Welcome back for yet another installment of Summer Movie Mayhem here at Geeks of Doom!
This is where you’ll find all of the notable summer movie releases, so that you may decide which you’re interested in and which you’d you’d rather ignore this upcoming summer movie season.
Okay, so the summer movie season is already well underway (it creeps up so fast sometimes!). Sorry about that. Still—there’s plenty of other flicks on the way to familiarize yourselves with.
Continue reading to check out this year’s Summer Movie Mayhem, and be sure to share what you’re most looking forward to during the season of heat below now!
DIRECTOR: Joss Whedon
STARRING: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd, Samuel L. Jackson
As mentioned, The Avengers has already stampeded its way into theaters. The movie has a crystal clear purpose, and that is to end the lives of existing box office records. It began with the domestic opening weekend record, bringing in well over $200 million, and has been collecting the heads of other records on its way to passing the $1 billion worldwide mark, including almost all of the “fastest to” records.
The movie is custom built for geeks, bringing together the group of Marvel comic book superheroes we’ve seen in their own individual movies over the past decade or so, and naming geek god Joss Whedon grand maestro to compose the whole damn thing into an orchestra of magnificence worthy of the precious fanboy tears it extracts so effortlessly.
DIRECTOR: Tim Burton
STARRING: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz, Bella Heathcote, Thomas McDonell, Gulliver McGrath
Very much unlike The Avengers, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp‘s latest tag-team effort, Dark Shadows, didn’t have a whole lot of buzz behind it, and it seemed like more fans of the original were angered by the very sight of this new version than there were people interested in seeing it.
The movie is of course based on the ’60s soap opera of the same name, and follows a vampire named Barnabus Collins (Depp) as he awakes in the ’70s and has to adjust to an extremely different way of life.
DIRECTOR: Larry Charles
STARRING: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, John C. Reilly
Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the screen he once used to showcase his characters, Borat and Bruno, with a brand spankin’ new character in The Dictator.
Said to be playing Saddam Hussein in early reports about the project, Cohen instead plays General Aladeen, a heavily eccentric tyrant (molded after some of history’s dirty “gems” of the past) who finds himself stuck in America after visiting, and, similarly to Johnny Depp’s Barnabus Collins, must adjust to a culture much, much different than he is used to.
The movie didn’t make a massive splash at the box office initially, but it’s doing okay for itself both financially and critically.
DIRECTOR: Peter Berg
STARRING: Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander SkarsgÃ¥rd, Rihanna, Asano Tadanobu, Liam Neeson
Ah, Battleship. Once upon a time we thought you might turn into another enjoyable naval drama along the lines of say a Crimson Tide or The Hunt for the Red October, but, as it turned out, you weren’t even K19: The Widowmaker…or even Down Periscope, for that matter. And where did it all go wrong? That’s exactly right: aliens.
The moment it was revealed that this movie based on the beloved Hasbro board game of the same name would be sprinkling in aliens for no apparent reason (and especially when the first trailers showed us what appeared to be a Transformers clone), all interest in it seemed to dissipate at record speeds.
The movie only made $25 million in its first weekend domestically, though it has found a way to bring in $232 million overseas, covering its $209 million budget at least.
MEN IN BLACK III
DIRECTOR: Barry Sonnenfeld
STARRING: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Alice Eve, Emma Thompson, Jemaine Clement
After a decade away, the MiB return for a third chapter in the blockbuster franchise, Men in Black III.
This time around J (Will Smith) is forced to travel back in time to the ’60s in order to find a young K (Josh Brolin) and alter events that would lead to the older K’s (Tommy Lee Jones) untimely demise.
There’s no denying the immense popularity of the world and characters created for the Men in Black movies, but can they still throw down at the box office like they used to, or will the trilogy-maker prove to be just a money-grabber with no heart?
DIRECTOR: Brad Parker
STARRING: Jesse McCartney, Olivia Dudley, Nathan Phillips, Ingrid BolsÃ¸ Berdal, Jonathan Sadowski, Devin Kelley, Dimitri Diatchenko
Folks just love their found footage horror movies, and, after The Blair Witch Project planted the seed, Oren Peli truly helped the sub-genre grow with his Paranormal Activity. Peli is back at it again as a producer, but instead of confining himself to just a house, he’s taking us to one of the most haunting locations on this planet: Chernobyl.
