In the news:
66 movies headed your way
From “Iron Man 3” (May 3) to “The World’s End” (Aug. 23), summer is packed with sequels, comedies, action movies, documentaries and more.
Seattle Times movie critic
Summer brings warm rain, fizzy drinks and loads of movies; here is just a sampling, in various categories. Note that release dates are tentative and can change faster than, well, Superman.
I’ve seen that guy somewhere before: franchises
This summer, as every summer, we’ll be seeing a lot of men in stretchy synthetic outfits; namely Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man 3” (late-night release, May 2), Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and the gang in “Star Trek: Into Darkness” (May 17), Henry Cavill in “Man of Steel” (June 14); and, in a hairy stretchy synthetic outfit, Hugh Jackman in “The Wolverine” (July 26). Out of uniform are the unlucky trio of guys in “The Hangover Part III” (May 24) — shouldn’t they have appointed a designated driver by now? — and the “Fast and Furious 6” gang (May 24), last seen impressively stealing a car from a speeding train. Also jumping aboard the sequel train, whether invited or not, are “Grown-Ups 2” (July 12), “Red 2” (July 19), “300: Rise of an Empire” (Aug. 2) and “Kick-Ass 2” (Aug. 16).
By the book
Well, we know that nobody’s going to be lukewarm about Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” (May 10) — he’s a love-it-or-hate-it kind of filmmaker. Love the look of the cast, though: Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick, Carey Mulligan as Daisy. Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children” also comes to the big screen May 10, directed by Deepa Mehta (“Fire,” “Earth,” “Water”) and adapted by Rushdie himself. Mira Nair directs “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” (May 3), based on Mohsin Hamid’s novel, and Julianne Moore stars in “What Maisie Knew” (May 24), a contemporary adaptation of the Henry James novel about a divorcing couple and their young daughter. “Tiger Eyes,” the 1981 Judy Blume novel, arrives June 7, directed by the author’s son Lawrence Blume; and “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” based on the Rick Riordan series and starring Logan Lerman, splashes into theaters Aug. 7.
Lots of animated family-friendly fare this summer, led by the “Monsters, Inc.” sequel “Monsters University 3D” (June 21). Also coming up, to entertain squirmy out-of-schoolers: “Epic” (May 24), from the makers of “Ice Age”; the sequel “Despicable Me 2” (July 3), with the voices of Steve Carell and Al Pacino; Disney’s airborne adventure “Planes” (Aug. 9); and the very, very blue “Smurfs 2” (July 31). Well, not blue in the way you’re thinking.
Directors to watch
It wouldn’t be summer without a new Woody Allen movie; this one’s called “Blue Jasmine” (Aug. 16) and stars Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard and Louis C.K. No, of course I don’t know what it’s about; Woody doesn’t tell. Sofia Coppola returns with “The Bling Ring” (June 14), starring Emma “Hermione” Watson as the head of a group of L.A. teen burglars. Richard Linklater delivers “Before Midnight” (June 14), the final installment of his romantic trilogy starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy; Pedro Almodóvar returns with “I’m So Excited” (July 19), featuring frequent Almodóvar muses Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz. Neil Jordan (“Interview with the Vampire”) revisits the vampire well with “Byzantium” (June 28), starring Saoirse Ronan as a vampire who could surely eat Kristen Stewart’s Bella for breakfast, so to speak. Edgar Wright follows up “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” with “The World’s End” (Aug. 23), cowritten by and starring frequent collaborator Simon Pegg. James Marsh, an Oscar winner for “Man on Wire,” returns with the thriller “Shadow Dancer” (June) set in 1990s Belfast, and Seattle’s own Megan Griffiths presents the human-trafficking drama “Eden” (May 3), a prizewinner at last year’s Seattle International Film Festival.
