WTLFT: July 2011

8 06 2011

Yeah, I shortened the name.  It’s a lot more palatable.  This post will tell you What To Look Forward To in the month of July.  We have transformers, captains, teen stars, teen wizards, sex friends, zoo friends, hellish bosses, honey bears, and smurfs – just to name a few.  Here they all are; you can make up your mind if any of these actually appeal to you.

July 1

Cheating- “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” actually comes out on June 29, and, if you want to get really technical, June 28 at 9:00 in IMAX 3D and RealD 3D.  So while you curse me for my horrific crimes against nature, humanity, and blogging, watch the trailer and decide for yourself whether or not you want to subject yourself to Shia LaBeouf and a lot of loud noises orchestrated by Michael Bay.

On the quieter side of things, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts plan to use their star power to fill seats at “Larry Crowne,” which looks like perfectly middle-of-the-road rom-com territory.  On the louder side of things again – and by louder, I mean girlish screams and constantly ringing cell phones – “Monte Carlo” gives young girls what they need during the summer.  A nice helping of Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy, and Leighton Meester should have the tweeners saying “OMG!” until the next season of “Wizards of Waverly Place” hits the small screen. (There’s also a creepy thriller called “The Perfect Host” starring David Hyde Pierce, which I feel obliged to mention since it’s the only indie offering amidst these studio genre pics.)

July 8

Fingers crossed that “Horrible Bosses” will be funny!  I remember reading a piece on a blog for The Los Angeles Times well before the movie started production that praised it, so hopefully it stuck to the script.  If it’s a hit, I motion for Jennifer Aniston to stop doing horrible rom-com fare and stick to raunchy comedy; I chuckle every time I watch the trailer and hear her say, “Shabbat shalom; someone’s circumcised!”

As for “Zookeeper” … well, I hope the kids enjoy it.

I’ve definitely been going through a documentary phase ever since last year’s “Inside Job” rocked my world, and Michael Rappaport’s “Beats, Rhymes, & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest” could feed my obsession quite well.  It follows the titular hip-hop group (known as A Tribe Called Quest if you are as clueless as I was) from formation to fame.  Best case scenario it provides a fascinating expose of the craft of rapping much like “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” did for standup comedy last summer.  Worst case scenario I get to see some of my favorite artists talking about a group I’ve never heard of before.

Another interesting documentary (that I can only PRAY makes it to Houston sometime before I leave for college) is “Project Nim,” the story of a chimpanzee experiment.  I’ve always been interested in stories where lines and boundaries we once thought clear are exposed and shown to be more porous and relative than we thought, and this looks to deliver on a big scale.

July 15

Some tiny little series ends on screen.  It’s no big deal, it’s not like these movies define my youth.  It’s not like it’s a worldwide phenomenon.  But in all seriousness, I’m not going to cry.  “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” – BRING IT ON!

And I’m not sure what the appropriate label for “Winnie the Pooh” choosing to open on the same date is, counter-programming or a death wish.  Sure, the hunny-loving bear and his pals represent my childhood too.  Just the part I don’t remember.

In the documentary “Buzzkill,” Wes Davis does the reverse “Super Size Me” formula and tries giving up coffee for 21 days.  I must say, from the perspective of a burgeoning Starbucks addict, that’s quite a lofty task.  Trust me, there’s something about the routine of starting your day with a Tall Nonfat Mocha with Whip that just makes life good, just like there’s something nice about rolling into “your” Starbucks and having the barista just make it for you because you order it all the time, saving you the breath of uttering the unwieldy drink name, almost as unwieldy as this run-on sentence, which I admire you for reading (that is, assuming you got this far and didn’t cheat – because if so, then you don’t really appreciate the beauty of this run-on sentence, which should have ended quite a while ago but I got this idea to ramble on and on, thinking it was smart but as I come to its inevitable conclusion, I actually think it’s quite stupid and is going to deter readers.)  But I digress…

On the foreign language side of things, Sony Pictures Classics brings you the South African “Life, Above All” (which screened at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival) and Fox Searchlight brings you “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” (which screened at no festivals and will probably be a dud).

Also on the documentary circuit, Errol Morris’ “Tabloid” looks to be bizarre, quirky fun.  Hope it comes to Houston…

July 22

I will be outraged AGAIN if Marvel makes me sit through two hours of exposition with “Captain America: The First Avenger;” they already got me once this summer with “Thor!”  They had better be making “The Avengers” pretty dang good if they do it to me again.

Then, there’s also the OTHER sex friends movie starring the OTHER skinny bi-curious ballet dancer from “Black Swan” opposite the OTHER “it” guy from 2003, better known as “Friends with Benefits.”  I have a gut feeling this will be the one people remember and rewatch.

Meanwhile, on the independent frontier, “Another Earth” looks to combine sappy drama with sci-fi; we’ll see how that mix works out.  Jenna Fischer (Pam from “The Office”) hits the silver screen in “A Little Help,” which might be fun to watch on Shotime in 2012.  Kristen Scott Thomas stars in the film adaptation of “Sarah’s Key,” which could get some Oscar buzz around her performance with a little help from the critics and the Weinsteins.

July 29

An interesting jumble of sci-fi and western, “Cowboys & Aliens” looks to defy genre labels and be a late summer breakout hit.  Whether it will do what it hopes is something I’m not prepared to call at this point.

With this many stars, “Crazy Stupid Love” had better not stink.  Julianne Moore needs to win an Oscar and she can’t have something stinking up her resume.  Same goes for Ryan Gosling, although to a much lesser extent.  Emma Stone needs to strengthen her marquee status.  Steve Carrell needs to justify his departure from “The Office.”  This is being released in the same frame as “Funny People” two years ago and looks to strike a similar tone … this needs to be better than Apatow’s genre-blending attempt.

I got the chance to see “Attack the Block” back in May, and the review will be posted closer to the release date.  Let’s just say the fact that I’m linking instead of embedding should give you a clue to how enthusiastic I am.  On the other hand, I am excited for Miranda July’s “The Future,” which should be incredibly quirky but also filled with meaning.

It seems to be a busy weekend for non-studio fare as the YouTube-made documentary “Life in a Day,” the Dominic Cooper vehicle “The Devil’s Double” featuring the rising star as Saddam Hussein’s sadistic son and the unfortunate man picked to be his double, the serial killer drama “Good Neighbors,” and the Irish import “The Guard” starring Brendan Gleeson as a cop all open.  It must be a really hard choice for all those New Yorkers; I really pity them.

Oh, and then there’s also “The Smurfs.”  I sure hope they made room for THIS Smurfette.

There are five 3-day weekends in July … the question is, will you spend them at the movies?  Or will you enjoy your summer outdoors?  Sound off in the comments or by taking the poll.

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