Zap2it Summer Movie Preview 2011: 37 films that will get us into the theaters
It’s summertime and what does that mean for movie fans? Blockbusters. You’ve got superheroes all over the place, ribald comedies and the end to one of the biggest book/movie franchises in history. We can’t wait. Pass the popcorn.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Frankly, we’re not sure we are -- such is the barrier set by the film’s star, Mel Gibson. Which is kind of a shame, because we think we might like the offbeat story of a man pulled low by depression who finds his way back via a hand puppet who becomes his alter ego.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Of all the superhero movies being released this summer, “Thor” looks like the most fun. There’s a ton of action, sure, but it also looks like it has a sense of humor about itself -- which is kind of essential if you’re trying to sell a movie about a Norse god who’s cast down to Earth.
Why we’re buying a ticket: The adaptation of Emily Giffin’s best-selling chic lit story of partner-swapping on the eve of a wedding, we’re most excited to see Kate Hudson formally pass the rom-com torch to Ginnifer Goodwin. And who doesn’t love a little John Krasinski?
Why we’re buying a ticket: Will Ferrell isn’t exactly known for his dramatic chops, and a movie about an extended garage sale doesn’t exactly sound like a popcorn party, but somehow, this works. It’s a very downbeat movie, but the trailer has just enough indie sensibility -- combined with a decidedly hipster-friendly soundtrack -- to make us want to watch it, get depressed, and then go home glad that our lives don’t suck that badly. The movie also just looks beautiful -- it was shot almost entirely on one street in Phoenix, with cinematography that’s been praised by reviewers since its festival debuts in 2010.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Woody Allen. Marion Cotillard. Rachel McAdams. Owen Wilson. Adrien Brody. Kathy Bates. Michael Sheen. Need we say more? The all-star team that came together for this rom-com is enough to sell us a ticket. It’s the opening film for the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and we’d like to print out screengrabs of the trailer and plaster them all over our walls, so the rest of the film is sure to be stunning, too.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane jump aboard this Johnny Depp-led whale of a franchise for a fourth installment that pits Captain Jack Sparrow against Blackbeard in a search for the fountain of youth. Plus, Geoffrey Rush. (Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley will be missed, though.)
Why we’re buying a ticket: Who hasn’t done something dumb during a wild night of boozing? Sure, this franchise takes that to the extreme, but we can still relate. A second time in Bangkok? It’s like they read our minds.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Part ‘50s American period piece, part surrealist science fiction... all Brad Pitt, there’s no official description of what “Life” is about -- but we’re curious enough to see for ourselves.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Can we ever get too much back story on Magneto and Professor X? Yes. It’s all over the other films in this franchise. What we do appreciate is this early look at the young mutants. Now, that’s what we’re really looking forward to.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Because J.J. Abrams’ alien/monster/whatever movie is partly a tribute to the movies he grew up watching -- and which we watched too. And because the teaser material has been just so freaking great that we almost can’t stand waiting to see what everything is. And Kyle Chandler is in it.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Ryan Reynolds suits up as a superhero in this comic book adaptation about a guy who (his words) swears allegiance “to a lantern given to me by a dying purple alien.” And we can dig Reynolds in skin-tight latex.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Confession: We’re suckers for a good love (or something like it) story and this one starring Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts looks like the perfect teen version of "(500) Days of Summer.” Also -- good call on changing the title from “Homework.”
Why we’re buying a ticket: Jim Carrey + Penguins = Good times. Carrey plays a man who inherits six penguins and decides to turn his apartment into a winter wonderland. Hey, at least he inherited something, right?
Why we’re buying a ticket: Cameron Diaz stars as a money-hungry teacher (so clearly, she chose the right profession) who is after cute substitute teacher Scott (Justin Timberlake). One of her many ploys involves raising money for breast implants. It sounds pretty off-the-wall, but we love the cast, which in addition to Diaz and TImberlake also includes Jason Segel, Molly Shannon and Lucy Punch.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Because we saw the first one and it was awesome, that’s why! Lightning McQueen (coolest name ever), voiced by Owen Wilson, is back and teaming up with his best friend for an international adventure. This time, Lightning takes on the fastest cars in the world. No pressure.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Just in time for Independence Day, the next installment in Michael Bay’s “Transformers” franchise hits theaters with stars Shia LaBeouf and Josh Duhamel. This time, Patrick Dempsey and John Malkovich are along for the ride. We’re looking forward to battle scenes set in Washington, D.C. Plus, no Megan Fox.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Tom Hanks wrote, directed and stars in “Larry Crowne,” where he plays a middle-aged man who goes back to college. His co-screenwriter is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding Star” Nia Vardalos, who is also in the film, and his romantic interest is Julia Roberts as a professor at the school. Are Hanks and Roberts the new Hanks and Ryan? Maybe. We definitely want to find out.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Three girls -- Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy -- jet off the Europe after high school graduation and pull a switcharoo a wealthy, famous doppelganger. What’s not to love?
