2013 summer movie preview

by Matthew Price and Brandy McDonnell Published: May 3, 2013
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June 27

“Gimme the Loot”

Malcolm and Sofia (Ty Hickson and Tashiana Washington), two determined teens from the Bronx, are the ultimate graffiti-writers. When a rival gang buffs their latest masterpiece, they scheme to get revenge by tagging an iconic New York City landmark. The film is play June 27-30 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

June 28

“White House Down”

Channing Tatum plays a Secret Service agent who must save the president (Jamie Foxx) after a paramilitary group overruns 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Richard Jenkins and Jason Clarke co-star in the latest action vehicle from director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day,” “2012”).

“The Heat”

Comedic actress Melissa McCarthy reunites with “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig and teams with Oscar winner Sandra Bullock in his R-rated comedy. Bullock plays an arrogant and uptight FBI agent who is forced to partner with a McCarthy's foul-mouthed, short-tempered Boston cop.

July 3

“The Lone Ranger”

Clayton Moore will always be the “Masked Man” everyone remembers, and Klinton Spilsbury (of the misbegotten 1981 version) will always be the one everyone forgets, but with Gore Verbinski's radically reimagined version of “The Lone Ranger,” Armie Hammer gets his chance to be legendary in the saddle as trigger-happy lawman John Reid. Oklahoma City's Mason Cook appears as Will, and Johnny Depp co-stars as Tonto, who has a bird on his head.

“Despicable Me 2”

Time to break out the minion merchandising again, because the capsule-shaped yellow fellows are back in “Despicable Me 2” as former would-be super baddie Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is recruited into the Anti-Villain League to help defeat a new evil nemesis (voiced by Al Pacino, of course). Kristen Wiig and Steve Coogan also join the cast, including returning voices Russell Brand and Miranda Cosgrove.

“Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain”

When he isn't making guest appearances on “Modern Family” or appearing in big-screen comedies (“Think Like a Man,” “This is the End”), Kevin Hart sells out basketball arenas for his frank and audaciously staged stand-up performances — he's one of the few comedians who can get away with setting off the kind of pyrotechnics favored by KISS in their prime. “Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain” captures Hart's 2012 performance at Madison Square Garden, where thousands of people let him explain.

July 5

“The Way, Way Back”

Fresh off their Academy Awards for co-writing “The Descendants,” Nat Faxon and Jim Rash write and direct “The Way, Way Back,” in which 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) comes of age while working at the Water Wizz water park. Joining teenagers James and AnnaSophia Robb in the comedy is a critical mass of first-rate talent, including Steve Carell, Amanda Peet, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Toni Collette, Maya Rudolph and Rob Corddry.

July 12

“Pacific Rim”

In the five years since “Hellboy: The Golden Army,” Guillermo Del Toro came close to directing the “Hobbit” films but instead opted for global catastrophe, alien invasion-style. In “Pacific Rim” a destructive intergalactic force is fought off by colossal robots piloted by humans. The humans include Ron Perlman and Charlie Hunnam, of “Sons of Anarchy,” Idris Elba, of “The Wire,” and Charlie Day, of “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” which is like putting all forces of cable cult hits against the ugly interplanetary horde.

“Grown Ups 2”

Feeding off the good will and critical accolades generated by last year's “That's My Boy,” Adam Sandler invited buddies Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Nick Swardson on another studio-funded vacation disguised as a wacky pratfall comedy. Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph and Steve Buscemi came along for the poop jokes, groin injuries and delicious craft services table.

July 19

“R.I.P.D.”

Mixing tropes from “Men in Black” and “Hellboy,” “R.I.P.D.” stars Ryan Reynolds as Nick Walker, a new junior officer of the Rest in Peace Department, or R.I.P.D. Working with veteran Sheriff Roy Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges), the pair tracks destructive souls who refuse to move over to the other side. The movie is based on the Dark Horse comic by Peter M. Lenkov. The film will be available in 2-D and 3-D theaters.

“Red 2”

Retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) returns in this film loosely based on the Warren Ellis comic-book series. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Byung Hun Lee join the cast of the sequel as Moses is on the hunt for a missing Cold War-era nuclear device. Dean Parisot directs.

“The Conjuring”

“Insidious” director James Wan is done with haunted suburban houses — “The Conjuring” takes place in a farmhouse, which is different, because the ghosts have access to pitchforks, baling wire and that old favorite of horror films, scythes. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga star as paranormal investigators who try to help a distressed family escape the ghosts of livestock or something.

“Turbo”

Because snails generally don't move at Danica Patrick velocity, “Turbo” is an unlikely triumph-of-the-gastropod-spirit story in which the title character (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) wants to fulfill his dream of winning the Indy 500. The characters in this DreamWorks Animation feature include slimy creatures that sound just like Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Tulsa's Bill Hader and Samuel L. Jackson.

July 26

“The Wolverine”

Based on the classic Chris Claremont-Frank Miller comic book miniseries, “The Wolverine” finds Logan (Hugh Jackman) in Japan training to be a samurai warrior. James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) directs after a tortured preproduction that was scuttled first by the 2011 earthquake in Japan, then by the departure of director Darren Aronofsky.

July 31

“Smurfs 2”

Neil Patrick Harris returns for another CGI hybrid film based on the 1980s cartoons, which were themselves based on comics by Belgian cartoonist Peyo. Christina Ricci and J.B. Smoove (“Curb Your Enthusiam”) join the cast for the sequel.

Aug. 2

“300: Rise of an Empire”

The prequel to 2007's “300” focuses on Themistocles, an Athenian politician who fought to increase the naval power of Greece; and on the rise of Xerxes of Persia. The film is based on an as-yet-unreleased Frank Miller graphic novel. Noam Murro directs.