Real life, in reel life
Summer brings documentaries of every imaginable flavor, from a portrait of a contemporary magician (“Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay,” May 3) to 1960s folk music (“Greenwich Village: Music that Defined a Generation,” May 31) to the WikiLeaks saga (“We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks,” May 31). Other nonfiction films explore the story of several Jewish families who hid in caves in the Ukraine during World War II (“No Place on Earth,” May 3); the tennis-playing Williams sisters (“Venus & Serena,” May 24); the drug trade in the U.S. (“How to Make Money Selling Drugs,” June 28); life in a family of storytellers (Sarah Polley’s “Stories We Tell,” May 31); bartenders trying to follow their dreams (“Hey Bartender,” June 14); the subject of “My Dinner with Andre” (“Andre Gregory: Before and After Dinner,” Aug. 9); divisive talk-show host Morton Downey Jr. (“Evocateur,” June 28); and a couple of music docs (“Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me,” July 19, and “One Direction: This Is Us,” Aug. 30).
Is it funny yet?
If you’ve been waiting since “Wedding Crashers” to see Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson re-team, check out “The Internship” (June 7), in which they both play grown-up interns at Google. Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis team for “We’re the Millers” (Aug. 9); Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids”) plays a failed playwright in “Girl Most Likely,” (July 18), with Annette Bening as her eccentric mother. (Didn’t Bening just do that, in “Ruby Sparks”?) “The Way, Way Back” (July 5) written and directed by “The Descendants” co-writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, is a coming-of-age comedy about a teenager’s summer vacation; Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha” (May 24) is a coming-of-age comedy about a young woman (Greta Gerwig) already grown-up, but still figuring things out; and “The Kings of Summer” (June 7) is a teenage boy’s coming-of-age, starring former Seattleite Nick Robinson.
Sound and fury
More big movies, more noise ... Brad Pitt fights zombies in “World War Z” (June 21) accompanied by Mireille Enos of “The Killing,” presumably minus the bulky sweaters. Will Smith and his son Jaden are stranded in a futuristic universe in M. Night Shyamalan’s “After Earth” (May 31); Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, likewise, face life on a space station in 2154 in “Elysium” (Aug. 9). Jamie Foxx plays the President in the action thriller “White House Down” (June 28), with Channing “Magic Mike” Tatum as a (surely) taciturn cop who must protect him; meanwhile, aliens attack the earth in Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” (July 12). And this summer’s biggest movie question might be: Can Johnny “Tonto” Depp do for “The Lone Ranger” (July 5) what he did for “Pirates of the Caribbean”?
Where’s the love this summer? It’s between Beatrice and Benedick in Joss Whedon’s updated, black-and-white version of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” (June 21), or young stars Miles Teller (“Rabbit Hole”) and Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants”) in “The Spectacular Now” (Aug. 2). Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly play a divorced couple in “Stuck in Love” (June 14), and Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm star in the Danish comedy “Love Is All You Need” (May 24). Don’t worry — it’s not “Mamma Mia,” so he won’t sing.
Cops & robbers
Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy play a cop/FBI agent duo (this could be fun!) in “The Heat” (June 28), directed by Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”). A team of magicians perform bank heists — potentially a really good idea; has Ricky Jay tried this? — in “Now You See Me” (May 31), with Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Jesse Eisenberg and Isla Fisher. Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges play undead cops in “R.I.P.D.” (July 19), and Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg are law enforcers fighting the mob in “2 Guns” (Aug. 2).
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play paranormal investigators in “The Conjuring” (July 19), directed by James “Saw” Wan. Former local Calvin Reeder directs “The Rambler” (June 28), about an escaped prisoner, and will be in attendance for the movie’s Northwest Film Forum opening night. A family faces a night of violence in “The Purge” (June 7), with Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, and Michael Shannon plays a contract killer (based on a real person) in “The Iceman” (May 17).
And, Finally, A Movie In Which a Bunch of Comedians, Playing Themselves, Face the Apocalypse at James Franco’s House
What more needs to be said about “This Is the End” (June 12)?
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org