by HELEN GEIB
At least Public Enemies comes out this month. Fans of Harry Potter, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Judd Apatow also have reason to be excited.
July 1 (Wednesday)
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary return in the voice cast for the third Ice Age film. The first trailer I saw is a funny short cartoon of the squirrel-like animal being outwitted by a female flying-squirrel-like animal in a contest for an acorn. The second trailer, the one that brings in the rest of the characters and gives away most of the plot, did not make me smile.
Public Enemies – Far and away the movie I’m most excited to see in July, and that would be true even if I was actually excited over anything else coming out this month. Michael Mann directed this biopic of Depression-era bank robber and folk hero John Dillinger. Johnny Depp stars as the notorious outlaw, Marion Cotillard plays his moll, and Christian Bale is the FBI agent determined to bring his crime spree to an end.
Bruno – Sacha Baron Cohen impersonates a Germanic fashion reporter in this comedy directed by Larry Charles, who also directed Cohen’s Borat. They want me to put an umlaut over that u.
I Love You, Beth Cooper – Yet another high school comedy about a geeky guy with the hots for a blond cheerleader. I’ve been spared the preview, so I would only be speculating if I said that the object of the hero’s affection is a walking stereotype and the plot a wild fantasy. Starring Paul Rust and Hayden Panattierre; directed by Chris Columbus (Home Alone, the first two Harry Potter movies).
July 15 (Wednesday)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and a stellar cast of British character actors return for film number six in the series. I understand things turn dark in this one. Directed by David Yates, who also directed the prior film and is directing the next (and last) two as well.
G-Force – Guinea pig secret agents in 3-D. And by guinea pig, I mean the animals. In 3-D. Who greenlights guinea pigs in 3-D? And will the box office receipts prove that unknown Disney executive a genius?
The Orphan – Yet another evil child horror movie. This time around the unlucky adoptive parents are played by Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard, who seriously deserve better projects; directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax).
The Ugly Truth – Gerard Butler plays a radio shock jock and Katherine Heigl is his producer in this romantic comedy, which looks really unappealing in the trailer. As in, it’s hard to see any reason why the audience should like either of these people or why they should like, let alone fall in love with each other. I’m really hoping I’m wrong about this because I like Butler and Heigl and I like this genre, but I strongly suspect this is the second movie of the weekend where the actors seriously deserve a better project. Directed by Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde, 21).
Aliens in the Attic – It’s cute kids vs. funny-looking little grey aliens who pick the wrong vacation home to move into in this family comedy directed by John Schultz (The Honeymooners). One of the fam is played by Ashley Tisdale, who showed real comic flair as drama queen Sharpay in the High School Musical films.
Funny People – Writer-director Judd Apatow’s latest stars Adam Sandler as a comedy star who befriends an up and coming stand-up comedian after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann co-star.
The Janky Promoters – I don’t know anything about this movie except that it stars Ice Cube and Mike Epps, was written by the former, and was directed by Marcus Raboy (Friday After Next). Ice Cube and Epps previously starred together in Next Friday and its sequel so it’s a good bet this is an attempt to recapture the audience who made those films hits.