2011 Summer Movie Preview: July
Larry Crowne (July 1)
What's this? A tasteful-looking adult dramedy opening the first week of July? No, your eyes aren't deceiving you; this is what happens when stars as big as Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts decide to get together -- they can get a movie for grown-ups on the docket even if it isn't awards season. In "Larry Crowne," Hanks plays a middle-aged man forced to reevaluate his life, and Roberts as the college professor who shows him how to love again. Pretty standard stuff, but with a cast this good, it looks like just the sort of thing to help non-giant robot fans get through the summer.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (July 1)
For what Michael Bay pinky-swears will be his swan song with the "Transformers" franchise, the Autobots and Decepticons race to the moon in order to gain control of a Cybertronian spacecraft, while Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) tries not to get crushed between makeout sessions with a Victoria's Secret model (Rosie Huntington-Whitely). Actually, that seems like a lot of words for this movie, so let's try again: Giant robots go boom!
Horrible Bosses (July 8)
Now here's a movie everyone can relate to: a comedy about horrible bosses (played by Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, and Kevin Spacey) and the employees they drive to homicidal rage (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day). This has to be a step up from director Seth Gordon's last non-documentary gig, "Four Christmases." Right?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (July 15)
Oh, what's this? Only the conclusion to the top-grossing film franchise in history, featuring the climactic battle between The Boy Who Lived and He Who Must Not Be Named -- in 3D, no less. If you've spent the last decade watching these movies -- and the box office totals say you probably have -- then this is the moment you've been waiting for.
Captain America (July 22)
After several decades in various stages of development -- and one remarkably half-assed, low-budget film adaptation -- one of Marvel's most iconic heroes finally gets his blockbuster due with "Captain America: The First Avenger," which follows the titular super-patriot (played by Chris Evans) on his journey from scrawny GI to shield-wielding World War II badass. Sound like a fun time at the theater? Good news: Marvel's already working on a sequel.
Friends with Benefits (July 22)
Okay, America, so you weren't in the mood for a no-strings-attached comedy ("No Strings Attached," duh) earlier this year. If at first you don't succeed, you're supposed to try again, right? So here's "Friends with Benefits," starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake as a pair of busy twentysomethings who don't have time for a relationship, but still want to mess around. Feeling frisky yet?
Cowboys & Aliens (July 29)
He may have left the "Iron Man" franchise behind, but Jon Favreau isn't resting on his box office laurels; in fact, he's been busy adapting another comic book. "Cowboys & Aliens" brings Scott Mitchell Rosenberg's graphic novel to the screen in style, starring Daniel Craig as a mysterious loner whose battle with the town big shot (Harrison Ford) is put on hold when they have to team up to fend off an alien invasion.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (July 29)
Steve Carell approaches the beginning of his post-“Office” career with “Crazy Stupid Love,” a bittersweet comedy about a guy whose wife (Julianne Moore) cheats on him, setting in motion a midlife re-entry into the dating pool. Things have changed since he was single, but he’s assisted by a younger friend (Ryan Gosling) even as he finds himself the unwitting object of his babysitter’s (Analeigh Tipton) affections. Other slice-of-life comedies from Carell have fizzled (“Dan in Real Life,” anyone? No?), but this one might be “Crazy Stupid” enough to work.