Summer movie guide


Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

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.

The Good:

“Winnie the Pooh”

Genre: Animation

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”

Genre: Drama

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.


Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

“X-Men: First Class”

Genre: Action/Adventure

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”

Genre: Comedy

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.


Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

“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.


The Questionable:

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Genre: Action/Adventure

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.

Courtesy of Universal


“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.


“Super 8”

Genre: Mystery

Courtesy of Paramount

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.


“Apollo 18”

Genre: Horror

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.

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