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11 and 18 June

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The A-Team

Director: Joe Carnahan
Cast: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bloom
11 June
The A-Team


The casting couldn’t be better—Liam Neeson as Hannibal, District 9‘s Sharlto Copley as Murdock, Bradley Cooper as Faceman, and MMA icon “Rampage” Jackson as B.A. Baracus—and the man behind the lens (Joe Carnahan) ain’t no slouch either. With the addition of Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel, this has “promising” written all over it. So what could undermine this otherwise worthy bit of ‘80s boob tube nostalgia? Why, the studios of course. This kind of movie needs to be a big, blustery action extravaganza with as much balls as ballistics. Pulling things in for a PG-13 rating may make financial sense, but it will definitely mess with the movie’s take no prisoner’s approach.


 

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The Karate Kid

Director: Harald Zwart
Cast: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson
11 June
The Karate Kid


When you think about it, there is really no reason for this remake. The original Ralph Macchio vehicle had novelty (and a nuanced performance by Pat Morita) to draw in the crowds. Now, martial arts movies are a dime a dozen, as are stories of fringe kids finding comfort (and mentors) in unusual places. This time around, the story is reset in China, with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s son Jaden relocating there for convenient reasons. Jackie Chan is the Mr. Miyagi-like Mr. Han. He teaches the urban tough about the ways of kung-fu, all in preparation for a showdown with the school bully at a large scale tournament. Again, nothing really new here.


 

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Toy Story 3

Director: Lee Unkrich
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, Don Rickles
18 June
Toy Story 3


The tale behind Toy Story 2 remains one of the great triumphs of creativity over House of Mouse marketing ever. The Disney suits wanted to make the sequel a dull direct-to-DVD release. Pixar prevailed, and the rest is celebrated CG history (and Oscar domination). Now comes another installment in the talking plaything saga, with Andy off to college and his beloved tchotchkes donated to a day care. Everyone involved before is back, with longtime team titan Lee Unkrich sitting in for newly named executive John Lasseter. Oh yeah, and did we mention it’s been retrofitted for 3D? Should make for a sunny Summer delight. 


 

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Jonah Hex

Director: Jimmy Hayward
Cast: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich, Michael Shannon, Michael Fassbender
18 June
Jonah Hex


The trailer promises something akin to a cock-up marriage between Ghost Rider and the Will Smith version of the Wild Wild West. Messageboards are in panic/pleasure mode, some suggesting the material resembles the comic book’s best, while others fret over early reviews that suggest another frontier fiasco in the making. Whatever the case, the combination of Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, and Michael Shannon should be good for some amount of commercial credit, and the writing combo of Neveldine/Taylor (the warped geniuses behind the Crank films) is also good for some gratuitous thrills. Maybe this isn’t the trainwreck the previews make it out to be. Don’t be surprised if this locomotive derails before hitting paydirt. 


 

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Cyrus

Director: Jay Duplass,  Mark Duplass
Cast: John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei, Catherine Keener
18 June
Cyrus


The Duplass Brothers—Jay and Mark—have been festival circuit darlings for a while. Titles like The Puffy Chair and Baghead have found favor within the late twenty-something mumblecore crowd. Now, they appear to be trying to tap into the rest of the artform’s friends by bringing John C. Reilly, a revitalized Marisa Tomei, and jokester Jonah Hill into a story of a divorced man, his newfound flame, and the overprotected (and protective) son who won’t let anything come between him and his mom. The casting is excellent, and if done right, this could be smart and very funny. It could also implode almost immediately. Quite the toss up, really.


Since deciding to employ his underdeveloped muse muscles over five years ago, Bill has been a significant staff member and writer for three of the Web's most influential websites: DVD Talk, DVD Verdict and, of course, PopMatters. He also has expanded his own web presence with Bill Gibron.com a place where he further explores creative options. It is here where you can learn of his love of Swindon's own XTC, skim a few chapters of his terrifying tome in the making, The Big Book of Evil, and hear samples from the cassette albums he created in his college music studio, The Scream Room.


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