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Originally published April 27, 2014 at 6:30 AM | Page modified April 28, 2014 at 2:23 PM

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Summer movie preview: 6 double features we'd like to see

Film critic Moira Macdonald puts together her list of summer movie pairings, from blockbuster popcorn-pounders to coming-of-age tear-jerkers.

Seattle Times movie critic


Though it’s always hard to imagine when still mired in a chilly April-in-Seattle, summer brings warm temperatures — and, for many of us, a desire to hole up in air-conditioned theaters, catching up with the season’s movies. Double features are, alas, pretty much extinct these days, but I let myself wonder, while perusing the Summer 2014 calendar, about a few hypothetical double bills that might be appealing ...

The Big Flashy Superhero Double Feature

OK, I’ll admit it: It would be terrific fun, on a summer afternoon, to first watch Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) battling Electro (Jamie Foxx) and romancing Gwen (Emma Stone) in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (opening May 2), followed by two generations of X-Men, led by Hugh Jackman’s distractingly suave Wolverine, in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (May 23). But there might not be enough popcorn in the world.

The Weepy Young Adult Novel (But With Terrific Actresses) Double Feature

This would be one for a rainy day, no? Shailene Woodley is sure to break hearts as a teen who falls in love at a cancer support group in “The Fault in Our Stars” (June 6), based on the novel by John Green. Then, if you still have some tissues left watch, watch Chloë Grace Moretz as a teenager facing the aftermath of a terrible accident in “If I Stay” (Aug. 22), based on Gayle Forman’s novel. Feeling sad yet?

The “Mad Men” Fan’s Double Feature

Jon Hamm, aka Don Draper, takes a shot at headlining a big-studio feature in “Million Dollar Arm” (May 16), in which he plays an undoubtedly good-looking baseball agent looking to recruit cricket players from India. Meanwhile, John Slattery, aka Roger Sterling, tries his hand at feature-film directing with the indie drama “God’s Pocket” (May 16), starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christina “Joan Holloway Harris” Hendricks.

The East Coast Musical Double Features

The Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” (June 20), about how a quartet of young men from New Jersey formed the ’60s pop group The Four Seasons, turns up this summer as a feature film, directed by that master of doo-wop, Clint Eastwood. (I kid. Well, maybe not. The jury’s still out.) Set a few decades later but also filled with song is “Begin Again” (July 18), from the director of “Once,” starring Keira Knightley and Adam Levine as lovebirds and songwriting partners in New York. The film was a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival, under the (much better) title “Can a Song Save Your Life.”

The Scarlett Johansson One-Word-Title Double Feature

As if SJ hadn’t gotten enough screen time already this year, what with “Under the Skin” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” she’s still got enough left for a double feature. In the comedy “Chef” (May 16), Johansson plays a restaurant manager and love interest for Jon Favreau’s food-truck entrepreneur; in Luc Besson’s “Lucy” (Aug. 8), she’s a drug mule turned superhero.

The Rags-to-Riches Singer Biopic Double Feature

James Brown’s life story, from poverty to musical superstardom, gets told in “Get On Up” (Aug. 1), directed by Tate Taylor (“The Help”) and starring Chadwick Boseman (best known for playing Jackie Robinson in “42”). “One Chance” (Aug. 29) features a lesser name but a similar trajectory, telling the story of Paul Potts (James Corden), a bullied shop assistant and amateur opera singer who found fame on “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or

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