Who: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza
What: The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s music group The Four Seasons.
When: June 20th
Why: I’m not sure what’s more bizarre: the fact that Warner Bros. is releasing a movie like “Jersey Boys” during the middle of the summer, or that Clint Eastwood is the one directing. It’s no secret that Hollywood has been trying to produce a big screen adaptation of the popular Broadway musical for quite some time now (Jon Favreau was attached to the project back in 2012), but while Eastwood’s involvement is certainly promising, “Jersey Boys” seems more appropriate for awards season. That doesn’t bode well for the film’s overall quality, but the musical book is packed with catchy tunes and the decision to bring back the stage show’s original Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) will certainly appease diehard fans.
Who: Liam Neeson, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde and Maria Bello
What: Three interlocking love stories involving three couples in three different cities: Rome, Paris and New York.
When: June 20th
Why: It’s incredible how much can change over the course of just a few years, and no one knows that better than Paul Haggis, who went from being one of the most sought-after writer/directors in Hollywood to a filmmaker that peaked a decade ago. In fact, it appears that Haggis is still living off the 10-year-old fumes of “Crash,” because his latest multi-story drama feels like yet another cheap imitation of the Oscar winner. Don’t let the star-studded cast fool you: “Third Person” looks dreadful, and audiences seem to agree. After premiering at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, the movie received scathing reviews, calling it an “audacious failure” and “a work of staggering trash,” which is probably why Sony Pictures Classics decided to bury it in the summer.
Who: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammar
What: An automobile mechanic and his daughter make a discovery that attracts the attention of the Autobots and Decepticons, as well as a paranoid government official.
When: June 27th
Why: Surely I’m not alone in my complete disinterest in yet another “Transformers” movie, especially one directed by Michael Bay, who should have called it quits after the yawn-inducing “Dark of the Moon.” I’ve become so numb to these films that I didn’t even bother watching a single trailer until it came time to write this preview. Though Mark Wahlberg is certainly a nice upgrade over Shia LaBeouf in the leading man department, the movie itself doesn’t look all that different from the three that preceded it. The action will probably be really cool and everything else will suck, just like the last two installments scripted by Ehren Kruger, who writes dialogue that makes the “Fast and Furious” franchise sound like Shakespeare.
Who: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and John Hurt
What: In a future where a failed experiment kills almost all life on the planet, the only survivors are the passengers of the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe.
When: June 27th
Why: Bong Joon-ho’s English-language debut has had a very bumpy road on its way to theaters – with U.S. distributor Harvey Weinstein reportedly wanting to cut 25 minutes from the film and add narration to make it easier to follow – but fans of the Korean director can rest easy, because the unedited version will be coming to the States after all. Working with the Weinsteins is always a risky proposition, so it’s great to see that Bong’s vision has remained intact, particularly when there’s already so little original sci-fi out there these days. And based on the trailers released thus far, which showcase its marriage of art house and mainstream sensibilities, “Snowpiercer” is living up to its promise as one of the year’s most intriguing movies.
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