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Cover Story

2014 Summer Arts & Entertainment Guide- Film


Get ready to laugh, scream and even shed a tear, because this summer brings a wealth of comedies, action flicks and sweet romantic dramas to local cinemas. Superhero blockbusters will fight to become new fan favorites, and film adaptations will have readers/viewers comparing the big screen story to the book. With such a star-studded lineup of cinematic features (Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis — need we say more?), the only down side will be choosing which ones to cough up the cash.


“X-Men: Days of Future Past”film 1 xmen

May 23

Directed by Bryan Singer, starring Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Jams McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Ian McKellan

Rated PG-13, 131 minutes

Using both time travel and the original stars of previous X-Men movies, “Days of Future Past” tries to come out on top of the summer blockbusters. Hugh Jackman reprises his role as the Wolverine, sent back in time to change one event that led to an alternate future where both humans and mutants are equally in danger. Giant robots patrol America, surviving mutants are stuck in concentration camps and most of the X-Men have been hunted to the point of near extinction. Though the movie differs from its corresponding comic book, fans won’t be disappointed with the connection of the X-Men and Wolverine storylines.


“Maleficent”film 2 Maleficent

May 30

Directed by Robert Stromberg, starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Imelda Stuanton, Miranda Richardson and Kenneth Cranham

Rated PG, 97 minutes

Disney finally tells the story of its most iconic villain in “Maleficent,” which is more than just a dark twist on the classic story of “Sleeping Beauty.” Once a pure-hearted young woman growing up in a peaceful forest kingdom, Maleficent became the fierce guardian when an invading army threatened the land. Her pure heart turns to stone when she is ruthlessly betrayed. Now, seeking revenge, Maleficent faces battle with the invading king’s successor, placing a curse upon his beloved newborn daughter Aurora. But as the child grows up, Maleficent realizes Aurora actually holds the key to peace in the kingdom.


“A Million Ways to Die in the West”film 3 a million ways

May 30

Directed by Seth MacFarlane, starring Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson and Neil Patrick Harris

Rated R

After the surprisingly popular man-stuffed animal friendship comedy “Ted,” MacFarlane is back in the director’s — and writer’s and actor’s — chair as the star of “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” Playing a cowardly farmer seeking help to win back the girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) who left him after he chickened out of a gunfight, MacFarlane will get his chance to prove himself as a leading man on the big screen. The Western spoof provides ample amounts of his famously raunchy humor, along with substantial gore as it develops the promise of its title. Charlize Theron plays the mysterious woman who rides into town, helps him find his courage and teaches him how to shoot. He’ll have to put all those lessons to the test when her outlaw husband (Liam Neeson) comes seeking revenge.


“The Fault in Our Stars”film 4 The-Fault-in-our-stars

June 6

Directed by Josh Boone, starring Shailene Woodley, Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern and Ansel Elgort

Rated PG-13, 125 minutes

Fans of the mega-popular book by John Green have been eagerly awaiting the screen adaptation of his witty-but-emotional best-seller. Hazel (Shailene Woodley) is a teenage girl with more than the average amount of baggage — namely, the ever-present oxygen tank that helps her survive with cancer. With few friends and a social life that exists barely outside the covers of her favorite book, Hazel is sent to a cancer support group at the urging of her mothere. There she meets Gus (Ansel Elgort). The two develop a remarkable bond as they deal with recoveries, relapses and a whirlwind relationship. If it’s anything like the book, “The Fault in Our Stars” will have you tearing up — if not downright sobbing — at the brave lives and love of one young couple.


“Obvious Child”film 5 obvious child

June 6

Directed by Gillian Robespierre, starring Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Polly Draper and Gaby Hoffman

Rated R, 83 minutes

What do you get when you mix a filter-free comedian, a bad breakup and an unwanted pregnancy from a one-night stand? Turns out, you get a hilarious, raw and poignant film. “Obvious Child” joshed its way into the hearts of its Sundance audience, as they watched the vulgar 27-year-old comedian Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) go through the honest, emotionally raw roller coaster of life. After being dumped by her cheating boyfriend, her stand-up hits a low point and she finds herself in bed with another man who’s anything but right for her. When she finds out she’s pregnant, she’ll do anything to avoid telling him. But even her sarcastic wit can’t save her from confronting her fears and her impending date with Planned Parenthood.


