Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Summer Movies: The Sequel

flm sparks  Gems to look out for in the second wave of summer blockbusters 

We're still cleaning up the debris after the first tidal wave of blockbuster summer movies—the one that began last month with The Avengers, and subsided last week with Moonrise Kingdom.

But another tsunami is on its way, a second wave of diverse summer movies before the inevitable doldrums of August set in. In a crowded field, here are some interesting contenders to look out for, from big budget to wildly offbeat.

film brave

In this Disney/Pixar animated adventure, a 16-year-old medieval Scots princess defies the marriage custom of her realm and must defend her kingdom against an ancient curse. What's cool: It seems to have a girl-empowering YA vibe, and it's nice to see a Disney Princess who eschews a tiara for something more useful—a bow and arrow. (Katniss Everdeen goes to Scotland?) Not so much: Animator Brenda Chapman (The Prince of Egypt) who conceived of and labored on the project for six years, was replaced at the helm by two male directors. (Opens this week.)

film safety
Three jaded Seattle journalists spot a classified ad from a guy looking for a time-travel companion, and decide to investigate. Mark Duplass stars. What's cool: The incredible hook of the time-travel ad. ("Must bring your own weapon. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed.") Not so much: Well, who knows? It all depends on how they handle the material, and SF filmmaker Colin Trevorrow is still largely unknown. (Opens this week; see Greg Archer’s *** review in Film Guide.)

film mike
Channing Tatum stars as a guy who moonlights as a male stripper, teaching the biz to new kid, Alex Pettyfer. What's cool: Hopefully, director Steven Soderbergh will bring his indie spirit to this story based on Tatum's real-life experiences as a young actor learning to strip for fast cash. Not so much: Warner Bros distributes, which may indicate a Hollywood cheese-fest about ogling scantily clad men (including Matthew McConaughey and Matt Bomer)—not that there's anything wrong with that. (Opens June 29)

film rome
Woody Allen's Grand Tour of Europe continues; after successful whistle-stops in Barcelona and Paris, he takes a typically eclectic cast of lovers and dreamers to the fabled Italian capitol for romantic and comic escapades. What's cool: A cast that includes Woody himself (his first onscreen appearance since Scoop), Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, and the divine Judy Davis. Also, it's an anthology, a collection of short vignettes that loosely pay homage to Boccaccio's "Decameron." Not so much: Roberto Benigni pops up in one episode, although it'll be interesting to see what Allen does with the ebullient Tuscan ham. (Opens July 6)

film spiderman
it seems like only yesterday at Tobey Maguire was shouting "Woo-Hoo!" whilst rappelling between the skyscrapers of NYC, but there's already a newer, younger Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) ready to launch his own franchise. What's cool: Garfield was stalwart in Never let Me Go, and The Social Network. Director Marc Webb handled (500) Days of Summer with humor and panache. The plot goes all Dark Knight on us, with Peter delving into his painful past and the disappearance of his parents. Not so much: Too much Spidey too soon? The Maguire trilogy only ended in 2007. (Opens July 6)

film beasts
An intrepid six-year-old girl living in the Southern Delta lowlands invents her vision of reality as Katrina roars through her community. What's cool: Everything! Beloved at Sundance and Cannes, this rookie feature from Benh Zeitlin promises to dabble in magic realism and fairy tale mythos with its daring child's-eye-view of irrational events. It's also said to have a killer performance from tiny non-professional actress Quvenzhané Wallis. Not so much: I can't think of a thing. (Opens July 13, Nick)

film darkknight
Christopher Nolan returns with the final installment of the brooding Christian Bale revisionist Batman trilogy. What's cool: Nolan recruits Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy (they all worked together on Inception) for this installment. Not so much: Nolan has an unfortunate penchant for letting lots of explosions and noise engulf his stories. (Opens July 20)

film ruby


A blocked writer (Paul Dano) gets inspired when one of his fictional characters (Zoe Kazan) comes to life and becomes his muse. What's cool: From Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the husband/wife filmmaking team who made Little Miss Sunshine. Not so much: Writers and writing are often elusive subjects for the movies to get right. (Opens August 3)

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.


Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management


Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX


Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.