Summer (2011) Movie Preview -- Films I'm Dying to See These Upcoming Hot, Hot Days! 

Giant robots, superheroes, and adventurous pirates, it must be summer at the movies! Hollywood studios are unleashing their blockbuster films so here’s my quick guide to the movies I’m dying to see this summer.


May 6: “The Beaver” – Jodie Foster directs the embattled Mel Gibson in this dramedy about depression. Oh what fun!

May 6: “Something Borrowed” – Based on the bestselling novel by Emily Giffin, Kate Hudson returns to top form in this romantic comedy about love and friendships.

May 6: “Thor” – I love this comic book superhero and I can’t wait to see how director Kenneth Branagh will add his Shakespearean twist to the mythology.

May 13: “Bridesmaids” – The early buzz surrounding this film is great! It’s being called “The Hangover” for the ladies. It’s about time!

May 13: “Everything Must Go” – Will Ferrell tries his hands at drama again in this film based on Raymond Carver’s short story “Why Don’t You Dance?”

May 13: “Priest” – Paul Bettany seems to be the go to guy when Hollywood needs a B-movie star. In “Legion,” he played the Angel Michael, in “Priest,” he’s a man of God battling vampires.

May 20: “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” – Johnny Depp returns as Jack Sparrow in this fourth installment of the popular franchise. Sure, the trailer looks fun, but I will definitely miss Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom.

May 26: “The Hangover Part II” – The biggest R-rated comedy is back for the sequel. This time, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha find themselves in Bangkok for Stu’s (Helms) wedding.

May 26: “Kung Fu Panda 2” – Everybody will be Kung-Fu fighting for the second time as our lovable panda, Po (Jack Black), joins forces with a group of new kung-fu masters.

May 27: “The Tree of Life” – Terence Malick directs Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in this meditative film about innocence. I love watching non-blockbuster movies in the middle of the summer!


June 3: “Beginners” – Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor team up for director Mike Mills’ (“Thumbsucker”) in this drama about the transformative power of life!

June 3: “X-Men: First Class” – The latest film in the “X-Men” franchise takes us back to the good, old days when Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) were best friends!

June 10: “Super 8” – Writer/director J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek”) transports us back to 1979 in this sci-fi mystery. I suspect this film will be the popcorn movie of the summer!

June 17: “Green Lantern” – More superheroes! This time, Ryan Reynolds wears the magical ring to bring order to the universe.

June 17: “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” – Jim Carrey stars as a businessman who inherits six penguins. Are you laughing yet?

June 24: “Bad Teacher” – Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake reunite, at least on the big screen, for this comedy about a foul-mouthed teacher (Diaz).

June 24: “Cars 2” – Even though I enjoyed “Cars,” I don’t think it’s one of Pixar’s strongest films. So I am very curious why Disney ordered a sequel. This time, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) go on an international adventure to rev it up against the world’s fastest cars.

June 24: “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop” – I already saw this documentary and it’s great! The film highlights the lowest point of Conan’s career as he comes to terms with losing the Tonight Show. Drama!


July 1: “Larry Crowne” – Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts reteam for this yarn about an unemployed middle-aged man who returns to college to reinvent himself. Very timely?

July 1: “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” – Optimus Prime and Megatron will rule our Fourth of July!

July 8: “Horrible Bosses” – The plot sounds funny – three friends decide to kill their horrible bosses because they think they’ll be happy without them. Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman star in this comedy.

July 8: “One Day” – Dexter (Jim Sturgess) and Em (Anne Hathaway) are recent college graduates who vow to meet each other on the same date each year to see where they are in their lives. Why don’t they just get married?

July 15: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2” – Finally, the part 2 we’ve all been waiting for!

July 22: “Captain America: The First Avenger” – Another superhero! This time, Chris Evans dons the red, white, and blue outfit for director Joe Johnston.

July 29: “Cowboys & Aliens” – The “Star Trek” writers (Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman) team up with the “Iron Man” films director (Jon Favreau) in this comic book-based film about aliens versus cowboys in Arizona circa 1873. Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig star.

July 29: “The Smurfs” – Just for curiosity factor, I wonder how 20th Century Fox will transform our little, blue friends into movie stars! Neil Patrick Harris and yes, Katy Perry star!


August 5: “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” – James Franco star in this origin story about the genetic engineering of super-intelligent apes! So pretty much, we’ll find out how the planet of the apes was created.

August 19: “Conan the Barbarian” – Jason Momoa inherits Arnold Schwarzenegger’s loin cloth in this reboot that tells the adventures of Conan the Cimmerian (Momoa).

