Monday, April 16, 2012

What a way to spend an early summer!

By James Colt Harrison

Hollywood studios usually save their best films for either a summer release or a holiday release at the end of the year. But this summer we will experience some unusual and entertaining films. Here’s just a small sampling of what’s in store for movie fans.

Let’s face it, the biggest and most anticipated action movie of the summer will be the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. The
Batman comic books have been popular for more than 70 years, so it is only reasonable that the films would enjoy great status among the Caped Crusader’s fans.

Christian Bale toplines director Christopher Nolan’s updated and revised take on Batman. Bale interprets all of his roles in his own way, so be prepared for a new and different Batman as per the Welsh-born actor’s brilliant talent.

The usually jaunty and happy-go-lucky Anne Hathaway takes on a new kind of role for her—that of Catwoman. She is Selina Kyle, a mystery to Batman. Who is she and is she really an earthy-type villain?

Tom Hardy, who made such a smashing impression as a fighter in last year’s Warrior, takes on the role of a raging, absolutely evil force of towering physical strength named Bane. Dark-eyed Joseph Gordon-Levitt ( Inception ) has gone from being an adorable child actor to a handsome young man. He plays a Gotham City cop who works for his own hero, the Commissioner, played by Oscar® nominated Gary Oldman. Throw in Michael Caine (Alfred), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) and love interest Marion Cotillard (Oscar® winner) and you are fortunate to enjoy a stellar cast of actors as well as a film that will thrill you to the upper reaches of your bicuspids.

Dark Shadows began life as a television series shot in a spooky Newport, Rhode Island mansion. Director Tim Burton wanted to capture the cheesiness of the original series and its unintentional humor. Casting the formidable Johnny Depp as the bumbling and awkward Barnabas Collins, a vampire who has been sealed in a crypt for two centuries, Burton has created a comic bloodsucker. Joining in the fun and mayhem are the beautiful Eva Green as an evil witch. Helena Bonham Carter (Mrs. Burton) plays a shrink who is compelled to protect Johnny and his moldy descendants, as played by Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Jonnie Lee Miller. It’s all done in fun with a reverence toward the original soap opera series.

The testosterone-filled action movie The Avengers features some of Hollywood’s most handsome and well-built young stars as ultimate  action heroes. When the nasty and exiled villainous Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the brother of Thor, threatens to destroy the earth, several of the strongest heroes band together to fight him off. They all just happen to be dysfunctional and lonely souls as well. They fight each other like mad as do brothers but they finally come together as a team and band together to rid the earth of the scourge of Loki. The hammer-wielding Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth), dashing Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) patriotic Captain America (Chris Evans), 20-20 visionary Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), overblown Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and ambidextrous Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) get together with team leader Samuel Jackson to fight off the bad guy.

Yes, there is a “little” movie worth seeing squeezed in between all the blockbusters. It’s called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Having been shot in India, it has some magnificent scenery and atmospheric scenes as the icing on the cake. But better than the icing are the magnificent Oscar(R)-winning actresses Judi Dench and Maggie Smith as a couple of British seniors who join forces with other oldsters such as Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy, to retire to a shabby Indian hotel run by youngster Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire). It’s a very funny picture that also addresses some concerns of seniors. It’s a film all ages can enjoy. The two old gals are wonderful.
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