The PopMatters Summer Movie Preview June 2013

by Bill Gibron

4 June 2013

 

June 7

A classic comic book champion challenges three different takes on the End of the World, while some oddball independents struggle for recognition in this second serving of Summer season spectacle.

 

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The Internship

Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella, Joanna Garcia, John Goodman
7 June
The Internship

Has it really been eight years since Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson worked their gross-out comedy magic on a little movie called Wedding Crashers? Better still, has it really been a similar number of years since the duo have had any laugher come close to that fan favorite? Sadly, this doesn’t look like a return to form but the building of a bank account. After all, the PG-13 rating doesn’t help, and neither does the presence of derivative director Shawn Levy (Real Steel, the Night at the Museum franchise). Apparently, this duo is done pushing the envelope. Even with the high tech setting this one seems safe as milk.

 

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The Purge

Director: James DeMonaco
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield
7 June
The Purge

While attending a screening of Rob Zombie’s Lords of Salem, a trailer for this thriller was revealed. And then, another ad, this time for something called You’re Next. Apparently, the concept of well to do people being picked on by outside intruders is the new genre trend. Here, the US has come up with a way of lowering crime (?) and unemployment (??) by allowing all citizens one 12 hour police-less crime spree per year. We then meet Ethan Hawke, his family, and his well armed palatial mansion. A mistake leads to a version of Assault on Precinct 13, which, oddly enough, Hawke starred in as well (the remake, that is).

 

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Much Ado About Nothing

Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, Spencer Treat Clark, Riki Lindhome, Ashley Johnson
7 June
Much Ado About Nothing

If you’re Joss Whedon and you’ve just been handed the reins of one of Hollywood’s hottest properties - i.e., The Avengers - what do you do with your down time, if any? Why, you collect up a group of friends, set up shop at your own home, and spend the next 12 days filming a version of Shakespeare’s famous romantic comedy of manners. With a previous full color version by Kenneth Branaugh out there, raking in accolades, this seemed riskier than making Mark Ruffalo the Hulk. Early reviews have the black and white romp, complete with olde English couplets, being a cool, contemporary winner.

 

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Wish You Were Here

Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith
Cast: Felicity Price, Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer
7 June
Wish You Were Here

It has one of those plots that seem lifted straight out of an episode of Dateline, or a 48 Hours exploration. A foursome of friends take off for an Asian holiday. Only three return. The reason behind one disappearance, and who may be responsible, becomes the film’s main focus. Made last year and now finally finding itself on our shores, the mystery features Joel Edgerton and was written and directed by actor (The Cave, Animal Kingdom) turned feature filmmaker Kieran Darcy-Smith. For some, the conclusion comes too late to save the otherwise slowly paced film. For others, the intrigue and backdrop are more than enough.

 

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Violet & Daisy

Director: Geoffrey S. Fletcher
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel, James Gandolfini, Danny Trejo, Marianne Jean-Baptiste
7 June
Violet & Daisy

Now this just seems surreal. Take Geoffrey S. Fletcher, the first (and sadly, only) African America writer to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay (for his work on Precious), add in young UK thesp of the moment Saoirse Ronan, and a weird storyline about two young assassins who meet up with James Gandolfini and you’ve got an oddball directorial debut. Yes, the man who won Academy accolades for his look at one girl’s struggles against abuse is making a comedy-thriller about female hired killers. About the only bigger change of pace from his previous gigs would be if Fletcher made a family film about 3D animated insects.

 

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  Rapture-Palooza

Director: Paul Middleditch
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Ken Jeong, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Thomas Lennon
7 June
Rapture-Palooza

Acting like a Mockbuster for the Friends of Apatow fiesta known as This is the End, what we have here is a comedy where the Apocalypse plays out like a series of scatological jibes at our current hipster culture. Apparently, the Christian version of the End times arrives, and those who are left behind must deal with demons, zombies, and various Biblical plaques. Then Craig Robinson shows up as The Beast, or as he will eventually be known, the Antichrist Pimp. It could be hilarious. It could also be a reminder of how a decent idea can be bastardized for limited gain.

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