Film

2010 Summer Movie Preview - May

May blasts the summer season off with two mega-movies, Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood, while offering up yet more Shrek and Sex and the City.

Director: Jon Favreau

Film: Iron Man 2

Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell

MPAA rating: PG-13

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/i/ironman2poster.jpg

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07 May
Iron Man 2

It seems foolish, really. Apparently, in a desperate attempt to avoid being trumped by some imaginary rival, Paramount has purposely placed its titanic tentpole film right smack dab at the start of the season. This can only mean one of two things -- this quick turnaround sequel is so smashing that it intends to live on long after its opening weekend, or they have their doubts about Tony Stark's continuing viability. With almost everyone returning and the origin stuff out of the way, expect more, more, more of what made the original such a smash. Still, it seems silly to frontload like this. It's a guarantee that the shelf life for this series is still up for discussion.

 
Director: Thomas Balmes

Film: Babies

Cast: Ponijao, Bayar, Mari, Hattie

MPAA rating: PG

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/b/babiesposter.jpg

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07 May
Babies

A documentary that follows four newborns as they begin their life in different cultures. One is from Africa, another Mongolia. We also have a Japanese child, and of naturally, a little nipper from America. Using a year in the life conceit, we are supposed to gain insight and marvel at the differences between the various backgrounds. Of course, the similarities are supposed to make us smile as well. Still, 90 minutes of cooing and burbling? Endless shots of smiling faces and crying eyes? While it is often said that everyone has an affinity for the infant, is there really a call for such a 7Up lite approach? We remain skeptical.

 
Director: Tom Six

Film: The Human Centipede

Cast: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie

MPAA rating: R

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/news_art/t/the_human_centipede.jpg

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07 May
The Human Centipede

It's a geek show of the highest order, a film that wallows in the horrific sickness of its shocking premise. It's also a highly polished and quality example of foreign horror. Whatever side you eventually come down on, this tale of a twisted doctor who takes three unsuspecting victims and joins them in the most vile way will definitely turn something -- either your head, or your stomach. While the debate rages ever onward, both sides convinced of their aesthetic merit, writer/director Tom Six continues to contemplate a sequel -- one where 12 individuals find themselves in the same disturbing position. Now that's a sequel worth celebrating. Or shunning.

 
Director: Rodrigo García

Film: Mother and Child

Cast: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson

MPAA rating: PG-13

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/m/motherandchildposter.jpg

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07 May
Mother and Child

First, we had the babies. Now, it's time for focus on the rest of the family. In this case, writer/director Rodrigo Garcia, responsible for such indie fare as Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her and Nine Lives, decides to tackle the concept of motherhood and what it means to bear (and in some cases, give up) a child. With Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, and Kerry Washington in tow (along with supporting help from Samuel L. Jackson and Jimmy Smits) the cast seems capable. But as with most dramas involving the process and pains of conception, the reach beyond a certain mature demographic seems like a struggle.

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