Summer of Same: July 2009

Director: David Yates
Film: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Studio: Warner Bros.
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Alan Rickman
Website: http://harrypotter.warnerbros.com/harrypotterandthehalf-bloodprince/
MPAA rating: PG-13
First date: 2008
US Release Date: 2009-07-17
Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/h/harrypotter6poster.jpg

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17 July

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

We’re getting close. The boy wizard and the gang at Hogwarts are only one more book (and, rumor has it, two more movies) away from completing J.K. Rowling’s celebrated publishing phenomenon, and while the original cast is aging gracefully, film fans are getting a little worried. You see, we were supposed to see this sixth movie in the unflappable franchise last November. Then Warner Bros. pulled the release, arguing that an impending actor’s strike (which has yet to happen, by the way) and the overwhelming success of The Dark Knight mandated the move. So while the seventh and eighth films are being prepared by the same individuals behind this one (director David Yates, series screenwriter Steve Kloves), we are finally going to see the storyline which supposedly ‘changes everything forever’. With the success of Order of the Phoenix, and audience anticipation at an all time high, we could be looking at one of 2009’s chart toppers.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Director: Marc Webb
Film: (500) Days of Summer
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jennifer Hetrick
Website: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/500daysofsummer/
MPAA rating: PG-13
First date: 2009
US Release Date: 2009-07-17 (General release)
Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/5/500daysposter.jpg

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17 July

(500) Days of Summer

Oh…it’s a play on words. Summer is the name of a character in this anarchic, vignette oriented RomCom. Zooey Deschanel is the title gal, a woman who doesn’t believe in long term commitments. She’s the object of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s affections, and first time feature filmmaker Marc Webb applies a freestyle, experimental approach to the narrative. Dividing this relationship into individual moments, we get in-depth discussion one sequence, a musical number the next. Sounds very quirky and achingly independent. Here’s hoping it works.

(500) Days of Summer

Director: Jonathan Levine
Film: All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Studio: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Michael Welch, Aaron Himelstein, Melissa Price
Website: http://www.myspace.com/alltheboyslovemandylane
MPAA rating: R
First date: 2009
US Release Date: 2009-07-17 (Limited release)
Image: http://images.popmatters.com/blog_art/m/mandylaneposter.jpg

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17 July

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

It’s part of a recent trend — the rest of the world gets a celebrated fright film, and then Americans have to wait six to nine months before the title actually hits our shores. Obviously, our reputation as horror haters proceeds us. Actually, hate is a strong word. We love to dismiss the genre, jumping on the boo bandwagon whenever a new fad — Asian terror, torture porn — comes along to call us out. This old school slasher attempt has been getting good notices. As usual, it will be another three months before we will know for sure.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane

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