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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 1, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 22
2012 summer movie preview, part II
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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2012 summer movie preview, part II

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

Did you know The Avengers has made more than a billion dollars worldwide in only 19 days of release? Pretty crazy, I know. Can any of the big-budget wonders scheduled for release during July and August do the same? The chances of that happening rest somewhere between incredibly slim and virtually none, which is saying something when you consider that 2012's most anticipated motion picture, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, the capper to his Batman trilogy, goes into wide release July 20. If any movie has the chance to produce similar box-office results it's that one, although even with Imax surcharges I think it's unlikely.

But Nolan's opus isn't the only reason to get excited about the last two months of the Summer Movie silly season. Plenty of titles both big and small are worthy of letting one's anticipatory giddiness run wild. As of now, here's what's scheduled to hit Seattle theaters in July and August. Release dates are, as always, subject to change.

July 3
The Amazing Spider-Man - It's a long way from (500) Days of Summer, but director Marc Webb tries to reinvigorate the Marvel Comics stalwart, rebooting the series only five years after the last installment web-slung its way into theaters.

July 5
Katy Perry: Part of Me - A 3D Katy Perry concert documentary. Yeah, I wasn't clamoring for this one either - and I kinda like her music.

July 6
A Cat in Paris - Last year's surprise nominee for Best Animated Film finally makes its domestic, non-festival debut. It's awesome. Go see it.

Savages - Oliver Stone gets down and dirty with an adaptation of Don Winslow's bestseller about a pair of smalltime pot growers who suddenly find themselves at war with a ruthless Mexican drug cartel when their mutual girlfriend is kidnapped.

To Rome With Love - Woody Allen's latest finds him trotting through Italy with an all-star cast (including Penélope Cruz, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Judy Davis, and Roberto Benigni) chronicling a trio of romantic misadventures on the cobblestone streets of Rome.

July 13
Beasts of the Southern Wild - This one is borderline indescribable, but considering the reactions coming out of Sundance and the fact that it's gotten a plum showcase at this year's Cannes Film Festival, I'm not kidding when I say it's more or less at the top of my summertime must-see list. What's it about? Why ruin the surprise - the title pretty much says it all.

Elena - Russian import involving a broken marriage, class alienation, and a mysterious inheritance that showcases esteemed director Andrei Zvyagintsev (The Return) at very top of his game. Twisty and twisted, this is a small-scale gem not easily forgotten.

Ice Age: Continental Drift - The gang's all here as Manny, Diego, Sid, and all the rest find themselves set adrift upon a wayward iceberg and forced to battle new dangers and unforeseen obstacles they previously never could have imagined. In other news, it's becoming quite apparent this prehistoric well is running close to dry.

Take This Waltz - Actress-turned-director Sarah Polley's (Away From Her) latest chronicles the apparent downfall of a seemingly happily married young woman (Michelle Williams) who suddenly finds herself falling in love with the goofy artist (Seth Rogen) who's recently moved in next door.

Ted - Mark Wahlberg finds dealing with a walking/talking teddy bear as an adult is far less fun than it was when he wished for it to happen as a child. Seth MacFarlane fans take note, this R-rated comedy goes places Family Guy only wishes it could.

July 20
The Dark Knight Rises - As the ads have stated, this is the final chapter in Christopher Nolan's Bruce Wayne saga, the film picking up eight years after his last adventure. Catwoman is here and so is Bane, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard round things out as a pair of characters of which little to almost nothing is known.

Grassroots - A political satire all Seattle residents will want to see - the untold story of the monorail vote (and revote, and revote, and revote) mixed with the saga of a City Council candidate trying to get his voice heard to virtually no avail. Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal (Losing Isaiah) and based on Phil Campbell's best-selling book.

Trishna - Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart) tackles Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, setting the action in India and attempting to give it new resonance for the modern age. Saw this at a SIFF press screening. It's good, but never quite strikes the heartbreaking emotional chord it needs to for it to completely resonate.

July 25
Ruby Sparks - Paul Dano as a writer who, lonely and without a girlfriend, wills his latest literary creation into real-life existence (because, you know, that's always a good idea).

July 27
Easy Money - Swedish import about drug runners and the cartels that own them. The Killing and future RoboCop remake star Joel Kinnaman is the central figure portraying a man out to make a few quick bucks, who suddenly finds himself way over his head.

Step Up Revolution - The dance dance revolution continues in this fourth installment, set in Florida, where a group of street performers try to stop a greedy developer from transforming their stomping grounds into a posh resort.

The Watch - Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill as a group of suburban dads who start a neighborhood watch patrol and suddenly find themselves battling an alien invasion. Hopefully there won't be any hoodies.

August 3 Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry - Documentary about Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei; stunning, arguably an early frontrunner for Best Documentary Feature at next year's Academy Awards.

The Bourne Legacy - Matt Damon may be gone, but his story continues with Jeremy Renner picking things up as another Treadstone agent thrust into a massive conspiracy seemingly beyond his control. Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton co-star, while Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn, and Oscar Isaac all return to help fill in the blanks.

Dark Horse - Caustic director Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Life During Wartime) returns with an innocent-sounding romance that undoubtedly will be anything but. Selma Blair, Justin Bartha, Mia Farrow, and Christopher Walken star.

Total Recall - The Philip K. Dick short story, adapted back in 1990 by Paul Verhoeven with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring, is remade by Underworld auteur Len Wiseman with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Ethan Hawke, Bryan Cranston, and Bill Nighy in the central roles.

August 10 The Campaign - Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis battle it out as two North Carolina politicians with an eye on the White House.

Hope Springs - Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a couple going to counselor Steve Carell for advice after three-plus decades of marriage. The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel orchestrates the comedic mayhem.

August 17 The Expendables 2 - Sylvester Stallone once again rounds up his gang of B-movie all-stars for a second adventure. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger return, with Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme also getting in on the bullet-riddled action.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green - Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as a married couple wishing for a child, who place their dreams of their hoped-for offspring in a box they bury in the backyard. When he's born, magic follows.

ParaNorman - Stop-motion animated fable about a boy who can speak to the dead, and who must use all his supernatural powers to save his town from an onslaught of ghouls, ghosts, and zombies.

Sparkle - Remake of the 1976 musical starring the late Whitney Houston in her final role. Former American Idol winner Jordin Sparks co-stars as an up-and-coming singing sensation Houston is forced to take under her wing.

August 24 The Apparition - A college experiment unleashes a supernatural demon intent on killing all in its path.

Hit & Run - Getaway driver Dax Shepard is forced to go on the run with his girlfriend (Kristen Bell) in tow when bad guy Bradley Cooper shows up on his doorstep demanding the money from their last bank robbery. Much vehicular mayhem ensues.

Premium Rush - Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a New York bicycle messenger who inadvertently ends up with a package that a whole range of villains want to get their hands on. No, it isn't a remake of the Kevin Bacon turkey Quicksilver, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so.

August 29 Lawless - John Hillcoat follows up The Road with a story about Depression-era bootleggers and the authorities out to make an example of them. This film is debuting at the Cannes Film Festival and is one of my most eagerly anticipated of 2012.

August 31 The Possession - Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick as recently divorced parents who find themselves reunited when their daughter comes into possession of a mysterious wooden box containing the soul of a demon. Sam Raimi produces.

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