“How to Train Your Dragon 2”film 6 How-to-Train-Your-Dragon-2-Movie-Trailer-1

June 13

Directed by Dean DeBlois, starring Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill and T.J. Miller

Rated PG, 105 minutes

Following the success of the trilogy’s first film, “How to Train Your Dragon,” and the hit TV show of the same name, kids and parents alike are looking forward to the return of Hiccup and Toothless in the sequel. Set five years after the first movie, Hiccup, Astrid and the rest of the group are discovering unmapped territories through dragon races. When Hiccup and Toothless find hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider living in a secret ice cave, the inseparable pair take it upon themselves to protect peace on the island of Berk.


“22 Jump Street”film 7 22-jump-street-cast

June 13

Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill

Not Yet Rated

The hilarious Tatum-Hill duo is back, this time going undercover at a local college. Though they’ve already established their unlikely friendship, the new roles of officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) will force them to question their partnership while they solve their new drug case. Jenko takes on the persona of the buff football player, while Schmidt makes his way to the depths of the bohemian art major clique. With the booming success of “21 Jump Street” and the return of many of its stars (Nick Offerman and Dave Franco included), this sequel should have audiences laughing all the way through Schmidt’s and Jenko’s quest for a mature relationship.


“Begin Again”film 8 begin again

July 4

Directed by John Carney, Staring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Scarlett Johansson and Adam Levine

Rated R, 104 minutes

In a fairly run-of-the-mill plot, Keira Knightley plays a hopeful musician named Gretta who moves to New York with her long-time boyfriend (the bearded Adam Levine), as they try to break into the music scene together. Gretta is heartbroken when he leaves her for a big solo contract. When a record producer (Mark Ruffalo) down on his luck sees Gretta singing in a local bar, they may be each other’s best hope for turning their lives around.


“Boyhood”film 9 boyhood

July 11

Directed by Richard Linklater, starring Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke and Lorelei Linklater

Rated R, 163 minutes

This much buzzed-about movie began filming in 2001 and shows the evolution of a family over 12 years. As shooting reconvened for a few weeks every year, moviegoers get to watch Mason (Ellar Coltrane) take the emotional journey from childhood to adulthood. Unlike many coming-of-age tales, we’ll watch Coltrane actually grow up — rather than see one kid actor turn into another, slightly older teen actor. Linklater set out to capture the nostalgic feeling of a childhood memory, which, if reviews of its Sundance premier are any indicator, he nailed. The groundbreaking film chronicles the small and intimate moments of family life, as Patricia Arquette plays a struggling single mom in small-town Texas. She tries to mesh boyfriends with obligations and responsibilities, while her kids’ father returns after a year away to make up for lost time.


“Guardians of the Galaxy”film 10 Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Movie-Trailer-Pic

Aug. 1

Directed by James Gunn, starring Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Lee Pace

Unrated, 122 minutes

Chris Pratt suits up to play Peter Quill and Star-Lord in this highly anticipated adaptation of the popular Marvel comic series. In the depths of outer space, Quill is an American pilot who steals a coveted orb, finding himself in the midst of a universal conflict led by the evil Ronan (Lee Pace). Quill has to team up with an unlikely group of misfits in order to evade him. But once Quill realizes the threatening power of the stolen orb, he’ll have to assemble his team to protect the fate of the galaxy. Though not the most popular heroes of the Marvel franchise, the Guardians seem to have a following and high hopes for the new blockbuster.


