Grit Blogs > The Open Book

Movies of the Summer

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: movies, Kung Fu Panda 2, Queen of the Sun, Super 8, Babylon 5, The Last Starfighter, Speed, The Replacements, The Italian Job, Ten Inch Hero, No Strings Attached, Tangled, Tron Legacy, The Tourist, Hereafter, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Larry Crowne, Monte Carlo, Terri, The Perfect Host, Zookeeper, Horrible Bosses, The Ward, Ironclad, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Captain America The First Avenger, Friends With Benefits, Cowboys and Aliens, Crazy Stupid Love, The Smurfs,

Jean TellerJune’s been pretty quiet on the movie front. Since we last talked movies, I’ve seen Kung Fu Panda 2 (fun, not as good as the first one, but sweet), Queen of the Sun (a documentary on bees, very enlightening and well done), Super 8 (excellent, less about aliens and more about family, friends and loss), and rented Babylon 5: The Lost Tales (yuck, loved the series but this extra …. not so much), Ten-Inch Hero (excellent, an indie rom-com from 2007 with Jensen Ackles in the cast. Enough said.), No Strings Attached (funny, well done, a bit on the raunchy side and more depth than I thought it would have), Tangled (cute and fun) and Tron: Legacy (definitely not worth it).

The Tourist and Hereafter (new additions to my collection) are waiting in my DVD player.

I also watched from my collection The Last Starfighter (cheesy fun from the 1980s), Speed and The Replacements (what can I say? I’m a fan of Keanu Reeves, and I watch The Replacements when I need to laugh) and The Italian Job (love the Mini Coopers racing against the train).

Here we go for July.

  Transformers returns with Dark Side of the Moon.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Starring Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel, with newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whitely, this third in the franchise focuses on a hidden spacecraft on the moon. Looks like some crazy special effects. Transformers: Dark of the Moon opens June 29, is rated PG-13 (but lots of violence, parents) and is being released in 3D and IMAX formats. 

   Larry Crowne stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. 


Larry Crowne: Tom Hanks portrays a man who, after being fired for not having gone to college, decides to get his college degree, and Julia Roberts stars as a college professor who’s lost her desire to teach. You can see how this one starts out, but I’m curious as to how it ends. Larry Crowne opens July 1 and is rated PG-13.

Monte Carlo: Three friends (Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy) experience a disappointing visit to Paris (really?!) until one of them is mistaken for a British heiress, and the three are whisked off to Monte Carlo. Rated PG, Monte Carlo opens July 1.

Also opening July 1, in limited release: Terri, the story of a plus-sized teen (Jacob Wysocki) and how his life is impacted by his rather obnoxious vice-principal (John C. Reilly), is rated R; and The Perfect Host, which stars David Hyde Pierce as a man whose dinner party is interrupted by a would-be criminal (Clayne Crawford), focuses on the dark sides of both men and is rated R. 

Zookeeper: In this tale, the animals do actually run the zoo, as zookeeper Kevin James discovers when he contemplates leaving his post. Voices for the animals are provided by Cher, Sylvester Stallone, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow, Jim Breuer, Jon Favreau, Faison Love, Maya Rudolph and Bas Rutten. Might be fun, but it’ll be a rental for me. Rated PG, Zookeeper opens July 8.

 Horrible Bosses stars Justin Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis. 

Horrible Bosses: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis are caught in work hell as they each face the Worst Boss Ever (portrayed by Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell). And what do they decide to do? Kill the bosses, with the help of Jamie Foxx. Yep, I’ll skip this one. Rated R, Horrible Bosses opens July 8.

Also opening July 8, The Ward is from director John Carpenter, stars Amber Heard and Mamie Gummer and is rated R (of course); andIronclad, starring Paul Giamatti as King John, Jason Flemyng, James Purefoy and Brian Cox, is rated R.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: The last of the franchise, Part 2 wraps up the Harry Potter legend with the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. It’s been 10 years in the making, folks, and here’s where it ends. Sadly. This is a must-see-in-the-theater for me. Opening July 15, Harry Potter is in 3D and is rated PG-13.

Captain America: The First Avenger stars Chris Evans as the comic book hero. 

Captain America:The First Avenger: Another offering from Marvel, Captain America stars Chris Evans as the titular character, going from a CGI’d little guy to a ripped hero. The film also stars Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones, Neal McDonough and Derek Luke. And don’t forget to stay through the credits, as you know from watching Marvel’s Iron Man and Thor. I also hear they’re already filming the Avenger movie, which will bring these three superheroes and more together on the big screen. In 3D, Captain America is not yet rated and will open July 22. 

Friends With Benefits stars Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. 

Friends With Benefits: Starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, FWB shows best friends Dylan and Jamie complicating things when they add another layer to their friendship. Supposedly a comedy, this film is low on my to-rent list. Not yet rated, Friends With Benefits opens July 22. 

  Cowboys & Aliens stars Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.

Cowboys and Aliens: Very high on my must-see list, Cowboys and Aliens stars Daniel Craig as the mystery man wearing a strange bracelet, and Harrison Ford as the man who owns Absolution, a town in the desert Arizona territory. As an alien ship starts abducting people, the town folks must band together to stop the invasion. Rated PG-13, Cowboys and Aliens opens July 29.

  Crazy, Stupid, Love stars Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Ryan Gosling.

Also opening July 29, Crazy, Stupid, Love, which stars Steve Carell as a family man propelled into single life, also stars Julianne Moore and Ryan Gosling and is rated PG-13; and The Smurfs, which stars Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays as the humans helping out the Smurfs (voiced by Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, George Lopez, Paul Reubens, Kenan Thompson, Jeff Foxworthy and Fried Armisen) against the evil Gargamel (Hank Azaria), is in 3D and has yet to be rated.

Further out, I’d keep an eye on a few August releases: Riseof the Planet of the Apes, The Change-Up, 30 Minutes or Less, The Help (most definitely!), One Day, Fright Night and Conan the Barbarian.

Any recommendations for your fellow moviegoers?

See ya at the theater!