Summer Movies Part II: From Prometheus to The Dark Knight Rises
by Danielle Diniz | Cornell University
As the summer continues, so does the variety of movies available to audiences of different ages and humors. This weekend Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted opens (hopefully slowing the amount of “Afro-Circus” sung commercials we’ve been subjected to for weeks). Charlize Theron also returns in Ridley Scott’s much anticipated sci-fi thriller Prometheus alongside Michael Fassbender. In limited theaters, Robert Pattinson takes the screen with co-stars Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas in Bel Ami, a story based on a novel by Guy de Maupassant about a scoundrel who slept with high society women in Paris to claim a name for himself. Peace, Love and Misunderstanding stars another stud as Chace Crawford reappears (after What to Expect) with Jane Fonda and Elizabeth Olsen in a dramatic comedy.
Next Friday, Rock of Ages and Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy are released. Adam Shankman adapts the musical Rock of Ages to the screen, with a big time cast of Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand and Paul Giamatti. Sandler on the other hand reverts to his immature humor as he shows up on the eve of his son’s wedding to turn everything upside down.
If you’re into movies a bit more obscure, Kumare comes to theaters June 20. It is the true story of the director Vikram Gandhi’s alter-ego and how he falsely preached as a prophet in Arizona. But on June 22, three blockbusters will come out — Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Brave and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Abraham Lincoln introduces Benjamin Walker in his first large role, and the movie is produced by Tim Burton Productions, making expectations high. The Pixar-animated Brave stars Kelly MacDonald (known as the Grey Lady in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II) as Princess Merida and the fantastic Emma Thompson as her mother, Queen Elinor. The story of this fiery princess and accomplished archer is bound to inspire girls young and old to face adversity with bravery from here forth. Seeking a Friend, starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, seems like it will be an endearing classic, adding to the breadth of each of their careers and taking the “rom-com” to a new level.
June 29 brings about Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike, including the never-too-old Matthew McConaughey for a laugh as fellow male stripper Dallas. People Like Us, with Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jon Favreau, although not as widely advertised, is sure to heighten the popularity and stakes of domestic drama; the cast is certain to succeed.
On July 3, The Amazing Spiderman will finally be released, starring huge names Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field and Denis Leary. Despite the previous Spiderman movies coming out in 2002, 2004 and 2007 respectively, this new take on the tale seems to up the ante, especially considering the later ones featuring Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst began to fall flat. Director Marc Webb has assured all of us viewers that we won’t be disappointed and that the performances, action and special effects will be unimaginably riveting.
For all the Katy Perry fanatics out there, her concert bio Part of Me opens July 5. Yet another large cast storms theaters July 6 in Oliver Stone’s Savages, as Benicio Del Toro, Aaron Johnson, Salma Hayek, Blake Lively and John Travolta battle crime and drama while intertwining plots drive determined characters into a Mexican thriller.
The youngins get to enjoy Ice Age: Continental Drift on July 13, but on July 20, the movie all movie fans are anxiously awaiting, The Dark Knight Rises, makes its debut. Again directed by Christopher Nolan, it features most of the original cast (Bale, Caine and Oldman), but adds in Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
The next week launches Step Up Revolution, the newest addition to the Step Up series. Although it’s the fourth film of its kind, they have really upped the stakes this time; the special effects are going to be insane and the dancing better than any seen so far. Although the preview just gives a glimpse of the tricks up each dancer’s sleeve, they are beyond impressive, and the performances in the film should be the series’ best yet. The Watch, starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, also comes out late in July, interjecting some classic summer comedy into the mix as four typical suburban men end up saving their neighborhood and the world from alien invasion and global annihilation. Although the plot sounds far-fetched, we can count on good performances from at least three of the leading actors.
The last three blockbusters of the summer will all be released on August 3. The Bourne Legacy continues similarly to the other Bourne films, but director Tony Gilroy has said, “This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one’s replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter…” The movie introduces Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, a new assassin. Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton are also involved, just to name-drop. In the same action/adventure genre, Total Recall brings a sci-fi twist. The ‘dreams becoming reality’ process proves a dangerous one as Colin Farrell ends up being hunted. Co-stars include Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Kate Beckinsale, Ethan Hawke and Bill Nighy. Rachel Weisz can be seen again in 360. Although only available in limited theaters, the stories of characters played by Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster, Queen Latifah and Jude Law all dramatically intermingle in an R-rated adaptation not to be missed.
Although ‘action’ looks to dominate the screen this summer, there appears to be many quality films, whether original, re-makes or adaptations. The smaller budget dramas and comedies may be contained to limited theaters and not as widely advertised or viewed, but if you can make your way to where they’re playing, I’m sure they will be well worth your time.Danielle is a NGJ Staff Writer and a junior double majoring in English and Theater at Cornell University, with a particular interest in Shakespeare. She also writes for the Cornell Daily Sun.