trailer, i think this one does that right. (Anticipated Grade: B)

bosses-poster

Directed by: Seth Gordon

Starring: John C. Reilly, Jacob Wysocki and Bridger ZadinaJason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis

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Horrible Bosses (July 8)

Grisly Gunnar: After just seeing Bad Teacher, I am much more hopeful for Horrible Bosses. I don’t think the cast could be any more perfect. Just when we are starting to get too much Jason Bateman, they also give us Charlie Day (maybe a star-making turn for him) and Colin Farrell (as a comedian, he is always welcome). This is my most anticipated comedy of the year that doesn’t have an ensemble female cast. (Anticipated Grade: B+)

Noah Nickels: I have been waiting for the movie that puts Charlie Day front and center and while he shares the stage with 5 other big names, it doesn’t look like he gets screwed out of screen time. This could very well be a giant turd, but i am keeping my fingers crossed! (Anticipated Grade: B+)

Spaceman Spiff: I’m excited to see Charlie Day on the big screen, but am I excited enough to actually see this on the big screen? I dunno… I think a lot of my seeing this movie in the theaters is going to come down to whether friends wanna go or not. A definite rental though, for sure. (Anticipated Grade: B-)

zoo

Directed by: Frank Coraci

Starring: Kevin James, Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb

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Zookeeper (July 8)

Grisly Gunnar: Ugh. Another high-concept occupational Kevin James movie… (Anticipated Grade: D)

Rebel Rikki: Why does this not have an almost-rhyming title? Shouldn’t it be Steve Leaper, Zookeeper or something?

Grisly Gunnar: Yeah, I always thought Paul Blart: Mall Cop should have been called Paul Blop: Mall Cop. Just say it and it makes sense.

Noah Nickels: Kevin James why do you make me look like such an idiot when all I do is continually tell people how funny you are. Gunnar, naming a movie Paul Blop… even as a joke… not a good idea. (Anticipated Grade: F++)

Spaceman Spiff: This movie’s mere existence is an insult to intelligent life everywhere. (Anticipated Grade: F–)

nim-poster

Directed by: James Marsh

Starring: Bob Angelini, Bern Cohen and Reagan Leonard

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Project Nim (July 8)

Grisly Gunnar: I love love love James Marsh’s last doc Man on Wire (seriously if you haven’t seen that pic, do it now), so he gets a pass for anything that he makes right now. And good buzz out of Sundance doesn’t hurt. (Anticipated Grade: A-)

Noah Nickels: I do like monkeys! Errr chimps. Whatever, this looks really good. And yeah, everyone should see Man on Wire, brilliant documentary, as good as I have seen since Thin Blue Line. (Anticipated Grade: B+)

potter-poster

Directed by: David Yates

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (July 15)

Rebel Rikki: I do not care for the Harry Potter movies. They’re basically Cliff Notes and I think their value without the books behind them is almost nil. That said, book 7 is my second-favorite of the trilogy and it’s possible that with more time to develop it, the movie will actually be pretty solid. I can’t wait to see how this film shows the mobilization of Hogwarts, one of my favorite scenes in all the books. (Anticipated Grade: B-)

Spaceman Spiff: I’m really excited for this movie… sure the movies aren’t as rich and deep as the novels, but no film adaptation ever is, let’s face it. Also Harry Potter part 7 part 1 was my favorite movie of the series and I can’t wait to see how they wrap it up in part 2! (Anticipated Grade: A)

Grisly Gunnar: This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, right? I did like Part 1, but its biggest negatives shouldn’t be a problem for what looks to be an action-packed finale. And I haven’t read any of the books, so I’m looking forward to what happens! They all die, right? (Anticipated Grade: B)

Noah Nickels: I’m a muggle, therefore I cannot comment. (Anticipated Grade: A)

Pooh-poster

Directed by: Stephen J. Anderson, Don Hall

Starring: Jim Cummings, Craig Ferguson and John Cleese

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Winnie the Pooh (July 15)

Grisly Gunnar: I really have no connection to the books or previous adaptations, but I’m strangely happy that the animation, texture and tone seems the same as the classic tales. And the trailer seems the right amounts of sweet. Only being 63 minutes long seems a little odd, though… (Anticipated Grade: B-)

Noah Nickels: I guess if you have kids you might be interested in this, but Pooh holds zero nostalgia value for me. (Anticipated Grade: C)

captain-poster

Directed by: Joe Johnston

Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving and Natalie Dormer

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Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22)

Rebel Rikki: I’m truly surprised so many people are amped for this. I’ve found the trailers to be wholly unimpressive; they suffer from The Village syndrome in that, to me, it doesn’t look like we’re in the past. I’m also not down with the casting. I suspect this will be boring and pedantic. Also, how is this not opening Fourth of July weekend? It looks like Optimus Prime is stronger than Captain America when it comes to vying for opening weekend positioning. (Anticipated Grade: C)

Noah Nickels: Spoiler Alert… The Village didn’t take place in the past and maybe neither does this? But seriously, it does look pretty hokey, but the character itself is pretty hokey. You won’t be allowed to hate on this movie too much or you’ll be considered a traitor, so i’ll just keep my mouth shut. (Anticipated Grade: C)

Spaceman Spiff: I’m much more excited for this movie than I am for Thor. Much, much more excited. I’m very happy with the casting of Chris Evans as Steve Rogers… he actually can do serious very well if anyone has seen the film Sunshine… and the trailers look pretty cool to me. (Anticipated Grade: B+)

Grisly Gunnar: This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, right? I mean, First Avenger will be the last precursor to showing us whether an Avengers movie is going to work. For that, I’m optimistic — even if I wouldn’t be so otherwise. (Anticipated Grade: B-)

friends-poster

Directed by: Will Gluck

Starring: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake and Patricia Clarkson

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Friends with Benefits (July 22)

Grisly Gunnar: Seems basically the same as No Strings Attached, which was mediocre, but looks like it could be a little hipper and funnier. I think Justin Timberlake is on the verge of becoming an actual movie star. It’s also Will Gluck’s follow-up to Easy A, which was a surprise hit for me last year. And hopefully this will make up for his ultra lackluster turn in Bad Teacher. (Anticipated Grade: B-)

Rebel Rikki: This movie will forever have the distinction of confusing film buffs; they’ll never be sure if they want to refer to “2011’s Friends with Benefits” or “2011’s No Strings Attached.” But Gunnar, I think JT is already a legit movie star; his performance in Social Network was amazing.

