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Film

The PopMatters Summer Movie Preview - May 2015

The popcorn movie season starts in earnest with efforts from the Avengers, Mad Max, the ladies of Pitch Perfect 2, and Brad Bird's Tomorrowland, among many others.

8 May

Film: Hot Pursuit

Director: Anne Fletcher

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara, Robert Kazinsky, Michael Mosley

MPAA rating: PG-13

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/h/hotpursuitposter.jpg

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8 May
Hot PursuitIf you've seen the TV ads, you get the idea of what this unlikely buddy comedy is all about. Oscar winner Witherspoon is the police officer constantly ridiculed for her size. TV temptress Sofia Vergara is the reluctant widow of a drug dealer who is supposed to testify against those with a reason for her not to. Oh, and she's constantly ribbed about her reported age. Directed by female filmmaker Anne Fletcher, responsible for such reasonably decent offerings as Step Up and The Proposal, we could be in for a rousing good time, or a derivative, dopey attempt to find funny business out of the typical mismatched pairing.

 
Film: The D Train

Director: Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel

Cast: Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Russell Posner, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White

MPAA rating: R

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/d/dtrainposter.jpg

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8 May
The D TrainThis movie is a hard title to track. You'd think that a new film starring Jack Black would have a bigger profile than this. In the proposed comedy, Mr. Tenacious D hopes to raise his reputation amongst the other members of his high school reunion class by bringing the most popular guy, Oliver Lawless (James Marsden), with him to the celebration. Of course, getting him to the party will be hard. Lawless is a successful (?) model and loves L.A. One imagines a lot of mismatched hijinx ensuing. Again, it would be nice to know more about this project than the odd trailer tells.

 
Film: Maggie

Director: Henry Hobson

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Aiden Flowers

MPAA rating: R

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

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8 May
MaggieArnold Schwarzenegger and zombies. Sounds like a match made in high concept '80s action film heaven, right? One can easily imagine the original roid rage hero taking down wave after wave of the undead and... wait. What? That's not the story here? Instead, this is a tense indie drama with our former superstar playing a dad who must deal with a daughter "dying" from a horrid zombie virus. He is supposed to turn her over to quarantine at a certain point, but the former Gover-nator never makes things that easy. It all sounds very meta and post-modern. It also argues that not every decision Schwarzenegger makes revolves around guns and car chases.

 
Film: 5 Flights Up

Director: Richard Loncraine

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Carrie Preston, Miriam Shor, Cynthia Nixon

MPAA rating: PG

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/f/fiveflightsupposter.jpg

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8 May
5 Flights UpMorgan Freeman and Diane Keaton are an old married couple who hope to sell their apartment in Williamsburg for a nice seven-figure profit. Doing so will allow them to move to the Upper East Side, as well as care for their aging dog, Dorothy. Of course, things can't and won't go smoothly, leading to all manner of issues and insights. Oh, and we're supposed to be laughing along the way. Indeed, this is the set-up for an adult comedy where the characters aren't concerned about pop culture and, instead, use this twilight time to reflect on the various adversities they have to overcome. The stars are the real highlights here.

 
Film: Saint Laurent

Director: Bertrand Bonello

Cast: Gaspard Ulliel, Jérémie Renier, Louis Garrel, Léa Seydoux, Amira Casar, Aymeline Valade, Helmut Berger

MPAA rating: R

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/s/saintlaurentposter.jpg

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8 May
Saint LaurentIt's been quite a year for the famed designer, who died seven years ago at age 71. Earlier, The Weinstein Company picked up Jalil Lespert's biopic of the noted couture talent. Now, we have another take on the same material, with Bertrand Bonello behind the lens and Gaspard Ulliel (Hannibal of Hannibal Rising) in front of it. In either case, Laurent was one of the rare fashion icons who managed to make a name for himself outside of clothing lines. Indeed, he was honored with a showing at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and inspired hundreds with his unique approach to his art. Sounds like a nice Summer season alternative.

 
Film: Preggoland

Director: Jacob Tierney

Cast: Sonja Bennett, James Caan, Danny Trejo, Paul Campbell, Laura Harris

MPAA rating: R

Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/p/preggolandposter.jpg

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8 May
Preggoland Canadian writer/director Jacob Tierney, of The Trotsky and Good Neighbors fame, offers up this slice of everyday life centering on that exclusive woman's club: pregnancy. Indeed, our main character here is so sick and tired of being the only one of her friends "without" child that she fakes she's "enciente". All of a sudden, instead of being an outcast, she's back into this elitist and entitled group. While the idea is solid, especially for a comedy, here's hoping that Tierney takes a moment or two to address the prejudice against the childless. Not everyone wants or can have children. Hopefully Preggoland can provide some perspective.

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