Be Happy, Feel Beautiful
Summer is blockbuster season at the movies, and this summer isn’t going to disappoint. With films like Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon hitting the big screen, the next three months will be jam-packed with crowd-pleasers and popcorn. But there are also a lot of great movies coming out that won’t break any box-office records. These small films offer a beautiful, quirky or insightful option for your summer viewing.
Here’s Blissful Belle’s breakdown to the movies you should see this summer:
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Release date: June 10
Chock full of Spielberg nostalgia, Super 8 is our generation’s E.T. Helmed by one of Hollywood’s hottest directors, J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek), this film delivers a fantastic mix of heartfelt characters, explosions, and redemptive moments. Super 8 follows a group of middle school friends as they try to finish their movie in their small town of Littleton, Ohio. But things aren’t as peaceful as they seem. When a train derails just outside of town, strange things start happening, and soon the group of friends is caught up in a U.S. military conspiracy that is out of this world. Watch the trailer here.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Directed by: Michael Bay
Release date: June 29
The third installment in this blockbuster series is sure to deliver even more robots, excuse me, transformers, and more of director Michael Bay’s specialty: explosions. After a lackluster sequel (Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen), the cast is back to save the world again with Optimus Prime and friends. When the Autobots (the good guys) learn that a spacecraft from their home planet Cybertron is buried on Earth’s moon, they must race to discover its secrets before the Decepticons (the bad guys). Sounds great, but will this movie survive without Megan Fox? Watch the trailer here.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Directed by: David Yates
Release date: July 15
I’ll admit it. I’ve been to more than one midnight opening of the Harry Potter films. I’ll probably be there again in the early morning hours of July 15th when the final installment of the hit franchise comes to theaters. Jam-packed with action, this final film is going to deliver, especially for fans of the books. Director David Yates is back for his fourth time directing a Harry Potter movie and this time he’s guiding the cast through the final moments. Picking up where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 left off, Harry, Hermione, and Ron continue on their quest to find and destroy the rest of the Horcruxes and kill Lord Voldemort once and for all. Watch the trailer here.
Friends With Benefits
Directed by: Will Gluck
Release date: July 22
Lightening things up since her last role in Black Swan, Mila Kunis leads in this romantic comedy about how complicated relationships can become, whether you’re just friends or something a little more…physical. Starring opposite Kunis is Justin Timberlake who apparently really can sing, dance, and act. In Friends with Benefits, Jaime (Kunis) and Dylan (Timberlake) realize that they’re everything they’ve been running from in a relationship and decide to see what happens if they leave emotion out of it and keep it strictly physical. I think we all know how that’s going to work out. Watch the trailer here.
Cowboys & Aliens
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Release date: July 29
Cowboys & Aliens unites Daniel Craig (James Bond), Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones), Olivia Wilde (the new-and-better Megan Fox), and Sam Rockwell (just awesome) on the big screen as cowboys and aliens in what can only be described as nerd heaven. Iron Man director Jon Favreau brings his tongue-in-cheek sense of humor to this modern take on cowboys and Indians. The year is 1873 in a small town in the American West, a town that has been plagued by alien attacks. Daniel Craig stars as Jake Lonegren, a cowboy with a special weapon and no memory of who he is. Col. Woodrow Dolarhyde (Ford) is a curmudgeon of a lawman who has his doubts about Lonegren, and Wilde plays Ella, the beautiful but tough barmaid. This ragtag group of cowboys is all that stands between the aliens and world domination. Prediction: Ella is an alien. Watch the trailer here.
Directed by: Tate Taylor
Release date: August 12
Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Kathryn Stockett, The Help is going to be one of this summer’s feel good movies. Set in the 1960’s, The Help features one of Hollywood’s most likeable stars, Emma Stone, as Skeeter, a southern society girl who returns home from college determined to be a writer. But when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent Southern families, Skeeter turns not only her life, but her whole small Mississippian town upside down. Watch the trailer here.
The Sleeping Beauty
Directed by: Catherine Breillat
Release date: July 29
Not to be confused with the recent film Sleeping Beauty which offers an a lackluster interpretation of the tale, The Sleeping Beauty digs deep into the fairytale’s magical roots, emphasizing the twisted and dark nature of the original story. Directed by critically acclaimed French filmmaker Catherine Breillat, The Sleeping Beauty begins like you would expect, with the birth of a baby girl in a castle in a far away land, once upon a time. The child’s name is Anastasia. But when the fairy Carabosse places a curse upon the child, Anastasia is doomed at 16 to prick her hand and die. Three younger and somewhat scatterbrained fairies alter the curse so that instead of dying, Anastasia will sleep for 100 years. For a century, Anastasia lives in the world of dreams only to awake, still 16 years old, in the modern world. Expect a beautiful film that explores what lies beneath in the human unconscious.
Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times
Directed by: Andrew Rossi
Release date: June 17
At a time when journalism is changing rapidly and drastically, The New York Times stands as a bastion of tradition and strength. But is even this hallowed publication too big, too respected to fail? Page One gains unprecedented access into the workings of The New York Times, following the reporters in their daily struggle to keep up with news as they watch print journalism fall by the wayside; and the editors as they work to deliver the news in print and online while dealing with new journalistic questions such as what to do with sources like Wiki leaks and how to make a profit when online readers expect their news for free? Page One acts as a witness to the transformation of one of the most important aspects of our society: the news. Watch the trailer here.
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra
Release date: June 24
When Conan O’Brien chose to end his show Late Night with Conan O’Brien on NBC after contractual disputes with the network, no one was sure what would happen to the red-headed funny man. He disappeared from the media spotlight for awhile, but he was never quite alone. Rodman Flender was there, camera ready, to film Conan’s off-time and eventual comeback. Filming a talk show host when they’re unemployed might seem like a boring idea, but when it’s Conan O’Brien nothing is boring. The comedian cracks jokes constantly, spontaneously acting out sketches he’s just made up or offering a self-deprecating one-liner while lying on the couch in his sweats. O’Brien’s constant joking, while hilarious, brings obsession and compulsion to the foreground; what is it like to not be able to turn off funny? Watch the trailer here.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Directed by: Wayne Wang
Release date: July 15
The director of the Joy Luck Club, Wayne Wang, returns to similar subject matter in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. A spiritual movie, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan dwells on the nature of ancestral legacy and cultural heritage and their roles in modern society. As children, Snow Flower and Lily find they are spiritually connected. They grow up in isolation, and learn to speak a language all their own. In their secretive and repressive society, they exchange messages that only they can decipher. Meanwhile, in 21st Century China, their descendants Nina and Sophia find that the growing demands of modern life are tearing them apart. Through the timeless messages sent by their ancestors, Nina and Sophia find the secrets to keeping their ancient bond of friendship alive and blending tradition with modernity. Watch the trailer here.