LISTED Film Previews – July 2011

And so, another summer of massive blockbuster hits is apon us. But for those of you out there who are confused by it all, running around screaming “What, oh what, should I spend my hard-earned moola on to have a good time at the cinema??”, get help. You’re running around screaming to yourself, and it’s not healthy. The people in white will be round shortly to catch you with a giant butterfly net, and I hope for their sake you go quietly. For the rest of us sane people, here’s a short guide to the big films coming your way over the summer months. Enjoy:

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART II (12A) (Dir. David Yates)

The final instalment of the Harry Potter series will bring a close to all of the events from the past seven films in a grand finale which will see The Boy Who Lived confront He Who Must Not Be Named when Harry, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts to destroy Voldemort’s final Horcruxes. Ok, so a majority of the world will already know how it ends by this point considering the popularity of the books, but that doesn’t mean this will be any less of an ending. Even the trailer for Deathly Hallows Part II is full of effects and suspense, and that’s only two-and-a-half minutes long – AND has dragons in it! While the first part may not have had all that much happen up until half an hour from the end, we all have to remember that Deathly Hallows Part I was mostly just a pre-cursor for the events that come together in this one. Do not take this for granted – this will be the ending of an era as far as this franchise goes. While other aspects of the Harry Potter world are being milked for all they’re worth (like The Harry Potter Theme Park), the films will be the beginning and the end of all the hype. As such, anything less than a truly massive, epic, Star Wars-meets-Lord Of The Rings battle to end all battles will just be a disappointment. Even if you lost the plot after the fourth film, Deathly Hallows Part II will hopefully be the ending a generation will remember. Miss it at your own peril! Released July 15th.

CARS 2 (PG) (Dir. John Lasseter/Brad Lewis)

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and his pit boss Mater and crew are back for more great Pixar animation after the success of the Cars Toons series. This time round, the gang enter the Race of Champions – a multi-national competition taking them across several different countries. But at the same time Finn McMissile (Michael Caine), an operative from the British Intelligence, wants Lightning to take part in the race to help them uncover a threat to the world’s safety. It’s undisputable how much the Cars series has profited from the merchandising of the toy lines, seconded perhaps only by Toy Story, so it’s easy to see why a sequel got made. But on the flipside the line-up of star voices, the quality of animation and the one-liners from Mater make it hard to dislike Cars 2, so this will likely become another big hit for Pixar. Released July 22nd.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (12A) (Dir. Michael Bay)

After the laughing stock Revenge of the Fallen made of the franchise, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Dark of the Moon could just be more of the same from Michael Bay – turning what was once a legitimate, classic animation into something that involved characters trying to appeal to the young generation, and failed. Also, it had Megan Fox. The good news? Dark of the Moon looks like it could well have corrected all the mistakes the franchise has made thus far. And it doesn’t have Megan Fox. During the space race between the USSR and the USA, there was a mission to find something that had crashed into the surface of the moon – something not of our world. Now, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and his alliance with Optimus Prime and the Autobots will be put to the test against a common enemy – Shockwave. Dark of the Moon promises to delve deeper into the mythos of the toy line, while also developing the human characters relationships at the same time. Also, the sheer size and budget of the effects for this third instalment look like they could dwarf the previous two in comparison, so the fact it’s being released in IMAX 3D as well could make it the visual phenomenon of the year. And it doesn’t have Megan Fox! Check out the latest trailer for just a taste of the huge-scale action that goes on. Released July 1st.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (12A) (Dir. Joe Johnston)

The final piece in the puzzle before The Avengers assemble next year is finally here. After being deemed unfit for military service in World War 2, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) signs up for a top secret military research program and is given the Super Soldier serum. He becomes the armed forces secret weapon – Captain America, The Sentinel of Liberty. In his first mission he has to tackle the Nazi operations of Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), also known as the diabolical Red Skull, who is out to track down an all-powerful Cosmic Cube to throw the balance of power in favour of the Fuhrer. Originally, it looked like Thor would be the top-seller for Marvel this year due to Captain America being set solely against the backdrop of WW2 America (almost like a cross between Superman and Pearl Harbour) and could risk losing some audiences. But after seeing the way Cap throws his stars and stripes shield in 3D, and the fact that Joss Whedon is on board as co-writer before directing The Avengers next year to tie everything together, Captain America: The First Avenger could turn out to be the big hit of the summer for Marvel Studios. Released July 29th.

BEGINNERS (12A) (Dir. Mike Mills)

75 year old Hal (Christopher Plummer) decides after decades of being in the closet to tell his son Oliver (Ewan McGregor) that he is gay and has a younger lover but, at the same time, has terminal cancer. Writer/director Mike Mills might well be on to a winner with the premise of this movie and it’s likely to become this year’s breakout hit. It’s a poignant story with lots of interesting characters and development, but with plenty of comedy to balance out the drama at the same time. Plus, you can definitely expect good performances from both Plummer and McGregor as a duo in this! Released July 22nd.

As Published in Listed Magazine an on http://www.listedmagazine.com