14 summer movies to get a lil excited about… [pt2]

previously… 14 summer movies to get a lil excited about… [pt1]


A documentary maker, Mike Cahill, and a trainee investment banker, Brit Marling, combine to write a screenplay. Cahill directing, producing, shooting and editing and Marling acting as co-producer and lead actress. Hmmmmm.

But… apparently Another Earth turned out pretty special. Before it debuted at Sundance, no one had heard much about the film, but it came out of those Utah mountains with the kind of buzz that big studio dollars just cannot buy. Plus the whole “leave Goldman Sachs and drop out of university to make movies” is a pretty bad-ass tale.

It’s got everything I like in a film. Science. Grief. Pretty girls. Parallel universes.

Here’s a summary from the Hollywood Reporter…

Brit Marling‘s Rhoda Williams is a brainy young New Englander, recently accepted into MIT’s astrophysics program. Distracted while driving one night, she causes a terrible accident that kills the entire family of a celebrated music composer, John Burroughs (William Mapother – nigel note: ETHAN FROM LOST!), leaving the man in a coma.

The distraction is crucial here. She was gazing out her window at a blue object in space. It seems astronomers had just discovered another planet hidden until then behind the sun. During her four years in prison, further scientific inquiry reveals this planet is a duplicate Earth. In other words, man is confronted by the existence of a parallel reality. A scientist attempting to contact Earth 2, as it is dubbed, is shocked to find she is talking to her other self.

Sounds pretty special.

DRIVE - Sept 16th

What happens when you combine Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, fast cars and the director of mental British crime film Bronson?

I have no idea.

But Drive is premiering this weekend at Cannes and so we should have a much better idea then. And even on the off-chance that it’s a load of bollocks I’m still going to go because I “like spending time with” Gosling and Mulligan (look how excited prior to TIFF last year – Gosling then attended our screening of Blue Valentine, wah!).

Two of em at the same time could well be too much.

Unconventional “trailer” too…


Everybody’s ideal older brother, Paul Rudd, returns to the big screen with a beard. Considering he’s played the exact same character for the last five years, this is a major, and very welcome departure.

In My Idiot Brother, Rudd plays a hippie idealist “dealing with his overbearing mother who crashes into the homes of his three ambitious sisters and, in succession, brings truth, happiness and a sunny disposition into their lives while also wreaking havoc”.

It got decent feedback from its premiere at Sundance, and from what I’ve seen and read about, it could be a real crowd pleaser and heart-warming family tale. An attempt at Frank Capra for the modern audience if you will. A fine supporting cast of Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer and Steve Coogan should keep things interesting too.

Let’s just hope this doesn’t turn out to be another Paul Rudd slap in the face (Slappin’ the Bass – geddit?) like last year’s disappointing Dinner for Schmucks.

30 MINUTES OR LESS - Aug 12th

Aziz Ansari is the brightest light of a very, very, strong cast in NBC’s sitcom Parks and Recreation. The 28-year-old often sometimes makes Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman look plain ordinary, which is tough as they’re pretty hilarious by themselves. I liked the look of him as Raaaaandy Springs in Judd Apatow’s Funny People, loved his bits in Observe and Report and Get him to the Greek and have worn out his stand-up album, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening (can you wear out a folder of mp3s?).

30 Minutes or Less sees Ansari starring alongside Jesse Eisenburg. A man who was innately annoying in The Squid and the Whale and Adventureland, but has managed to win me over with Zombieland (director Ruben Fleischer is at the helm of 30 minutes or less too) and that film about Bebo from last year.

So an unlikely pairing. Add in Danny McBride. Some bank chases. A hilarious trailer. Can’t go wrong.

ONE DAY - Aug 19th

The pros. i) Beautiful poster. ii) Critically acclaimed book. iii) Director of the delightful An Education, Lone Scherfig, is in charge. iv) Jim Sturgess, one of British cinema’s best young actors. v) An interesting narrative device of revisiting a couple on same day, July 15th, every year for 20 years. vi) Filmed in Edinburgh and Paris, two places I have no problem re-visiting on screen.

The cons. i) Anne Hathaway – a deal breaker… can be a little annoying when she doesn’t remember to tie up all that bubbly enthusiasm. Though, as she proved in Rachel Getting Married and Brokeback Mountain she’s damn good when called upon for serious drama. ii) The trailer is shit. And sappy.

So 6 plays 2. Therefore I have high levels of anticipation for One Day.


Bellflower follows two friends who spend their time building flamethrowers and other weapons in the hope that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang, Mother Medusa. While waiting for the destruction to commence, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrating into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, and extreme violence more devastating than any of their apocalyptic fantasies.

So that’s the official summary from the production company. It played at Sundance and SXSW and I’m doing my best to avoid reviews of it (and yet still find out enough information to appear like some sort of authority on it for the purposes of this post), as it seems like it may be best to experience it without knowing a whole lot about it.

In my mind it could be like Monsters meets Primer with a whole lot of Mad Max thrown in there. That’ll do nicely.

The trailer gives nothing away, in fact it’s barely even a “trailer”, so don’t worry about taking a look.

Wow, what a terrible preview. I’m giving no reason to get excited other than “I don’t know much about it, so it might be alright…”.

TERRI - July 1st

This reminds me of the very under-appreciated movie Cyrus, which came out last summer. With a few Napolean Dynamite style giggles thrown in too. I expect to laugh, experience a sense of heart-warming joy as someone battles adversity and then leave the theatre feeling guilty for pre-judging people as a teenager. Yay!

So I realised the other day that John C. Reilly ALWAYS adds something to a film. He has to be one of the most consistent actors working in Hollywood today. Sometimes he’s the best thing going in in substandard comedies like Step Brothers, Talladega Nights or Walk Hard. Often he’ll show up in dramatic roles in films as diverse as A Prairie Home Companion, Cyrus or the forthcoming We Need to Talk about Kevin. Whatever the part, he’s always a joy to watch. I like to think it’s his hairline.

Enough fawning over J.C. Wait, I didn’t mean to compare him to Him. Though why not. ✝ ftw.

Terri tells the story of a heavy 15-year-old boy (played by Jacob Wysocki) in a small town as he struggles to adjust to his difficult life. Reilly is in the mentor role. We all laugh. And we all learn something.

and finally, an extra bonus #15 spot for one more…

SUPER 8 - June 10th

Months ago I wrote about how excited I was about the new J.J. Abrams film, Super 8. Nothing has changed since then. Sure we’ve had a new trailer and a few clips released since then, but I’m doing my damndest to avoid all that hype in the hope of experiencing this in the most old-fashioned way possible.

I will go into the cinema with a tub of popcorn and an open empty mind of a 10=year-old, ready to be entertained. J.J. and Spielberg won’t let us down. Right?

Oh and I guess I have to source the mind of a 10-year-old. Been looking on craiglist, but the results haven’t been great. Any suggestions, please throw them into the comments below. Cheers.

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