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We apparently worship false gods. We adore sitting, enraptured, as mutants and other mysteries of nature battle it out for symbolic superiority (and no, we aren’t talking about an overly buff Vin Diesel taking on an equally muscled Dwayne Johnson for Brazilian back alley bragging rights). Robots rule our lazy, hazy summer days, their transformative powers perking up an otherwise aggressive assault on our senses, and every once in a while, a comedy/drama/kids film will walk by, gaining our interest before another caped crusader comes in to claim its territory. That’s right, it’s blockbuster time again, the annual cinematic assumption regarding what a majority of the mainstream movie-going public will enjoy come the next four months. Sure, it’s a gamble, and sometimes, the lows are more famous than the highs. One thing’s for sure, however, we won’t be seeing another Inception any time soon.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Lester Speight

1 July
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

According to chief machine head Michael Bay, fans of the immensely popular film franchise will be seeing several differences this time around. Primary among them, no more Megan Fox. A few choice words from the plasticine performer and she got the boot. Similarly, there will be no more references to metal testes or comic relief via racially insensitive street cars. Instead, the most recent trailer shows the city of Big Shoulder, Chicago, being more or less decimated by the Decepticons in a bit of visual inspiration that is indeed a wonder to behold. Of course, Bay has always been good with the eye candy (human or otherwise), and it can’t be as bad as the second installment… can it?


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Larry Crowne

Director:   Tom Hanks
Cast: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Cole Phillips, Taraji P. Henson

1 July
Larry Crowne

Wow, have times changed. A decade ago, the arrival of a new Tom Hanks film would be big news. After all, he was (and still is, for all intents and purposes) one of the major box office draws in film. Now, he gets sandwiched in with a bunch of transforming automatons on one of the busiest weekends of the Summer. The story, which centers on a middle aged man going back to college after losing his job, was co-written by Hanks and for only the second time in his career, he has chosen to sit behind in the director’s chair as well. At least his Charlie Wilson’s War co-star Julie Roberts is along for the ride. Still, where’s the buzz?


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Monte Carlo

Director: Tom Bezucha
Cast: Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy, Leighton Meester, Catherine Tate, Cory Monteith, Andie MacDowell, Pierre Boulanger

1 July
Monte Carlo

Dimming Disney starlet Selena Gomez is given another chance to prove her post tween worth with what sounds like a desperate combination of the Prince and the Pauper and the Bratz dolls. A trio of pals (including our star) head to Paris on vacation. When they realize the tour is going to be terrible, Gomez pretends to be an heiress in order to score some five-star digs. Naturally, she falls for another wealthy visitor. Then the real rich witch arrives. One assumes there will be the standard 2011 RomCom contrivances capped with lots of mindless musical montages and stunted slapstick. The House of Mouse would be so proud.


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 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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