Why we’re buying a ticket: Based on the devastating novel by David Nicholls, “One Day” promises perfect casting (Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess) of the couple who meet on the same day every year after spending the night of their college graduation together.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Three friends (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) conspire to murder their bosses (Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, and Kevin Spacey), who they think are standing in the way of their happiness. Since we can’t identify with the plot at all (Hi boss, who is proofreading this), we’ll settle for a killer cast and a bit part for Old Spice guy Isaiah Mustafa.
Why we’re buying a ticket: It wouldn’t be very professional to just write “SQUEEEEE” for a paragraph, but that’s mostly how we’re feeling about this movie. It is such a privilege to be part of the “Harry Potter” franchise happening in real time - book releases, anticipation, movie news and releases. And we are just dying to see how the franchise ends on film. That being said, we’re also getting sadder by the day. We don’t want it to be over. Please, J.K. Rowling - write some Maurauder-based prequels. Please.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Just from the looks of the trailer, Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake have some undeniable on-screen chemistry. Will the flick surrender to the cliches of most Hollywood rom-coms? Probably. Will it be a fun and entertaining ride along the way? We certainly hope so.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Chris Evans! Beyond that, we’ve heard a lot about the retro styling of this film -- comics meet steam punk? We’re in. Plus, we’re fascinated with the special effect of making Evans look like a “98-pound-weakling” in the earlier part of the film!
Why we’re buying a ticket: The sci-fi junky in us is fascinated with the idea of a man finding himself in the middle of a war with aliens in the wild, wild west of the late-1800s. Add actors Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford to the mix and the writers behind “Star Trek”? Sold.
Why we’re buying a ticket: So we have a soft spot for celebrity voiced animated comedies. Sue us. The film actually boasts an impressive list of contributing voices, including Hank Azaria, Katy Perry, Fred Armisen and even Sofia Vergara. At the very least, Neil Patrick Harris manages to add a little shine to everything he touches.
Why we’re buying a ticket: So, yeah, the story kind of looks like “Hitch” plus an ex-wife and kids. But with a cast this good -- Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Marisa Tomei -- that might not even matter.
Why we’re buying a ticket: There’s a rather large soft spot in our pop culture-loving hearts for the original “Planet of the Apes” movie series, so we’re pretty curious to see how this update -- which is telling more or less the same story “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” -- turns out. Plus, James Franco.
Why we’re buying a ticket: In the grand tradition of dude-comedy, Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman play best friends with very different lives who make a wish to switch lives/bodies. Guess what? It works! Basically, this is an R-rated “Freaky Friday” with lots of penis jokes and really really hot people like Reynolds and Olivia Wilde. We’re so in.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Emma Stone has stepped nicely into the place vacated by Lindsay Lohan just after “Mean Girls,” and we have a feeling her career is going to continue its upward trend as opposed to ... well. In “The Help,” Stone takes on a more adult role¿ and we don’t mean that in the “I Know Who Killed Me” stripper way. She plays Skeeter Phelan, a white novelist in the early ‘60s, who moves home after college to discover that her childhood maid and friend has mysteriously disappeared. The story examines the racial tensions in Jackson, Mississippi just before the Jim Crow laws were dismantled.
Why we’re buying a ticket: This horror release is a remake of a 1973 made-for-TV movie that aired on ABC. It’s the story of a little girl Sally (Bailee Madison) who moves in with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) after her mother abandons her. Their house is being renovated and while exploring, Sally finds a sealed-up fireplace that begins to whisper to her to open it. Goblin-like creatures escape and proceed to torment the little girl. The movie is directed by Guillermo del Toro, who was the genius behind “Pan’s Labyrinth,” which, while a wonderful movie, had moments that scared the ever-loving crap out of us. So we have high hopes for this one as well.
Why we’re buying a ticket: An adventure comedy wherein two stupid criminals kidnap a pizza delivery guy and force him to rob a bank, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson? Why wouldn’t you want to see this movie?
Why we’re buying a ticket: The 1985 horror classic about a boy who (quite justifiably) suspects his new neighbor is a vampire, this remake stars Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco and David Tennant -- just to name a few.
Why we’re buying a ticket: Vampires and werewolves are so 2010. It’s time for barbarians and big budget fantasy flicks to stage a comeback. Lionsgate is betting on a reboot of this decades-dead franchise. We’re curious about a Schwarzenegger-free “Conan.”
Why we’re buying a ticket: We loved watching Paul Rudd’s take on the surfer bum Kunu in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and can’t wait to see him pull off a lovable but dim-witted stoner this time around. Throw in Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks, Steve Coogan and Rashida Jones? We’re sure to be treated to a few laughs. Plus, we have a feeling there’s a heartfelt family message hidden in there, too.
Taking place between two time periods -- 1966 and 1997 -- this espionage thriller stars Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson. The plot confuses us a bit (something about tracking down a Nazi war criminal), but with a cast like this, we’ll take a little confusion.