“2 Guns”

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg star as competing federal agents who have to go on the run together when their joint undercover operation goes awry. Bill Paxton, Paula Patton and Oklahoma native James Marsden co-star in the action-packed crime drama.

Aug. 7

“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”

The son of Poisedon, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), must seek the Golden Fleece in the Sea of Monsters. The film is based on the second in the popular series of mythologically inspired novels by Rick Riordan.

Aug. 9

“Elysium”

With his first feature film, “District 9,” Neill Blomkamp used science fiction to create a moving allegory about South African apartheid, and with “Elysium,” he takes on economic class distinctions. In 2159, the “haves” live in off-world colonies while the “have-nots” deal with overcrowded, ravaged Earth, and Max (Matt Damon) takes a renegade approach to bringing equality to the disparate worlds. The film co-stars Jodie Foster, Alice Braga and Sharlto Copley.

“Planes”

For people who loved “Cars” and, um, saw “Cars 2,” Disney's “Planes” will make total sense, because they're anthropomorphic flying machines with eyes where their windshields should be, and they have social structures, feelings and sky-high desires. Voices are supplied by Val Kilmer, Brad Garrett, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and beloved comedian Dane Cook as Dusty Crophopper, an underdog who dreams of competing in a famous aerial race, which makes this entirely different from “Turbo.”

“We're the Millers”

A small-time marijuana dealer (Jason Sudeikis) teams up with a cynical stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a homeless teen (Emma Roberts) and a British kid (Will Poulter) to pose as a family and smuggle two tons of pot from Mexico to Colorado, which might not offer the best wholesale price after legalization.

Aug. 16

“Kick-Ass 2”

New heroes are inspired by the example of Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), which leads to a parade of self-made superheroes, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). The Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), now renamed something unprintable, decides to hunt these heroes down, leaving Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) as the heroes' best chance for survival.

“Paranoia”

Director Robert Luketic returns to drama after two wacky Katherine Heigl comedies with “Paranoia,” in which a junior executive (Liam Hemsworth of “The Hunger Games”) is asked to spy on his boss' former mentor (Harrison Ford). This drama also stars Gary Oldman, Josh Holloway, Amber Heard and not Heigl.

Aug. 23

“The World's End”

In what could be the most hilarious global cataclysm movie of the summer, director Edgar Wright reunites with his “Hot Fuzz”/ “Sean of the Dead” stars, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, for “The World's End,” in which friends reunite for a legendary pub crawl only to learn that The fate of the world rests on how they complete their drunken stumble. Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan also star, which only improves the comedy's stellar pedigree.

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”

Just in time to fill the brooding vampire void, “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” stars Lily Collins (“Mirror Mirror”) as Clary Fray, who discovers that New York City is crawling with warlocks, vampires and other creatures of the night when her mother (Lena Headey, the official mother of 2013 thrillers) is kidnapped by a demon. Other stars hoping that all six of Cassandra Clare's “Mortal Instruments” novels are made into films include Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jared Harris, Jemima West and Kevin Zegers.

“You're Next”

In “You're Next,” a family celebrating a wedding anniversary getaway is under attack by scary thrill-killing nihilists wearing spooky masks, and it's not even “Purge” day. This latest horror film by Adam Wingard (“V/H/S”) stars fellow low-budget/high yield horror director Ti West, Sharni Vinson (“Step Up 3-D”) and Amy Seimetz of “Upstream Color” in less arty territory.

Aug. 30

“One Direction: This is Us”

Another year, another One Direction concert documentary: “One Direction: This Is Us” follows up 2012's “Up All Night: The Live Tour” but this time, 1D fans will get so much closer and learn so much more about Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and (heh-heh) Harry Styles. “This Is Us” is an early contender for being the best One Direction concert documentary of the summer.

“Getaway”

Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke) must follow the strict orders issued by a mysterious man (Jon Voight) to save his kidnapped wife, and it's not even “Purge” day. This is not a remake of 1973's “The Getaway” or 1994's “The Getaway,” but this one has Selena Gomez in it.

“Closed Circuit”

In “Closed Circuit,” Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall star as ex-lovers and current attorneys who join the defense team for an international terrorist and soon discover that representing widely despised criminals is a dangerous job.

Also for summer

“The East”

Fast-rising newcomer Brit Marling (“Another Earth,” “Arbitrage”) cowrites this thriller with director Zal Batmanglij (“Sound of My Voice”) and stars as a spy for a private intelligence agency who infiltrates an anarchist group waging covert war on major corporations. Also stars Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Ritter.

“The Kings of Summer”

Three teenage boys (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias) declare their independence by running off and building their own cabin in the woods, free from parental authority in this coming-of-age comedy with elements of “Superbad” and “Stand By Me” from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and screenwriter Chris Galletta.

“Blue Jasmine”

Writer-director Woody Allen's latest all-star ensemble opus has been designated a drama, but the plot has yet to be disclosed in much detail. Sony Pictures Classics describes it sketchily as “the story of the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.” Players include Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Louis C.K., Bobby Cannavale and Andrew Dice Clay. No kidding on that last one.

“Prince Avalanche”

Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch play two highway road workers who spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives, in an isolated place where they become at odds with each other and the women they left at home in this comedy-drama from writer-director David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”).

“The To Do List”

Writer-director Maggie Carey (TV's “Funny or Die,” “The Jeannie Tate Show”) makes her feature-length helming debut with this comedy about a girl (Aubrey Plaza of “Parks and Recreation”) determined to become more sexually experienced before going off to college. Also stars Andy Samberg and Tulsa's Bill Hader (“Saturday Night Live”).

Contributing: The Associated Press


by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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