My Sister's Keeper (Nick Cassavetes)
John's son is a great director of actors, so it should be fun to see what Alec Baldwin and Jason Patric do for him here. On the other hand, John's son's movies are otherwise terrible, so this shouldn't be any fun at all.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Michael Bay)
Even though the writers of Star Trek (and Fringe!) are behind this, let's not kid ourselves. "Michael Bay" is practically in the dictionary, and we all know what it means.
The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
The toughest female director in Hollywood tackles Iraq. Expect a box-office hit, because if there are two things America loves, it's strong women and movies about Iraq.
Surveillance (Jennifer Lynch)
David's daughter, notorious author of The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, directs her first film since Boxing Helena. Word on the blogosphere is "meh."
The Beaches of Agnès (Agnès Varda)
If your grandmother had a flickr page, and also happened to be Jacques Demy's widow, and also once dressed up like a potato at the Venice Biennale... her flickr page still wouldn't be quite as goofily moving as Varda's cineautobiography. Sorry. Man, we wish Agnès Varda was our grandmother.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Carlos Saldanha, Mike Thurmeier)
The third installment of Dreamworks' franchise will be in 3D, so we're sure you'll get to see that squirrel go crazy trying to hang onto his acorn, except this time he'll pop out into your face or something. Get your wallet out!
Public Enemies (Michael Mann)
Johnny Depp, as John Dillinger, and Christian Bale, as G-Man Melvin Purvis, face off in Mannworld, a bright-dark place of masculine codes and epic showdowns. Will this movie feature a totally anachronistic throbbing synthesizer score like Last of the Mohicans did? God, we hope so so hard.
Bruno (Larry Charles)
In 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen taught us that Americans were racist. This time, we think he's going to teach us that we're homophobic. Thank you, sir! May we have another?
Humpday (Lynn Shelton)
Bromance? Mumblecore? Mark Duplass? We like some of those things.
I Love You, Beth Cooper (Chris Columbus)
Chris Stepmom Columbus? Pass. Wait, the screenplay is by a Simpsons writer? Eh, still pass. (My Life in Ruins is by a former Simpsons writer, too.)
Soul Power (Jeffrey Levy-Hinte)
Did you know the Rumble in the Jungle had an accompanying concert? If you saw When We Were Kings, you did. And will want to see this concert doc.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (David Yates)
If this isn't about vampires, what do we care?
Somers Town (Shane Meadows)
This is England director Meadows returns with another carefully realized study of working class Brits falling in love and butchering the King's English.
500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb)
Remember after Mysterious Skin, Brick and The Lookout, when everyone was all like, "Ooh Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so effin talented", and then he hasn't taken an interesting role since? Maybe this will be the one that makes us say, "Oh yeah, remember how effin talented JGL is?" Or maybe it'll be his turn as Cobra Commander in the upcoming G.I. Joe movie.
All Good Things (Andrew Jarecki)
The arguably opportunistic director of Capturing the Friedmans comes back with a fictional small-town mystery. We're not sure how we feel about that, but we're happy that Ryan Gosling, Frank Langella and Philip Baker Hall are in it.
In the Loop (Armando Ianucci)
Hilarious political satire — we promise — from England's prince of comedy.
Orphan (Jaume Collet-Serra)
A married couple adopts a kid — we wonder if it'll be evil? We wouldn't care to find out, except Vera Farmiga (who covered similar ground in the recent Joshua) and Peter Sarsgaard play the couple, and we often fantasize that we were married to either.
The Ugly Truth (Robert Luketic)
Gerard Butler makes the transition from Persian-slaughtering Grendel-slayer to romantic lead in what looks like a rote shitcom.
Adam (Max Mayer)
The world clamored for an Asperger Syndrome rom-com. Only Max Mayer was brave enough to answer.
You, the Living (Roy Andersson)
Anyone who saw Andersson's surreal and hilarious Songs from the Second Floor earlier this decade will be psyched that he's finally back with a new feature. Those who didn't: get Netflixin'.
The Cove (Louie Psihoyos)
Hidden-camera dolphin doc ("the Zapruder film of environmental documentaries," boasts its director) exposes animal abuse — and it turns out you're complicit! Yes, you — even if you don't eat dolphin meat. Sweet, mercury-laced dolphin meat.
Funny People (Judd Apatow)
If we hear one more thing about Judd Apatow, we are going to scream.
Lorna's Silence (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
You're hip to cinema, right? So we don't need to tell you about the Dardenne Bros, right? You're just going to go check this out, right?
Thirst (Park Chan-wook)
Remember when superstylized sadist Park was world cinema's Great Korean Hope? That did not last long, did it? Well, he's back, with a vampire movie. We predict it will be extremely popular among people who have ever dressed up like Malcolm McDowell in a A Clockwork Orange for Halloween.