“The Giver”film 11 the giver

Aug. 15

Directed by Phillip Noyce, starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift

Not Yet Rated

Based on Lois Lowry’s popular novel, “The Giver” will attempt to compete in the circle of dystopian novels-turned-films against the likes of “The Hunger Games” and the recent “Divergent.” Jonas lives in a seemingly perfect world without conflict, sickness, differences or choice. But when the 16-year-old is chosen to be the Receiver of Memories and to learn about the true pains and pleasures of the real world, he’ll discover what his ancestors gave up just to make a stable society. Previews hint at the enticing drama of this sci-fi fantasy, but critics aren’t convinced. While it does have the best-selling plot and Academy Award-winning Meryl Streep to its credit, it also includes a role for Taylor Swift, which doesn’t exactly help.



May 23

“Blended” (d. Frank Coraci, with Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Joel McHale, Bella Thorne)

“The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” (d. Phil Alden Robinson, with Robin Williams, Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, James Earl Jones)

“Words and Pictures” (d. Fred Schepisi, with Juliette Binoche, Keegan Connor Tracy, Clive Owen, Amy Brenneman)

“Tracks” (d. Keir Pearson, with Adam Driver, Mia Wasikowska, Emma Booth, Melanie Zanetti)


May 30

“The Grand Seduction” (d. Don McKellar, with Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Liane Balaban)

“We Are the Best” (d. Lukas Moodysson, with Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne)

“Filth” (d. Jon S. Baird, with James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell, Emun Elliott)

“Night Moves” (d. Kelly Reichardt, with Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard)


June 6

“Edge of Tomorrow” (d. Doug Liman, with Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Charlotte Riley, Bill Paxton)

“Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon” (d. Mike Myers, with Tom Arnold, Alice Cooper, Michael Douglas)

“The Sacrament” (d. Ti West, with Joe Swanberg, A.J. Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Gene Jonas)

“The Case Against 8” (d. Ben Cotner, Ryan White)

“Burt’s Buzz” (d. Jody Shapiro, with Burt Shavitz)


June 13

“Jimi: All Is By My Side” (d. John Ridley, with Imogen Poots, Burn Gorman, Hayley Atwell)

“Lullaby” (d. Andrew Levitas, with Amy Adams, Garrett Hedlund, Jessica Brown Findlay)

“All Cheerleaders Die” (d. Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson, with Caitlin Stasey, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Brooke Butler)

“The Signal” (d. William Eubank, with Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Robert Longstreet)

“Policeman” (d. Nadav Lapid, with YiftachKlein, Yaara, Pelzig, Michael Moshonov)


June 20

“Think Like a Man Too” (d. Tim Story, with Kevin Hart, Terrence Jenkins, Romany Malco, Michael Ealy)

“Third Person” (d. Paul Haggis, with Mila Kunis, James Franco, Olivia Wilde)

“The Rover” (d. David Michod, with Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce, Scoot McNairy, Anthony Hayes)                 

“Jersey Boys” (d. Jon Favreau, Clint Eastwood, with Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen, Mike Doyle, Christopher Walken)

“Venus in Fur” (d. Roman Polanski, with Emmanuelle Seigner, Louis Garrel)


June 25

“Yves Saint Laurent” (d. Jalil Lespert, with Pierre Niney, Guillaume Gallienne, Charlotte Le Bon)


June 27

“Transformers 4 : Age of Extinction” (d. Michael Bay, with Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Brenton Thwaites, Stanley Tucci)

“The Internet’s Own Boy : The Story of Aaron Swartz” (d. Brian Knappenberger, with Tim Berners-Lee, Cory Doctorow, Peter Eckersley)

“They Came Together” (d. David Wain, with Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader)

“Snow Piercer” (d. Joon-Ho Bong, with Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Kenny Doughty)

“The Congress” (d. Ari Folman, with Robin Wright, Jon Hamm, Paul Giamatti, Harvey Keitel)

“La Bare” (d. Joe Manganiello, with Joe Manganiello, Lance Winters, Nick Soto)


July 2

“Tammy” (d. Ben Falcone, with Melissa McCarthy, Mark Duplass, Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney)