For those unfamiliar with Chernobyl, back in 1986 the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine had a catastrophic accident that led to numerous explosions and a fire that released radioactive smoke into the atmosphere, which spread across a huge area of the then Soviet Union and some of Europe. As a result, over 350,000 people have been evacuated and moved to other areas, making Chernobyl and surrounding areas such as the city of Pripyat ghost towns.
The movie, titled Chernobyl Diaries follows a group of tourists who hire a guide to take them on a tour of Pripyat, which is where many of the families of the workers of Chernobyl lived. But they soon find themselves abandoned in the city, and someone or something is after them.
DIRECTOR: Wes Anderson
STARRING: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward
Director Wes Anderson has one of the most unique and strange (in a good way) filmmaking styles we’ve ever seen in movies. Because of that he’s a fan favorite, despite the fact that his movies don’t always fare so well at the box office.
The director’s newest movie comes out this summer, and it’s called Moonrise Kingdom. And as is almost always the case, the trailer alone screams who made the movie far before his name is ever shown, leading many fans of Anderson and black comedies alike to squeal with joy.
The movie tells the story of a young boy and girl in New England who fall in love and run off together, leading to the forming of a search party to spread out and find them.
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN
DIRECTOR: Rupert Sanders
STARRING: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost, Ray Winstone, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones
Studios are currently in the midst of an ongoing fantasy and fairly tales battle, trying to deliver their own takes on numerous beloved fables and beat out other studios and their offerings, which are sometimes based on the very same source material.
While we wait for the battle of movies based on The Wizard of Oz and others that are well on the way, a one Miss Snow White is already in combat. The first movie based on Snow has already been released, Mirror Mirror, and it took a much more tradition and family-friendly approach to telling the story. In the other corner stands Snow White and the Huntsman, which took an entirely different approach to telling the tale and hopes to use much darker and fantastical elements to lay waste to its competition.
This is the one I’m personally most nervous about. I want so badly for it to be as good as it looks like it can be, but naturally am worried it will be a let down.
DIRECTOR: John Gulager
STARRING: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, David Koechner, Chris Zylka, Katrina Bowden, Gary Busey, Christopher Lloyd, David Hasselhoff
If you have no interest in the bigger blockbusters, you can always look forward to all the b-movie blood and sex promises of a movie like Piranha 3DD.
The sequel to 2010’s Piranha, the movie pays no attention to the fine art of filmmaking and instead focuses on the lost art of over-the-top exploitation cinema.
In the sequel, the piranha who were released at Lake Victoria during spring break in the first movie have made their way upstream and to a new water park called Big Wet, where there are plenty of staff and patrons who have no idea what’s heading their way.
DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott
STARRING: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron
One of the more talked about projects in recent memory has without doubt been director Ridley Scott‘s newest movie, Prometheus, which is of course something of a prequel to his 1979 horror classic, Alien.
Fans of Scott and Alien have been nervous as to whether the prequel was a good idea and, even though it’s evolved into its own movie, whether it can live up its predecessor. But so far everything we’ve seen has not only been good but downright spectacular, and with that reassuring badge of honor R rating, excitement level is off the charts.
The movie follows a scientific expedition to potentially find the origin of all human life. The expedition leads them deep into the universe to a far away planet where they encounter an extraterrestrial race, but instead of finding the origin of humankind, they find something that threatens the very existence of our species.
MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED
DIRECTORS: Eric Darnell, Conrad Vernon
STARRING: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric The Entertainer, Andy Richter, Frances McDormand
The third installment in the Madagascar franchise, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is one of the summer’s family-friendly animated offerings.
In the trilogy-maker, the animals, including Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Melman (David Schwimmer), are still trying to get back to New York City. But instead of getting home, this time they find themselves in Europe. And the only way they can get around without attracting too much attention is to join the circus.
With Pixar looking to bounce back from its first disappointment in Cars 2 with this year’s title, Brave, it’s assumed that they’ll win the animated crown for the season. Then again, one should never underestimate the power of talking animals.
ROCK OF AGES
DIRECTOR: Adam Shankman
STARRING: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Ackerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise
A nostalgia flick for anyone who lived in the ’80s, Rock of Ages is this summer’s musical offering.
The movie is based on the hit off-Broadway musical of the same name. It tells the story of a waitress (Julianne Hough) and busboy (Diego Boneta) who fall in love in 1987 during the pop rock boom while at the same time chasing their dream of making it big as an actress and rock star, respectively.