August 19: “Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World” – Just in case you want to see the fourth installment of Robert Rodriguez’ popular kiddie franchise.

August 31: “The Debt” – Sam Worthington, after appearing in blockbusters such as “Avatar” and “Clash of the Titans,” teams up with Helen Mirren in this remake of a 2007 Israeli thriller. The script is co-written by Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass,” “X-Men: First Class”) and the film is directed by John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love”).

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"The Dark Knight Rises" News -- We Now Know the Roles Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Are Set to Play! 

Writer-director Christopher Nolan loves his stable of actors! And with his third and supposedly, final chapter of his "Batman" series, Nolan is hiring actors he worked with before.

Both Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who previously worked with Nolan in "Inception," are returning to the loving arms of the director along with Tom Hardy who is already set as Bane.

Cotillard will star as Miranda Tate, "a Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a still-grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father’s philanthropic endeavors for Gotham."

And Gordon-Levitt will play John Blake, "a Gotham City beat cop assigned to special duty under the command of Commissioner Gordon."

The film is set to rise in theaters July 20, 2012. But for now, let's read the official press release from Warner Bros.

BURBANK, CA, April 19, 2011 – Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have joined the cast of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the epic conclusion to the Dark Knight legend.

Cotillard will appear as Miranda Tate, a Wayne Enterprises board member eager to help a still-grieving Bruce Wayne resume his father’s philanthropic endeavors for Gotham. Gordon-Levitt will play John Blake, a Gotham City beat cop assigned to special duty under the command of Commissioner Gordon. The film reunites the actors with Christopher Nolan, who recently directed them in the award-winning blockbuster “Inception.”

The director stated, “When you collaborate with people as talented as Marion and Joe, it comes as no surprise that you would want to repeat the experience. I immediately thought of them for the roles of Miranda and Blake, and I am looking forward to working with both of them again.”

Heading the cast of “The Dark Knight Rises,” Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The main cast also includes Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle and Tom Hardy as Bane. Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Christopher Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is slated for release on July 20, 2012. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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Why Ben Affleck Said No to Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" 

Baz Luhrmann's adapataion of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic is picking up steam, well, at least until Ben Affleck said no to the project. The director wanted the actor to star as Tom Buchanan in his planned 3D project. Luhrmann begged, hard...but ultimately, Affleck said no. Why?

Because the actor-director who created the brilliant "The Town" last year, is committed to directing "Argo," his cerebral thriller based on the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Both Luhrmann and Affleck tried to work it out but alas, it's a no go!

But Leonardo DiCaprio is still set to play Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan is still Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire is still committed to playing Nick Carraway. Isla Fisher is still in talks to star as Myrtle. As for the Tom Buchanan role? Apparently, Luhrmann is now looking to hire an Australian actor because it will be good for the bottom line.

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J.J. Abrams Hires Female Writers for Super Top Secret Project! 

J.J. Abrams loves hiring his TV friends for his big screen projects. Good for him! And now, according to Deadline, Abrams has hired his pals, Monica Breen and Alison Schapker to do a rewrite on his top-secret sci-fi project for Paramount!

Breen and Schapker have worked with Abrams on his TV projects "Lost" and "Alias," and now, it's kinda cool that there are some thriving female writing partners working in Hollywood right now, and they're working on a sci-fi project which is deemed a very male-dominated arena!

So this new super top-secret project has a working title of "Zanbato," huh? And as Deadline describes it, a "swashbuckling robots with swords." Isn't that "Sucker Punch?" :happy

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The Two Dueling "Bridesmaids" Trailers -- Which One is Better? 

I heard "Bridesmaids" is really good, well, at least, according to studio insiders. One of my journalist friends even said it's the "funniest movie of the year!" Really?

From the Judd Apatow machine starring Kristen Wiig, this "Hangover" for the ladies seemed to be having an identity crisis. Is it a gross-out comedy, a romantic comedy, a dramedy?

Back in early February, Universal released the first trailer for "Bridesmaids." According to Deadline, some insiders were complaining that the trailer "was not representative of what they claim is a funny comedy."


So Universal just released a new "Bridesmaids" trailer. While the first one aimed to introduce us to the characters, and there are many of them, the second one seemed to go all-out, gross-style!

Let's compare and contrast shall we? Here's the first trailer:

And here's the one that was just released:

What do you think? I hate to admit this, but the second one made me want to see the film, the first one made me want to just rent it when it comes out on DVD.

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