The PopMatters Summer Movie Preview - May 2013

by Bill Gibron

29 April 2013

 

15-17 May


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Star Trek: Into Darkness

Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Peter Weller, Anton Yelchin
15 May
Star Trek: Into Darkness

Along with Iron Man 3, this is one of summer 2013’s most anticipated movies. When he took over the reins for this decidedly DOA franchise a few years back, many wondered if J.J. Abrams could breathe new life into the old sci-fi stock. One amazing blockbuster later and both fans and newbies can’t wait for the continuing voyages of this new/old Starship Enterprise. With a far more varied canvas (the trailer has both Starfleet Command and the noted interstellar vessel down for the count) and a very viable villain, we could be in for another amazing installment in the film franchise.

 

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Frances Ha

Director: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Hannah Dunne, Michael Esper
17 May
Frances Ha

When he works with others, Noah Baumbach has been known to come up trumps. This is especially true of his collaborations with Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Fantastic Mr. Fox). On his own, he’s made some intriguing films (Kicking and Screaming, The Squid and the Whale) as well as some less than enticing entries (Margo at the Wedding, Greenberg). This time around, he teams up with gal pal Greta Gerwig for a dramatic comedy about a dancer. Sounds interesting, but Baumbach has a tendency to employ snark where sentiment would fit better.

 

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Stories We Tell

Director: Sarah Polley
Cast: Rebecca Jenkins
17 May
Stories We Tell

Sarah Polley has graduated from child star (she was the little girl giving Baron Munchausen what for in Terry Gilliam’s fairytale masterpiece) to genre actress (the Dawn of the Dead remake) to acclaimed filmmaker (Away from Her, Take this Waltz). Now she turns the camera on her own family and the secrets they’ve been burying for decades. This documentary, which also features recreations by an actress as Polley’s Mom, has been getting remarkable reviews from around the festival circuit. Whether it can stand up to the Summer season onslaught is another story all together.

 

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The English Teacher

Director: Craig Zisk
Cast: Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, Michael Angarano, Nathan Lane, Lily Collins
17 May
The English Teacher

Currently playing On Demand and making a minor theatrical bow in the coming weeks, this weird character study seems to center on a Miss Brodie like instructor who helps a former student realize his dreams of being a playwright. The trailer seems to imply there is some sort of slight sexual awakening involved. It seems unfair for someone as talented as Julianne Moore to be involved in such a narrative but she apparently wants to steer clear of blockbuster/popcorn movie career choices. First time feature filmmaker Craig Zisk has a lot of TV credits, but no real experience behind the cinematic lens. We’ll hope for the best.

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