Cold Souls (Sophie Barthes)
Paul Giamatti, sort of playing himself, has his soul surgically extracted. No, Charlie Kaufman didn't write it, but because the writer-director's name sounds French, we're willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
G.I Joe: The Rise of the Cobra (Stephen Sommers)
Because you all spent so much money on the last Saturday morning toy commercial turned movie, Transformers, greedy Hollywood producers have decided to give you some more. Open wide, America!
Julie & Julia (Nora Ephron)
Last year, we were exploring Prospect Park when we stumbled upon the shoot for this movie. A P.A. wouldn't let us cut through, and we had to walk all the way around it, wasting over an hour of our day. We imagine the movie will also be a way to waste over an hour of an otherwise nice day.
Paper Heart (Nicholas Jasenovec)
Is Michael Cera still funny after Nick and Norah? [Ed. Yes.] This might be his last chance. (You don't want to be in the Arrested Development movie why?)
Shorts (Robert Rodriguez)
For every Grindhouse and Once Upon a Time in Mexico there's a Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Stop, please?
A Perfect Getaway (David Twohy)
Someday, this Milla Jovovich asskick will be included in a retrospective, curated by L Mag editor-in-chief Jonny Diamond, entitled "Rescue Zahn: A Tribute to the Finest Supporting Actor of His Generation." [Ed. This is true.]
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (Neal Brennan)
Jeremy Piven survived mercury poisoning (too much dolphin meat?) so he could play a used-car salesman hired to turn a failing auto dealership around?
Ponyo (Hayao Miyazaki)
We once saw a Miyazaki movie in a theater so crowded we had to stand the whole time. And though we had to be hospitalized later for a buckled knee and faintness of the brain, it was worth it, because Miyazaki still draws everything by hand.
Taking Woodstock (Ang Lee)
Word from Cannes is that this true story of a young gay man (Demetri Martin) who helps make Woodstock happen stinks. No! Really?
The Time Traveler's Wife (Robert Schwentke)
Hey, that book girls like has been turned into a movie!
The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel)
Embarrassingly, we slept through almost all of this elliptical Argentine headscratcher at last year's New York Film Festival ("Hypnotic!," we said). Thanks, Film Forum.
Art and Copy (Doug Pray)
A documentary about marketing is like product placement run amok.
Goose on the Loose (Nicholas Kendell)
That title cracks us up. Seriously. So does the idea of Chevy Chase trying to kill a talking goose. That doesn't mean we think you should see it under any circumstances.
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
NB to the legion of copyeditors employed here at The L: STET.
The Post Grad (Vicky Jenson)
Do you think the fact that we can't make a living despite our advanced degrees is a joke? That you can put Alexis Bledel in a mortarboard and we'll laugh?
Still Walking (Hirokazu Kore-da)
Surprisingly, the title of the Japanese director's roundly lauded family drama is not a reference to his tendency to occasionally go on a bit (cf. Nobody Knows... When This Movie Will End).
World's Greatest Dad (Bobcat Goldthwait
Before laughing harder at the inexorable decline of Robin Williams than you've laughed at any Robin Williams movie since Insomnia, please note that strangled-voice comic Goldthwait's prior directorial outings include Shakes the Clown, "the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies," and Sleeping Dogs Lie, the Au hasard Balthazar of movies about a woman who once gave her dog a beej.
The Boat that Rocked (Richard Curtis)
It's about pirates... of the radio waves! The boat rocks not like a cradle but like Alan Freed!
The Final Destination (David R. Ellis)
The Snakes on a Plane auteur presumably closes out this franchise, whose latest admits it's gone on too long by dropping "Part Four" from the title.
Halloween 2 (Robert Zombie, of the Woodbury, Connecticut
Zombie burned up all the capital he'd accrued with The Devil's Rejects with his Halloween remake. Now that he's directing the sequel, we no longer have to consider him an "interesting" filmmaker.
Mesrine, Part One (Jean-François Riche)
This epic two-part biopic of the notorious French criminal of the 60s and 70s (Vincent Cassel) is, says a colleague, "everything Che should have been," thus confirming our suspicion that Fidel and Raul Castro should have been played by Ludivine Sagnier and Cecile de France.
All About Steve (Phil Traill)
Unbuckle your seatbelts, you're in for an unbumpy ride!
Extract (Mike Judge)
You know, Idiocracy wasn't as great as everyone said it was. (Among other things: satirical product placement is still product placement.) So, we anticipate this with great skepticism. We do love Jason Bateman though.
Gamer (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor)
if u like video games, u love this we think lol.
Mesrine, Part Two (Um, presumably still Jean-François
Seriously. Just outfit them with comical fake beards and Groucho cigars. It'd be like Bananas!
Pandorum (Christian Alvart)
An "amnesia on a spaceship" premise and the summer's wackiest poster make us think this could be pretty awesome. We're not watching the trailer on purpose, so as not to be disillusioned.
Shanghai (Mikael Håfström)
Honestly, who hears "John Cusack's in it, and it's set in China during the 40s" and thinks "Awesome, let's pay over $10 to see it"? This is why, if they're smart, movies starring John Cusack and set in China during the 40s also cast Gong Li. Shanghai is like the Marilyn vos Savant of movies starring John Cusack and set in China during the 40s.
