Grit Blogs > The Open Book

July Heat at the Theater

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: movies, Public Enemies, Ice Age, I Hate Valentines Day, Harry Potter, 500 Days of Summer, The Ugly Truth, The Answer Man, Adam, Funny People,

Jean TellerFrom my list of July movies, it looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time at the theater. And considering the current heat and humidity, I doubt if I complain much.

So many movies, so little time! Here’s my list for July:

Public Enemies: Living large was what John Dillinger did best – oh, and rob banks. Johnny Depp portrays the nation’s first Public Enemy No. 1 in this Michael Mann helmed film. During the Great Depression, the recently created Bureau of Investigation turned its efforts, lead by top agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), on apprehending the charming and daring bank robber. The film also stars Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Stephen Dorff and Stephen Lang. Rated R, Public Enemies opens July 1.

Public Enemies stars Johnny Depp as bank robber John Dillinger.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: The franchise’s third film, Dawn finds Manny and Ellie (the mammoths voiced by Ray Romano and Queen Latifah), along with Diego the Saber-Toothed Tiger (Denis Leary), Scrat and the rest of the gang, heading underground to help Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo). Faced with dinosaurs and more, the gang also must fend off the new bad guy – Buck (Simon Pegg), a dinosaur-hunting weasel. Rated PG, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs opens July 1.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs dumps the gang underground to battle dinosaurs.

I Hate Valentine’s Day: Reuniting Nia Vardalos and John Corbett (after their success with My Big Fat Greek Wedding) might be just what the doctor ordered. If, that is, this lightweight romance works. Genevieve (Vardalos) won’t take a relationship (if one can call it that) past five dates, until she meets the new restaurant owner in the neighborhood (Corbett). Vardalos pulls off a hat trick with this one: she also wrote the story and screenplay, and she directs. Too much for one person? We’ll see. Rated PG-13, I Hate Valentine’s Day opens in limited release July 3.

Harry and the Half-Blood Prince takes the young wizards into their sixth year at Hogwarts.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Following the young wizards into their sixth year at Hogwarts, Half-Blood Prince is the darkest (so far) of the J.K. Rowling’s series. The Death Eaters take their fight through the magical world into the world of Muggles as Dumbledore attempts to prepare Harry for the final battle against Lord Voldemort. Oh, and love is in the air as Hogwarts becomes a romantic battleground. Jim Broadbent and Helen McCrory join the cast. Rated PG, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens July 15. 

500 Days of Summer stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zoey Deschanel.

(500) Days of Summer: More than a love story, Days follows forever-romantic Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he pursues the cynical Summer (Zoey Deschanel) in a roller coaster ride of life and love. For me, this looks to be a great quirky romance with laughter and tears overlaying a well-written, well-acted, independent film. Hopefully. Rated PG-13, (500) Days of Summer opens in limited release July 17.

The Ugly Truth stars Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler.

The Ugly Truth: On the opposite end of the moviemaking spectrum from (500) Days of Summer, The Ugly Truth stars Katherine Heigl as a television producer forced to deal with a difficult show host (Gerard Butler), who attempts to help her with her romantic pursuits. We all know how this will go (and end), but it might be a fun ride. Besides, Gerard Butler! I swear, I’d watch the man read the phone book. Rated R, The Ugly Truth opens July 24.

The Answer Man: Another romance, The Answer Man throws a dash of spirituality into the mix. Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels) wrote the defining book on spirituality 20 years ago. His reclusive life suddenly collides with single mom Elizabeth (Lauren Graham) and Kris (Taylor Pucci), a young man just out of rehab. Everyone wants Arlen to have all the answers to life, but he’s a clueless as everyone else. Rated R, The Answer Man opens July 24.

Adam: In another quirky indie release, we meet Adam (Hugh Dancy) after his father has passed away. Beth (Rose Byrne) moves into the same apartment building, and a friendship ensues, despite Adam’s awkward behavior. Is it possible for Adam, who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, and Beth, with her past relationship baggage, to make a go of it? Stay tuned. Also starring Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving and Mark Linn-Baker, Adam is rated PG-13 and opens in limited release July 29.

Funny People stars Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.

Funny People: While Adam Sandler is not one of my favorite actors, he’s captured my attention in the trailers for this film. When diagnosed with a terminal illness, funny man George Simmons (Sandler) takes a newcomer (Seth Rogen) under his wing as his opening act. Directed by Judd Apatow, the film also stars Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jason Schwartzman, RZA, Jonah Hill and Aubrey Plaza. Rated R, Funny People opens July 31.

July’s a busy month for moviegoers. Any other films on your radar? I’m a bit behind on my June watching too, so see ya at the movies!