We all know that the perfect summer night consists of a best friend, some extremely fattening popcorn you’ll regret having eaten the next morning and a great (or so bad it’s good) movie to curl up with. Whether you’re looking for a new take on a childhood classic or the highly-anticipated end to an epic saga, the summer 2011 releases promise to offer a healthy mix of good and bad for your viewing pleasure.
“Winnie the Pooh”
Starring: Jim Cummings, Tom Kenny, Craig Ferguson
Release Date: July 15, 2011
The first movie based on the Pooh stories since 1977, “Winnie the Pooh” is Walt Disney Studio’s retake on a childhood favorite. “Pooh” will feature traditional animation and two previously unadapted stories and should be an adorable way to spend an afternoon.
“The Tree of Life”
Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain
Release Date: May 27, 2011
Terrence Malick’s latest work generated significant Oscar buzz at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the much sought-after Palme d’Or. Though it has a rather ambiguously-worded plot synopsis, this film, set in the 1950s Midwest and starring Sean Penn as the main character, Jack, should prove to be an enlightening take on the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
“X-Men: First Class”
Starring: James McAvoy, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence
Release Date: Jun. 3, 2011
Based on the Marvel Comics books, the movie covers the beginning of the X-Men saga, serving as a precursor to the previously released films in the series. A little bit sci-fi, a good part action and featuring a whole lot of attractiveness, this movie should be a win for both hardcore fans and the average Joe.
“30 Minutes or Less”
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari
Release Date: Aug. 26, 2011
If you’re looking for a hysterical movie, the cast of “30 Minutes or Less” should lead you right into a red cushioned seat on its opening day. Disregarding the hilariousness of Aziz Ansari, the classic “dumb criminals take clueless protagonists by surprise” always proves to be a good choice for a comedy.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman
Release Date: Jul. 15, 2011
By far the most anticipated movie of the summer, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II” will be the final installment of the decade-long Harry Potter film series (in case you’ve been living under a rock). Judging from the trailer, the film should be worthy of the hype — ”Part II” seems as action-filled and jaw-dropping as the second half of the seventh book proved to be. Besides, you’ll probably be pressured into seeing it by a friend, so you might as well enjoy the movie.
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tyrese Gibson
Release Date: Jul. 1, 2011
If you’re wondering why you should go see yet another Transformers movie, you’ll be searching for an answer for quite a while. Though Rosie Huntington-Whiteley should be an interesting new character to the mix, the “Transformers” series is light enough on actual plot that the first two movies have been more than enough to satisfy real fans.
“Cowboys and Aliens”
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde
Release Date: July 29, 2011
This movie has generated lots of hype, but the plot seems pretty shaky. Aliens invading a Western town (predictably called Absolution) doesn’t sound like a good movie in any context, disregarding the very talented cast of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, among others.
“Conan the Barbarian”
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy
Starring: Jason Momoa, Rose McGowan, Rachel Nichols
Release Date: August 19, 2011
“Conan the Barbarian” stars Jason Momoa as Conan, a brute who battles monsters, witches and archers in his bloodthirsty search for revenge. Sounds like a great movie if you’re into watching two hours of dismemberment.
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka
Release Date: June 10, 2011
“Super 8” is a movie about people filming some mysterious, possibly alien activity. Sound familiar? Although that may sound like a rehash of a gazillion other sci-fi flicks, with Steven Spielberg producing and J.J. Abrams at the helm, “Super 8” might not be one to immediately cross off your list.
Release Date: August 26, 2011
Like “Super 8,” “Apollo 18” is a ‘documentary’ of ‘footage,’ this time from a government-hushed mission to the moon. Yes, the distributers actually claimed, originally, that the film was real, à la marketing for “The Blair Witch Project,” but a dozen years later. “Apollo 18” already proves to be terrible.