The movie touts a large ensemble cast with Tom Cruise getting most of the attention for his turn as rock star Stacee Jaxx.
THAT’S MY BOY
DIRECTOR: Sean Anders, John Morris
STARRING: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, James Caan
With That’s My Boy, Adam Sandler jumps back into an arena he hasn’t often played in: the R-rated comedy. Sandler’s previous R-rated ventures include Funny People and Bulletproof, both sharing the comedy with other genres, and dramas like Reign Over Me and Punch Drunk Love. If you’ve ever heard one of the comedian’s CDs from back in the day this might be hard to believe, but it’s true, Sandler made his fame and fortune in the realms of goofball comedies.
That’s My Boy is a movie much more along the lines of what we’d expect to see in a Sandler movie—a goofball comedy—and you have to go all the way back to 1989 to find that kind of R-rated comedy on his resume, his very first movie, Going Overboard. But will this newest movie be successful? No doubt it aims at those who were fans of Sandler in the ’90s—fans who haven’t been very big on his more family-friendly recent works—but it will be interesting to see how those fans respond.
The movie follows Donny (Sandler), who impregnates his school teacher while only 13 years old. He takes care of his son Todd (Andy Samberg) for the first 18 years of his life, and then disappears for many years. But when Donny shows back up on the eve of Todd’s wedding it doesn’t go over so well, and it will take more than just an apology to reconnect with his son.
DIRECTOR: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
STARRING: Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane
As mentioned above, Pixar is out to rebound from Cars 2, which was widely considered to be the beloved animation studio’s first less-than-stellar production.
This year’s title is Brave, which takes Pixar to ancient Scotland. The movie plays like a classic Disney hand-drawn fairy tale, telling the story of Merida (Kelly Macdonald), the daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Quenn Elinor (Emma Thompson), who aspires to do bigger things than strict traditions allow her. In an attempt to escape the binds of said traditions, Merida goes to a witch (Julie Walters) for help. But, seeing as how going to witches never solves anything, it results in her family and kingdom becoming cursed, and Merida must find a way to save everyone.
Other cast includes Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, and of course, John Ratzenberger.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER
DIRECTOR: Timur Bekmambetov
STARRING: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
It’s only a matter of time before the classic literature/alternate history-horror mash-up sub-genre that started with author Seth Grahame-Smith‘s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book remake has many different movies under it. Many movies are already being developed based on such stories, including PP and Zombies, but the first major one to make it to the Big Screen (as far as I’m aware, anyway) is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The movie, written by Grahame-Smith (and adapted from the book he also wrote), tells the story of an alternate history where our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, moonlighted as a hunter and killer of vampires after his mother was taken from him by one of the creatures.
SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
DIRECTOR: Lorene Scafaria
STARRING: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Rob Corddry, Derek Luke, Melanie Lynskey, William Petersen, Gillian Jacobs, T.J. Miller, Patton Oswalt, Bob Stephenson, Mark Moses
Every year there’s a smaller movie that comes out of nowhere and surprises you. I’m hoping Seeking A Friend For the End of the World is one of those movies.
Having never heard of it, I watched the trailer for this one and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. If the movie is as good as the trailer indicates (and trailers are sometimes far better than the final product, as we all know), it should be well worth a peek.
The movie is just as the title so lovingly sums it up. Steve Carell plays a man whose wife leaves him after it’s discovered that an asteroid is heading straight for us and the world is going to end. Instead of sit around he decides to head out on a road trip to find his high school sweetheart joined by his neighbor (Keira Knightley), who’s looking for her family.
TO ROME WITH LOVE
DIRECTOR: Woody Allen
STARRING: Ellen Page, Woody Allen, Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Alison Pill, Roberto Benigni, Greta Gerwig
For you Woody Allen fans out there, the 23-time Academy Award nominee and 4-time Academy Award winner (two for Annie Hall, one for Hannah and Her Sisters, and one for the recent Midnight in Paris) has a new movie hitting cinemas this summer as well.
The movie is titled To Rome With Love, and it, of course, takes place in Italy. It tells the stories of many people—some Italian, some American; some residents, some tourists—and the adventures, romances, and trouble they get into.
The movie has a great cast, including Allen in his first acting role since 2006’s Scoop.
