Summer Movie Preview

May 2011

by Bill Gibron

1 May 2011

 

The Tree of Life and more...

 

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  The Hangover II

Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha, Jeffrey Tambor, Ken Jeong, Paul Giamatti

27 May
The Hangover II

Deja vu never looked so promising as this revisit to the riotous Ruffie and reprobate genius from Todd Phillips. Of course, the issue with the first Hangover was both approach (it’s been mimicked a million times since) and that elusive lighting in a bottle bravado. Something about the new trailer suggests that we are going to get more of the same, and there’s really nothing wrong with that. But the old saying warns that familiarity breeds contempt, and nothing is more contemptible than a comedy that trades on past glories to milk the same material. Still - Zach Galifianakis and a monkey…

 

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Kung Fu Panda 2

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Cast: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Randall Duk Kim, James Hong

27 May
Kung Fu Panda 2

The first outing for this likeable CG action comedy saw a slick combination of old school martial artistry (ala The Shaw Brothers) with the kind of kid friendly fun that makes this genre so problematic (and profitable). This time around, it looks like we’ll get even less of the Shaolin bent and more mindless anarchic eye candy. Still, one has to have faith in this fledgling franchise. The original didn’t look like a sure fire winner, and yet ended up one of 2008’s best. The only concerning element - the decision to put relative directing newbie Jennifer Yuh behind the lens.

 

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The Tree of Life

Director: Terrence Malick
Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Kari Matchett, Joanna Going, Kimberly Whalen, Jackson Hurst, Fiona Shaw

27 May
Tree of Life

Every time a new Terrance Malick project (or potential project) is announced, film fans worldwide start to get excited. After all, in the 42 years he’s been directing, he’s made a grand total of five films. Five. Of course, when you consider he’s been responsible for such classics as Badlands and Days of Heaven, it’s not hard to feel a real sense of aesthetic anticipation. But the veil of secrecy surrounding this latest effort, a period piece about family and the meaning of existence, has truly got the faithful free associating. The various hints suggest something profound and unlike anything in his creative canon. Thankfully, the wait is nearly over.

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