Let’s pretend like I didn’t forget to do this for April and almost May, too. Good? Good!
I suppose this is one of those “Generation X grew up to be so annoying, am I right?” movies. It’s about three different people spread across Manhattan on a single day, and one of those people is Keanu Reeves. It looks spectacularly uninteresting.
Greetings from Tim Buckley
This is actually available On Demand right now through the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s okay. Penn Badgley gives it his all—and he’s better than I was expecting—but it’s not a definitive portrait of singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley. It’s mostly notable for showing that Badgley, a former Gossip Girl twat, has some depth to him and for frequently displaying Imogen Poots’ insanely gorgeous face. As for the singing, it’s not embarrassing by any means. But it’s a far cry from Buckley’s power and evocative tone. But then, to be fair, who’s really going to be able to even get close to Buckley’s distinctive voice?
Michael Shannon and his serial killer stare portray Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, whom I learned about after Googling him when Gutterson made a reference on Justified once. He was a contract killer who murdered over a hundred people all while maintaining a perfectly ordinary family life. I have it in my head now that Gutterson knows all the serial killers and their tallies.
Bonus: Chris Evans is virtually unrecognizable as fellow hitman “Mr. Freezy”.
Iron Man 3
YES. IT’S HERE. FINALLY.
Full review here.
What Maisie Knew
This is a weird place to open this film. Starring Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan and Alexander Skarsgard and directed by the solid, character-focused duo of Scott McGehee and David Siegel (Bee Season, The Deep End), this seems more like a September or October release—something closer to award season for sure. So either it’s not that good or it’s so good they hope it will have enough legs to carry it into award season. Not going to be much middle ground between those two options.
Eli Roth stars in this horror movie, which he also co-wrote and produced, about people trapped after a severe earthquake in Chile. Horror isn’t usually my thing but I like Roth, and the trailer is cool. Bloody, though. Anything involving Roth in a creative capacity is always gory.
The Great Gatsby
I liked Romeo + Juliet and I LOVE Moulin Rouge, but Australia blew monkey chunks and given that Gatsby was booted off its original award-season release and that the soundtrack and the clothes seem to be the biggest selling points…I’m concerned this is going to be all spectacle and no substance. Which is a shame, because the cast is kind of brilliant, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher and Joel Edgerton. It works on paper, but…
And why is it in 3D?!
Tyler Perry’s last film was so misogynistic and gross (a woman who commits adultery by basically being raped then contracts HIV from her “seducer” while her now ex-husband marries a sweet Christian woman who would never ever cheat) that I can’t imagine what horrible moral Peeples, in which a man (Craig Robinson, The Office) surprises his girlfriend (Kerry Washington) on a trip home to visit her family with the intention of getting her domineering father’s (David Alan Grier) approval to propose. Sounds innocuous, right? Hopefully it is just a harmless piece of fluff, since Perry is just the producer. But after the toxic Temptation, I have no patience for anything Tyler Perry.
Star Trek Into Darkness
When it’s cold/And the light is gone/When no one is home/And you’re alone/Star trek into darkness/Yeah, yeah/Stark Trek Into Darkness
Still the stupidest title of the summer. Movie looks cool, though. Bonus points for The Batch.
I feel like Greta Gerwig has lost a little steam as Everyone’s Indie Darling since the arrival of Brit Marling. But she’s reteamed with her Greenberg director Noah Baumbach for Frances Ha. They co-wrote the screenplay together and it’s gotten decent reviews but it’s not going to serve as a breakout for Gerwig. It’s too far below the radar and she doesn’t have the star power to push it ahead of more glitzy indie offerings like The Iceman and Before Midnight. Still, a solid choice for On Demand or Netflix.
Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and now, Before Midnight. Richard Linklater’s ongoing portrait of would-be lovers Jesse and Celine continues, proving that franchises aren’t just for the studios. I’ve never been super into these movies for the same reason I hated Serendipity—at what point do you stop fucking with fate and just get the goddamn hint already? I’m not patient enough for movies like this.
AKA Fern Gully 3: Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
The trailer gets points for a good use of Snow Patrol.
Fast & Furious 6
AKA Paul Walker & Vin Diesel Are Broke Again 6.
The Hangover Part III
The marketing campaign makes a point of emphasizing that this is the end of the “wolfpack trilogy”, promising that there will be no more of these, so at least someone at Warner Brothers realizes we’re all sick of these assholes.
We Steal Secrets: The Wikileaks Story
Documentarian Alex Gibney (Client 9, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) got strong reviews out of Sundance for his examination of Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange. There are a lot of Wikileaks/Assange projects are coming down the pipe within the next few years—including one starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruehl later this year—but Gibney, an experienced and interesting documentarian, is sure to produce one of the more informative and fascinating looks at the whole mess.
Will Smith made this instead of Django Unchained. Also it’s directed by M. Night Shyamalan. So it sucks.
Another Earth and Sound of My Voice collaborators Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling got together again and made The East, their most accessible effort yet. The East is about an investigator (Marling), who starts to fall under the spell of the charismatic anarchist (Alexander Skarsgard) whose cult-like group she’s infiltrating. Reviews have been good, particularly for the acting. Ellen Page also stars.
The Kings of Summer
A Sundance standout, The Kings of Summer is about runaways who live in the woods and it stars Nick Offerman (Parks & Rec) and Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men).
Runaways who live in the woods. …Is that you, long-awaited Boxcar Children movie?
Now You See Me
One of the more intriguing original titles in the mass market this summer, Now You See Me has a tremendous cast (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine) and is scored by the Chemical Brothers. But director Louis Leterrier scares me. He’s responsible for The Transporter, which is a badass B-grade action movie, but he also made The Transporter 2, Clash of the Titans, and The Incredible Hulk, the Marvel movie everyone pretends didn’t happen. The concept is great—magicians commit heists and give the cash away during their act—and the trailer is tight, but…Clash of the Titans. Transporter 2. And The Incredible Hulk. They SUCKED.