Film: Spring Arts 2012

By Chris Heller
Published on March 22, 2012, 1:00am | Comments

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MAY

THE AVENGERS – Marvel spent years planning for The Avengers, and for all that work, the final product has the look of something painstakingly focus-grouped to death. That's a shame, but it won't stop the huge box-office returns from piling up. (5/4)

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL ­– We all love cheeky old Brits, so why not throw the lot of them into a movie together? Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and plenty more star in this offbeat comedy about a retirement hotel in India. Directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love). (5/4)

DARK SHADOWS – Johnny Depp was allegedly obsessed with the Dark Shadows soap opera as a child, and so, he's turning it into a movie. And since it involves vampires and the occult, Tim Burton is going to direct it -- and he's apparently turned it into a full-on comedy. (5/11)

THE DICTATOR – Is Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie about a Middle Eastern dictator meant to be cutting satire? Is it controversial for controversy's sake? Is it even any good? This much is for certain: It'll be very dirty, very inappropriate and very funny. (5/11)

GOD BLESS AMERICA Now this is what satire looks like. Bobcat Goldwait helms a comedy about a terminally ill cancer patient who goes on a killing spree after watching one too many reality television tantrums. God Bless America looks totally out there and unbelievably dark, but has potential to be a worthy successor to Goldwait's last, World's Greatest Dad. (5/11)

BATTLESHIP – You either want to see this kind of movie, or you don't. (5/18)

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING – We expect the world's longest book commercial. (5/18)

HYSTERIA Hugh Dancy plays Mortimer Granville -- or as history's kinkiest might remember him, the inventor of the first vibrator. Call it a hunch, but we'll bet Dancy doesn't have much trouble with that whole ''pleasure'' thing. (5/18)

CHERNOBYL DIARIES – Oren Peli's building a strange horror empire of sorts. He's got all those Paranormal Activity movies, at least a few more episodes of ABC's The River, and now, Chernobyl Diaries. Don't expect anything new here – if you've seen Peli's found-footage tricks already, you know the drill – but don't be surprised to discover that it all still works. (5/25)

MIB 3 – Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and all the alien-hunting boys in black return for a sequel that absolutely nobody is clamoring for. Other great signs for director Barry Sonnenfeld: The script wasn't finished when filming started, that very same script was re-written three times during production, and worst of all, Lady Gaga has a cameo. (5/25)

MOONRISE KINGDOM – It's almost unfair to say that Wes Anderson's movies are twee – they're too pretty to deserve such a derisive tag. And then you hear about Moonrise Kingdom, and how it's about a pair of kids who run away from their New England island town, and you remember. Yes, you certainly remember. (5/25)


JUNE

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN – Let's get this straight: The guy who wrote Drive also wrote a gritty, violent re-telling of Snow White? And nobody's begun to take odds on when America's suburban moms rise up and boycott it within an inch of its life? Boy, this'll be fun.(6/1)

PROMETHEUS – Ridley Scott's Alien prequel that he refuses to admit is an Alien prequel. Nonetheless, it has all the makings of brilliance, like a phenomenal cast that includes Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and Charlize Theron. Although Scott hasn't done sci-fi since the days of Blade Runner and Alien, it's certainly looking like Prometheus will be a worthy successor to those landmarks. (6/8)

ROCK OF AGES – It's an adaptation of a Broadway musical, but it's starring Tom Cruise? It's a comedy, but the lead actress is country singer Julianne Hough? There must be an audience for this sort of thing. (6/15)

THAT'S MY BOY – Is this a funny Adam Sandler movie? With Ken Marino, David Wain and Happy Endings' David Caspe behind the script, that rarest of rare film sightings seems like it's on the horizon. Even though Sandler plays a debauched lout who moves in with his son (Andy Samberg), and even though he does it all with wacky voices and a dumb costume, we can't help but hope. (6/15)

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER – There is no combination of words in the English language as beautiful as ''Abraham Lincoln hunts vampires.'' (6/22)

BRAVE Pixar hopes to wrestle back its animated crown with Brave, a Scottish fable about a girl who defies age-old customs to pursue her love of archery. This is Pixar's first fairy tale – and the first with a female protagonist to boot – meaning that we're wading into unfamiliar waters. (6/22)

SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD – An ensemble comedy starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, this one follows a man's search for his childhood sweetheart amid the impending apocalypse. Directed by Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist). (6/22)

THE ROME WITH LOVE – Woody Allen follows up Midnight in Paris with a series of vignettes about people in Italy and the neurotic hijinks they attract. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz and Ellen Page. It'll also be Allen's first acting role since Scoop. (6/22)

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION – Here's the thing about the sequel to a blockbuster movie: Nobody needs to know what it's about. Retaliation probably has something to do with Joes and Cobras and whatever new toys Hasbro wants to unload this summer, but that's not putting anybody in the seats. Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson and Bruce Willis, though? That'll do it. (6/29)

MAGIC MIKE – You wouldn't guess it by the title or for that matter the director, but this is a comedy about male strippers, starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey and a whole ton of other beefcake types. Tatum used to be a stripper – seriously, he did – and it's allegedly based on his experiences on the pole. (6/29)

PEOPLE LIKE US – Chris Pine and Olivia Wilde star in a drama about a man who has to deliver $150,000 from his dead father's estate to a sister he never met. Alex Kurtzman, the Hollywood scribe behind Eagle Eye, Star Trek and Transformers, takes the helm in his directorial debut. (6/29)



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