Hollywood’s cinema season is set to shine with summer flicks 

Hollywood already rolled out a number of its big-ticket flicks, but more major offerings are in the works, ready to fill wide-open vacation days of summer. Here’s a look at what’s coming to the big screen as the season progresses.

 

Fun for little ones

Winnie the Pooh 

Opens July 15

The voices of Jim Cummings, John Cleese, Craig Ferguson and Tom Kenny are featured in this new series of adventures based on A.A. Milne’s honey-loving bear of little brain who lives in Hundred Acre Wood. The story follows Eeyore (Bud Luckey of TV’s “Sesame Street”), who is search of a new tail. Rated G

The Smurfs

Opens July 29

Under the helm of “Scooby-Doo” director Raja Gosnell, Belgian cartoonist Peyo’s blue elves (stacked “only three apples high”) are back on the big screen for the first time in decades. Mixing live action and animation, the story begins in the Middle Ages, with the Smurfs on the run from a wicked sorcerer, and concludes in modern-day New York, with Neil Patrick Harris as their benevolent tour guide. Hank Azaria and Katy Perry also are featured. Yet to be rated

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World

Opens Aug. 19

Eight years after “Spy Kids 3-D,” director Robert Rodriguez shifts the focus from one-time child stars Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega to Jessica Alba (“Machete”), a full-time mom and former spy returning to the fold, on a mission to foil a magical terrorist (Jeremy Piven) bent on stopping time. Rated PG

 

Funny stuff

30 Minutes or Less

Opens Aug. 12

The film finds director Ruben Fleischer reteaming with “Zombieland” star Jesse Eisenberg for a complicated (the director prefers “unpredictable”) story involving a pizza delivery driver unwittingly roped into a bank heist by a greedy buffoon (Danny McBride) and his equally idiotic partner in crime (Nick Swardson of “Grandma’s Boy”). Yet to be rated

Our Idiot Brother 

Opens Aug. 26

Paul Rudd, sporting a Christ-like beard and stung (ever so slightly) by the loss of his job and his girlfriend, cushions his fall by crashing at the homes of his three disapproving sisters, played by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer. Predictably, but to riotous effect, his attempts to bring sunshine to their workaday lives result in unintended chaos. Yet to be rated

 

Hot documentaries

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop 

Opens June 24

By now, details of Conan O’Brien’s messy divorce from NBC are familiar to most people. “Leprechaun 2” director Rodman Flender wisely concentrates on the less publicized aftermath — the temporarily unemployed talk-show host’s “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television” tour, his ongoing bouts with exhaustion and the rage he reserved for the erstwhile colleagues who engineered his departure from “The Tonight Show.” Andy Richter and Stephen Colbert also are featured. Rated R

Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

Opens July 15

Hip-hop luminaries Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ludacris, Ghostface Killah and Mos Def are featured in the film, directed by Michael Rapaport, the “Beautiful Girls” co-star and son of a New York City radio program manager. Rapaport followed Tribe for two years, capturing a warts-and-all portrait of their rise to stardom and the strife that surfaced at a tense San Francisco gig when the celebrated hip-hop quartet seemed about to disband on the spot — and which eventually tore them apart. Rated R

 

Doom and gloom

Salvation Boulevard 

Opens July 15

Greg Kinnear stars as a recovering Deadhead whose conversion to evangelical faith seems stunningly arbitrary — he arrived at church looking for a bathroom and stayed for the sermons. Caught up in a bizarre murder plot orchestrated by his pastor (Pierce Brosnan), he’s reduced to running for his life, hunted by the same fundamentalists so eager to sell him a shot at salvation. Yet to be rated

Final Destination 5

Opens Aug. 26

With newcomer Steve Quale — who co-directed James Cameron’s “Aliens of the Deep” (2005) — behind the camera, the “Destination” series continues its 11-year death march with yet another round of eviscerations, decapitations and elaborately staged fatal accidents. Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell and Arlen Escarpeta star. Yet to be rated

 

Human drama

A Better Life

Opens June 24

Despite its modest budget, filmmaker Chris Weitz (“Twilight: New Moon”) insists “A Better Life” is his biggest film to date — and certainly his most personal. Here, the director, who is one-quarter Mexican, tells the story of a Latino gardener (Demián Bichir of TV’s “Weeds”) fighting to avoid deportation and to shield his son from the rough-and-tumble gangs of Los Angeles. José Julián also stars. Rated PG-13

About The Author

Rossiter Drake

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of Entertainment

More by Rossiter Drake

Latest in Movies

© 2018 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation