“The Amazing Spider-Man,” “The Dark Knight Rises” will rule multiplexes in July
Looking for something to do on a sticky summer afternoon?
After a month of fairytales (“Brave,” “Snow White and the Huntsman”), historical fiction (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter“) and testosterone-fueled fantasies (“Magic Mike,” “Rock of Ages,” “Ted”), we’ve arrived in the heart of the summer blockbuster season.
This month features the premieres of two splashy superhero flicks — “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Dark Knight Rises” — as well as a crime thriller, a concert movie and a few comedies.
Here’s my take on July’s film offerings.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” (Opens Tuesday)
In this slick reboot of Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” series, teenage crimefighter Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) searches for answers to his parents’ disappearance — following the clues to researcher Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) and his scaly alter-ego, The Lizard. Although I can’t condone revamping a superhero franchise a mere decade after its original release, there’s no denying that this 3D action flicks looks like a lot of fun.
“Katy Perry: Part of Me” (Thursday)
If you loved “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” — you know who you are — you’ll probably enjoy this flashy documentary/concert movie about the colorfully coiffed pop star behind “I Kissed a Girl,” “California Gurls” and “Firework.” If you didn’t, well, avoid this one like the plague.
“Natural Born Killers” director Oliver Stone returns to familiar territory with the border-crossing crime thriller “Savages.” When their girlfriend (Blake Lively) is kidnapped by Mexican drug czar Elena (Salma Hayek), Southern California pot dealers Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) must rescue her with the help of a corrupt DEA agent (John Travolta).
“To Rome With Love” (Friday)
Having conquered France (“Midnight in Paris”), Spain (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”) and the United Kingdom (“Cassandra’s Dream,”“Match Point” and “Scoop”), writer-director Woody Allen is ready to put his unique stamp on Italy. His latest romantic comedy finds an all-star cast –including Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni and Penelope Cruz — looking for love and adventure in the ancient city of Rome.
“Ice Age: Continental Drift” (July 13)
The fourth “Ice Age” movie — yes, you read that right — finds Manny the wooly mammoth (Ray Romano), Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) adrift on the high seas, where they encounter a pirate crew led by prehistoric ape Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage). Yup.
“The Dark Knight Rises” (July 20)
Christopher Nolan’s dark, gritty Batman trilogy comes to a close with “The Dark Knight Rises,” which pits a bruised and battered Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) against terrorist leader Bane (Tom Hardy) and his minions. This is gonna be a doozy.
“The Watch” (July 20)
A bunch of suburban dads (Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn, etc.) form a neighborhood watch group, only find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion. Great shades of “Attack the Block”! Although I’m thrilled to see “The IT Crowd” standout Richard Ayoade in a big-budget American movie, I wish he could have picked a better project.
“Step Up Revolution (July 20)
In this latest addition to the “Step Up” dance movie franchise — No. 4 to be exact– aspiring dancer Emily (Kathryn McCormick) hits it off with Sean (Ryan Guzman), the leader of a dance crew whose Miami neighborhood is threatened by Emily’s developer dad (Peter Gallagher). It’s like “Romeo & Juliet,” but with less romance, less dialogue and way more hiphop.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” image courtesy of MovieWeb.com.
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