The end of our semester doesn’t exactly coincide with the beginning of summer, but it does mean we all have a lot of extra time to indulge in those guilty pleasures you probably snuck in during midterm studying time: movies.
Summer movies are generally associated with noise, explosions, popcorn, sequels and remakes, but if you look for them (and you don’t even have to look that hard), some quieter, local films are also being released that will be well worth the price of admission.
Montreal director Jacob Tierney’s first effort since last year’s The Trotsky will be released June 3. Good Neighbours stars Jay Baruchel (who is likely to play an awkward extension of himself, again), Scott Speedman, Emily Hampshire and Quebec film phenom Xavier Dolan. The movie is set in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce during the 1995 referendum on the separation of Quebec, but residents of an apartment complex also have to deal with a series of murders that coincidentally start occurring when Baruchel’s character moves into the neighbourhood.
Kevin Tierney, Jacob’s father, will make his directorial debut with French Immersion on July 1. The elder Tierney has been mainly producing films in Canada, including Bon Cop, Bad Cop, which he also wrote and won a Genie award for. His first effort as a director is about four anglo-Canadians and a New Yorker who take part in a two-week French immersion program in a northern Quebec town, where “only” 97 per cent of the population is “pure laine.” The remaining three per cent? Vampires (maybe… although in all seriousness, with no Twilight film coming out this summer, a vampire plot twist could make French Immersion the biggest hit of the season).
Starbuck starring Patrick Huard comes out on July 29. The movie is not about the coffee chain, but rather about Huard’s character, an immature 42-year-old man who decides he wants to reinvent himself into the adult he should have been decades ago. Thing is, right when he wants to turn his life around, he finds out he is the biological father of 533 children.
Pour l’amour de Dieu will be released on May 11. Directed by Micheline Lanctôt, the story of the forbidden romantic relationship between Sister Cécile and Father Malachy in 1950’s Montreal is seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old female student, who also has a crush on Malachy.
But not all Quebec films look promising this summer. So You Think You Can Dance Canada season one winner Nico Archambault stars in what can only be described as Quebec’s version of the ghastly and nausea-inducing Step Up series. Sur le rythme comes out Aug. 12.
As for the Hollywood fare coming out this summer, director Roland Emmerich (2012, The Day After Tomorrow) once said “Nobody makes movies bad on purpose.” He should know; his movies are as disastrous as the events depicted in them.
This summer, Hollywood continues its assault on your senses with follow-ups to the Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers series. On Stranger Tides and Dark of the Moon come out on May 20 and July 1, respectively. More sequels abound as this summer will also mark the end of the beloved Harry Potter franchise films. Part two of The Deathly Hallows comes out July 15. Zach Galifianakis and his wolf pack go to Thailand for The Hangover Part II for Stu’s (Ed Helms) wedding on May 26.
Last January’s Natalie Portman-Ashton Kutcher film No Strings Attached had such a resonating theme that a similar film is due. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star in Friends with Benefits, out July 22, a movie about two friends who want all of the physical and none of the emotional attachment. Original.
One comedy worth checking out is likely to be May 13’s Bridesmaids, the Judd Apatow-produced Kristen Wiig vehicle. Women deserve a great comedy that respects them as moviegoers, and men deserve a movie that will not make them cringe when they’re going to be dragged to it.