Grit Blogs > The Open Book

Summer Blockbusters

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor


Tags: movies, Star Trek, Angels and Demons, Terminator Salvation, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, My Life in Ruins, Moon, The Proposal, Transformers, My Sisters Keeper, The Hurt Locker, Surveillance, Public Enemies,

While studios brought out a lot of the big names in today’s movies last month, June isn’t going to be an empty month.

Star Trek! Need I say more?

May brought Star Trek (excellent; I added the poster above just because the movie and the poster are so awesome!), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (so-so), Angels & Demons (so-so), and Termination Salvation (a bit of a disappointment) to the big screens, and June has one or two tricks up its sleeve as well. So here goes:

My Life in Ruins: Nia Vardalos returns to the big screen as a hapless tour guide looking for her dream job, her kefi (Greek for “mojo”) and her true love. The beauty of her native Greece creates the perfect backdrop for the tourists to find an exotic land and for Georgia (Vardalos) to find herself. I enjoyed Vardalos’ My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and I hope she has a hit here as well. Rated PG-13, My Life in Ruins opens June 5.

John Travolta takes a NYC subway train hostage in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.

The Taking of Pelham 123: This action flick (a remake of a 1974 film starring Walter Mathau; and a TV version was produced in 1998) stars Denzel Washington as the NYC subway dispatcher caught in a hostage situation masterminded by John Travolta. The trailers for this film look great, and it will probably be worth it just to see Travolta as another bad guy. Rated R (violence and language), The Taking of Pelham 123 opens June 12.

Denzel Washington rushes to save hostages in The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.

Moon: On the far side of the moon, miner/astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is nearing the end of his three-year stint at mining Helium 3, a resource helping Earth fight its energy crisis. Alone except for a talking computer, Sam finds himself in trouble with no one to turn to. Science fiction is my favorite genre, so this caught my attention, and Rockwell is usually great to watch. I’m hearing some rumblings of a disjointed storyline, though, so I’m not sure Moon will remain on my to-see list. Rated R (language), Moon opens in limited release June 12.

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock star in The Proposal.

The Proposal: About time Sandra Bullock had another hit, and she’s usually terrific in romantic comedies. In The Proposal, she’s a hard-headed and hard-hearted executive who finds herself threatened with deportation. She pounces on a solution that involves her unfortunate assistant (Ryan Reynolds) and a wedding. The trailers look funny, and while the plot sounds more than a mite preposterous, it might be worth a trip to the theater just to laugh. Rated PG-13, The Proposal opens June 19.

Transformers: The Revenge of the Fallen rachets up the action.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: OK, I have confession to make. While I liked the first Transformers movie, I have no clue as to who or what a Transformer really is, and I can’t identify a Transformer, in whatever form it might be in at any given moment. I did enjoy the action of the first film, and this one promises more of the same. I like Shia LaBeouf and Josh Duhamel, special effects and great fight scenes, so I’m in. Oh, you want a plot? Well, it appears Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) has discovered the truth of the Transformers’ origins, and a second epic battle ensues to save the planet and the universe. Rated PG-13, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen opens June 24.

My Sister’s Keeper: Don’t forget the tissues, as this one promises to be a tearjerker. Based on Jodi Picoult’s novel of the same name, My Sister’s Keeper follows young Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) as she seeks emancipation from her parents and the role she’s played since birth – the hope of her terminally ill sister. Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric take on the roles of Anna’s conflicted parents, and Sofia Vassilieva (from TV’s Medium) portrays the sister. I know people who scoop up Picoult’s books, so this might be worth a look. Do you suppose I’ll need an entire tissue box? Rated PG-13, My Sister’s Keeper opens June 26.

Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond star in Surveillance, coming to a video store near you.

Three other movies caught my attention. The stop-action claymation $9.99 opens June 19, and two others open in limited release: The Hurt Locker and Surveillance.

$9.99 focuses on the meaning of life with the voices of Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia leading the way.

The Hurt Locker is set in Iraq amid the chaos facing an elite American Army bomb squad with only a few weeks before they ship home. Rated R, The Hurt Locker opens in limited release June 26.  

Surveillance (rated R) also opens in limited release June 26, and then its DVD release is set for August 18. A cop drama, starring Bill Pullman and Julia Ormond, Surveillance tracks a serial killer as three possible victims tell the FBI agents (Pullman and Ormond) very different stories.

So there you go. Movies to while away the summer. Oh, and before I forget: July 1 brings Public Enemies to the big screen. Starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger and Christian Bale as Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who tracked him down, and Billy Crudup as J. Edgar Hoover, Public Enemies looks to be one of those movies that will knock your socks off – I’ll be at the theater, what about you?

jean teller
6/15/2009 8:35:54 AM

Museum 2 is still on my list, Brenda. Maybe next weekend. Saw The Taking of Pelham 123 this weekend, and while I love Denzel Washington and John Travolta, my only thought after seeing the movie was "Why?" I'd say it might be worth a rental, eventually. Did see a trailer for another Sandra Bullock rom-com, tho. All About Steve also stars Bradley Cooper - looks kinda good.


brenda kipp_1
6/12/2009 4:54:20 PM

I'm as excited about the summer movies as you are, Jean. I especially want to see The Proposal (Sandra Bullock is the romantic comedy queen in my book), Public Enemies (Johnny Depp and Christian Bale in the same movie - can't beat that!)and My Sister's Keeper. I saw Museum 2 recently and liked it, but I thought they could have edited a couple of scenes. The special effects were awesome. I still liked the first one better. Did you get a chance to see Museum 2? If so, what did you think? Like you, I'm not a big Ben Stiller fan, but I liked him in these movies. I really liked him (and Edward Norton, too!) in Keeping the Faith (2000).


jean teller
6/11/2009 9:14:32 AM

Two Weeks Notice is a good one, too, Kirsten. Tho I have to admit that Hugh Grant sometimes grates a bit. I have enjoyed some of his other movies too, tho, so he must not get on my nerves too much! LOL I too have a penchant for rom-coms. A recent one that I missed (it didn't make it into the theaters) is The Accidental Husband with Uma Thurman, Colin Firth and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Hmmmm, I think I'll head for the video store tonight!


kirsten hudson
6/10/2009 2:24:43 PM

I have a weak spot for silly romantic comedies and The Proposal looks like it'll be a good one. I agree, Sandra Bullock is excellent in romantic comedies. I was just watching Two Weeks Notice staring her and Hugh Grant the other day.