Summer Movie Preview – Part 3: July

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The penultimate month in summer movie season is filled with movies for kids, as such there’s not to many big blockbusters but July looks to be filled with a couple of quality films none the less.


Public Enemies

Release date: 1 July (US) 3 July (UK)
Director:  Michael Mann
Written by: Ronan Bennett & Michael Mann
Starring:  Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Emille de Ravin, Marion Cotillard, Giovani Ribisi & Billy Crudup

Public Enemies tells the story of John Dillenger (Depp), a depression era bank robber who becomes a celebrity and hero figure to the downtrodden public.  The FBI, still in its infancy sends it’s top agent Melvin Purvis (Bale) to take him down.  This is probably the biggest no-brainer of the summer, it’s Michael Mann doing what is essentially Heat but with Bale and Depp.  I will be very surprised if this film manages to fail both critically and financially. What I find most interesting is that he is using the style of shooting that he established in Collateral (lots of hand held camera work and naturalistic lighting) and applying it to a period piece and from the trailers it looks like the new style works and it should be an exciting take on the crime genre.



Release date: 10 July (Worldwide)
Director: Larry Charles
Written by: Sacha Baron Cohen & Dan Mazer
Starring:  Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen is out to offend once again with with his latest creation Bruno, a homosexual fashionist from Europe who comes to America to find fortune and fame.  I’m surprised Cohen has managed to get away with this film after the run away success of Borat which should have made him instantly recognisable to anybody who watches television but it just goes to show how much attention people actually pay.  The trailer has shown Bruno adopting a child, who arrives in a battered cardboard box via baggage claim in a packed airport. Then taking the child onto a chat show revealing that he has named the child OJ much to the disarray of the studio audience.  Subtlety is not going to be this films speciality.


Funny People

Release Date: 31 July (US) 28 August (UK)
Director:  Judd Apatow
Written by: Judd Apatow
Starring: Adam Sandler, Leslie Mann, Seth Rogan, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill & Jason Schwartzman

Adam Sandler plays George, a well known stand up comedian who learns that he’s got an inoperable terminal illness and is probably going to die.  Although famous, George has never had a meaningful friendship with anyone and he begins to find this in young stand up, Ira (Rogan) and finds himself wanting to live more than ever.  Funny People looks to be the grown up alternative to Knocked Up or the 40 Year Old Virgin, whilst funny I think there will be considerably less dick and fart jokes in this movie which may alienate some of Apatows fans but this does look like a much more personal story.  What I find most interesting about the film is the stand up sequences were all filmed in front of an audience at a comedy club who weren’t told what they were going to see so the crowd reactions and everything you see in these sequences is real and I’m intrigued to see what the end result is.  With the current popularity of the cast and Apatow it looks like he has another smash hit on his hands.

Indie Pick of the Month


(500) Days of Summer

17 July (US) 4 September (UK)
Director: Marc Webb
Written by: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Starring:  Joeseph Gordan-Levitt & Zooey Deschanel

This is not a love story, this is a story about love or so says the opening narration to the trailer for the film.  The film is about Tom (Levitt) who is looking for the one and Summer (Deschanel) who doesn’t believe true love exists and the 500 days they spend together.  The story is told in a none sequential order mixing the happy, the sad, the good and the bad together for a surreal and what looks to be a very original take on the traditional love story.  I think Levitt is a terrific young actor, especially his performance in Brick and anybody who doesn’t love Zooey Descahnel has something wrong with them.  Early reviews from the Sundance Film Festival have already pinned this as a contender for film of the year and I’m inclined to believe them based on what I’ve seen so far.

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