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Weekend Preview: Movies To Catch June 19-24

Sara Itkis |
June 22, 2012 | 5:14 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter


(Creative Commons)
(Creative Commons)
First and foremost: Pixar ("Up," "Wall-E," "Toy Story 3," "Finding Nemo," need I go on?) is back with its latest animated feature, "Brave." After a 15-year streak of nothing but delightful hits and near-perfect movies, the remarkable film studio made its first misstep with "Cars 2."

A year later, "Brave" will determine whether Pixar is back on track or "Cars 2" was simply the first step of its regrettable decline. However, with such an extraordinary track record, "Brave" has been the subject of much buzz and anticipation thus far. It tells the story of a rambunctious Scottish princess who, through her defiance against an ancient custom, puts her kindgom in jeopordy. It is left to her to save the people and the land that she loves. 

Co-directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell, the voice cast includes Emma Thompson ("Stranger Than Fiction," "Sense and Sensibility"), Kelly Macdonald ("No Country For Old Men," "Boardwalk Empire"), Billy Connoly ("Boondock Saints"), and Craig Ferguson. Personally, I'm looking forward to the accents above all else!


Next up––and it is hard to keep a straight face when discussing this film––"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." I think the title sums up the entire film quite well. Sixteenth President of the USA, vampire conspiracy (of course, these undead demons fight on the side of the South), blood, gore, etcetera.

Audience, beware: This is not a spoof! I was positive that such an angle would be the only one possible for a move with its title, but, judging from preliminary reviews, the film takes itself quite seriously. That said, the action sequences are sure to be thrilling and visually sumptous; but this will certainly take "suspension of disbelief" to a whole new level. 

Produced by Tim Burton and directed by Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted"), "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" will star Benjamin Walker as President Lincoln, Dominic Cooper ("Captain America," "Mamma Mia!"), Mary Elizabeth Winstead ("Scott Pilgrim vs. the World") and Rufus Sewell ("The Illusionist"). 


Smaller but sweeter, "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" will be released this weekend as well. In my opinion, nothing can beat the right blend of comedy, drama, romance, and sci-fi, which I am hoping this film will achieve. The world is ending in three weeks: a man sets out to find his high school sweetheart, a woman resolves to set things right with her family. They join together in their missions, helping each other out and inevitably falling in love. 

Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria ("Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist"), it stars Steve Carrell ("The Office," "Crazy, Stupid, Love.") and Keira Knightley ("Pirates of the Caribbean," "Atonement"). Though both are wonderful actors, my one qualm about this film is their natural chemistry (or lack thereof). I dearly hope that they manage to pull it off.


Finally, I must include Woody Allen's latest project, to be distributed in limited release: "To Rome With Love." With a spectacular cast including Allen himself, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Alec Baldwin and Judy Davis, the film has received only mediocre reviews thus far. After last year's delightful "Midnight in Paris," however, I am more than willing to give this one the benefit of my doubt. 



Reach Staff Reporter Sara here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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