Summer Movie Preview 2012

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June



Piranha 3DD

Cast: Danielle Panabaker, Ving Rhames, David Hasselhoff, Christopher Lloyd, Garey Busey
Director: John Gulager
Writers: Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton
Release Date: June 1

As far as unapologetically tasteless endeavors go, you couldn't ask for much more than 2010's Piranha remake, so all we can say is, "More of the same, please." And this looks like nothing if not more: We can only speculate as to what new, marvelous projection format 3DD entails (perhaps well-endowed ushers will physically assault the audience?), but one thing you can count on is more bloodthirsty fish, more scantily clad victims, and more -- so very much more -- quiet contemplation of the human condition. Also, Hasselhoff and Busey together? Expect Baywatch and Point Break references.

Battlefield America

Cast: Tristen M. Carter, Kida Burns, Zach Belandres, Marques Houston, Mekia Cox
Director: Chris Stokes
Writers: Marques Houston, Chris Stokes
Release Date: June 1

The trailer for Battlefield America proudly states, "From the Team That Brought You You Got Served," and for good reason: we see the same director (Chris Stokes), same writer (Marques Houston, with an assist from Stokes), and same basic concept (drama built around hip-hop dance competitions). This time around, however, Houston plays a businessman who hires a professional dance instructor to teach a group of misfit tweens and preteens the hottest dance moves, all in preparation for the biggest youth dance battle in Long Beach, California. In other words, imagine You Got Served with kids, and that's Battlefield America in a nutshell.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Toby Jones
Director: Rupert Sanders
Writers: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini
Release Date: June 1

In a reimagining of the classic fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman stars Twilight heroine Kristen Stewart as the titular beauty and Charlize Theron as the evil queen whose quest for immortality prompts her to send a huntsman (Thor's Chris Hemsworth) after Snow White. The tables turn, however, when the huntsman sides with Snow White and offers to train her for the inevitable battle between good and evil. Not your average kid flick, this retelling of the familiar story sports a dark, epic tone, big action, and eye-popping special effects.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Cast: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett, Frances McDormand, Sacha Baron Cohen
Directors: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon
Writers: Eric Darnell, Noah Baumbach
Release Date: June 8

After two movies and over $1 billion in worldwide box office receipts, Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett) still haven't found their way back home to New York's Central Park Zoo. Madagascar 3 follows the gang's continuing misadventures as they tour various locales in Europe after their escape from Africa accidentally lands them in Monte Carlo. New voices joining the cast are Frances Mcdormand, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain, and Martin Short, among others.

Prometheus

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce
Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Release Date: June 8

There was a lot of mystery surrounding Ridley Scott's latest sci-fi thriller, and early reports had Prometheus pegged as the unofficial prequel to Alien, which understandably excited many fans. We now know, however, that Prometheus is its own story, focusing on a group of scientists following a newly discovered star map to what they believe will reveal the origins of humanity on Earth. Scott's trademark visuals are as striking as ever, and moviegoers who enjoy having their mind bent will probably not be disappointed.

Rock of Ages

Cast: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Paul Giamatti, Russel Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Director: Adam Shankman
Writers: Justin Theroux, Chris D'Arienzo, Allan Loeb
Release Date: June 15

Sherrie (Julianne Hough) is just a small town girl, living in a lonely world. She meets a city boy named Drew (Diego Boneta) on the Sunset Strip during the heady days of the glam metal era, and they fall in love. Adapted from the popular jukebox musical, Rock of Ages features a veritable smorgasbord of classic rock hits from the likes of Journey, Bon Jovi, Guns 'n' Roses, and the like, and its all-star ensemble includes Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, and Mary J. Blige. Director Adam Shankman hit big with Hairspray, so he certainly knows a thing or two about filming musicals.

That's My Boy

Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Susan Sarandon
Director: Sean Anders
Writer: David Caspe
Release Date: June 15

Adam Sandler hasn't struck critical gold in a long time, but he continues to be a hit with audiences. His latest farce is a comedy about a man named Donny (Sandler) who attempts to reconnect with the estranged son (Andy Samberg) he fathered as a teenager and raised to the age of 18. As with most of Sandler's films, viewers can expect a healthy dose of slapstick, some gross-out humor, and a lot of men behaving badly. It also doesn't hurt that folks like Susan Sarandon, James Caan, and SNL thesps Will Forte and Rachel Dratch show up in supporting roles.

