The Half Dozen: 6 Most Interesting Looking Movies For July 2011

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Trailers time again. We’re now in the peak of the summer season, but apart from one week when Harry Potter and the Whatever Thingy will be on in every screen in your local multiplex, there seems to be a lot on offer and most of it should stand at least a chance of nabbing one of the smaller screens in your art house or larger multiplex. I’ve left out Harry Potter, as it’s another one of those that you’ll not even be worried about seeing the trailer if you’re a fan, and you’ll not want to see the trailer if you’re not, even though it is an extremely well put together promo and bodes well for the end of the franchise.

I’ve also left out The Tree Of Life. The trailer did leave me slightly cold, but not anywhere near as cold as I felt when I watched the only previous Malick film I’ve seen in a cinema, The Thin Red Line, and even with an intermission I can’t remember the last time a film tested my patience quite as much. I hope that my tastes have matured somewhat in the thirteen years since that came out, but I’ll hopefully find out this week one way or the other.

Anyway, with plenty to choose from it wasn’t hard to come up with six this month.

The Princess Of Montpensier

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Lambert Wilson is pretty much the only thing I still enjoy watching in the two Matrix sequels, but with a Hollywood CV that also includes Catwoman and Babylon A.D., it’s no wonder he’s retreated to the safety and security of French film. After last year’s astonishing Of Gods And Men, a rousing costume drama, the kind which are always enlivened with men going at each other with swords. (Then again, I struggle to think of something that isn’t enlivened by men going at each other with swords.)

Cell 211

It’s a bit like Die Hard meets The Rock! In Spanish! With Javier Bardem’s older brother! And a guy with a mean beard! This is why I don’t work in advertising. It’s the third film I managed not to catch at the Cambridge Film Festival last year to get a wide release this year, and I’ve managed to miss the other two (Adele Blanc-Sec and The Messenger) this time around as well. Third time lucky?

Beginners

I’ve blogged before on my frustration at people’s indifference or opposition to films with subtitles, so if you’re looking to ease yourself into the genre, try this film in English and Dog (with subtitles). Not really, of course, but the dog has been set up to look as if he’s stealing the movie away from the human actors, and when you’ve assembled a cast including Ewan MacGregor and Christopher Plummer, that’s one impressive pooch.

Captain America: The First Avenger

I couldn’t allow the month to pass without reference to one blockbuster, though, and based on this trailer Captain America looks like it’s going to be no less than pretty good. Between this, Thor and Iron Man the set-up work for The Avengers has been rarely less than solid, it’s just a shame that so far no-one’s come up with a Hulk film at quite the same level (or indeed, someone able to stick to the role for more than one movie).

Poetry

It would be fair to say I’m a fan of what I’ve seen of Korean cinema, although what I have seen conforms to the stereotypical view of Korean film, being either a twisty revenge drama (Oldboy) or a giant ugly monster movie (The Host). So unless this old lady wreaks a terrible revenge through the medium of rhyme and verse or turns into a giant ugly monster whenever someone disses one of her latest limericks, then it will be a refreshing chance to see a different side of Korean movies.

Arrietty

Finally this month, a slightly unlikely mash-up. If you were told that the likes of  Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong and Geraldine McEwan were involved in an adaptation of Mary Norton’s The Borrowers, then it probably wouldn’t seem that unlikely – until you found out that it was a Studio Ghibli production and they’re just dubbing. (On that note, I saw Ponyo at the cinema in the subtitled version, and am likely to do the same on this one, but for those of you hard of reading do enjoy this dubbed version of the trailer. But do check carefully which one you’re getting if you take the youngsters – there were a lot of parents reading the subtitles aloud to the kiddywinks when I saw Ponyo, presumably as the children’s own literary standards weren’t quite that advanced…)

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