Friday, June 1, 2012

June at the Movies

Now that we are officially entrenched in Summer Movie season, it's time for the weekend battles for #1 to truly begin. After a May dominated by the Avengers until Men in Black III naturally progressed into the top slot weeks later, in June we will see major film after major film hitting theaters every week, each one hoping to reign supreme. I would be extremely surprised to see any one movie stay at #1 for more than a week during June, as while these films are huge, there is no Avengers-like Spiderman or Batman juggernaut until July. So what should we expect? Let's break it down!

For The Family

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (June 8)
Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent - Madagascar style.
I have yet to see a film from the Madagascar franchise (or Ice Age. Or Happy Feet.), but from what I can gather, the films are pretty good and especially beloved by the younger set, so expect it to do fairly well next weekend.
When am I seeing it? One day when I have kids of my own? I'm in no rush. Am I a bad person?

Brave (June 22)
Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.
It's a good year for chicks wielding a bow and arrows. This newest Pixar joint and the first have a female lead already has fantastic buzz after screening a half hour for critics earlier this year. I saw a bunch of footage at D23 way back when and although the somewhat tred storyline has never struck me as anything special, the film has always looked beautiful, with comedy and heart that work, from what I've been able to glean. I'm hoping it's a huge success, proving once and for all that animated films starring women can still be box office bonnanzas they once were.
When am I seeing it? Opening weekend, if not before. 

Indie Fare

Bel Ami (June 8)
A chronicle of a young man's rise to power in Paris via his manipulation of the city's most influential and wealthy women. 
Also known as the incomprehensible movie in which Robert Pattinson has sex with everyone. I can't necessarily say the movie is good, or makes much sense, but it was kind of fun to see Kristen Scott Thomas play bats**t and RPatz play an insanely handsome miserable bastard. The faces he makes alone may be worth the cost of a ticket. Maybe. 
When am I seeing it? I saw it. Meh.

Lola Versus (June 8)
Dumped by her boyfriend just three weeks before their wedding, Lola enlists her close friends for a series of adventures she hopes will help her come to terms with approaching 30 as a single woman.
Daryl Wein's follow up to the beloved Breaking Upwards, also co-written by Zoe Lister-Jones is definitely one of my most anticipated of the month.. I was excited for this movie initially just based on the subject matter - Greta Gerwig always seems to play women dealing with problems a few years away from me, but that still scare the bejesus out of me - but then I found out it's another collaboration between Wein & Lister-Jones, alums of the same NYU program as I am, and am now easily thrice as excited. Plus, Hamish Linklater! aka the best Sir Andrew in Twelfth Night I've ever seen! Can't wait. 
When am I seeing it? Opening week

More after the jump!

Safety Not Guaranteed (June 8)
Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.
My most anticipated film of June. Yeah, I know I'm weird. But it's a time travel comedy! Starring Jake Johnson! And Aubrey Plaza! IT MUST BE THE BEST! It also won the Screenwriting Award at Sundance and was nominated for Grand Jury Prize. 
When am I seeing it? Opening weekend

Your Sister's Sister  (June 15)
Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family's island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack's drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.
This film, which debuted at TIFF, then made appearances at Sundance and a slew of smaller festivals, it currently boasting 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with 12 reviews. Lynne Shelton's first feature film since Humpday stars Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt, two actresses I adore, and Mark Duplass, who I've oddly never really seen act, but damnit if I don't love his directorial work. Plus, I have a soft spot for indie romance, so sue me.
When am I seeing it? Opening month

Kumare (June 20)
A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumaré must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all.
I know very little about this film, except that's David Ehrlich said it would make a great double feature with Sound of my Voice, so consider me sold! But really, it sounds fascinating and provides a nice alternative to the rest of June's offerings.
When am I seeing it? Most likely DVD, but I wouldn't say no to opening week

To Rome with Love (June 22)
A story about a number of people in Italy, some American, some Italian, some residents, some visitors, and the romances and adventures and predicaments they get into.
Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Woody Allen continues his recent trend of basing each of his films in a different foreign country (see: Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Midnight in Paris) with his new film set in Rome. The film, starring Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, Alison Pill, Alec Baldwin, Greta Gerwig, Roberto Benigni, Judy Davis, and Allen himself, premieres opening night of the Los Angeles Film Festival. 
When am I seeing it? As soon as physically possible

Beasts of the Southern Wild  (June 29)
Faced with her father's fading health and environmental changes that release an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy leaves her Delta-community home in search of her mother.
It won the Grand Jury Prize and the Cinematography Award at Sundance and the Camera d'Or for Best First Feature at Cannes (recent winners also include Miranda July and Steve McQueen) and is now finally hitting theaters. I can't believe I haven't seen it yet. AUGH. My expectations, they are high.
When am I seeing it? Opening weekend

Neil Young Journeys  (June 29)
This past May, Neil Young brought his solo tour to Toronto's Massey Hall, an iconic venue in the city of his birth.
Music docs are always very hit or miss, in my opinion. They can be transdencent or they can be like a concert, but not, so eh. But this one is directed by Jonathan Demme, so it's gotta be great, right? Plus, it's Neil effing Young, who incorporates so much story telling into his music anyway. 
When am I seeing it? LA Film Festival, hopefully!

