By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Brian Feinzimer
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By Amy Nicholson
First off, forgive us for not having the budget to upgrade this summer movie preview to 3D. Rest assured, there are plenty of eye-popping (brain-numbing?) epics in the preview list that follows, but to our pleasure and surprise, there is a surplus of attention-worthy 2D flicks, too. Happy summer, movie fans. And this time we mean it. (As always, all dates are subject to change.)
Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and UFC champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson are a disgraced special-ops team out to clear their name in director Joe Carnahan’s adaptation of the 1980s TV show [insert Mr. T joke here].
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
In 1920s Paris, Coco Chanel (Anna Mouglalis) invites a penniless Igor Stravinsky (Mads Mikkelsen) to bring along his wife and children and live with her in her famed Parisian villa, Bel Respiro. Soon, the great designer is seducing the great composer in this opulent drama from Dutch director Jan Kounen.
El Súperstar: The Unlikely Rise of Juan Francés
After his parents die, Beverly Hills white boy Jonathan French (Spencer John French) is raised by his Mexican nanny (Lupe Ontiveros). As an adult, Jonathan becomes Juan Francés, ranchero singing star, in this faux documentary comedy from filmmaker Amy French.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Co-directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg track the indefatigable comic over the course of a recent year, forming a documentary that festival audiences expected to disdain and ending up loving. At age 76, Joan has buzz.
The Karate Kid
This remake of the 1984 Ralph Macchio/Pat Morita flick about a teenage boy who gains personal wisdom as well as mad skills from a kung-fu master stars Jaden Smith (son of Will) as the pupil and Jackie Chan as his teacher. See review.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead
There are vampires in the state of Denmark, or so it appears to a young Manhattan director (Jake Hoffman, son of Dustin) whose staging of Hamlet has more bite than he expected. Written and directed by Jordan Galland.
In her follow-up to 2004’s Down to the Bone, the movie that put Vera Farmiga on the map, filmmaker Debra Granik adapts Daniel Woodrell’s powerful novel about an Ozark mountain girl’s desperate search for her missing father.
Marisa Tomei and John C. Reilly are newly, blissfully in love in this drama from the brotherly filmmaking duo of Jay and Mark Duplass (The Puffy Chair). Jonah Hill co-stars as Tomei’s clinging, interfering son.
8: The Mormon Proposition
Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) narrates this expose of the Mormon Church’s alleged financial support of California’s Proposition 8, which denied marriage rights to same-sex couples. Co-directed by Steven Greenstreet and Reed Cowan.
French filmmaker Christian Carion enlists two acclaimed actor/directors to star in a fact-based thriller about a KGB colonel (Time of the Gypsies director Emir Kusturica) who passed secret documents to a French businessman (Tell No One director Guillaume Canet) in the early 1980s.
I Am Love
In this extravagantly romantic film from writer/director Luca Guadagnino, the ever-fierce Tilda Swinton plays a Russian who married into a powerful Italian family when she was young. Nearing middle age, she’s happy, she thinks, until she begins an affair that will either save her life or destroy it.
Based on a long-running DC Comics character, this supernaturally tinged comedy-Western features Josh Brolin as a badly scarred post-Civil War bounty hunter in search of a mad-dog killer—played, of course, by John Malkovich.
The Killer Inside Me
Casey Affleck is Lou Ford, a 1950s-era West Texas deputy sheriff who also happens to be a psychopathic killer. Directed by Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart) and based on Jim Thompson’s brilliant and brutal 1952 novel. Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba co-star.
Let It Rain
Veteran French actor/filmmaker Agnès Jaoui (The Taste of Others) stars as a feminist writer who returns to her childhood home and finds herself embroiled in a comic roundelay of romance, sibling rivalry and political intrigue.
The Nature of Existence
“Why do we exist?” That’s the first question on filmmaker Roger Nygard’s long list of things to ask the philosophers, spiritual leaders, scientists and artists he’ll meet as he travels the world over four years for this documentary.
Filmmakers Kate Davis and David Hellbrone re-examine the 1968 police raid on Greenwich Village’s Stonewall bar, an event that sparked a riot, days of protest, and the modern gay-rights movement.
Toy Story 3
Where do toys go when their kid grows up and moves away? After they survive one of their patented Pixar adventures, be prepared to well up as Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the toys of Andy’s room see their favorite human off to college. Written by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) and directed by Lee Unkrich. (We hear Mr. Potatohead steals the movie.)
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider star as childhood buddies reuniting for the first time in 30 years. We’re thinking it’s a comedy. Directed by Dennis Dugan (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry).
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