Summer Movie Preview – Part 1: May

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The summer is apparently here and now that it’s finally started to warm up, what does everyone do?  They run to their local cinema to watch some of the biggest films of the year that get released.  As well as the blockbusters, I’m going to pick one smaller film for each month and try to broaden your horizons beyond the boom boom, bang bang of the typical summer blockbusters.  This isn’t every flim that’s being released this summer but these are the films that I think people are going to enjoy.  Here’s the Mediawhore guide to what you should be checking this summer.

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Star Trek

Release Date:  8th May Worldwide.
Director:  J.J Abrams
Written by:  Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Starring:  Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Karl Urban, Eric Bana, Leonard Nimoy, Zoe Saldana & Bruce Greenwood.

The summer season starts off big this year with the release of J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated Star Trek reboot. The story focuses on a young James T. Kirk (Chris Pine),  his induction into Starfleet and rivalry with a half human / half vulcan, Spock (Zachary Quinto) and their coming together to take down the villainous Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from the future, hell bent on destroying the past.  Early reviews have been nothing but positive and with film reviewers and bloggers being allowed to post their reviews over a month prior to the films release, something which is very rarely done unless the film studios know they have a sure fire hit on their hands, for some this will be their most anticipated film of the summer.

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Angels and Demons

Release Date: 5th May Worldwide.
Director;  Ron Howard
Written by: David Koepp & Akiva Goldsman
Starring:  Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer & Stellan Skarsgård

Tom Hanks is back as Robert Langdon from the disappointing 2006 adaptation of Dan Brown’s smash hit novel, The Da Vinci Code.  This time Langdon is up against the  mysterious Illuminati as he races to disarm an antimatter bomb planted somewhere within the hallowed walls of the Vatican, with the help of beautiful scientist Vittoria Vetra (Zurer) and the mysterious Camerlengero McKenna (McGregor).  The Da Vinci Code disappointed because it stuck a little too close to the book and so parts of the film dragged as they tried to drag the historical context to life.  From the footage that’s been released however, it already looks like the film is taking a faster paced, more stylised approach to the book, and it looks as though the story has been adapted slightly to make it a better fit for the big screen.

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Terminator Salvation

Release Date: 21st May (US), 5th June (UK)
Director: McG
Written by: John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris
Starring:  Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgod, Bryce Dallas Howard, Helena Bonham Carter & Common

Christian Bale dominated last summer with the release of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and he could dominate this summer with the release of Terminator Salvation.  Skynet won the war and humans went into hiding after a nuclear holocaust wiped most of humanity out except for a small group of rebels, including John Connor (Bale).  They then meet Marcus Wright (Worthington) , a death row inmate who isn’t all he seems but must be trusted in order to stop Skynet wiping out the last remenants of the human race.  I really want to like this movie but it’s being directed by McG who made Charlies Angels! He’s also been telling us that it’s going to be a an R rated pic, but nope it’s PG-13.  Lies!  The only hope I have left left for the film is Christian Bale, outbursts on set aside he’s one of the best actors working today so hopefully this won’t be the film to mark an otherwise amazing CV.

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Drag Me to Hell

Release Date: 27 May (UK)
Director: Sam Raimi
Written by: Sam & Ivan Raimi
Starring:  Alison Loman & Justin Long

Sam Raimi goes back to horror! Good news for those that thought Spiderman 3 was a sub par sequel to the rest of the Spiderman series, or those that just prefer the old Sam Raimi who hasn’t directed a horror flick since Army of Darkness back in 1992, and even that wasn’t really a horror flick.  The film is about Christine (Loman), a loan officer who is ordered to evict an old gypsy women form her house, who in turn gives her a gypsy curse and makes her life a living hell.  I’m excited about this film purely because it’s Raimi returning to horror, although it’s his brand of horror balanced with his twisted sense of humour.  Early reports have been nothing but positive and that it’s a return to form for Raimi.

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Up

Release: 29 May (US), 16 October (UK) (Editor’s note: WHAT!? WE HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL OCTOBER!?)
Director:  Pete Doctor, Bob Petersen
Written by: Bob Petersen
Starring:  Christopher Plummer & Edward Asner

Pixar releasing a coming of age tale starring an 78 year old man? That’s the premise of their latest film. Carl Fredricksen (Asner) ties a thousand ballons to his house and flies off to discover the wilds of South America, only to discover he’s not alone on the trip as he finds Russell, an 8 year wilderness explorer, who’s stowed away in Carl’s house on the trip.  Pixar have never made a bad film in my opinion, (even Cars wasn’t a bad film, it just wasn’t as good as the rest) and Up doesn’t look like it’s going to buck the trend.

Indie pick of the month

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The Brothers Bloom

Release: 29 May (US)
Director: Rian Johnson
Writter: Rian Johnson
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Adrian Brody & Mark Ruffolo

The second feature film from the director of Brick.  It tells the story of The Brothers Bloom (Brody & Ruffolo), the greatest con men in the world who decide on one last job, swindling Penople Stamp (Weisz), an eccentric millionaire out her cash by showing her the time of her life on a round the world trip.  Brick is one of my favorite films and I’m interested to see what he does in what is looking like a much more light hearted affair.  The cast is top notch and look like they are having a great time in the film’s trailer but it’s a shame that the film hasn’t been given a release in the UK yet and if it ends up going straight to DVD in the UK people will miss out on watch looks like it could be a highly enjoyable film.

That’s my picks for the month of May.  What are you guys looking forward to the most, or is there anything I’ve missed?  Next up June.

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