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Summer Movie Preview: San Francisco Once Again Prepares for Devastation by Blockbuster 

Wednesday, May 7 2014



Director: Gareth Edwards

Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche

Concept: Giant lizard wreaks havoc, as giant lizards do; Golden Gate Bridge once again smashed (see sidebar) as smug untouched Transamerica Pyramid stays out of it. Or does it?

JK: I scrutinized an early trailer and noted that Cranston and the monster never seemed to be on screen at the same time. It's him, isn't it??

SC: That would explain those shots of Dean Norris looking so frustrated.



Director: Frank Coraci

Cast: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

Concept: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore

SC: Equally descriptive titles: Another Paid Adam Sandler Vacation. Romance & Fart Jokes. Banality. Stuff Happening. Running Out the Clock.

JK: Those titles are already taken, actually, and are due for release every summer from now until 2019. Sandler is in most of them.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Director: Bryan Singer

Cast: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence

Concept: Time-traveling, history-meddling supermutants and the Marvel Studios franchise they propagate.

JK: It's the first of this summer's three movies directed by people accused of sexually abusing minors. So there's that.

SC: Oooh, does that mean that Powder is actually one of the X-Men? Now it all makes sense!



Director: Robert Stromberg

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley

Concept: Jolie = Evil Disney Queen

SC: Prepare for the onslaught of "Maleficent? More like Deficient!" headlines. (Though not in a paper as classy as ours, of course.)

JK: Is it weird that at first I misread the title as Male-efficient, and wondered for a moment why people had been saying Jolie seemed perfect for it?

Night Moves

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard

Concept: Reichardt = Benevolent Indie Moviemaker Princess. Also, a tale of environmental activists plotting to blow up an Oregon hydroelectric dam.

SC: It's too much to hope for this to be a backdoor Lex Luthor origin story (since Eisenberg is cast as the villain in Batman vs. Superman), but I'm hoping all the same.

JK: Hey, let's work in a reference to Bob Seger's sextuple platinum breakthrough 1976 album Night Moves, just for the hell of it. Okay, done.


Edge of Tomorrow

Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton

Concept: A near-future soldier at war with aliens gets stuck in a time loop: fighting, dying, fighting, dying — figuring shit out, winning?

JK: So, like, the overblown-blockbuster love child of Groundhog Day and Source Code? And wasn't there an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation sort of like that too?

SC: There was, and when you figure that last year's Oblivion was a blatant ripoff of Moon (um, spoiler?), at least Cruise is still stealing from the best.

Editor's Note: Also sounds like the concept behind practically every videogame. "Tom Cruise is... Mario!"

The Case Against 8

Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White

Concept: An HBO-distributed documentary on Prop. 8 and the first marriage-equality lawsuit to reach the Supreme Court.

JK: Which is much preferable to the "Octomom" biopic I was afraid this might be.

SC: Attending this film may violate the religious liberty of people who oppose same-sex marriage. So, please attend this film.


22 Jump Street

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Dave Franco

Concept: The sequel to 21 Jump Street, in which a pair of fresh-faced cops, having gone undercover in high school, now must go undercover in college.

JK: See how they worked that "2" right into the title there? It makes perfect nonsense!

SC: I believe I speak for all of Generation X when I say that any 21 Jump Street sequel not called Booker can go straight to hell.


Jersey Boys

Director: Clint Eastwood

Cast: Christopher Walken, John Lloyd Young, Freya Tingley, Francesca Eastwood

Concept: The origin story of '60s pop band the Four Seasons, as recently recounted by a Broadway hit.

JK: Clint returns to his preferred genre of fossilized period pieces, this time with pep!

SC: Isn't this the one about the guys who do the prank phone calls? I'm so confused.

Venus in Fur

Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Emmanuelle Seigner, Mathieu Amalric

Concept: A film of David Ives' two-person play, about the shifting balance of power between an actress and a director.

JK: Why do you suppose Polanski thought he'd be right for this?

SC: I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's a Velvet Underground fan, but a real fan would know to pluralize "Furs."


Transformers: Age of Extinction

Director: Michael Bay

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer

Concept: Robots in disguise, and the franchise they propagate.

JK: Oh, I finally get it now! Hasbro! Like: Has Bro. Yes it does.

SC: And it rhymes with "No Homo," which I'm sure Michael Bay appreciates. (Yeah, I'm still bitter about Pain & Gain.)


Life Itself

Director: Steve James

Cast: Roger Ebert, Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Chaz Ebert

Concept: A documentary about the late film critic, based on his memoir of the same name.

JK: This one goes out to all the critics out there, those weary troupers teetering on the abyss of irrelevance, plodding through their obligatory summer movie previews, and yearning for new ways to talk shit about Michael Bay.

SC: A challenge to reviewers: Describe your feelings about this film without mentioning thumbs. C'mon, you can do it.


Jupiter Ascending

Directors: Andy and Lana Wachowski

Cast: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Concept: In the future, a lowly human janitor discovers herself to be some sort of intergalactic royalty.

SC: The Wachowskis return to Matrix-style territory, making it all the more a shame that Speed Racer flopped.

JK: I'll check this out as soon as Cloud Atlas ends. So maybe next fall?

Planes: Fire and Rescue

Director: Roberts Gannaway

Cast: Dane Cook, Julie Bowen, Ed Harris, Regina King

Concept: Animated sequel to the spinoff of Pixar's Cars.

About The Authors

Sherilyn Connelly

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


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