Battle of the Blockbusters: 2014 Summer Movie Preview, Part 2 Review
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Last week, we took a look at the movies that will be hitting theaters in May and June. Now that we’ve all had some time to let it all sink in—to get excited for our favorites and plan our summer activities around them—let’s dive back in and take a look at July and August.

As always, please note that while most movies come out on Friday, some will hit theaters earlier in the week (especially on holiday weekends). Others are opening in limited release, so they may not be opening in your hometown until a later date. And, of course, release dates can change at a moment’s notice. So be sure to check your local listings for exact show times.


JULY 2:

It wouldn’t be Fourth of July weekend without a sci-fi thriller. This year, rookie director Dave Green helms Earth to Echo, a PG-rated adventure about a group of kids who set out to investigate strange occurrences in their neighborhood.

  
 
Also this week, there’s Melissa McCarthy’s latest comedy, Tammy. In addition to co-writing the script with husband and director Ben Falcone, McCarthy once again stars as the usual Melissa McCarthy character—this time, a jilted, out-of-work woman who hits the road for a wild and crazy road trip.

And, for something completely different, there’s Deliver Us from Evil, a crime thriller starring Eric Bana as an NYPD officer who teams up with a priest to help him solve a series of mysterious cases.

Kristin’s Pick: I’m pretty sure that watching a Melissa McCarthy movie is the last thing I’d want to do during my holiday weekend—and Bana’s latest seems a little too dark for the summer holiday—so I’ll give my pick to Earth to Echo, in hopes that it embraces the classic family-friendly sci-fi style of the ‘80s.


JULY 11:

This week, the battle between humans and apes continues in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Andy Serkis returns as Caesar, who leads a growing band of evolved apes as they fight the planet’s remaining humans for supremacy.

Or, for something a little lighter, there’s Rob Reiner’s latest, And So It Goes. Michael Douglas stars as a real estate agent who asks his neighbor for help when he’s asked to care for the granddaughter he’s just met.

Kristin’s Pick: I know what the obvious choice is, but I’m going to go with And So It Goes instead—mostly out of my love and respect for Rob Reiner.


JULY 18:

Last summer, Disney decided to bring Planes to the big screen instead of sending it direct to Blu-ray as originally planned. Clearly the decision worked for them—because they’re following it up this week with Planes: Fire & Rescue, another adventure featuring Dane Cook’s Dusty, the crop duster turned air racer...turned aerial firefighter.

Also this week, the Wachowskis return with another futuristic thriller, Jupiter Ascending. Mila Kunis stars as a lowly human woman who sets out to defeat the Queen of the Universe after she’s marked for execution.

Another talented director, Once’s John Carney, returns this week with Begin Again, starring Mark Ruffalo as a music executive who befriends a young artist, played by Keira Knightley.

And, finally, for horror buffs, there’s The Purge: Anarchy, the sequel to last year’s The Purge. The sequel follows a couple as they struggle to survive the annual purge after their car breaks down. Why they’d be riding around during the event is beyond me. I guess we’ll just have to see it to find out.

Kristin’s Pick: Though I still haven’t figured out what Cloud Atlas was all about, I’m looking forward to trying to figure out what Jupiter Ascending is all about—so it gets my pick.


JULY 25:

Remember when The Legend of Hercules was a big hit? Yeah...I don’t either. But, this weekend, the actor formerly known as The Rock is hoping to win this year’s Herculean battle with his Brett Ratner-directed adventure, Hercules.

Also this week, Cameron Diaz once again teams up with her Bad Teacher director, Jake Kasdan, for Sex Tape, starring Diaz and Jason Segel as a married couple who set out to find their missing sex tape.

Or, if you just feel like dancing your summer weekend away, there’s Step Up: All In, which finds franchise favorites (other than the Tatums, that is) gathering together for a big battle in Vegas.

Kristin’s Pick: I’ll admit that this weekend isn’t one of my most eagerly anticipated of the summer—but I’ll give my pick to Sex Tape, in hopes that Kasdan can keep from crossing the line between funny and obnoxious.


AUGUST 1:

Generally, things tend to start winding down during August, but Marvel offers up an extra treat for the first weekend of August: Guardians of the Galaxy. Helmed by Super director James Gunn, it’s sure to be another quirky superhero adventure.

Also this week, Chadwick Boseman should feel good about playing a musical legend in the James Brown biopic, Get on Up.

Kristin’s Pick: Though both of this week’s releases have their appeal, I’ve got to give my pick to Guardians of the Galaxy. It promises to be a wackier take on the usual Marvel superhero thriller.


AUGUST 8:

Okay...now August can officially begin. This week, we’ve got the Michael Bay-produced ‘80s throwback, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, directed by the guy who made such action classics as Battle: Los Angeles and Wrath of the Titans.

This part of August is also the time for literary dramas (think The Help). This year’s flood of literary dramas begins with The Hundred-Foot Journey. Based on the book by Richard C. Morais, director Lasse Hallström’s latest tells the story of an Indian family who opens a restaurant in France—right across the street from an upscale French restaurant.

Also this week, high school kids recall the events that took place when a tornado struck their town in Into the Storm—and Scarlett Johansson gets tough for Luc Besson’s latest thriller, Lucy.

Kristin’s Pick: I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for August’s literary dramas—so I’ll give my pick to The Hundred-Foot Journey.


AUGUST 15:

There’s more literary drama this week with The Giver, based on the popular novel by Lois Lowry. The rest, meanwhile, is pure August action—starting with the return of Stallone, Statham, Li, and another team of aging tough guys in The Expendables 3. Also this week, a pair of archaeologists hunt for treasure in Paris’s catacombs in As Above, So Below.

Kristin’s Pick: The Expendables movies are nostalgic guilty pleasures—so I’ll give my pick this week to the third film in the franchise.


AUGUST 22:

It’s been nine years since Sin City hit theaters. This week, the long awaited sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, follows behind, offering another stylistic tale of love, lust, and revenge in The City.

Also this week, the always lovable Chloe Moretz stars in yet another literary drama, If I Stay, the tear-jerking story of a talented young cellist whose life hangs in the balance after her family is in a tragic car accident.

Meanwhile, football fans can gear up for another season with the inspirational football drama, When the Game Stands Tall, starring Jim Caviezel as legendary coach Bob Ladouceur.

Kristin’s Pick: Though I’ll admit that I have my doubts about the Sin City sequel, I’m still cautiously optimistic—so I’ll give it my pick.


AUGUST 27:

The summer comes to a close this Labor Day weekend with a flood of new releases, starting with a trio of thrillers. In Jessabelle, a young woman returns home to recover from an accident, only to find that an angry spirit has been waiting there for her. Also, in The Loft, a group of friends who share a loft become suspicious of one another after a dead body is found there. And, in November Man, Pierce Brosnan returns to his secret agent roots to play a former CIA agent who finds himself facing off against a former student.

Meanwhile, on the lighter side, there’s Life of Crime, a crime comedy based on the novel by Elmore Leonard. And, for the kids, there’s Underdogs, a quirky Argentinean animated adventure about a bunch of foosball players who come to life to help a young man battle his nemesis.

Kristin’s Pick: Labor Day weekend is never a big weekend for new movies, but, since I have to pick something this week, I’ll give my pick to Life of Crime.


Well, there you have it: another summer filled with big stars, big budgets, and big effects. Start warming up your popcorn arm now—and building up your Icee fund—because it’s sure to be another thrilling summer at your favorite theater.

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