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22 June

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Brave

Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane, John Ratzenberger
22 June
Brave


Directors/co-writers Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman need to thank Cars 2. No, really. Without that less than stellar Pixar release, the duo would be facing the daunting task of holding up the company’s constantly complained about “perfect record”. Now, as long as they deliver something significantly better than that overdone spy spoof with anthropomorphic vehicles, they will have saved the studio or at the very least, it’s reputation. Of course, there is always the unnecessary comparisons to Dreamworks’ delightful How to Train Your Dragon to contend with, though this storyline seems miles away from that fine family film. No matter, it’s Pixar, so it’s probably awesome.


 

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Cast: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Marton Csokas
22 June
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


The last time we heard from director Timur Bekmambetov on this side of the pond, he was delivering the sleeper action epic Wanted. That was back in 2008. Since then, he flexed his production muscles (The Darkest Hour, Apollo 18) while looking for the right project to spark his insane imagination. This unusual alternate history of the country’s 16th President was apparently right up his alley and one look at the amazing trailer confirms this. The visual aplomb alone is mind-boggling, and the set-pieces, featuring an axe wielding Commander in Chief are astonishing. As long as he doesn’t overstep his bounds, this could be one of 2012’s best.


 

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Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Director: Lorene Scafaria
Cast: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Adam Brody, Derek Luke, William Petersen, Connie Britton, Patton Oswalt
22 June
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World


Who says the high concept comedy is dead. This sounds like something that would have been greenlit during the days of Twins and Junior. As an asteroid bares down on Earth, guaranteeing its destruction, Steve Carell teams up with his British neighbor, Keira Knightley, to find his old childhood sweetheart. Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist fame) one senses an excess of eccentricity here. Still, the concept is engaging and Carell can be quite compelling when he’s not mugging aimlessly at the camera. Definitely on our “must see” radar.


 

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To Rome With Love

Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page
22 June
To Rome With Love


Woody Allen recently announced that he would return to the US and his native New York for his next film. This after lighting up France with Midnight in Paris (and earning yet another Oscar for screenwriting) and then turning his sites on another cinematic inspiration, Italy. Sadly, some have suggested that this addled anthology shows off his ugly American side. In our opinion, anything that champions the horrific Roberto Benigni earns our instant disapproval and it’s a shame, really. We have been hoping for an Allen renaissance for a long time now. This doesn’t appear to be it.


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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