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Salvation Boulevard

Director: George Ratliff
Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Marisa Tomei, Ed Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Isabelle Fuhrman

15 July
Salvation Boulevard


The premise for Larry Beinhart’s political satire goes a little something like this—a mega-church leader, threatened by a recent hippy convert, gets his hopped up fundamentalist parishioners to do whatever they can to protect him and his/their ministry. Granted, it already sounds like a subject ripe for over the top jabs at evangelism and religion as a rotten concept corrupted by money, greed, personal perversion, and an unstoppable drive for power. Luckily, George Ratliff is in charge, though his last effort (the awful thriller Joshua) can’t countermand the wonders of his similarly themed documentary Hell House. God only knows if this will succeed, or get swallowed up by the rest of the Summer.


 

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Captain America: The First Avenger

Director: Joe Johnston
Cast: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke, Stanley Tucci

22 July
Captain America: The First Avenger


No matter how good it looks, no matter how promising the casting or the resulting content, there is one name that constantly creeps up in the discussion of this film that gives many a seasoned film fan pause… Joe Johnston. He’s the king of the mediocre mainstream blockbuster. He helmed The Rocketeer (still his best film), Jurassic Park III, The Wolfman, and now this Avengers lynchpin. Granted, the trailer looks terrific and any movie that places perennial onscreen baddie Hugo Weaving as Red Skull gets our vote. Still, Johnston just doesn’t seem to have the chops to pull this kind of material off 100% successfully. Fans may take 75%, but who knows if the future franchise can.


 

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Friends with Benefits

Director: Will Gluck
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Woody Harrelson, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Andy Samberg, Alex Rodriguez

22 July
Friends with Benefits


Apparently, contemporary sexual morality has finally hit Hollywood. Earlier this year, we had Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman playing unhitched bedmates in No Strings Attached. Now, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are doing the sex without commitment thing (who knew that Black Swan was such a bad influence???).  Luckily, Easy A‘s William Gluck is sitting in the director’s chair. If anyone can salvage this concept from formulaic falderal, he can. After all, he found a way to make the ancient ‘80s teen comedy fresh and inventive. Maybe he can do the same for an idea that already sounds dated before its even been done.


 

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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