News Column

Less explosive, but no less worthy summer films

April 28, 2013


April 28--So enough already with superheroes and $150 million-plus sequels, the apocalypses, buddy pics, and blowing stuff up. Here's a run through some of the summer's less-explosive, less-star-studded, less-mega-budgeted fare, which doesn't mean these films are in any way less worthy. (Dates may change.)

In the black-and-white indie Frances Ha (May 24), Noah Baumbach steers his muse (and girlfriend) Greta Gerwig through a wistful Gen-Y study of friendship, loneliness, and spur-of-the-moment trips to Paris. . . .

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy pick up their Before Sunrise and Before Sunset partnership in Before Midnight (May 24), catching up with the walky, talky couple as they vacation in Greece, reflecting on what it means to be married, with kids. . . . Brit Marling cowrote and stars in The East (May 31), an industrial-espionage thriller pitting radical "freegan" revolutionaries against Big Pharma. . . . Ripped from the headlines, The Bling Ring (June 14), stars Emma Watson and some other kids as a team of starstruck Angelenos who rob the homes of the rich and famous. Sofia Coppola directs. . . . Joss Whedon takes on the Bard in Much Ado About Nothing (June 21), with the cast -- Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz among 'em -- in modern dress, but trading in Shakespeare's trusty iambs. . . .

A hit at the recent WXPN Music Film Festival, the documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom (June) looks at the not-always-harmonious lot of backup singers, sharing the stage but not the spotlight, with the likes of Springsteen and Sting. . . . The Descendants' screenwriting team turn directors, with The Way, Way Back (July 5), a coming-of-age tale with Liam James and AnnaSophia Robb as the teens, and Steve Carell and Toni Collette as the grown-ups. . . . Woody Allen returns from Europe to try out a new urban landscape -- the cinegenic streets of San Francisco -- in Blue Jasmine (July 26). Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., and Peter Sarsgaard star. . . . Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, directs, and stars in the title role of Don Jon (August), about a porn-addicted Lothario and the women (Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson) in his life. . . .

Speaking of porn, the star of the um, seminal '70s hard-core classic, Deep Throat, gets the biopic treatment in Lovelace (Aug. 9), with Amanda Seyfried as the X-rated star, Linda Lovelace. Peter Sarsgaard is her abusive husband and manager. . . . Wilmington, Del.'s, Aubrey Plaza is a college-bound gal determined to gain some sexual experience before she gets to campus in The To Do List (Aug. 16). . . . Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloe Grace Moretz climb back into their tights and pull on their masks to reprise the roles of crime-fighting high schoolers in Kick-Ass 2 (Aug. 16). Jim Carrey joins the fray.


Contact movie critic Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or, or follow on Twitter @Steven_Rea.


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