To Rome With Love

Cast: Woody Allen, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, PenÚlope Cruz, Great Gerwig, Judy Davis, Roberto Benigni
Director: Woody Allen
Writers: Woody Allen
Release Date: June 22

For the first time in a while, commercial expectations are high for a Woody Allen film. Midnight in Paris was the biggest hit of the director's long career, so this follow up -- about a cross-generational group of tourists, ex-pats and locals in various stages of life and love in Rome -- will be watched with interest. Allen himself is back on screen this time, though we wonder if he'll pass the baton of neurosis on to his obvious acting successor, Jesse Eisenberg. A fine cast of Allen alums (Baldwin, Cruz) and newcomers (Page, Gerwig) should keep the Woodster comfortably in his return to form.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Cast: Benjamin Walker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Writers: Seth Grahame-Smith
Release Date: June 22

Based on author Seth Grahame-Smith's novel of the same name (which he also adapted for the screen), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter follows a recent trend of refocusing known characters and properties through a darker lens (e.g. Snow White and the Huntsman). Benjamin Walker is The Great Emancipator, whose mother's death at the hand of the titular bloodsuckers compels him to become the greatest vampire hunter ever known. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov -- no stranger to the genre (Night Watch, Day Watch) -- the film is a unique mix of Civil War history and vampire mythology ripe for blockbuster consumption.

Brave

Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane, Craig Ferguson, Julie Walters
Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Writers: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell, Irene Mecchi
Release Date: June 22

Coming away from their first Rotten-rated film, last year's Cars 2, Pixar looks to reestablish their dominance in the animation category with Brave, the Scotland-set story of a young girl named Merida (Kelly Macdonald) who stirs up controversy in her kingdom when she defies an age-old tradition. Determined to follow her heart, Merida seeks counsel with an eccentric witch (Julie Walters) who grants her one wish, which comes with its own beastly curse. Brave features Pixar's typically lush animation and an accomplished voice cast that includes Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, and Robbie Coltrane, among others.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Cast: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Adam Brody, Connie Britton, Patton Oswalt
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Writer: Lorene Scafaria
Release Date: June 22

Seeking a Friend asks a familiar question: What would you do if you knew the world was going to end? Steve Carell plays Dodge Peterson, a newly single man who finds an unlikely friend in his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) after it's been announced that an imminent asteroid crash will destroy all life on the planet. Together, Dodge and Penny embark on a journey to seek out Dodge's childhood sweetheart before Earth's time is up. Written and directed by first-timer Lorene Scafaria (writer of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist), Seeking a Friend marks another "dramedic" turn for Carell after films like Little Miss Sunshine and Crazy, Stupid, Love, catering to those looking for a little melancholy in their rom-com.

Magic Mike

Cast: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Cody Horn, Olivia Munn
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Reid Carolin
Release Date: June 29

Steven Soderbergh continues to be one of the most prolific working directors, churning out one or two movies a year (his action film Haywire only opened back in January). His latest film centers around an experienced male stripper named Mike (Channing Tatum in the title role), who takes an up-and-coming new dancer (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and shows him the ropes of his new lifestyle. If Soderbergh's track record is anything to go by (his last eight films have been Fresh), Magic Mike is likely to be another solid effort, blending humor and drama around a subject not often addressed in the movies.

People Like Us

Cast: Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jon Favreau, Mark Duplass
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jody Lambert
Release Date: June 29

Alex Kurtzman is best known for penning the screenplays behind movies like Star Trek, Transformers, and Cowboys & Aliens, along with his writing partner Roberto Orci, and the two of them serve this duty on People Like Us, as well. However, People Like Us marks Kurtzman's directorial debut, and this family drama could not be more different from his previous work. Chris Pine stars as fast talking salesman Sam, who, upon learning of his father?s sudden death, also discovers he has a sister (Elizabeth Banks) he never knew about. In reconnecting with his estranged family, Sam must reconsider how he's lived his own life. Featuring supporting turns from Olivia Wilde, Jon Favreau, and Michelle Pfeiffer, People Like Us looks to fill the sentimental spot in this year's summer lineup.

Ted

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Joel McHale
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Writers: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild
Release Date: June 29

If a foul-mouthed, badly-behaved teddy bear -- or TV's Family Guy -- is your idea of comedic genius, then this is the movie for you. FG creator Seth MacFarlane makes his directorial debut with Ted, which concerns a grown man (Mark Wahlberg) and his unhealthy bond with the titular stuffed toy (voiced by MacFarlane himself), a relationship that places the future with his potential girlfriend (Mila Kunis) in trouble. Mila Kunis or juvenile bear voiced by MacFarlane? Tough choice. Wahlberg is always at his best in comedy, and we welcome the return of his amusingly furrowed-brow self.

Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection

Cast: Tyler Perry, Denise Richards, Eugene Levy, Danielle Campbell, Romeo Miller
Director: Tyler Perry
Writer: Tyler Perry
Release Date: June 29

Tyler Perry dons a dress and wig once again to play cantankerous mother figure Madea in his latest film, Witness Protection. Unlike most of his recent films, which have been rom-coms or dramas, Perry here goes for screwball farce, with Eugene Levy and Denise Richards as George and Kate Needleman, a New York City couple who must relocate when George finds himself at odds with the mob. And where does the lucky couple end up? At Madea's house, of course! Perry's films are rarely critical hits, but he enjoys a loyal audience, so if you're a fan, you already know what you're getting into, and you've probably already made up your mind to see this.

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