Entertainment :: Movies

2012 Summer Movie Preview

by Chris Carpenter
Tuesday May 8, 2012
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Ah, summer, beloved season of Pride, fruity cocktails and minimal swimsuits. It is also the time of year when Hollywood releases its biggest, most expensive spectacles for audiences to ogle. Superheroes, vampires and aliens typically reign supreme, but this summer’s more LGBT-interest movies will feature such sights as male strippers, Tom Cruise in ass-less chaps, and a pairing of Brit divas Maggie Smith and Judi Dench. Here’s the rundown (Please note all release dates are subject to change)...

The Avengers

The largest collection of men in tights to hit the big screen since, well, Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Marvel Comics heroes Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) join forces with The Hulk (ever-dreamy Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to save the world. Written and directed by Joss Whedon, who also masterminded Buffy the Vampire Slayer. May 4

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

A group of British senior citizens, led by Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, decide to retire to an unexpectedly rundown hotel in India in this comedy. Co-starring cute Dev Patel from Slumdog Millionaire and directed by John Madden, who previously steered Dench and Gwyneth Paltrow to Oscar glory in Shakespeare in Love. May 4

The Perfect Family

Kathleen Turner plays a devout wife and mother, up for her parish’s "Catholic Woman of the Year" award, when she suddenly learns that her daughter (Emily Deschanel) is not only a lesbian but is about to get married to her partner. While it doesn’t get all the church details right, the film is an enjoyable dramedy that premiered at last year’s Outfest. Out actor Richard Chamberlain plays the local monsignor. May 4

Dark Shadows

Based on what I’ve seen of it, Tim Burton’s take on the supernatural soap opera that ran in the late ’60s-early ’70s, will no doubt be the campiest movie of the summer, possibly of the year. Johnny Depp stars as 200-year old vampire Barnabas Collins, who wakes up in 1972 to a decidedly different world. The great supporting cast includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green and horror veteran Christopher Lee. May 11

Hysteria

This film’s director, Tanya Wexler, likely describes it best: "It’s a romantic comedy about the invention of the vibrator in Victorian England." She even bought cast members Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy and gay fave Rupert Everett, among others, vibrators as gifts. Needless to say, the movie’s got buzz. May 18

What’s Wrong With Virginia

Academy Award-winning, openly gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) has assembled several top-drawer actors including Jennifer Con- nelly, Ed Harris and Emma Roberts for his directorial debut. I’m not sure what, if any, LGBT content is in the film but it will nonetheless give our community the opportunity to support one of our own as Black’s standing in Hollywood continues to rise. May 18

Chely Wright: Wish Me Away

An eye-opening documentary, featured at last year’s Long Beach Q Film Festival, about the former country music superstar’s process of coming out as a lesbian. Wright is impressively, movingly candid in her recounting of events before, during and after her tumultuous decision. June 1

Rock of Ages

Gay director-choreographer Adam Shankman (Hairspray) adapts another Broadway musical for the screen. This time, he got big names Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige, Paul Giamatti and Tom Cruise-and convinced Cruise to wear a codpiece and the previously mentioned chaps-to pay homage to the rock ’n’ roll "hair bands" of the 1980s.Pour some sugar on me, baby! June15

Brave

This summer’s animated epic from Disney-Pixar features a female lead, a first for the mega-successful Pixar. Merida, a Scottish teenager during the Middle Ages, takes it upon herself to defend her parents’ kingdom when it is endangered by the wicked from whom Merida had sought counsel to avoid being married against her will. Sure sounds like a lesbian-gay parable to me! June 22

Magic Mike

The gays (myself included) will definitely be lining up for this exposé of the goings-on at a male strip club, which reportedly includes a gay character/sub- plot. The movie was inspired by the pre-Hollywood career of its hot leading man, Channing Tatum and is directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Contagion). And if Tatum doesn’t do it for you, one of his thong-clad co-stars (Matthew McConaughey, True Blood’s Joe Manganiello, Alex Pettyfer, Adam Rodriguez and the recently out White Collar’s Matt Bomer) surely will. June 29

The Amazing Spider-Man

Andrew Garfield, taking over the title role from Tobey Maguire, told a reporter last month that he went commando under his form-fitting costume during filming. That revelation has sure got my "spidey sense" tingling over this adventure, in which the webslinger tries to solve the mystery behind his parents’ death while battling the Lizard, a mutated scientist. July 3

Katy Perry: Part of Me

Nothing screams "Independence Day" to me more than a 3-D concert film starring the fireworks-laden pop singer. While Perry comes in second to Lady Gaga in many gay men’s minds, I consider her "Firework" song to be as much of a gay anthem as Gaga’s "Born This Way." By the way, why hasn’t Gaga had a 3-D movie devoted to her yet? Well, I guess there’s always next summer. July 4

The Dark Knight Rises

Batman (Christian Bale) returns to contend with the villainous Bane (rising star and hottie Tom Hardy) and the more mysterious Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman (the fabulous Anne Hathaway). Joseph Gordon-Levitt also appears as a cop with potentially conflicting motives. Football fields will explode, Gotham City will be endangered, and ticket sales will soar. July 20

Ruby Sparks

Not much has been made known yet about this one, but the fact that it is co-directed by Little Miss Sunshine’s Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris is enough to get my gay hopes up. Their earlier film’s Paul Dano here plays a struggling author who discovers that the fictional girl in the book he is writing has somehow come to life. Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas also star. July 25

The Bourne Legacy

Jeremy Renner, who made a splash in last December’s Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol and also appears in this May’s The Avengers, takes over for Matt Damon in the latest installment of this durable, intelligent franchise. August 3

Hope Springs

Any movie starring La Meryl (Streep, of course) is cause for gay celebration. She re-teams here with David Frankel, director of The Devil Wears Prada, for a romantic comedy in which Streep is a married women who seeks marriage therapy with her prickly husband, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Steve Carell co-stars as their therapist. August 10

Sparkle

The late Whitney Houston produced and makes her final screen appearance in this remake of a Dreamgirls-esque 1976 film about a girl group on the rise. Houston plays the mother of one young singer (played by American Idol alumna Jordin Sparks) who is yearning for stardom. She also sings on the movie’s soundtrack. August 17

Lawless

Tom Hardy makes his second summer movie appearance of 2012 as a bootlegger in this reality- based story set during the Prohibition era. Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke appear as his conniving siblings, and all must try to stay one step ahead of the obsessed G-man on their collective tail (played by Guy Pearce of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and last year’s made-for-TV version of Mildred Pierce). August 31

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