DIRECTOR: Seth MacFarlane
STARRING: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, Seth MacFarlane
Recently moving from the July 13th spot to here (to fill the vacancy left by G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which dropped back from 2012 to 2013), Ted is the first feature length live-action directing job from Family Guy and American Dad! creator Seth MacFarlane.
The movie tells the story of a man named John (Mark Wahlberg) and his teddy bear Ted (voiced by MacFarlane), who came to life when John wished it so as a boy and has been with him ever since. Just like us, Ted also grows up, but unfortunately for John it’s into a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking pervert. This doesn’t bother John too much, but when his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) puts him on the spot, he must choose between her and his stuffed lifelong friend.
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
STARRING: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Riley Keough, Cody Horn, Olivia Munn
A movie for all you ladies out there, Magic Mike is the newest from director Steven Soderbergh.
It stars Channing Tatum as Magic Mike, a male stripper who takes a new kid simply known as The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and teaches him all his tricks to making good money, getting lots of girls, and partying.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
DIRECTOR: Marc Webb
STARRING: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen, Sally Field
Get used to this, kids. This summer marks the first of many in-the-works insta-boots, as I like to call them.
Following the failure that was 2007’s Spider-Man 3 and an in-development Spider-Man 4 that wasn’t going the way Sony and Columbia Pictures wanted it to be going, it was decided to toss it all in the incinerator—the movie, the cast, the crew…all of it—and immediately start over with The Amazing Spider-Man. To make it even harder to swallow, it was revealed that the plan was to yet again tell the origin story of Peter Parker/Spider-Man (played by Andrew Garfield), despite the fact that we had just seen it in 2002’s Spider-Man.
All of that said, Garfield is a very likable dude and a massive Spider-Man fan, which has most thinking he’ll be much better in the role than Tobey Maguire was. Paired with a solid supporting cast and some promising trailers, it appears the insta-boot isn’t the worst idea ever. We won’t know for sure, however, until 4th of July weekend.
DIRECTOR: Oliver Stone
STARRING: Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch, Demian Bichir
The newest movie from director Oliver Stone, Savages boasts an exceptional cast and a crime-drama storyline that returns Stone to the genre he thrived in with Natural Born Killers, and didn’t so much thrive in with U-Turn.
The movie follows Chon (Taylor Kitsch—trying to find some good news after very bad luck as the leading man in John Carter and Battleship) and Ben (Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson), two marijuana-growing friends who share the same girlfriend (Blake Lively). But when she’s kidnapped by the Mexican drug cartel, the duo must face off against them and get her back.
DIRECTOR: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass
STARRING: Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis, Jennifer Lafleur, Julie Vorus, Reid Williams
The latest feature from indie favorites, brother filmmakers Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon takes the worldwide event, the Olympics, and minimizes it to between two brothers in what should lead to many comical moments.
The movie tells the story of brothers Mark (Steve Zissis) and Jeremy (Mark Kelly), who, as kids, held their own version of the Olympics between just the two of them. Being the competitive pair they are, and considering their considerably slower and more boring middle-aged lives, they decide to once again compete in the Do-Deca-Pentathlon and see who’s really the best of them.
If this new movie measures up to other Duplass brothers works like Baghead, Cyrus, or Jeff, Who Lives At Home, it should be a funny and fairly awkward little indie flick to peek at this summer.
ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT
DIRECTOR: Steve Martino, Michael Thurmeier
STARRING: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Queen Latifah, Peter Dinklage, Nick Frost, Jennifer Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Aziz Ansari Alan Tudyk
Another animated flick looking to win the summer is the fourth movie in the Ice Age franchise, titled Ice Age: Continental Drift.
In the latest chapter, the continents are beginning to drift apart. This event leads Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), and Sid (John Leguizamo) on a new adventure where they’ll meet exotic sea creatures and a band of pirates led by Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage), a prehistoric orangutan.
Other new voice cast includes Jennifer Lopez as Shira, another saber-toothed cat who’s part of Gutt’s pirate gang and becomes a love interest of Diego, Nick Frost as another pirate who’s a 4,000-pound elephant seal named Flynn, Alan Tudyk as Sid’s father, and Aziz Ansari as yet another pirate in Gutt’s crew, a prehistoric rabbit named Squint.
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
STARRING: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman
It’s hard to think that a movie this summer will do as well as The Avengers did, but if anything is going to pull it off, it will no doubt be The Dark Knight Rises.
