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The Last Airbender

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone, Dev Patel, Shaun Toub, Aasif Mandvi, Cliff Curtis
2 July
The Last Airbender


There is so much riding on this live action adaptation of the Nickelodeon network fave that it’s hard to keep track of all the divergent interests. Primary is the still sinking career of former “future Spielberg” wunderkind M. Night Shyamalan. He will really have to deliver to wipe the stench of The Happening out of audience’s noses. Then there is the franchise itself, which needs a substantial hit to warrant more than a one and done dynamic. Paramount would also like to warrant their gamble. While Iron Man 2 and Shrek 4 will definitely deliver, this could be one of the substantial sleeper hits that puts them over the popcorn top.


 

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Despicable Me

Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud, Sergio Pablos
Cast: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Danny McBride, Miranda Cosgrove
9 July
Despicable Me


For some reason, this reminds us of Igor - which is a good thing. Few saw the revisionist CG family horror comedy which tried to turn the whole mad scientist/assistant conceit on its head. This time around, it’s a supervillain that gets the warm and fuzzy treatment. Nasty bad man Gru wants to steal the Moon and a trio of orphans tries to convince him otherwise. Add in the requisite amount of genre specific gags and smarmy sense of irony and you’ve got a very conflicted cartoon. One imagines that if its clicks with the right audience, it will be a smash. Don’t be surprised, however, if a toy and ogre weary demo doesn’t merely ignore it.


 

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Predators

Director: Nimród Antal
Cast: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Walton Goggins
9 July
Predators


When it first was hinted that Robert Rodriguez was interested in remaking the Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘classic’ Predator, Geek Nation went gonzo. After all, what better guide for a all-out action horror hybrid than the man who made the glorious Grindhouse segment, Planet Terror. Then, the truth came out. RobRod was only producing. He hired Vacancy‘s Nimrod Antal to handle the directing reigns, and then greenlit a script that plays like The Most Dangerous Game meets Aliens. Still, the creative combination here has a lot of potential, and with a cast as diverse as Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, and Laurence Fishburne, the result could be something explosive—literally.


 

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The Kids Are All Right

Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Cast: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson
9 July
The Kids Are All Right


A lesbian couple has two kids from the same sperm donor. When they reach adolescence, the duo decides to look up who their father really is. Deep drama ensues. Co-writer/director Lisa Cholodenko may not be a household name, but her intense indie efforts like High Art (with Ally Sheedy) and Laurel Canyon (with a veritable who’s who of high-profile talent) show she has the chops to handle such thought-provoking material. Whether this will succeed in big commercial terms is another story, but starring turns from A-class actresses Annette Bening and Julianne Moore promise this should appeal to the discriminating filmgoer.


Since deciding to employ his underdeveloped muse muscles over five years ago, Bill has been a significant staff member and writer for three of the Web's most influential websites: DVD Talk, DVD Verdict and, of course, PopMatters. He also has expanded his own web presence with Bill Gibron.com a place where he further explores creative options. It is here where you can learn of his love of Swindon's own XTC, skim a few chapters of his terrifying tome in the making, The Big Book of Evil, and hear samples from the cassette albums he created in his college music studio, The Scream Room.


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