The PopMatters Summer Film Preview - June 2014

by Bill Gibron

4 June 2014

 

13 June

 

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22 Jump Street

Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Ice Cube, Dave Franco, Amber Stevens
13 June
22 Jump Street

We liked the first installment in this franchise a lot, and we also dig the new setting (college spring break). There’s even a moment in the trailer (when Channing Tatum attempts an Hispanic accent with the classic line “My name’s Jeff”) that has us laughing each and every time we see it. But 21 Jump Street did the impossible. It made a mockery of the whole TV show as movie ideal while delivering its own unique brand of laughs. Now directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will try to trap lightning in a bottle for a second time. So far, they look to have been successful.

 

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How to Train Your Dragon 2

Director: Dean DeBlois
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Djimon Hounsou, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, Kit Harington, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig
13 June
How to Train Your Dragon 2

In the hierarchy of beloved CG movies, you have almost anything Pixar, a preponderance of Disney, and then How to Train Your Dragon. While it didn’t win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (it lost to the equally worthy Toy Story 3), it was considered by many to be the best film of its kind that (or any) year. So of course we are getting a sequel and there is already post-Cannes buzz about it (the verdict: it’s not as good as the first film, but close). One assumes a massive opening weekend for the film. After that…Part 3, perhaps?

 

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The Rover

Director: David Michod
Cast: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy, Gillian Jones, David Field
13 June
The Rover

Ever since he arrived on the scene with 2010’s Animal Kingdom (centering on the true story of one of Australia’s most notorious crime families - the Pettingills), fans and cinephiles have wondered what David Michod would do for an encore. The answer has finally arrived, and it’s an odd one at that. 10 years after a global economic collapse, the outback of Australia is like the Old West. When he is stolen from, one character (Guy Pearce) vows revenge, and get help from an injured member of the gang (Robert Pattinson) who robbed him. While the response at Cannes was mixed, we can’t wait to see this one.

 

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The Signal

Director: William Eubank
Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Lin Shaye
Review [21.Feb.2008]
13 June
The Signal

No, this isn’t the rerelease of the 2007 horror film about a curious noise that turns people into zombies. Instead, we have a slice of speculative fiction in which a group of hackers end up as part of a freaky future shock experiment. It has something to do with alien encounters, or so we’ve been told. While the trailer does look tantalizing, there is a lot that can go wrong with a film like this. Let’s just say we’ll be catching up with it when it hits cable, or perhaps, one of the main streaming services available.

 

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Witching and Bitching

Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Cast: Hugo Silva, Mario Casas, Pepón Nieto, Carolina Bang, Terele Pavez
13 June
Witching and Bitching

It’s no secret that we LOVED The Last Circus. It was our pick for the best film of 2010. Now the director, Álex de la Iglesia is back with another insane looking extravaganza and we can hardly wait. The premise finds two criminals conducting a heist, only to find themselves hiding out in a forest overrun by cannibalistic witches. Not everyone whose seen this has enjoyed the more fringe elements of its lunatic vision, but if it’s half the film Circus was (which played like Santa Sangre as envisioned by David Lynch and Terry Gilliam) we’re in!

 

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Hellion

Director: Kat Candler
Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins, Jonny Mars
13 June
Hellion

When Breaking Bad ended, Aaron Paul was supposed to become a breakout star…at least cinematically. He had the lead in Disney’s Fast and Furious wannabe Need for Speed and he’s co-starring in Ridley Scott’s Bible epic, Exodus. Then his car chase film tanked and soon everyone was wondering if he really was mainstream star material. This may be the movie that breaks him among filmgoers. It centers on a deadbeat dad who tries to get his youngest son back from government bureaucracy. He must work with his older, delinquent child to turn their lives around. No vehicular mayhem is involved.

 

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The Human Race

Director: Paul Hough
Cast: Paul McCarthy-Boyington, Eddie McGee, Trista Robinson
13 June
The Human Race

Otherwise known as Stephen King’s The Long Walk reconfigured for a low budget horror outing. Here, 80 individuals from all facets of life are lifted from their humble existence and set off on a competition where the rules are relatively simple: If you are lapped twice, you die. If you step off the path, you die. If you touch the grass, you will die. Only one will win. While it sounds like a great idea for a fright flick, writer/director Paul Hough has yet to really prove himself to in the feature film arena. His most famous effort is a documentary on backyard wrestling.

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