On the horizon is a summer packed with numerous big budget movies ranging from Superhero sequels to Sci-Fi epics and not forgetting certain board-game related mayhem as well. These next few weeks therefore look to be the calm before the cinematic storm and for the week ahead in particular, comedy would seem to be the choice de jour.
If you want to check to see if any of these films are playing near you, you can visit Find Any Film and they’ll be able to help.
Wanderlust *Pick of the Week*
The latest Judd Apatow produced comedy stars the infinitely likeable Paul Rudd alongside his one time Friends co-star Jennifer Aniston. They play stressed out big city types who seek to escape the drudgery and pressure of their urban lives. After Rudd’s George loses his job, he and Aniston’s Linda find themselves faced with the prospect of moving in with George’s strange brother in Atlanta, but on their way there they stumble across Elysium. Elysium is a care-free commune filled with laid-back folks in stark contrast with our uptight central duo . Basically it’s a variation on the city slickers formula with Role Models director David Wain at the helm. If you like Apatow comedies, which I for one tend to, there’s definitely high hopes for this release.
This Means War
There’s been a massive promotional campaign for this action-comedy which has seemingly taken over every bus and bus stop in town. It is directed by the oft derided McG and stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as best friends turned arch rivals for the affections of Reese Witherspoon’s blond bombshell. Billed extensively as Bourne and Bond fighting over the same woman, This Means War is definitely not lacking in the star wattage department. It remains to be seen though if the appeal of seeing Captain Kirk and Bane trying to out schmooze each other proves a winning combination.
You can read our interview with director McG here.
“The party you’ve only dreamed about” says the tagline to this Todd ‘The Hangover’ Phillips production. Judging by the rambunctious trailer, we are in classic Philips territory here only with added drunken teens thrown into the mix. If you like your comedy fairly raucous it looks like this could be a fairly funny 90 minutes. The plot is simple: three high schoolers throw a party in order to improve their social status and naturally, things soon spiral out of control. It’s rated 18 so its fair to assume we’re very much in the ‘anything goes’ sphere of high school comedy on display. Not to everybody’s taste but for fans of Apatow/Philips style comedies, it’s a must-see.
You can read our interview with the young stars of Project X here.
Minnie Driver stars in this musical drama about a high school drama teacher in 1970’s Swansea who seeks to put on a rock and roll version of The Tempest during the hottest UK summer on record.
Our own Dave Sztypuljak says:
“It’s a sweet tale with a fab cast. If you like Glee and High School Musical, you’ll like this. If you hate both those, then you may still be surprised by the sweetness of this fab tale as you can’t help but let it pull you in.”
Slighty more hard-hitting and daunting than the movies listed above is the controversial Austrian film Michael. The film tells the story of a seemingly average man who to the outside world appears to live a normal day-to-day life. Michael however harbors a shocking secret. We soon learn that he keeps a ten year old boy called Wolfgang locked in his basement and it is strongly insinuated that Michael sexually abuses the boy. The film shows the two living almost as father and son with eerie moments of domestic normality. We even seem them venture out on day trips and preparing for Christmas. It sounds like a tense and deeply uneasy watch as it chooses not to demonize Michael but play out the film with a disturbing sense of ordinariness. This is going to be hard going so be prepared for it should you take the plunge.
Carancho, or ‘The Vulture’ is a highly commended Argentinian crime thriller that was the country’s entry for the best foreign language category at the Oscars in 2011. Starring Ricardo Darin, who some may remember from 2010 Oscar winner The Secret in their Eyes, the movie looks at the flourishing injury insurance industry that has sprung up thanks to Argentina’s hazardous roads.
According to the official site:
“Sosa (Ricardo Darín) is an ambulance-chasing personal injury attorney with questionable ethics. Lujan (Martina Gusman) is a young, idealistic country doctor new to the city. After Lujan and Sosa’s paths repeatedly cross, the two form an unlikely romance that is threatened by Sosa’s turbulent past. With traffic accidents as the number one cause of death in Argentina, bodies are currency and a black market strives to get rich from the personal tragedies that litter the streets.”
If Not Us, Who?
This German drama follows a young couple in the 1960’s who seek to escape the shadow of their respective fathers and their roles in the Nazi regime. By 1964, the passionate pair grow angry at the conformist world around them and become heavily involved in the prominent leftist political movements of the time. One even goes so far as to join Andreas Baader’s notorious pro-violence group. The great political unrest of the mid to late 1960’s is a fitting backdrop to the couple’s own tumultuous and often strained relationship.
Highly commended at the Berlin Film festival, this could well prove to be a further example of a flourishing German film industry in recent years. Fans of the Baader-Meinhof complex may find it of particular interest.