Sun Star reporter Alex Kinn takes a quick look at this summer’s crop of blockbuster movies along with five free films available on the UAF campus.
Super 8 – June 10, 2011
From director JJ Abrams (Fringe, Star Trek) comes Super 8, a sci-fi mystery thriller. Produced by Steven Spielberg, this movie seems to have all the makings of an “E.T. scale” classic. As with all mystery movie, much of the quality of the film depends on the nature and handling of the central mystery. Though it’s directed by one of the contemporary masters of sci-fi mystery, it’s impossible to know if Super 8 will fly or flop without seeing it first.
Verdict: Read the (spoiler free) reviews first.
Green Lantern – June 17, 2011
This is the origin story for the Green Lantern. Straight from the pages of DC, Hal Jordan, a test pilot born “utterly honest, and without fear,” becomes the Green Lantern at the behest of a dying alien. This film is expected to follow the growth of Hal Jordan into the Green Lantern, and track his conflict with the villain Sinestro.
Verdict: Much of this movie’s success will rest in the hands of the animators, and their ability to make the CGI believable. A must see for DC fans.
Bad Teacher – June 24, 2011
Cameron Diaz plays the titular “Bad Teacher” who cleans up her act to impress a substitute teacher played by Justin Timberlake. Heavily promoted, this comedy seems like it’s more in the vein of Gigli than Super Bad. Unfortunately for fans of the genre, it may be only choice in early summer 2011. Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother) playing a rejected gym teacher may be the only high point this movie has to offer.
Verdict: There are better movies to take your date to. Skip it.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – June 29, 2011
Michael Bay is continuing to do what he does best. The third installment of the Transformers series features a new love interest for Shia LeBouf. Expect action, robots and a whole lot of CG.
Verdict: Transformers is the biggest budget action movie made this year. The sound, the image and the CGI are always top notch. Just don’t go for the plot.
Horrible Bosses - July 8, 2011
This may be the strongest comedy of the year. Featuring Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx, this star studded movie has the potential to be great. Like a comedy version of Strangers on Train, Bateman, Day and Sudeikis set out to liberate each other from their horrible bosses. The trailer is definitely worth checking out, and the film seems like it has everything going for it.
Verdict: Bateman, Day and Sudeikis are some of the funniest people on television. As long as they can share the screen, this could be one of the best films to release this summer.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II - July 15, 2011
Finally, the conclusion of the Harry Potter Series. Watch Voldermort get what’s coming to him. Need I say more?
Verdict: If you’ve already sat through the first seven films, you’ll probably want to see the conclusion.
Captain America: The First Avenger - July 22, 2011
Watch the origin story for Captain America. Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers, a sickly young man given a super serum to fight Hitler during WWII. While Evans doesn’t have the best track record in superhero movies (Fantastic Four), this film’s take on the Captain seems like it’s a step in the right direction. The setting is interesting, and the costuming looks fantastic.
Verdict: Along with Thor, Captain America will form the core of the Avengers, Marvel’s main superhero team. If you want to understand The Avengers, you probably will need the context from this movie. Definitely a catch if you like super heroes or action movies.
Friends with Benefits - July 22, 2011
Probably the strongest looking option in the romantic comedy genre this summer, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) are friends with benefits, who find them selves falling for each other.
Verdict: Kunis will carry this film, either to success or failure. Her success in Forgetting Sarah Marshall offers evidence for the former. If you are looking for a romantic comedy this summer, this is the one to choose.
Cowboys and Aliens – July 29, 2011
Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), Olivia Wilde (House, Tron) and Daniel Craig (Quantum of Solace) are fighting aliens in the Old West. Directed by John Favreau (Iron Man) and produced by Steven Spielberg, expect this film to be action packed, with great production value.
Verdict: The unfortunate title choice for an otherwise tempting movie leads me to believe that this film will lack on plot. Definite rental.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – August 5, 2011
The prequel to Planet of the Apes, this medical action thriller tracks the creation of the super-intelligent apes that eventually overthrow humanity. It stars James Franco as one of the original researchers who create the serum that endows the apes with the intelligence to destroy society.
Verdict: Prequels have a rocky track record. Prequels to movies like Planet of the Apes have even worse records. While Rise of the Planet of the Apes seems like it has a different tone by focusing on the creation of the apes, I wouldn’t hold my breath for this film.
Alaskan Gold – June 9, 2011: 7 p.m., Rasmuson Library Media Classroom
A 1949 film produced by the U.S. Smelting and Mining Company about their gold mining activities in Interior Alaska, with sound track and narration added by KUAC-TV.
The 49th Star: Creating Alaska – June 16, 2011, Rasmuson Library Media Classroom
Chronicles the creation of the Alaska state constitution.
Klondike & Alaska: A Rail History – June 23, 2011, Rasmuson Library Media Classroom
The history of over 25 railroads that operated in Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia.
Fairbanks Yesterday – July 28, 2011, Rasmuson Library Media Classroom
Early activities in Fairbanks through historical photos.
Battle at Webber Creek – August 4, 2011, Rasmuson Library Media Classroom