JULY 2012 MOVIES
The Amazing Spider-Man
Teenager Peter Parker grapples with both human problems and amazing super-human crises. Reboot of the Spider-Man movie franchise starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, and Rhys Ifans as the villain Curt Connors, who becomes the inhuman Lizard.
OUR TAKE: Amazing Spider-Man has the most to prove out of any other summer movie this year. People have hated on it since it was first announced as the alternative to Spider-Man 4, and that bias isn’t going to let up. The only way Sony will truly win this battle is if (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb and new Spider-Man Andrew Garfield truly deliver a film that blows away Sam Raimi’s previous trilogy. Not an easy feat.
Pot growers Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively). Emile Hirsch, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, and John Travolta co-star. Oliver Stone directs.
OUR TAKE: Like Ridley Scott with Prometheus, Stone has to prove that his best days as a director are not in fact behind him (what we call the Wall Street / Wall Street 2 conundrum) – but to its credit, Savages looks like one of the better films the director has put out in some time.
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world. Voices by Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Alan Tudyk, Nick Frost, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Aziz Ansari and Peter Dinklage.
OUR TAKE: The kids love the Ice Age franchise and it even manages to tickle a few adults. Hopefully, things don’t get too heavy with the whole ‘end of the ice age / extinction of ice age animals’ thing looming on the horizon. SPOILER ALERT KIDS! They all die and end up as stuffed displays in the Smithsonian!
From the mind of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane comes a story centered on a man (Mark Wahlberg) and his foul-mouthed teddy bear (voiced by MacFarlane), who comes to life as the result of a childhood wish. Mila Kunis, Patrick Warburton, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel McHale and Laura Vandervoort co-star.
OUR TAKE: Basically, it’s a live-action, feature-length version of a Family Guy cutaway skit – meaning, it could actually turn out to be pretty funny – or just plain vulgar, depending on your tastes. We were none too impressed with the shoddy CGI used to create Ted, and hearing a mixture of Peter and Brian Griffin emerge from a teddy bear is a bit distracting.
The Dark Knight Rises
Eight years after the events of previous film The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane (Tom Hardy) arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman (Christian Bale) to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes.
OUR TAKE: For many movie fans, summer 2012 basically boils down to Avengers vs. Dark Knight Rises (a reflection of comic book competitors Marvel and DC Comics). Nolan’s finale to his Batman trilogy has the massive critical and financial success of The Dark Knight to best – a feat that may be impossible for any movie. But even if Dark Knight Rises falls short, that’ll still make it a pretty damn good time.
Suburban dads form a neighborhood watch group to get time away from their families, only to discover a plot to destroy Earth. Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Billy Crudup, Will Forte and Doug Jones star.
OUR TAKE: So far this movie has completely downplayed its alien invasion sci-fi identity, in favor of masking itself as a standard Stiller/Vaughn/Hill raunch-com. We’re extremely interested to see how moviegoers will react when they learn the truth – not to mention the comparisons to the Trayvon Marten case that will inevitably come up…
Step Up 4
Emily (Kathryn McCormick) arrives in Miami with aspirations to become a professional dancer. She sparks with Sean (Ryan Guzman), the leader of a dance crew whose neighborhood is threatened by Emily’s father’s development plans.
OUR TAKE: It’s the same old Step Up formula: two dancers from different sides of the tracks fall in love. Cue slick final dance number punctuated by hip-pop club anthem du jour and roll credits. If the formula is to your liking, by all means partake.