June is upon us and now that The Avengers has finally slowed down (a bit) at the box office, there are plenty of potential blockbusters eager to take your hard-earned money. To hear the marketing departments tell it, each of them is a masterpiece just waiting to be discovered, but you should never trust marketing departments. CraveOnline is here with your June Movie Guide, telling you which releases you should actually get excited about, and which ones are just blowing smoke up your posterior.
Snow White and the Huntsman (PG-13)
Starring: Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Stewart, Ian McShane,
Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost
Directed by: Rupert Sanders
Opening: June 1
The tale of Snow White is retold – again – in this fantasy adventure that finds Snow (Stewart) on the run from the evil queen (Theron) with only her own assassin (Hemsworth) to protect her.
CraveOnline’s Call: We’ve already seen the second Snow White movie of 2012, and unfortunately for everyone who hated Mirror Mirror, this is the “bad” version. Slow pacing, nonexistent characters and an undercurrent of socially backward sexism overpower the film’s impressive visual effects and a memorably campy performance from Charlize Theron as the evil queen. You should avoid this one if at all possible.
Piranha 3DD (R)
Starring: Danielle Panabaker, David Koechner, Matt Bush, Kristina Bowden,
Christopher Lloyd, David Hasselhoff
Directed by: John Gulager
Opening: June 1
The killer fish are back in this sequel to hit 2010 horror comedy. This time, prehistoric piranha are unleashed in a sexy water park run by Anchorman’s David Koechner, and have to contend with “Baywatch’s” David Hasselhoff.
CraveOnline’s Call: Piranha 3DD’s plotline seems like a flimsy excuse for a sequel, and we’re perfectly fine with that. The last film was a gory, sexy treat and Feast director John Gulager clearly knows how to deliver the same kind of exploitative thrills. We’re hungry for more.
Starring: Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Idris Elba,
Logan Marshall-Green and Guy Pearce
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Opening: June 8
The plot is still shrouded in secrecy, but we do know that Ridley Scott’s pseudo-prequel to his own sci-fi classic, Alien, follows a team of scientists as they explore a spaceship, with dire consequences that involve the very nature of the human race.
CraveOnline’s Call: Prometheus is easily the intellectual curiosity of the summer. Just how much of a prequel is it? Are we really learning the origin of the Space Jockey? And can it possibly live up to either the legacy of the original film, or its own hype? We think it’s important to discover the answers for yourself. Either it’s a new classic from the director of Alien and Black Hawk Down, or a new misfire from the director of Robin Hood and Hannibal. Either way, it promises to be fascinating.
Rock of Ages (PG-13)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Akerman,
Julianne Hough, Bryan Cranston, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti
Directed by: Adam Shankman
Opening: June 15
A love story takes place against the backdrop of the 1980’s hair metal scene on the fabled Sunset Strip.
CraveOnline’s Call: Rock of Ages is based on a popular Broadway musical, which we haven’t seen. All we’ve seen, so far, are the trailers, which look awful. Awkward humor, painfully obvious song choices, superficial observations of the actual music scene of the era. We really, really hope we’re wrong, but Rock of Ages looks like a movie you might want to steer clear of.
That’s My Boy (R)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Vanilla Ice and James Caan
Directed by: Sean Anders
Opening: June 15
Adam Sandler has just a few days to raise thousands of dollars to pay his backtaxes, forcing him to reconnect with his estranged but financially successful son, Andy Samberg, changing both of their lives.
CraveOnline’s Call: Oh god, here we go. On the surface – and only the surface – this appears to be a return to form for Sandler, whose grotesque buffooneries were most successful when presented as a balance between antisocial uprisings and good, old-fashioned family values. But the idea that Samberg’s character, who probably does have issues after being raised by Sandler, will turn his life around by barfing on his wife’s wedding dress seems like a tragic attempt to justify selfish cruelty as life-affirming personal growth. It may have a funny joke or two, but we couldn’t care less about this movie coming out.
Starring: Kelly MacDonald, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Robbie Coltrane,
Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson
Directed by: Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman & Steve Purcell
Opening: June 22
A Scottish princess (MacDonald) defies tradition, cursing her family and forcing her to set things right.
CraveOnline’s Call: It’s Pixar, who aren’t quite infallible but have yet to produce a single bad film, so we’re excited despite some obvious reservations. This is the company’s first foray into “Disney Princess” territory, complete with a heroine who feels stifled by tradition and longs for something more, etc. The fine folks at Pixar are probably too smart to let Brave fall into Disney’s arguably sexist traditions, but they’re clearing treading on thin ice. We think they’ll make it work, but oh, the suspense!
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (NYR)
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper,
Alan Tudyk, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Opening: June 22
CraveOnline’s Call: Well in advance of Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s (presumably more historically accurate) biography of America’s 16th president, comes the extremely fictional story of how the Great Emancipator also killed vampires in his spare time. The fundamentally stupid premise and outlandish hero worship visible in the trailers make Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter look like a lot of fun, but only if Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov keeps his muddy, whirling dervish cinematography in check. We actually want to, you know, see the movie after all.
To Rome with Love (R)
Starring: Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, Greta Gerwig,
Alison Pill, Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page, Roberto Benigni
Directed by: Woody Allen
Opening: June 22 (Limited)
Woody Allen follows up his Academy Award-winning Euro comedy Midnight in Paris with another trip across the pond, following a series of characters throughout their amorous adventures in Rome.
CraveOnline’s Call: Woody Allen is one of America’s most prolific directors, and over the last forty years he’s made more classics than many of his contemporaries combined. To Rome with Love doesn’t look like a slam-dunk, but then neither did Midnight in Paris. But then… neither did Scoop, so who knows? He can be a very erratic director, but the trailer looks funny, the cast is stellar, and he’s earned some good will lately. To Rome with Love could be the perfect antidote to the blockbuster blues.
Magic Mike (R)
Starring: Channing Tatum, Alec Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Opening: June 29
Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh directs a coming of age male stripper film based on the real life story of his star, Channing Tatum.
CraveOnline’s Call: Steven Soderbergh keeps claiming that he’ll retire one of these days, but every time he does, a new project comes around that captures his imagination. The latest is Magic Mike, which appears to be a feel-good male stripper film starring hunky actors who can’t seem to keep their shirts on in movies that don’t find them straddling a pole. We can’t wait for this baby. The premise is so absurd that it sounds like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, but Soderbergh’s not a jokey director. He probably found something worth filming in this film, which could very easily turn into a teen cash grab in lesser hands. Then again, even if it sucks, the vanity project vibe and obvious potential for camp will make Magic Mike a winner. This could be one of the few “sure things” of the summer.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi,
Laura Vandervoort, Patrick Warburton
Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
Opening: June 29
Mark Wahlberg plays a guy whose best friend gets in the way of his relationship with Mila Kunis and his own personal growth. The twist: his best friend is a Teddy Bear played by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, making his feature directorial debut.
CraveOnline’s Call: This is actually a tricky one. The trailers look very funny, and that could very well be enough, but they also look like an extremely conventional comedy set-up. For example, if you replace the teddy bear with Vince Vaughn, you get Old School. If you replace the Teddy Bear with Owen Wilson, you get You, Me and Dupree. And the gag that everyone simply accepts the existence of a walking, talking Teddy Bear could lead to problems you won’t find in an animated setting. Is every stuffed animal alive? What sort of legal issues arise from a toy company with the power over life and death? We’re cautiously recommended you keep an eye on Ted, but be aware that it could fall completely flat once your stuck in a theater with it for an hour and a half.
Disclaimer: Release dates, and our opinions, are subject to change.