Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer movie preview: 22 films and what can families expect (22 items)

Jeff Peterson, For the Deseret News

April 24, 2014

Ah, summer. The sun is shining, the days are longer and school’s out. So what better way to celebrate than to hole up in a darkened theater with a bucket of popcorn and take in the most over-the-top, special effects-heavy movies Hollywood can muster?

Compared to previous (and upcoming) years, this summer movie season might at first seem a little underwhelming — only five movies explicitly about aliens? What gives? — but there are actually a lot of surprising options this year that could make it a summer to remember.

Here’s a look at the titles families might look forward to in the upcoming months. Because some of the films are not yet rated and content descriptors are limited, some of these may not turn out to be ideal family fare (we will let you know which).

1 of 22. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

Release date: May 2

Rating: PG-13

Sony hasn’t been shy about the fact that it expects this sequel to its 2012 Spider-Man reboot to be a huge hit. Picking up where the first movie left off, this one sees Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) battling a gaggle of villains, including the Rhino, Green Goblin and Electro, all while trying to keep the romance alive with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).

2 of 22. “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return”

Release date: May 9

Rating: PG

A 3-D animated musical based on a novel by L. Frank Baum’s great-grandson. Unlike Disney’s 1985 “Return to Oz,” though, this sequel doesn’t look like pure nightmare fuel, which is a good thing for families with kids. Along with the voice talents of Patrick Stewart, Martin Short, Kelsey Grammar, Dan Aykroyd and Lea Michelle, among others, it also features original songs by Bryan Adams.

3 of 22. “Godzilla”

Release date: May 16

Rating: PG-13

The King of the Monsters returns to American shores at long last in this dark, gritty reboot (to use some of Hollywood’s favorite buzzwords) of the 1954 Japanese original. But this time around, Godzilla might not be the only gigantic beastie stomping on famous landmarks. Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“The Avengers: Age of Ultron”) and Ken Watanabe (“Inception”) headline the type of cast usually only seen during awards season.

4 of 22. “Million Dollar Arm”

Release date: May 16

Rating: PG-13

Based on a true story, Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") stars as J.B. Bernstein, a sports agent who travels to India in search of cricket “bowlers” that can be molded into major league baseball pitchers. Think “Moneyball” meets “Slumdog Millionaire,” except made by Disney.

5 of 22. “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Release date: May 23

Rating: PG-13

Original “X-Men” director Bryan Singer — along with most of the original movie's cast — returns to stage another, even bigger last stand, this one involving time travel, murderous robots and a future that must be prevented at all costs. And yes, it does sound a bit like “Terminator.” “First Class”-ers James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence all co-star with 1970s-era Wolverine.
1. Hutterite
American Fork, UT,
April 25, 2014

I hope there's a few that we can look at from the perspective of what adults can expect. Not every movie has to be a babysitter for a mob of miscreants.