Summer Movie Preview

July 2011

by Bill Gibron

3 May 2011

 

Harry Potter and more...


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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Director: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter

15 July
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Here it is, all you lovers of Hogwarts and the adolescent wizards it begat. It’s the end of an era, the finale that fans have been waiting for since the action packed first part last year. Harry Potter is such a part of the pop culture landscape that one has to imagine this movie being huge. Huge! Still, director David Yates has not inspired the kind of epic spectacle confidence other members of his profession have promised. Granted, he’s been better than Chris Columbus, but for the most part, what the Potter films miss is a sense of scope that someone like Terry Gilliam, Danny Boyle, or previous helmer Alfonso Cuaron would have brought to the series—right, Peter Jackson?

 

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Winnie the Pooh

Director: Stephen Anderson, Don Hall
Cast: Jim Cummings, Tom Kenny, Craig Ferguson, Travis Oates, Bud Luckey, Jack Boulter

15 July
Winnie the Pooh

Disney is one of the smartest companies in all of entertainment. They find ways to revive forgotten and favored franchises without looking like they are only in it for the cash… well, almost. In this case, everyone’s favorite tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff is getting a post-millennial make-over, 2D style. No, studio suits aren’t rewriting A. A. Milne. Instead, the House of Mouse wants to recapture past glories, giving the famous bear and his buddies a completely faithful update. Fans of the ‘60s version should be ecstatic. Modern young one, however, might be lost by the narrative’s childhood lost motifs.

 

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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Director: Wayne Wang
Cast: Li Bingbing, Jun Ji-hyun, Hugh Jackman

15 July
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Based on a successful novel and following the close relationship of two women through 80 years of Feudal Chinese history, this promises to be a visually arresting and emotionally insightful ride. Wayne Wang, famous for such films as Eat a Bowl of Tea and The Joy Luck Club takes charge of this historic epic and, hopefully, brings the kind of personal touch and filmmaking flair that a similarly themed Memoirs of a Geisha lacked. The book features a lot of graphic material—mostly revolving around the various torments and suffering the main characters go through—so it will be interesting to see how this translates. Honestly, that’s the question with all book to film adaptations.

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