26 & 31 July
Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamoto
As we said in our piece about the potential flops of Summer 2013, Bombs Away, this movie seems wholly unnecessary. Haven’t we already been through the origins of this character, considering there was even a movie named X-Men Origins? Apparently, a star the size of Hugh Jackman needs to be paraded around every once in a while outside of the standard drama/comedies genre, lest international audiences forget why they keep paying to see him act. In this case, the famous mutant travels to Japan where he must learn some important life lessons. Yes, again. Anyway, since the fans are clamoring and there’s money to be made, old iron claws is back.
Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg
Some of us haven’t been interested in a Woody Allen film in quite a while. This one, however, has an intriguing premise (a high society woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown heads out to LA to stay with her lower class sister and her friends), a great cast (including Cate Blanchett and Andrew Dice Clay), and a trailer that sells the potential in both quite well. Sure, the American auteur recently scored Oscar gold with Midnight in Paris, but this looks like the kind of movie that can make even a lapsed fan sit up and take notice. We have.
The To Do List
Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, Alia Shawkat
The To Do List
For fans of Aubrey Plaza, this must be some manner of godsend. The Parks and Recreations actress, also known for her work in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Portlandia stars as a high school senior who is desperate to lose her virginity before heading off to college. R-rated hijinx ensue. Writer/director Maggie Carey (making her big screen debut) is married to funny man Bill Hader and she cut her teeth on such outsider comedy venues as Funny or Die. This could bode well for what is otherwise a standard teen sex coming of age comedy.
Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara, Katy Perry, Hank Azaria
Groan. Really? Really? Do we really need a repeat of the undeniable awfulness that was the first Smurfs film? Do we really require Hank Azaria to return as that hapless wizard Gargamel, complete with an accent that suggests Bela Lugosi by way of Harvey Pekar and a bevy of cat pee and vomit jokes? Apparently, the ADD-inspired cash flow from the under eight crowd says “Absolutely!” and so director (if you can call him that) Raja Gosnell is one again putting Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays through their purely for a paycheck paces. Sadly, this represents comedic genius Jonathan Winters’ finally onscreen work (as the voice of Papa Smurf).