Take This Waltz  (June 29)
A happily married woman falls for the artist who lives across the street.
Sarah Polley's next film which I've been dying to see since it's fantastic showing at the Toronto International Film Fest last year. It stars Michelle Williams (and Seth Rogen going dramatic!) and is actually available on VOD now if you're so inclined. 
When am I seeing it? If not on VOD before June 29th, then opening week

Thrills & Chills

Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1)
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.
Siiiigh. This movie should have been so much better than it is. Visually, it's all there - production design, costumes and special effects are all stunning. For the most part even the performances are top notch, Charlize Theron having a great time chewing all of the scenery in the land, and Chris Hemsworth charming my face off, but everything falls apart with the bland script and a miscast Kristin Stewart. Her dour default face inspires me to cross my arms and pout, not rise against and evil queen and take back the kingdom. And as great as Theron and Hemsworth are, they barely have anything to do. Same with the dwarves - a stellar line up of actors not getting to do much of anything. Hopefully director Rupert Sanders will get another go soon, but this time with a script worthy of his visual skills.
When am I seeing it? Saw it. Won't be seeing it again.

Piranha 3DD (June 1)
After the events at Lake Victoria, the pre-historic school of blood-thirsty piranhas make their way into a newly opened waterpark.
Did anyone even see the first one? I mean, I wanted to, but couldn't find a single person on earth who shared my bridging on sick interest. But this one takes place in a waterpark, which means NOTHING is stopping me from getting to theaters this time around. Piranhas in a waterpark?! In 3D?! Why am I so excited for this?! What is wrong with me?! WHAT IS HAPPENING?! 
When am I seeing it? Probably never wahhhhhh, but not because I don't want to! Because no one else wants to! Horror loving friends, find me!

Prometheus (June 8)
A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.
Finally, the is-it-or-isn't-it prequel to Alien, from maestro Ridley Scott comes to theaters. I have been attempting to avoid all reviews of the film whatsoever, but as most of the press saw it last night, you'd best be avoiding the internets just like I am if you want to go in fresh. I've also tended to avoid the viral marketing, which many have loved, and any news or footage beyond the trailer. I was sold long ago and have been in full No Spoilers zone for months now.
When am I seeing it? Tuesday. Oh god oh god oh god SO CLOSE.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22)
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them.
The movie that made a huge splash at Wondercon and confused the hell out of lots of older people at CinemaCon will finally found out if its audience is actually large enough to make a dent at the box office. I'm insanely excited for it, but anyone I talk to who isn't a fellow geek doesn't understand why it was made, doesn't know it is based on a book, has no idea Benjamin Walker is so talented, and all in all just doesn't really care. But whatever. I do.
When am I seeing it? Opening weekend

Comedy Central

Rock of Ages (June 15)
A small town girl and a city boy meet on the Sunset Strip, while pursuing their Hollywood dreams.
Small town girl and city boy. I get it. While I've never seen the hit Broadway show, I am extremely familiar with the music it features, ranging from Journey to Night Ranger to Bon Jovi to Joan Jett. Supposedly the film version will make Diego Boneta a star, and make us all love Tom Cruise again, though I am skeptical on both of those fronts. Still, it's sure to be fun no matter what. 
When am I seeing it? Opening week

That's My Boy  (June 15)
While still in his teens, Donny (Adam Sandler) fathered a son, Todd (Andy Samberg), and raised him as a single parent up until Todd's 18th birthday. Now, after not seeing each other for years, Todd's world comes crashing down.
Finally, Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler are teaming up! No, I sort of mean that genuinely! It's what everyone's been saying since Samberg joined the cast of SNL years ago, and seems so natural, it's kind of crazy it hasn't happened already. I saw some footage at CinemaCon that was funny enough, certainly better than other recent outings from Sandler, so there is a chance the movie won't suck. Slim chance. But a chance! 
When am I seeing it? And after all of that, to be honest, probably never. Or like, on TV one day. Unless it gets amazing reviews. 

Ted  (June 29)
A story centered on a man and his teddy bear, who comes to life as the result of a childhood wish.
Another comedy I saw footage from at CinemaCon, but this one completely stole the show, the easy favorite of the whole shindig. Seth MacFarlane's first live action big screen extravaganza will be silly, offensive, dumb, and probably kind of awesome, at least for the Family Guy faithful. I am lukewarm on both Mark Wahlberg and the work of Seth MacFarlane, but I'll be surprised if this movie doesn't end up the talk of the last week of June, so I'll make a point to catch it.
When am I seeing it? Opening week

Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection  (June 29)
A Wall Street investment banker who has been set up as the linchpin of his company's mob-backed Ponzi scheme is relocated with his family to Aunt Madea's southern home.
The fifth theatrical Madea movie from Tyler Perry that yes, will make a ton of money. This one co-stars Eugene Levy and Denise Richards. I don't really have much more to say about this one, I've never seen a Madea movie and I'm not positive seeing one is in my future? I mean, the highest rating any Madea film has gotten is 38%. So. That's that.
When am I seeing it? I'm probably....not

On the Dramatic Side

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (June 22)
As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.
Hooray! Can't wait for this one, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist scribe Lorene Scafaria's directorial debut starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightly that looks sweet and funny and wonderful! Please oh please be sweet and funny wonderful!
When am I seeing it? Hopefully during LA Film Fest, if not, then opening weekend.

Magic Mike (June 29)
A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money.
The most anticipated movie of the entire summer for a giant bulk of my friends and the chance for Channing Tatum to prove once and for all that he has acting chops and everyone should shut up. This Soderbergh flick loosely based on Tatum's time as a male stripper also stars Matt Bomer, Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer and it will be amazing.
When am I seeing it? LA Film Fest or opening weekend!

People Like Us  (June 29)
A man is tasked with delivering $150,000 of his deceased father's fortune to the sister he has never met.
Alex Kurtzman's directorial debut and major departure from his normal work, this film stars Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks as siblings who never knew each other, and while I don't believe it goes full incest, expect some uncomfortable moments. As far as I can tell, this is Kurtzman's first non science fiction screenplay, unless there is something the logline isn't telling us, and I'm very interested in seeing how this experiment pays off.
When am I seeing it? To be totally honest, probably on DVD.