Friday, May 27, 2011

Summertime Hit List: what Siobhan's looking forward to...

We all do it.  It happens every year.  And in a lot of cases our choices are similar.  But even though it's a ritual with little or no newness, I still look forward to making my summer movie picks.  More than that, for those of us who live and breathe entertainment, we can mark our lives by summer blockbusters...  And so, without further ado, I give you...the films I'm most excited about seeing this summer:
The Beginners starring Christopher Plummer, Ewan McGregor and Mélanie Laurent explores the relationship between a father, Hal (Plummer) and a son, Oliver (McGregor).  As both come to terms with the news that not only is Hal gay (much to the surprise of his son and presumably his late wife with whom he enjoyed a very tender and loving relationship) but he is also terminally ill.  While the trailer makes it appear to be a film with superficial substance (as I like to call it), it frankly had me at "Christopher Plummer". OPENS JUNE 3, 2011

Bridesmaids is co-written by its star Kristin Wiig and opens this weekend in theatres.  While it's been described to me as being, "a rip off of the hangover," I have for many years believed that a gross out comedy needed to be told from the perspective of women.  Frankly there are a lot more hilarious and shocking daily occurrences in the female experience than I think most people are willing to admit.  While it may have a very specific audience, I for one am looking forward to the ride. You can read Matt's full review here.  NOW PLAYING

Captain America intrigues my comic book loving side.  Although I'm not a fan (at all) of the Captain America comics themselves.  They are an interesting study in a time that was both tumultuous and in which GI's needed to know they were supported.  Captain America was born out of a need to provide moral support for a country that didn't want to go to war.  His stories were easy to follow and everything was always black and white.  In recent years this may not have been true but Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's original hero was the ultimate good guy.  With that in mind I'm interested to see where this ride takes us. OPENS JULY 22, 2011

The First Grader is based on the true story of Charles Obinchu, an 84-year-old man who, upon hearing that education was being offered for free at a school in Kenya fights to enroll so that he can learn to read.  The film follows the struggles of the class' teacher and the administration against a community that feels Obinchu should not be in a class with 6-year-olds and their ultimate triumph over adversity.  Again, this one feels like a bit of a foregone conclusion (i.e. I haven't seen it but I'm pretty sure he learns to read).  That said, have a look at the trailer.  I dare you not to want to see this film.  NOW PLAYING

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 This is it.  Whether you loved or hated this franchise it will all be over this summer with the conclusion of part two of JK Rowlings final Harry Potter novel (for now).  I have to admit that when WB first decided to split this film into two I was skeptical but the more I've thought about it, the more I know I would have been disappointed with the franchise cutting a good deal of what made the last book great.  This would have of course been necessary, had they attempted to fit everything into one film.  Always brilliantly produced (if a little wanting in the acting department on occasion) this film franchise is an example of what happens when inspiration takes hold.  OPENS JULY 15, 2011

The Help Based on the novel by Katherine Stockett, The Help follows three leads, Miss Abileen Clark (Viola Davis), Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) and Eugenia Phalen (Emma Stone) through the tempestuousness of 1960's Jackson Mississippi.   Taking on race relations in an economy which relied heavily on an almost entirely black domestic workforce, the story follows the events surrounding the "Home Help Sanitation Initiative" which sought to have white homes build separate bathrooms for their domestic workers.  Intriguing and at the very least illuminating the film has a release date of OPENS AUGUST 12, 2011

Super 8 seems, from the trailers, to hearken back to a simpler time when films where more of an event and Stephen Spielberg was the master of the box office.  The film follows the events in one town following the crash of a government train passing through town, the implication being that something has escaped.  I am reminded of ET The Extraterrestrial and Close Encounters while watching the trailer and am definitely looking forward to a good old fashioned alien movie (yes I'm talking to you cowboys and aliens).  Oddly, this trailer also makes me want to go have an Indiana Jones/Hook/Goonies marathon.  OPENS JUNE 10, 2011

Thor  I started this post before seeing Thor and now I kind of want to scrap it but it was one of the films I was eager to see.  For the full review please click here, however just to summarize: I felt like this film lacked the pizzaz that it promised with its story.  There's a lot of exciting character intricacy that can be woven into a proper plot and it seems as though rather than actually create a fully fleshed out story director Kenneth Brannagh (I know!) has fallen back to the 3D of it all to save a non-existent plot.  I'm sorry to say that while cutesy, this was not the blockbuster I was expecting.  NOW PLAYING

Honourable mentions to: Meeks Cutoff, Circo, & Last Night

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