Noah Nickels: If I was going to see either one of these Eff-Buddies comedies, this would be the one because of JT. He’s way more likable than Kutcher and even though Portman beats out Kunis, I gotta agree with Gunnar, this ones just looks funnier and more charming. (Anticipated Grade: B-)

earth-poster

Directed by: Mike Cahill

Starring: Brit Marling, William Mapother and Jordan Baker

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Another Earth (July 22)

Grisly Gunnar: Could combine small-set drama and science fiction in the same way as Moon, although less cerebral, or Never Let Me Go, two films which I enjoy a lot. That’s the ceiling for Another Earth. It could also turn out to be quite self-important, but I’m holding faith that this will be a good egg. (Anticipated Grade: B)

Noah Nickels: This is the kind of sci-fi I really dig. It feels, I hate to sound pretentious, but intellectual and less in your face. A movie that really gives you something to ponder. I am really looking forward to seeing this one. (Anticipated Grade: A)

cowboys-poster

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde

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Cowboys & Aliens (July 29)

Grisly Gunnar: This movie, maybe more than any other, has the potential to either be really great or really hokey. Given the cast, the filmmaker and the footage that keeps looking better and better, I’m going to take the side of almost-great for now. (Anticipated Grade: B)

Rebel Rikki: I was really hoping people were past this idea of combining two disparate genre tropes and getting some ironic laughs from it. The movie could surprise me, but I kind of hate how the title alone is wowing people. (Anticipated Grade: C)

Noah Nickels: Spaceman and I had an argument about the title when I first saw the trailer. and I argued that the title was misleading because it made the movie seem like we were getting something animated or really jokey — an action-comedy. He argued that the title is perfect and that I am an idiot. He might be right in one aspect, but i disagree that this title is apt for a high concept, action-adventure. Either way, this could be really good. I am not sold, but the cast and director will get me into the theater. (Anticipated Grade: B-)

Spaceman Spiff: Sure this movie is definitely going to be more high-concept than high-art—frankly, it sounds like the whole idea stemmed from a late-night bong session—but that doesn’t mean it won’t be as fun as it sounds, or as fun as it looks in the previews for that matter. I love Westerns and I love Sci-Fi, hopefully this movie will do both of those justice. And with a solid director and cast my I think my hopes have a pretty good chance of being met. (Anticipated Grade: B)

smurfs-poster

Directed by: Raja Gosnell

Starring: NPH, Hank Azaria, Katy Perry and Jonathan Winters

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The Smurfs (July 29)

Rebel Rikki: I know I’m not alone in feeling this movie is a big, big mistake. (Anticipated Grade: D+)

Grisly Gunnar: I got my blue pant suit all ready for opening day! Did anyone mention that Hank Azaria and Neil Patrick Harris are in this? OH MAN! (Anticipated Grade: D+)

Noah Nickels: Poor NPH, he seems to do everything right and then BLAMMO, he signs on for The Smurfs. That’s OK, I’ll forgive but I won’t see this movie. (Anticipated Grade: D-)

Spaceman Spiff: Why!? Dear god why do we need this movie!?

crazy-poster

Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore

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Crazy, Stupid, Love (July 29)

Grisly Gunnar: I believe Entertainment Weekly said Crazy, Stupid Love might be the greatest romantic comedy ever made. That is bold, bold praise. And I’m not totally hooked on the trailers, but the cast is good and the filmmakers made I Love You Philip Morris, which was a funny and charming film. Oh, and Ryan Gosling apparently gets naked in it. (Anticipated Grade: B)

Noah Nickels: That damn Muse song gets me all goosebumpy and psyched up for this one. Damn that voice of his! But yeah, the acting pool for this flick is through the roof, all of these cats have chops. This could elevate the rom-com genre to another level. (Anticipated Grade: A)

devils-poster

Directed by: Lee Tamahori

Starring: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier and Raad Rawi

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The Devil’s Double (July 29)

Grisly Gunnar: This is either going to be a lot of fun or a big hot mess. The trailer is bright and shiny and the double performance from Dominic Cooper has a lot of potential, while he’s not an actor I’ve seen enough of to believe he can totally pull it off. (Anticipated Grade: C+)

Noah Nickels: Looks terrible, not something I thought could make it to an actual theater. (Anticipated Grade: D+)

future-poster

Directed by: Miranda July

Starring: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater and David Warshofsky

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The Future (July 29)

Grisly Gunnar: Miranda July’s last picture, Me and You and Everyone We Know is absolutely marvelous, and I’ve been waiting for her to release another film ever since. Of course, with her style, she plays a wicked game going right up to the edge of pretension, and hopefully The Future doesn’t go over it. A sleeper pick for the best of the year. (Anticipated Grade: A-)

Noah Nickels: My thoughts mirror Gunnar’s pretty much exactly. If you haven’t seen Me and You and Everyone We Know, you should be ashamed… ASHAMED! (Anticipated Grade: A)

tags: another earth, attack the block, captain america, cowboys & aliens, horrible bosses, larry crowne, project nim, terri, the future

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