The trilogy-maker and director Christopher Nolan‘s last hurrah behind the camera for this franchise looks to equal or surpass the insane numbers the last movie, 2008’s The Dark Knight, threw down when it came out.
Christian Bale returns for his last turn as Bruce Wayne/Batman as well (Warner Brothers is said to be insta-booting the franchise with a new group of cast and crew not long after this one comes and goes), facing his greatest nemesis yet, Bane (Tom Hardy), as all hell breaks loose in Gotham.
DIRECTOR: Akiva Schaffer
STARRING: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade
Directed by Saturday Night Live writer/director Akiva Schaffer and written by duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, The Watch is a collaboration of familiar talents that looks to do big things on the comedy front.
The movie tells the story of suburban dads bored with their everyday lives who decide to form a neighborhood watch and keep an eye on things. What they didn’t count on is having to defend the entire planet from invading aliens.
Everyone throws aliens into their movies these days, sometimes when it doesn’t even make any sense (*cough*Battleship*cough*), but if randomly throwing aliens into your movie is going to work, it would be with a comedy such as this one.
DIRECTOR: William Friedkin
STARRING: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon, Thomas Haden Church
Looking for a dab of naughty this summer movie season? Killer Joe is a movie the MPAA tried to sink by telling it it needed to cut a bunch of scenes in order to get an NC-17 down to an R-rating. Instead of buckling under the always questionable pressure the MPAA can put on you, director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) decided just to wear the NC-17 rating proudly and march forward.
The movie follows a family with some problems. Young Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) owes a major debt, and his life is in danger because of it. In order to get out of this mess he’s in, he decides drastic measures are required. Chris reaches out to a contract killer named Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) to murder his evil mother so he can claim the insurance money and pay off his debts. But, naturally, things don’t go so smoothly.
DIRECTOR: Len Wiseman
STARRING: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho, Bill Nighy
Another dreaded remake, fans of the original Arnold Schwarzenegger Total Recall understandably aren’t too thrilled to see this new Recall coming out. That said, after seeing the first trailer it’s hard not to think the remake has promise. The real question here is what will this movie be rated? Will it stay faithful to the tone of the original and get that badge of honor R rating, or will it take the much more likely route and get the money-making PG-13 rating?
This version of the story is said to be much more faithful to the source material, the Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, but still with plenty of similarities to the original movie adaptation.
It follows Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), a construction worker who begins to think he might be a secret spy whose memory was erased, but isn’t sure what side he should be fighting for in an ongoing political struggle between Euroamerica (formerly North America and the European Union) and New Shanghai (formerly Southeast Asia and China), so he teams up with a freedom fighter named Melina (Jessica Biel) to start by changing the current political system in Euroamerica.
THE BOURNE LEGACY
DIRECTOR: Tony Gilroy
STARRING: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Albert Finney, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn, Stacy Keach, Oscar Isaac
The Bourne franchise is back with The Bourne Legacy, and with it comes a new face in Jeremy Renner replacing the departed Matt Damon.
The movie will be an original story, unlike the three previous Bourne flicks, which were all based on the books of Robert Ludlum. The newest movie is titled after another Bourne book written by author Eric Van Lustbader, but it’s not based on it. It continues after the events of The Bourne Ultimatum, where Renner’s character will have to deal with the consequences of Jason Bourne’s actions.
DIRECTOR: Jay Chandrasekhar
STARRING: Olivia Munn, Paul Schneider, Aisha Tyler, Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Helena Mattsson, Nat Faxon, M.C. Gainey
If you’re a fan of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe and their movies, such as Super Troopers or Club Dread, The Babymakers may be one to keep an eye on this summer.(Read our review)
Though not an actual Broken Lizard film, it is directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, who’s directed most of the Lizard titles and episodes of various TV series like Arrested Development, Chuck, Psych, and Community. Fellow Lizard member Kevin Heffernan (Farva from Super Troopers) also stars in the movie.
It tells the story of a young married couple (Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn), who are having trouble getting pregnant. As a last resort, Schneider’s character gathers up some of his friends and heads to a sperm bank where he made a deposit years ago to steal back his seed.
DIRECTOR: Jay Roach
STARRING: Will Ferrell, Zack Galifianakis, Dylan McDermott, Brian Cox, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, and Jason Sudeikis.
