The PopMatters Summer Movie Preview June 2013

by Bill Gibron

4 June 2013

 
 

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Monsters University

Director: Dan Scanlon
Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Joel Murray, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Helen Mirren
21 June
Monsters University

After punishing us with the unnecessary marketing mess known as Cars 2, many believe Pixar is being pushed by parent company Disney to drag their otherwise stellar originals back through the movie marketplace to rake in even more cash. Last fall, Monsters Inc. got the pointless 3D rerelease. Now, this prequel arrives, stinking of the House of Mouse’s desire to maximize profits and compromise quality. Of course, one must remember that Toy Story was set to have a direct to video sequel when Pixar stepped in and polished it into a masterpiece. Maybe they have a knack for revisiting their past. Here’s hoping.

 

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World War Z

Director: Marc Forster
Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox, Bryan Cranston, David Morse
21 June
World War Z

The buzz has been cataclysmic. The first “review,” from Rolling Stone‘s own quote whore Peter Travers is promising a terrific, terrifying action horror tentpole. Granted, we will follow Brad Pitt just about anywhere he goes (unless it has something to do with a certain Ms. Jolie), but by turning Max Brook’s Civil War for Zombies into a standard stunt spectacle, he’s really pushing us. Then there is the choice of director - Marc Forster. Of his eight previous films, we can only tolerate one - and no, it’s not Monster’s Ball, Stay, Stranger Than Fiction, The Kite Runner, Machine Gun Preacher, or the 007 dud Quantum of Solace. Oh, and did we mention that the entire last act, all 40 minutes of it, was reshot?

 

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Between Us

Director: Dan Mirvish
Cast: Taye Diggs, Melissa George, David Harbour, Julia Stiles
21 June
Between Us

Slamdance co-founder and filmmaker Dan Mirvish has decided to take Joe Hortua’s play about young couples in free fall and translate it to the big screen - and he has brought an interesting cast - Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs, Melissa George, and David Harbour - along with him. Trouble is, what works in a small theatrical setting doesn’t always make the leap to the larger than life world of movies. Early reviews are either in love with this clever, coarse character study or hate every smug, smarmy line of dialogue. We assume this will eventually turn up on Slamdance’s corporate nemesis, The Sundance Channel.

 

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Maniac (2013)

Director: Franck Khalfoun
Cast: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, Jan Broberg
21 June
Maniac

In 1980, director William Lustig and cowriter/actor Joe Spinell rewrote the rulebook on horror slasher strategies by delivering a devastating portrait of psychosis and serial killing known as Maniac. So shocking were its F/X (Tom Savini turned the character’s desire to scalp his victims into a kind of sick surgical theater) that the MPAA began to treat horror titles differently. Now, nearly 33 years later, Elijah Wood is taking up where Spinell and company left off, starring in this Alexandre Aja produced update. Leaving the directing to Franck Khalfoun of P2 fame, the mind behind High Tension and Piranha 3D promises another slice of gore-drenched misogyny. The trailers only teases at the atrocities to come.

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