Opening June 15
In the late 19th century, according to this supposedly based-on-fact story, a couple of doctors (Jonathan Pryce, Hugh Dancy) who treated the “women’s condition” then referred to as hysteria, along with a tinkerer friend (Rupert Everett), accidentally invent a machine that will eventually be known as a vibrator. The new tool becomes a miraculous cure for that “condition.” Funny and slightly squeamish, with Maggie Gyllenhaal as a liberated woman.
Rock of Ages
Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl, all done to the sound of new takes on classic ’80s hard rock and power ballads (from Foreigner to Pat Benatar). The Broadway play goes through some changes, nicely adapting to the big screen, with relative newcomers Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta as dreamers of stardom trying to make it musically in 1987 L.A. Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, and Tom Cruise (who proves to be a hell of a singer) give it their all. Who cares about the story clichés – this is all kinds of fun.
That’s My Boy
Adam Sandler plays a rundown, wayward guy living in the past glories of a tabloid childhood, when he got his junior high teacher pregnant. Now his successful adult son (Andy Samberg) wants nothing to do with him, though dad wants to reconnect. Lots of foul language and juvenile gross-out behavior leaves a bad taste, and even though there are some very funny moments, the film just becomes uncomfortable to watch. But I’ll bet it makes money.
Opening June 22
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The odd novel by Seth Grahame-Smith (who also wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) plays out as reality, following Lincoln’s life from a poor boy to a wood splitter to a politician to the president. For reasons that are revealed, he just also happens to despise, hunt down, and kill vampires. Apparently some extra plotting has been added to the film. With Benjamin Walker as the 16th prez.
The newest from Pixar is another winner, this one about a young princess who wants to be free, rather than having to adhere to the traditions of the Scottish kingdom ruled by her loving but goofy dad and loving but strong-willed mom. The mother-daughter relationship gets strained, someone isn’t careful about what she wishes for, a pathos-filled, but also hilarious and action-packed, story ensues.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Actress-turned-writer-turned-director Lorene Scafaria gives us a romantic science-fictiony comedy-drama about a guy (Steve Carell) who decides to start over when he (along with the rest of the world) learns that a huge asteroid is about to hit the Earth, and end all life. Carell’s new romantic interest is played by Keira Knightley.