With the election coming up this fall, a good political comedy feels pretty right. And with that, we have The Campaign.
The movie stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as two rival politicians from small districts in North Carolina who are competing with each other to become the congressional representative for their district in the United States House of Representatives.
The movie is written by Shawn Harwell and Chris Henchy, who work on Eastbound & Down.
THE EXPENDABLES 2
DIRECTOR: Simon West
STARRING: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Jean Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Craving some mindless adrenaline-fueled action movie goodness with some of the past few decades’ biggest action movie stars? This summer has that, as well, with the release of the sequel to the 2009 hit, The Expendables.
With most of the cast returning and the addition of a couple of new stars like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris, all signs pointed to another great action flick-in-the-making. Then came word that Norris had required the movie to be PG-13 (even though the first made lots of money) for one stupid reason or another, enraging many. Thankfully said rage was noticed and the rating was fixed, allowing us to once again be excited about The Expendables 2.
This time around the team takes a new job from Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), but when one of their own is murdered in the process by a rival mercenary named Jean Vilain (Van Damme), they recruit some new faces and head out for revenge.
DIRECTOR: Sam Fell, Chris Butler
STARRING: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Elaine Stritch, Alex Borstein
If you’re into animated movies, this could be a fantastic summer for you. Yet another one hits in August, this one of the stop-motion variety, titled ParaNorman.
The movie tells the story of Norman, an awkward boy with the very special gift of being able to communicate with the dead. In order to save his town from a curse that’s many centuries old, he must deal with ghosts, zombies, and perhaps worst of all…adults.
HIT & RUN
DIRECTOR: David Palmer, Dax Shepard
STARRING: Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold
Hit & Run is the new action-comedy from the producers of Wedding Crashers.
It follows a man in the witness protection program named Charlie (Dax Shepard), who blows his cover to help his girlfriend (Kristen Bell) get to Los Angeles. The couple end up on the run from both Charlie’s former gang and the feds, all while he tries to explain to his uninformed girlfriend what exactly is going on.
The movie could be a small nod to filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn with Charlie being a former getaway driver and his full name being Charlie Bronson. Similarities shared with Winding Refn’s Drive, which stars Ryan Gosling as a stunt and getaway driver, and Bronson, which stars Tom Hardy as a slightly unbalanced man with a passion for violence who adopts the name Charles Bronson, after the late, great actor of the same name, of course. Or…it could just be a coincidence.
DIRECTOR: David Koepp
STARRING: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Jamie Chung
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a hot commodity these days, and after you see him in a supporting role in The Dark Knight Rises you’ll be able to check him out as the headliner in Premium Rush. If that’s not enough for you, you’ll also be able to catch him this fall movie season in the time travel thriller Looper as well.
The movie is an action-thriller set within the highly chaotic world of bicycle delivery work in New York City. Gordon-Levitt plays one of the very best at navigating the concrete jungle that is Manhattan and getting deliveries into the hands of their recipients with blazing speed.
DIRECTOR: John Hillcoat
STARRING: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska.
If you’re a fan of the incredible HBO series Boardwalk Empire, Lawless may just be a movie to mark down on your calendars.
The movie is set in Depression-era Virginia, and follows the battle between a gang of bootleggers and the authorities who want a cut of the profits being raked in by the gang.
Lawless is directed by John Hillcoat, known for his dark and gritty work on movies like The Proposition and The Road.
DIRECTOR: Ole Bornedal
STARRING:Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, Natasha Calis, Grant Show, Matisyahu
The PG-13 horror movie is about as appealing to this movie fan as a caramel coated onion, but for those of you looking for the some scares this summer, another other option is The Possession.
Produced by Sam Raimi, the movie stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a man who buys his daughter (Natasha Calis) an antique box at a yard sale, but, unbeknownst to them, with it comes a dangerous ancient spirit that latches on to the young girl. In order to rid their family of this spirit, the concerned father reaches out to his ex-wife (Kyra Sedwick) to help him find solutions.
DIRECTOR: Ruben Fleischer
STARRING: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Robert Patrick, Michael PeÃ±a, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, Emma Stone, Sean Penn
The newest movie from Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less director Ruben Fleischer takes him to the gangster movie genre.
Gangster Squad takes place in the 1940s and ’50s as Los Angeles police deal with trying to rid their city with the East coast mobster types moving into their area.
