LISTED Film Previews – June 2011

Yes, it’s almost summer time and it does seem a shame to spend sunny days inside watching movies (well, for some of us it’s a shame). But should there ever be rainy days, and you find yourself with too much cash in your wallet and need to get rid of it quickly, then at least you’ll have these films to see! There are some blinders this month, and they’re only going to get better as we head into Summer Blockbuster territory, so wrap your eyes round these if you care to:

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS (12A) (Dir. Matthew Vaughn)

If the last instalment in the X-Men franchise was an origins story for Wolverine, then this is the origin of Professor X, Magneto and the entire X-Men team. It’s 1963, and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr aka Magneto (Michael Fassbender) are discovering their mutant powers and band together to find others like themselves. But as a threat to the world emerges, a rift grows between the two and they begin to divide into opposing sides. X-Men: First Class will also see January Jones as Emma Frost, the questionable Nick Hoult as Hank McCoy/Beast, and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, as well as a whole host of other big names from Marvel Comics’ X-Universe. Also, Bryan Singer (the original director of the first two X-Men films) is on-board as producer, and director of Kick-Ass Matthew Vaughn takes control of bringing the origins of the ­X-Men to life. Expect a lot of what made the first X-Men films so great, but not quite as you recognise it. Released 1st June.

KUNG-FU PANDA 2 (PG) (Dir. Jennifer Yuh)

The hungriest martial artist in the animal kingdom returns for a second fistful of action. Po (Jack Black) is sent on a journey with the Furious Five to stop an evil master (Gary Oldman) from releasing a deadly new weapon which could eradicate kung-fu forever. If you allowed yourself to be a kid again and enjoyed the first one, then there are plenty more gags to entertain you in this sequel. And for once, having it in 3D might not be such a bad thing with all the action scenes and explosions! Released 10th June.

GREEN LANTERN (12A) (Dir. Martin Campbell)

One of the most highly anticipated comic-book films of the year (alongside the three Marvel Comics releases), Ryan Reynolds is Hal Jordan, a cocky test pilot who comes into contact with a dying, crash-landed member of an intergalactic police force. He becomes the first human to be granted membership into the Green Lantern Corps, and is given a ring that grants him otherworldly powers. But his admission into the squadron coincides with the appearance of the Parallax – a fear entity which threatens to destroy the universes balance of power. Even though there seems to be plenty of material to satisfy long-term fans of one of DC Comics’ forefront superheroes, there have been suggestions that the visual effects might not be up to scratch. While the alien world of Oa has been brilliantly created through CGI, the decision to have Hal’s Green Lantern suit done entirely in CGI as well might give the film a questionable look, and might end up relying on the action and story to save it. Released 17th June.

BAD TEACHER (15) (Dir. Jake Kasden)

Cameron Diaz stars in this slightly more adult comedy than what it appears to be as a recently jilted, unsaintly high school teacher who targets a colleague as her next lover, only to spark a war with a fellow teacher. Probably not one to see if you’re looking for something more original. Released 24th June.

As published in Listed Magazine and on http://www.listedmagazine.com

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