“Deliver Us from Evil” (d. Scott Derrickson, with Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn)

“Earth to Echo” (d. Dave Green, with Teo Halm, Reese C. Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt)


July 4

“Life Itself” (d. Richard Loncraine, with Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Carrie Preston)


July 11

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (d. Matt Reeves, with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Jason Clark, Gary Oldman)

“The Fluffy Movie” (d. Manny Rodriguez, with Gabriel Iglesias, Jeremey Ray Valdez)

“And So It Goes” (d. Rob Reiner, with Diane Keaton, Michael Douglas, Frankie Valli)

“Road to Paloma” (d. Jason Momoa, with Tye Alexander, Henree Alyse, Lisa Bonet)

“A Long Way Down” (d. Pascal Chaumeil, with Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike)

“Land Ho!” (d. Aaron Katz, Martha Stephens, with Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Lynn Nelson, Karrie Crouse)


July 18

“Jupiter Ascending” (d. Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, with Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne)

“The Purge: Anarchy” (d. James DeMonaco, with Frank Grillo, Zach Gilford, Michael Kenneth Williams)

“Planes: Fire and Rescue” (d. Bobs Gannaway, with Dane Cook, Julie Bowen)

“I Origins” (d. Mike Cahill, with Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Berges-Frisbey)

“Mood Indigo” (d. Michel Gondry, with Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, Gad Elmaleh)


July 25

“Hercules” (d. Brett Ratner, with Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane)

“Sex Tape” (d. Jake Kasdan, with Jason Segel, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, Rob Corddry)

“Step Up: All In” (d. Trish Sie, with Alyson Stoner, Briana Evigan, Izabella Miko)

“Wish I Was Here” (d. Zach Braff, with Josh Gad, Zach Braff, Jim Parsons)

“A Most Wanted Man” (d. Anton Corbijn, with Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams)

“Happy Christmas” (d. Joe Swanberg, with Joe Swanberg, Anna Kendrick, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham)

“Very Good Girls” (d. Naomi Foner, with Elizabeth Olsen, Dakota Fanning, Clark Gregg)

“Magic in the Moonlight” (d. Woody Allen, with Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden)


Aug. 1

“Get On Up” (d. Tate Taylor, with Chadwick Boseman, David Andrew Nash, Nelsan Ellis)

“What If” (d. Elan Mastai, with Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis, Zoe Kazan)

“Calvary” (d. John Michael McDonagh, with Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly)


Aug. 8

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (d. Jonathan Liebesman, with Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Pete Ploszek)

“The Two Faces of January” (d. Hossein Amini, with Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac, Viggo Mortensen)

“Lucy” (d. Luc Besson, with Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton)

“Into the Storm” (d. Steven Quale, with Arlen Escarpeta, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Jeremy Sumpter)

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” (d. Lasse Hallstrom, with Om Puri, Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal)


Aug. 13

“Let’s Be Cops” (d. Luke Greenfield, with Nina Dobrev, Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans, Jr.)


Aug. 15

“The Expendables 3” (d. Patrick Hughes, with Sylvester Stallone, Nicolas Cage, Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipes)

 “As Above, So Below” (d. John Erick Dowdle, with Ben Feldman, Perdita Weeks, Edwin Hodge)

“Desert Dancer” (d. Richard Raymond, with Freida Pinto, Reece Ritchie, Tom Cullen)

“The Trip to Italy” (d. Michael Winterbottom, with Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan, Rosie Fellner)

“Life After Beth” (d. Jeff Baena, with Dane DeHaan, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza)

“The One I Love” (d. Charlie McDowell, with Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, Ted Danson)


Aug. 22

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” (d. Frank Miller, Robert Rodriquez, with Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson)

“When the Game Stands Tall” (d. Scott Marshall Smith, Thomas Carter, with Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern, Michael Chiklis)

“If I Stay” (d. R. J. Cutler, with Chloe Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Liana Liberato) CV






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