Tantalizing movie releases loom as summer approaches
Bite-sized clips preview promising summer cinema
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:04
Tufts students have the unfortunate tendency to stress over finals by quarantining themselves in Tisch Library, furiously scribbling down notes and frantically rereading textbooks. Yet, this behavior has drastic effects on the ability to absorb a different kind of education: a proper pop culture education (priorities, people!). Luckily, former co-columnists Zach Drucker and Chris Poldoian have closely followed the cinema scene, ignoring their respective studies to watch countless hours of trailers in order to tell the Tufts student body what to watch for this summer. Even if you don’t leave the Reading Room for the next three weeks, don’t worry — borrow a pair of headphones and you’ll feel like summer’s already here!
Moonrise Kingdom (May 25)
Wes Anderson has built a career out of endearing himself to fans for his quirky, distinctive films. His eccentric characters — each desperately trying to connect with the world and his/her fellow inhabitants — drive his films, whether they’re exploring Ping Island in “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (2004), having casual flings on trains in “The Darjeeling Limited” (2007) or trying to escape their own genius in “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001). Using Anderson’s signature touch, “Moonrise Kingdom” tells the story of a young couple fleeing the confines of its hometown. With a star-studded cast including Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton as a Boy Scout Master, this film promises to delight a wry, reflective audience.
Prometheus (June 8)
A triumphant return to form, “Prometheus” marks director Ridley Scott’s first science fiction film since “Blade Runner” (1982). The film features a cast of venerable actors, including Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron. The trailer’s moody setting oozes with dread, blurring the line between action and horror. Indeed, this film feels like the spiritual successor to “Alien” (1979) and takes place in the same universe. Recently, 20th Century Fox released a second promotional video for “Prometheus.” Ostensibly a commercial for a robot named David, played by Fassbender, this viral video serves as a perfect complement to the trailer. Not since “Avatar” (2009) have we been so excited to visit another planet, unless of course you count “Another Earth” (2011).
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22)
Try as one might to despise this trailer for its historical fabrications and its utterly ridiculous title, how can anyone deny the pure rush received from watching an axe-wielding Abe Lincoln massacre vampires atop a moving train? The film will most likely lack narrative and emotional substance, but a gore junkie may just satisfy his sweet tooth with this alternate representation of American lore. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see a hero like Abraham Lincoln trending among youths as a surrogate Chuck Norris.
Brave (June 22)
Pixar hopes to redeem itself for last summer’s cartoon clunker, “Cars 2” (2011), with “Brave,” the story of a skilled teenaged archer breaking from the gender-normative society of Scotland. The trailer emphasizes the film’s epic narrative with sweeping shots of Scottish forests and shores. Indeed, the visuals in the film are amazing, and the trailer as a whole feels very mature. Most notably, the trailer aired last month during the season premiere of “Mad Men.” A newer version can be found exclusively on Apple’s movie trailer website.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (June 22)
Poignant and full of character, the preview for “Seeking a Friend” features Steve Carell donning his trademarked sensitive, pushover persona in the last three weeks before the world ends. Looking to make meaning out of his dwindling life, he teams up with an alternatively stylish Keira Knightley to embark on a final road trip in search of companionship and acceptance. If the full film contains even an iota of the humor and sensitivity displayed in the trailer, this unlikely couple may anchor the summer’s most moving romantic comedy.
Magic Mike (June 29)
As if the summer weren’t hot enough, Hollywood has brought us a film about male stripping. “Magic Mike” deals with a man (played by Channing Tatum) who moonlights as a male stripper. This film does hit pretty close to home for Tatum, who got his start earlier on stripping under the pseudonym Chan Crawford. The end of the trailer showed off Matthew McConaughey as a fellow macho man. Yum.
Savages (July 6)
A far cry from “Pineapple Express” (2008), Oliver Stone’s “Savages” delves into the dark underbelly of the marijuana industry. When cannabis-growing entrepreneurs (played by Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) refuse a deal from a competitor, the femme fatale and drug cartel lord (Salma Hayek) decides to kidnap their shared companion (Blake Lively). The trailer is a whirlwind of sadomasochism and graphic action sequences that ensure this movie will either stun critics or flop miserably — stereotypical Stone, to say the least.
Ted (July 13)
Picture Seth MacFarlane’s hysterical mind permitted to run wild without the interference of heavy-handed television executives. Well, MacFarlane’s newest endeavor, “Ted,” is essentially an uncensored gag reel following Mark Wahlberg and his anthropomorphic, childhood teddy bear with a tendency to swear profusely and engage in repulsive (yet adorable) debauchery. The comedy is sure to reproduce the “Family Guy” gems deemed unfit for national television due to its R-rating. Oh, and we recommend you opt to watch the red band trailer. The teddy bear is so raucously vulgar in every scene.
Ruby Sparks (July 25)
Remember Paul Dano? This promising star broke into the mainstream with “The Girl Next Door” (2004) and found critical acclaim in “There Will Be Blood” (2007). Since finding his remarkable performance in “There Will Be Blood,” Dano has receded from the spotlight, making middling films such as “Taking Woodstock” (2009) and “Cowboys & Aliens” (2011). Now, he has again teamed with the directors of “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) to tell the tale of a writer who invents a female character with whom he falls in love. The story takes on a fantastical element when the eponymous character comes to life. The trailer hints at some physical comedy, which is fitting for Dano, whose lanky frame and energetic presence recall the antics of Buster Keaton.