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Within the first two weeks of the 2013 summer season, we’ll see two of the most highly anticipated releases of the year. We’ll also get more Hangover, some F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the (hopeful) return of M. Night Shyamalan to the ranks of legitimate filmmaker.


 

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Iron Man 3

Director: Shane Black
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley
3 May
Iron Man 3


It’s going to be hard to top the international success of the billion-dollar plus box office smash, The Avengers, but Shane Black wants to try. Picking up for an MIA Jon Favreau (who handled the first two films), we are promised a “darker” and more “edgy” installment of the superhero series. From the trailers, it appears Black has managed the near impossible. He’s kept the aspects of Tony Stark we’ve come to love, while adding enough action and menace to up the wow factor. So watch out DC. Marvel’s continued dominance of the comic book genre appears certain come the first week of May.


 

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The Iceman

Director: Ariel Vromen
Cast: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans
3 May
The Iceman


It has Michael Shannon as the notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski and was a hit at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. Now it’s finally getting a wide release, just in time to get stomped on by a billionaire philanthropist in a metal suit. While there have been documentaries featuring the hitman himself declaring his dedication to death, it will be interesting to see Shannon bring some internal life to the unrepentant psycho whose claimed to have murdered between 100 and 250 people. Some find the casting and the approach by relative novice Ariel Vroman to be a bit lacking, but it still sounds intriguing.


 

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Kiss of the Damned

Director: Xan Cassavetes
Cast: Josephine de La Baume, Roxane Mesquida, Milo Ventimiglia, Anna Mouglalis
3 May
Kiss of the Damned


The vampire genre has been in a tailspin ever since Twilight took the “bite” out of those blood thirsty neckbiters. Writer/director (and daughter of John ) Xan Cassevetes wants to change all that. Mimicing the ‘70s style of European horror, the female filmmaker replaces panicky puppy love with real adult erotica, turning a tale of forbidden love and supernatural beings into a revisionist retro groove. Though slow in pace and old school in scares, there’s enough passion and pain to make even the most ardent fan of Stephenie Meyer stand up and take notice.


 

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What Maisie Knew

Director: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Cast: Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård, Onata Aprile, Joanna Vanderham, Steve Coogan

3 May
What Maisie Knew


Based on a 1897 book by Henry James, this tale of divorce and dysfunction has been given a modern update by filmmakers Scott McGehee and David Siegel (The Deep End, Bee Season). Keeping the novel’s perspective, the story of a marriage in freefall is presented almost exclusively from the title character’s six-year-old vantage point. The storyline remains a bit specious, with each parent partnering up with people who you know don’t fit their flustered psychological profile, while Maisie herself seems an afterthought in a sad game of guardian one-upmanship. Buzz is favorable, even for those who find the film flawed.


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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