Summer Movie Preview

August 2011

by Bill Gibron

4 May 2011

 


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The Help

Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Mike Vogel, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell

12 August
The Help

Though based on a successful novel about coming of age in the segregated South, this late season entry has all the makings of a major cultural (and critical) clash. Dealing once again with the ‘60s, civil rights inequities, and how one spirited Mississippi reporter (who just so happens to be white) exposed the working conditions of the antebellum servant class, we have yet another example of the Caucasian leading the African out of the bondage their majority imposed in the first place. The trailer couldn’t be more cloying and condescending, and while the book is beloved, it’s one thing to read about the inhuman treatment of one race by another. Onscreen, it often comes across as cheap and insincere.

 

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Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Director: Troy Nixey
Cast: Guy Pearce, Katie Holmes, Bailee Madison, Alan Dale, Jack Thompson

12 August
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Though he’s burned off a bit of his enormous nerd buzz with the near simultaneous cancellation of his In the Mountains of Madness project and participation in The Hobbit, Messageboard myth Guillermo Del Toro still has one apparently frightening ace up his sleeve. Long a lover of Kolchak: The Night Stalker and the ‘70s ABC Movie of the Week, this update of one of that series most memorable films is drawing raves from those who’ve been lucky enough to see it. While Del Toro left the directing to comic book artist Troy Nixey, his imprint is all over this simple tale of a family overrun by diminutive demons. Frankly, we can’t wait.

 

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Fright Night

Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

19 August
Fright Night

The first Fright Night was a lot like Scream. It was a self-referential genre film where a young teen battled a belligerent vampire with the help of his knowledge of old scary movies, and the local TV horror host. It gave Chris Sarandon a great role as a suave neckbiter and Roddy McDowell a late in life boost as the aging Elvira. Now, Colin Farrell is our naughty Nosferatu and David Tennant is our boob tube guide. A fan favorite, there is even the added bonus of McLovin’ himself, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, taking on the role of Evil Ed. Still, it will take a lot to top Tom Holland’s original. It remains a special bit of splatter.


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