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2010 Summer Movie Preview: July

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The summer movie season moves into a new month with Steve Carell pulling double duty plus fantasy concepts, sequels, reboots, and Zac Efron.

NOTE: All dates subject to change. Check each film’s ratings and content.

July 1

The Last Airbender – Director/screenwriter M. Night Shymalan begins a fantasy trilogy based on the popular Avatar animated television series focusing on a specially powered boy. Also showing in 3D theaters.

July 2

Great Directors – Angela Ismailos writes and directs this documentary about filmmakers Bernardo Bertolucci, Catherine Breillat, Liliana Cavani, Stephen Frears, Todd Haynes, Richard Linklater, Ken Loach, David Lynch, John Sayles, and Agnes Varda (NY; LA release: July 9).

July 8

Grease Sing-A-Long – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John hit the big screen again in the original 1978 musical with endless memorable tunes (limited).

July 9

Despicable Me – Steve Carell headlines an all-star voice cast in this animated action comedy about super villains battling each other for world supremacy. Also showing in 3D theaters.

The Girl Who Played with Fire – This mystery thriller, based on red hot author Stieg Larsson’s novel, centers on a computer expert named Lisbeth and a media mogul named Mikael amid a sex trafficking investigation (NY).

The Kids Are All Right – Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo star in this comedy/drama about an artificial insemination donor becoming part of the family (limited).

Predators – Director Nimrod Antal and screenwriter Robert Rodriguez reboot this sci-fi action franchise about a mercenary group who quickly realize their purpose on a far away planet. Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Alice Braga, and Topher Grace star.

[Rec] 2 – Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza team up to direct and write this sequel drama/thriller set 15 minutes after the first installment where an outbreak must be contained within an apartment complex (limited).

Winnebago Man – This comedic documentary about an underground video celebrity, Jack Rebney, with unique messages that reach beyond the recreation vehicle sales realm (limited).

July 14

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Producer Jerry Bruckheimer reunites director Jon Turtletaub and star Nicolas Cage for this fantasy adventure where a powerful magician trains a young man to help him battle evil forces. Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, and Monica Bellucci also star.

July 16

Inception – Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight) writes and directs this mysterious action fantasy starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Caine, Ellen Page, Ken Watanbe, Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Also playing in IMAX theaters.

Kisses – This film features star-making performances from Shane Curry and Kelly O’Neill as Dublin youngsters on the run after family drama. Lance Daly directs and writes (limited).

Operation: Endgame – This action comedy pits two assassin teams against each other and stars Joe Anderson, Ellen Barkin, Maggie Q, Ving Rhames, and Zach Galifianakis (LA).

The Wild Hunt – Originally set for a May release, Alexandre Franchi writes and directs this action drama where young medieval re-enactors take their roles to a new stage of realism (limited).

July 23

The Concert – Radu Mihaileanu directs and co-writes this classical musical comedy starring Melanie Laurent, Francoise Berleand, and Alexei Guskov (NY, LA; expanded release on August 6).

Countdown to Zero – This nuclear bomb documentary focuses on the Cold War period to present locations of this destructive weapons. Lucy Walker directs and writes (limited).

Farewell – Christian Carion directs and writes this drama set in 1981 about Cold War espionage. Guillaume Canet, Emir Kusturica, Willem Dafoe, and Fred Ward (as Ronald Reagan) star (limited).

Life During Wartime – Todd Solondz directs and writes this wartime comedy/drama, starring Renee Taylor, Ciaran Hinds, Charlotte Rampling, Paris Hilton, and Paul Reubens, which also remediates his 1998 film Happiness (limited).

Mugabe and the White African – Zimbabwe documentary focuses on harsh rural conflicts, government policies, and saving family life in Africa (NY).

Ramona and Beezus – This family movie about two sisters is based on the book series written by Beverly Cleary.

Salt – Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in this CIA thriller about possible double agents, covert operations, and fugitive based action.

Spoken Word – Kuno Becker stars as a young musician who visits his dying father, played by Ruben Blades, back home while encountering a criminal named Emilio, played by Miguel Sandoval (NY; expands on July 30).

Valhalla Rising – This Viking warrior action epic stars Mads Mikkelsen and is set in the year 1000 A.D. Nicolas Winding Refn directs and co-writes with Roy Jacobsen (limited).

July 25

O Apostolo 3-D – This three-dimensional stop motion animated drama, centering on a Galician village, is written and directed by Fernando Cortizo.

July 30

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore – This computer generated animated sequel blends with live action and features the voices of Christina Applegate, Sean Hayes, Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Neil Patrick Harris, and Michael Clarke Duncan. Also playing in 3D theaters.

Charlie St. Cloud – Zac Efron and Amanda Crew star in this drama/romance, based on the Ben Sherwood novel The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. Kim Basinger, Ray Liotta, and young newcomer Charlie Tahan co-star.

Dinner for Schmucks – Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Bruce Greenwood, and Zach Galifianakis stars in this comedy about a special monthly dinner event where employees compete to entertain and impress with the most outrageous guests.

The Dry Land – Ryan O’Nan, America Ferrera, Melissa Leo, and Jason Ritter star in this Iraqi War drama. Directed and written by Ryan Piers Williams (limited).

The Extra Man – Kevin Kline returns to the screen as the memorable escort Henry Harrison with Paul Dano, Katie Holmes, and John C.Reilly in this drama/romance directed and co-written by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (limited).

Get Low – Bill Murray, Robert Duvall, and Sissy Spacek star in this comedy/drama about a recluse who lived in the Tennessee woodlands for 40 years (limited).

Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel – The Playboy magazine mogul is the subject of this documentary that focuses on society, politics, and religion mixed with rare footage gems (limited).

Twelve – Drugs and the urban party life turn into murder in this ensemble drama, directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Emma Roberts, Chace Crawford, Rory Culkin, Ellen Barkin, Kiefer Sutherland, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

Who Killed Nancy – Alan G. Parker directs this documentary that focuses on the mysterious death of Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sex Pistols frontman Sid Vicious. Based on his best-selling book Sid Vicious: No One Is Innocent. (NY).

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