Penn plays gangster Mickey Cohen in the movie, marking the second time we’ve seen the mobster in recent entertainment. The first was the video game L.A. Noire, and the third will be Frank Darabont’s upcoming TNT series, also titled L.A. Noir.
THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY
DIRECTOR: Mabrouk El Mechri
STARRING: Henry Cavill, Sigourney Weaver, VerÃ³nica Echegui, Bruce Willis
Henry Cavill sneaks an action-thriller in before his highly anticipated turn as Clark Kent/Superman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel next summer.
Cavill plays a young Wall Street trader who, while out boating with his family, discovers everyone has vanished. He soon discovers there’s more to his father (Bruce Willis) than was once thought, and special agents (including Sigourney Weaver) are hot on his trail in pursuit of a mysterious briefcase.
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION
DIRECTOR: Paul W.S. Anderson
STARRING: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Kevin Durand, Shawn Roberts, Colin Salmon, Johann Urb, Boris Kodjoe, Li Bing Bing
Yet another installment in the neverending Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil: Retribution once again unites the husband and wife director/star team of Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich.
In the latest chapter, Alice (Jovovich) is captured by Umbrella Corporation again and finds herself confronting much of her past as she works her way deeper into the complex looking for the reasons for the zombie outbreak.
The movie also includes some new characters, including Ada Wong, Leon Kennedy, and Barry Burton.
FINDING NEMO 3D
DIRECTOR: Andrew Stanton
STARRING: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney, Austin Pendleton, Joe Ranft, Geoffrey Rush, Andrew Stanton, Elizabeth Perkins
Could the top animated feature this summer be a returning favorite? Pixar’s Brave looks very promising, but the rest look like they could be hit or miss situations. So why not go see a movie you likely already own, this time with a third dimension thrown in!
That’s right, the eternally wonderful Pixar hit Finding Nemo is on its way back to theaters with a 3D makeover. The movie follows in the footsteps of The Lion King and Titanic, both of which re-released in the recent past. Both also made a significant amount of coin when re-released, so Nemo will be returning with hopes of recapturing the hearts of many.
DIRECTOR: Pete Travis
STARRING: Karl Urban, Lena Headey, Olivia Thirby, Santi Scinelli, Deobia Oparei
Technically summer ends on this day, but since the movie season starts off a little early we figured we’d add these final four to this already massive list of titles soon arriving at your local cineplex.
Dredd is if course the newest take on the popular Judge Dredd character played by Sylvester Stallone back in the early ’90s. This newest version is said to be much more faithful to the comic it’s based on and not as cheesy as Stallone’s is.
DIRECTOR: Jill Culton, Genndy Tartakovsky
STARRING: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade
One last animated flick to end the season, not that I see a whole lot of people running out to see this one.
The movie is Hotel Transylvania, and it tells the story of a resort far from the human world for all beasties and gouls and ghosts and anything else paranormal to visit and relax a spell. The resort is run by Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler), who, when a human teenager stumbles across the place, must figure out what to do with him.
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET
DIRECTOR: Mark Tonderai
STARRING: Elisabeth Shue, Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows
It girl Jennifer Lawrence is back, this time playing the daughter of Elisabeth Shue in House at the End of the Street.
In the movie the mother-daughter pair, Sarah (Shue) and Elissa (Lawrence), move into a brand new house in a nice rural town. Eventually, however, they discover that a girl murdered her parents in the house next door and then disappeared. The girl’s brother and only remaining family member, Ryan (Max Theiriot), still lives there and eventually gets close to Elissa despite Sarah’s disapproval. But the closer the two get, the bigger and more dangerous the mystery surrounding everything gets.
KILLING THEM SOFTLY
DIRECTOR: Andrew Dominik
STARRING: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Vincent Curatola
Trailer (coming soon)
Finally, we end the summer movie season with Killing Them Softly.
Formerly Cogan’s Trade, the movie is the much anticipated new movie from Andrew Dominik, an incredibly talented and critically lauded director who doesn’t work a whole lot. His first movie was the 2000 title Chopper with Eric Bana, followed by the impeccable 2007 western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The latter is only a few years old now, so hopefully the fact that this new movie is coming soon indicates more projects on the near horizon for Dominik.
The movie stars Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, the man the mob calls in when rules get broken, who must investigate a massive heist of a high-stakes mob card game using his variety of special skills.