Summer Movie Preview – Part 2: June

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We’re back after a great start to the summer movie season in May.   June gives us some high profile comedies, as well as arguably the most anticipated film of the summer; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

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Land of the Lost

Release date: 5 June (US), 31 July (UK)
Director: Brad Siberling
Written by: Chris Henchy & Dennis McNicholas
Starring: Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride & Jorma Taccone

Land of the Lost is a remake of the 1971 television program of the same name.  The film is about Dr Rick Marshall (Ferrell) a world famous paleontologist who is sucked into an alternate universe along with his assistant Holly (Friel) and macho survival expert Will (McBride).  Whilst trying to make there way home they meet Chaka (Taccone) a friendly native who becomes their only ally in this strange new world.  The original series was a much more serious affair, telling the story of a family trapped and struggling to survive.  Like the film adaptation of Startsky and Hutch, they’ve taken the serious elements of the show and turned them into what will hopefully be a laugh out loud comedy.  The film has a great comedic cast with McBride & Taccone in particular guaranteed to provide laughs whenever they are on screen,  although it does look like Will Ferrell is playing the same character he plays in every film I’m still hoping this will turn out to be an enjoyable summer comedy.

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The Hangover

Release date: 5 June (US), 12 June (UK)
Director: Todd Phillips
Written by: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
Starring:  Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms & Zach Galifianakis

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.  Three groomsmen (Cooper, Helms & Galifianakis) take their soon to be married friend to Vegas for the best night of his life. Waking up with no recollection of the night before they realise that they’ve lost him and  attempt to retrace their steps to get him to the church of time.  I’ve loved the idea for this film ever since the first trailer with Road Trip and Old School, two of Phillips previous movies being two of my favorite comedies and The Hangover looks like it’s going to be  a spiritual successor to those films.  Whilst the leads are relatively unknown, Bradley Cooper has given a couple of solid supporting roles in films like Yes Man and He’s Just Not That Into You, the Hangover could be the film that makes him into a leading man.

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The Taking of Pelham 123

Release date: 12 June (US), 24 July (UK)
Director:  Tony Scott
Written by: Brian Helgeland & John Godey
Starring:  Denzel Washington & John Travolta

The Taking of Pelham 123 is a remake of a film originally made in 1974 based on a book released in 1973.  Pitting a transit cop (Washington) against a group of hijackers lead by John Travolta, who take over a subway train in order to demand a hefty ransom.  With a Tony Scott directed film you can generally expect a good thriller littered with several well shot action sequences.  Denzel Washington rarely gives a bad performance and given the tight material John Travolta can turn in a good performance and this film looks like it could prove to be a smart thriller in the middle of a summer of action flicks.

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Release date: 24 June (Worldwide)
Director:  Michael Bay
Written by: Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Starring: Shia Labeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturo, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson & Peter Cullen

The Transformers return in this summers big tent pole flick.  The history of the Transformers and their previous visits to earth are revealed when Sam (LeBeouf) discovers a piece of the all spark that leads him to understanding more of the history of the Transformers than even Optimus Prime (Cullen) wanted him to discover.  This is one of my most anticipated films of this summer mostly because it involves big robots blowing stuff up.  I’m not bothered by character progression in this film I just want to see big, pretty explosions and with Michael Bay I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re going to get.  Everything in this film looks bigger, including the Transformers.  The action sequences look huge this time and are now around the world not just in America with the finale taking place in Egypt.  Revenge of the Fallen looks like it’s going to be big mindless fun.

Indie Pick of the Month

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Moon

Release date: 12 June (US)
Director: Duncan Jones
Written by: Duncan Jones & Nathan Parker
Starring:  Sam Rockwell & Kevin Spacey

Sam Bell (Rockwell) is the only employee on a moon base mining for minerals which are sent back to Earth to solve the growing energy crisis.  He spends his days thinking of his family and playing games with base computer GERTY (Spacey).  However two weeks before he is due to leave the moon, he starts having strange visions and begins to realise that the what he that the things he holds most dear in his life may not be as real as they seem.  For a film shot on minimal budget, it looks amazing but for me the biggest draw of this film is seeing Sam Rockwell acting in film where he is the only actor on the screen for the majority of the film.  It takes a certain type of actor to be able to carry out that type of performance and I think that Rockwell has the ability to pull it off.  The film is only getting a limited release but if you can track it down, I would highly recommend checking it out.

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