The PopMatters Summer Movie Preview June 2013

by Bill Gibron

4 June 2013

 

June 28

 

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The Heat

Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Michael Rapaport, Marlon Wayans
28 June
The Heat

Sandra Bullock got her start in comedies like this. Then she won an Oscar for her work in The Blind Side and, well, we thought she had graduated to more prestigious projects (like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity). Apparently, the lure of working with Melissa McCarthy and her Bridesmaids boss Paul Fieg was too much to turn down. Of course, the premise offers an FBI agent that no one can get along with dealing with a gruff local cop to take down a mean Russian mobster. It’s Odd Couple buddy comedy time, and with an untried screenwriter (Katie Dippold), this seems dodgy.

 

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White House Down

Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Garcelle Beauvais, Lance Reddick, Joey King, James Woods
28 June
White House Down

How does this happen? How does Hollywood take an idea as over the top and outrageous as terrorists attacking (and eventually, seizing) the White House and make not one, but two movies out of it? Apparently, it was a race between Sony and Millennium to see who could complete their President in Trouble title first. Gerard Butler and company may have won the race, but with disaster master Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012) behind the lens, we’re betting this will be the better film. After all, it has Jamie Foxx as an ass-kicking Commander in Chief joining jarhead of the moment Channing Tatum to take on the bad guys.

 

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I’m So Excited

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Cast: Javier Cámara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Dueñas, Raúl Arévalo, Hugo Silva
28 June
I’m So Excited

Pedro Almodozar first made his name as a foreign filmmaker of worth with the wild and wicked comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Along with the kinker Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down, and High Heels, he was seen as a less sleazy Spanish John Waters. Then he went into serious mode and won numerous awards for more personal films like All About My Mother, Talk to Her, and The Skin I Live In. Now he’s back to making light comedies, and from what we hear, this one takes place within a single setting - an airplane. All we can say is up, up, and away!

 

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Byzantium

Director: Neil Jordan
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley, Jonny Lee Miller
28 June
Byzantium

Neil Jordan took his Crying Game cache and wondered over to Hollywood, leaving marvelous mini-masterworks like The Company of Wolves and Mona Lisa for the Anne Rice adaptation, Interview with a Vampire. With casting that caused more concern than anything else, the film was a success, but it sank Jordan as an auteur of import. Two decades and several excellent films later, he is still struggling to break out from that whole romantic vampire twaddle, and now he’s trying to do it with…more neckbiters. Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton are a mother/daughter vampire duo who try to hide from humanity in a rundown British resort town. Sounds intriguing.

 

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A Band Called Death

Director: Mark Christopher Covino, Jeff Howlett
Cast: Alice Cooper, Bobby Hackney, Dannis Hackney
28 June
A Band Called Death

This is so strange it seems like only a Hollywood hack could conceive of it. A trio of African American brothers who love to play music dump R&B after seeing an Alice Cooper show and end up becoming improbable proto punk pioneers. And it all takes place in the heart of Motown, an early ‘70s Detroit. Naturally, their rise to prominence was cut short when record execs begged them to change their name - and sound. Decades later, they are applauded as the innovators they always were. This is their Anvil: The Story of Anvil documentary, complete with “where are they now” acknowledgements and interpersonal triumphs and tragedy. Apparently, the truth remains more mesmerizing than an Macbook fiction.

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