Summer movie preview: Part 2
BY MICHAEL SMITH World Scene Writer
Friday, June 29, 2012
6/29/12 at 5:11 AM
The heat is on with summer movies arriving in July and August, including two of this year's sure-fire hits: "The Amazing Spider-Man" opens next week for the Fourth of July holiday, and the Batman trilogy ends with "The Dark Knight Rises" in three weeks.
The action continues in August with "Total Recall," "The Bourne Legacy" and "The Expendables 2." Comedies are coming from Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Meryl Streep and Woody Allen. The kids can look forward to another "Ice Age" and animated zombies in "ParaNorman."
The following films, and their dates of release, are subject to change.
The first movie from "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane is a randy comedy that finds Mark Wahlberg buddying up to Ted, his teddy bear who came to life when a childhood wish was granted. MacFarlane supplies the voice of that naughty bear.
Where's the beefcake? Right here. Before he was the star of movies such as "21 Jump Street" and "The Vow," Channing Tatum made a living as a stripper. This is that story, with some liberties, of an all-male revue at a club with a wacky owner (Matthew McConaughey).
People Like Us
A woman (Elizabeth Banks) gets to know and care about a man (Chris Pine). She doesn't know that the guy's father recently died. She also doesn't know that the guy's dad was also her dad. It sounds awkward, but advance buzz is positive.
Madea's Witness Protection Program
Tyler Perry is at it again, and thinking of Madea having to maneuver the federal witness protection program just sounds funny - on a Madea kind of level.
Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal star in this period sex comedy about how Mortimer Granville invented the vibrator as a scientific device to cure women's blues. The writers of this buzzed-about project (ahem) are also reportedly working on a script for a movie about the Pioneer Woman.
The Amazing Spider-Man
A reboot of the franchise finds Peter Parker ("The Social Network" star Andrew Garfield) going from high school student to Spider-Man. He's living with his aunt and uncle after the disappearance of his parents. He has a crush on Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). He suspects all is not right with his father's former partner, Dr. Curt Connors - whose alter-ego is known to "Spider-Man" fans as the Lizard.
Katy Perry: Part of Me
How well do you really know Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, better known to the rest of the world as Katy Perry? Find out more in this documentary about her life both on (all those hits) and off the concert stage (all of that Russell Brand drama).
A lot of people who like tough, smart movies hope that this is Oliver Stone's comeback: Two small-time pot growers refuse to back down when a cartel threatens them, leading to the kidnapping of the girlfriend (Blake Lively) that the two men (Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch) share. Benecio del Toro, Salma Hayek and John Travolta co-star.
To Rome With Love
Woody Allen's anthology of stories about life and love in Rome is his latest European-set film (following 2011's "Midnight in Paris"), and it stars Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin and the director, who acts for the first time in six years.
Your Sister's Sister
Complications abound in this awkward-relationships comedy starring Emily Blunt as a woman who has to come to terms with a coupling between the best friend she may be in love with (Mark Duplass) and her sister (Rosemarie Dewitt).
When a woman (Greta Gerwig of "Greenberg") is jilted by her longtime fiance just before their wedding, she rushes through a series of adventures as well as men as she approaches age 30 without a significant other.
Ice Age: Continental Drift
It's time for a new adventure for Manny, Sid and Diego, and this time around they must do battle with pirates. Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo, among others, return to supply the voices.
The French film that has broken box-office records in that country and others in Europe opens at Circle Cinema, telling the story of a wealthy disabled man and his streetwise caretaker, and the surprising relationship that develops between them.
The Dark Knight Rises
Director Christopher Nolan's brilliant "Dark Knight" trilogy comes to a close with a new strongman villain, Bane (played by Tom Hardy of "This Means War"), and with Anne Hathaway stepping into the Catwoman-suit. Is this kitty naughty or nice? Stay tuned.
Where Do We Go Now?
This Lebanese-produced film asks that question in a story focused on a group of Lebanese women who work to calm religion-based tensions in their village between Christians and Muslims who live there.
Step Up Revolution
Young people really like these dancing movies, so Hollywood keeps churning them out. This is the fourth "Step Up" movie since Channing Tatum starred in the original 2006 picture.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
This arthouse specialty finds a little girl named Hushpuppy and her father battling the elements - as well as ancient hog-beasts and glacial changes - in their world outside the levee of New Orleans, a forbidding place of high waters and survivalist measures.
You can probably visualize Arnold Schwarzenegger in the sci-fi original from 1990. Now, can you see Colin Farrell stepping into this action-packed role? How about Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel as the ladies? But who plays Quato? Too much fun.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
The third movie based on author Jeff Kinney's wildly popular books finds Greg Heffley planning the perfect summer now that he's out of school - before he sees it all go wrong.
The Bourne Legacy
Without Matt Damon on hand to play Jason Bourne, Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye from "The Avengers") steps in as another spy whose brain was programmed in the same manner as Bourne's. The poster's tagline intrigues: "There was never just one."
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis seem like an odd couple - which is probably the point - pitted against each other as North Carolina politicians facing off in this comedy from director Jay Roach (HBO's "Recount" and "Game Change").
An intense week of counseling will decide the fate of a couple's 30-year marriage. The couple is played by Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. Can you see Steve Carell as a marriage counselor? We thought so.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Disney fantasy meets comedy-drama when a couple (Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton) that has longed for a child discovers they have one, and he's not like all the other boys. He is literally a force of nature in the way that he's growing, if you get the Green reference.
In this animated fable from the studio that produced the creepy-cool "Coraline," a boy who can speak with the dead must battle spooky evil forces when his town is cursed.
The Expendables 2
Sylvester Stallone. Jason Statham. Bruce Willis. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Chuck Norris. Again, the testosterone will ooze off the screen. This throwback actioner feels like it should be watched at the drive-in.
In this 1960s Motown girl-group melodrama (which should remind of "Dreamgirls"), Jordin Sparks plays one of the girls. She's joined by, among others in this musical, Whitney Houston, whose first film performance in 15 years was also her last. (She also has two songs on the soundtrack.)
This quirky romantic comedy revolves around a novelist (Paul Dano of "There Will Be Blood") whose early success has waned. Now he's created a unique female character: She's so unique that the character (Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the script) has come to life.
Neil Young Journeys
The iconic musician makes his third documentary in six years with director Jonathan Demme. This time he's on tour in Toronto, his birthplace, and he's checking out some of his old stomping grounds.
Tulsa filmmaker Todd Lincoln (co-founder of the Overground Film Festival) makes his feature-film debut with this supernatural thriller starring Ashley Greene ("Twilight's" Alice Cullen) and Sebastian Stan.
A New York City bike messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) knows something is not right with one of his packages when a corrupt cop (the ever-intense Michael Shannon) chases him around the city searching for it in this taut thriller.
In the Depression-era South, a bootlegging group is threatened when law enforcement wants a cut of the action. Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf star in this film from the writing-directing team behind the Western "The Proposition."
Original Print Headline: Summer Movie Preview
In the latest demonic-possession flick, a girl's yard-sale purchase contains a spooky spirit that takes control of her and must be exorcised by her parents (Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
JULY 20: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES