Film: Spring Arts 2012

JULY

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN – While some may grouse about rebooting Spidey’s story so soon after the last iteration flamed out, we say bring it on. Andrew Garfield’s the spitting image of Peter Parker, and with wizard screenwriter Steve Kloves involved, we expect nothing less than superheroics. (7/3)

ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT – The parents who take their children to the Ice Age movies sit them down to explain how things really played out, right? We just worry. (7/13)

TED – Mark Wahlberg plays a man whose childhood wish for his teddy bear to come to life comes true – just a few decades late, and with one hell of a lewd personality. Written and directed by Seth McFarlane, Ted has the look of a hit comedy. (7/13)

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan return for their victory lap. By now, everybody knows what we’re getting out of these Batman movies – grit, scowls and hi-tech doohickeys – but that doesn’t make any of it less exciting. The Dark Knight Rises is the end of an era. (7/20)

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH – In the vein of last year’s Attack the Block, Neighborhood Watch pits ordinary types against alien invaders. This time, though, it’s wholly of American sensibilities: Superbad scribes Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote the script, while Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill star. If it’s half as good as its British cousin, it’ll be the funniest movie of the summer. (7/27)

STEP UP 4 – For the price of four Step Ups, you could definitely buy a Stairmaster. (7/27)


AUGUST

THE BOURNE LEGACY – Did you know it’s been five years since the last Bourne movie? Tony Gilroy returns — this time as a director — but Jeremy Renner, not Matt Damon, will be throwing the punches. The dirty little secret of it all? Without Paul Greengrass and his interminable shaky-cam, this could be as good as the first. (8/3)

THE CAMPAIGN – It’s all man children, all the time in Jay Roach’s comedy about rural North Carolina politics, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galafianakis. If your taste in humor veers towards Eastbound & Down, The Campaign will be for you. (8/10)

TOTAL RECALL – Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel step into a remake of the Philip K. Dick story about memory loss, with a decidedly sharper political edge than the earlier version, whose most scandalous moment involved a three-breasted alien. Len Wisemen, of Underworld fame, directs. (8/17)

THE EXPENDABLES 2 – Sly Stallone is a tough guy! Jason Statham is a tough guy! Jet Li is a tough guy! Dolph Lundgren is a tough guy! Chuck Norris is a tough guy! Jean Claude Van Damme is a tough guy! Bruce Willis is a tough guy! Arnold Schwarznegger is a tough guy! (8/17)

THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN – Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton fill an empty box with wishes for a child, and then plant it in their backyard. A 10-year old shows up on their front doorstep, and he’s got a green thumb, or is made of plants, or something. If this sounds like the kind of movie one of Frank Zappa’s kids would make up, it’s because one of Frank Zappa’s kids actually made it up. (8/17)

PREMIUM RUSH – Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In an action movie. About fixed-gear bicyclists. These jokes write themselves. (8/24)

THE WETTEST COUNTY – It’ll take all summer, but this adaptation of a novel about bootlegging in Prohibition-era Virginia is what we’re most eager to see. Directed by John Hillcoat, written by Nick Cave, and featuring a cast that includes Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman, The Wettest County will hold its own against whatever sweaty nonsense the waning days of summer throw our way. (8/31)


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