Join The L in Williamsburg for our own series, featuring hipster quotables (Reality Bites), campy musicals (Fame), cult faves (24 Hour Party People), alterna-auteurs (Wild at Heart), and generational touchstones (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Plus: food from local vendors, live music — and maybe, just maybe, on Evil Dead 2 night, L Mag Art Director Cecilia Ziko's birthday party (sorry we drank all your peach schnapps during The Virgin Suicides last year, Cecilia). (summerscreen.org)
Wednesdays from July 8-August 12, at the ball fields of McCarren Park.
A handful of music-related film screenings add cinematic stimulation to this year's summer concert series. This past spring, Ethel and Gutbucket dusted off the 1959 Mexican sci-fi flick La Nave De Los Monstruos and collaborated on an original soundtrack. On June 20th, they'll be performing it during a screening of the film. In 1984, Prince made Purple Rain. On August 6th, where you at? Singing along. (briconline.org/celebrate)
Prospect Park Bandshell, $3 suggested donation.
Films on the Green
Considering modern film theory comes from France, you'd think a film festival headed by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy would feature a lot New Wave classics. Non! Instead they're jumping on the green bandwagon and screening March of the Penguins among other environmental films. Fridays through July 24th at various parks
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Time Warner Cable presents a lineup of agreed-upon classics and New Classics blockbusters — from How Green Was My Valley to Dog Day Afternoon — that you've probably already seen, on cable. Now, you can watch them in a park! (bryantpark.org/calendar/film-festival)
Mondays from June 15th-August 17th at Bryant Park.
Movies with a View
This series of extremely likeable films set against the backdrop of the majestic Brooklyn Bridge includes Raising Arizona, The Maltese Falcon, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Edward Scissorhands. You've probably already seen these though, so bring someone to make out with. (brooklynbridgepark.org)
Thursdays from July 9th-August 27th at Brooklyn Bridge Park
The Narrows Botanical Gardens' Outdoor Cinema Series
Hop on the R — unless you're intern Henry and live in the Ridge (it rulz haterz!) — for scenic cinema, including every home video collection's favorite Audrey Hepburn terrorizer Wait Until Dark. (narrowsbg.org/events)
Every other Thursday from July 9th-August 6th at the Narrows Botanical Gardens.
What's that, you say? Everybody in the office is tossing out lines from Tropic Thunder and you're still laughing like you get the jokes? Beef up your pop culture education with this film series featuring last year's blockbusters. What's that, you say? Have a bunch of whiny kids that won't shut up? There's a series of movies for them too, with your-age and their-age family favorites like Ghostbusters and Kung Fu Panda. (hudsonriverpark.org/events)
Wednesdays are for grownups and Fridays are for kids each week from July 8th-August 21st at Piers 54 and 46 of Hudson River Park.
Documentaries for smarties, weird shorts and genre experiments abound at Rooftop's 13th-annual summer presentation of underground cinema, preceded by live music. Most of the films are U.S. or New York premieres with filmmaker/casts/subjects in attendance. Be the first to see it, AND flirt with the director. (rooftopfilms.com/summerseries) Weekends from now until September 20th at various locations, $9 online or at the door.
See this issue's film section and thelmagazine.com for coverage of the New York Asian Film Festival and BAM's Cinema Fest — celebrating ten years of their film programming. Early highlights of the next ten years involve weeklong runs of Truffaut's Mississippi Mermaid (July 10-16) and Kurosawa's Kagemusha (July 17-23), and retrospectives featuring all five of John Cazale's droopily iconic 70s performances (July 29-August 2) and many of Cary Grant's most tuxedoed (August 3-20).
Mostly hotly anticipated among cinephiles is Film Forum's overdue selection of films by Nicholas Ray — "Le cinéma, c'est Nicholas Ray," said Godard — from July 17-August 6; their other major summer tentpole is a Brit Noir series featuring high-gloss classics by Hitchcock and Michael Powell, and small, dark pre- and postwar crime stories (Aug 7-Sept 3), followed by a two-week run of Carol Reed's Catholic manhunt Odd Man Out. Down the other end of Houston Street, Anthology Film Archives presents festival favorite Lake Tahoe, from "Mexican Jarmusch" Fernando Eimbcke, of Duck Season nonfame, and salutes underground radical Robert Kramer (July 17-23) and Austria's jaundice-eyed New Europe chronicler Ulrich Seidl (July 24-30).
As with Ray, it's been a while since NYC had a concentrated dose of Andrei Tarkovsky, a situation soon to be rectified by the Walter Reade (July 7-14), who'll follow it up with a survey of Shakespeare adaptations (July 15-26). And the New York Film Critics Circle celebrates 75 years of inside baseball with a MoMA series (July 3-September 23) featuring NYFCC honorees picked from the Museum's collection by the Circle's current members; your challenge this summer is to curate a superior greatest-hits series from the myriad options available.