July brings a potpourri of cinematic goodness for family viewing, including Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer as iconic heroes, Hugh Jackman as a furry crime fighter, and Ryan Reynolds as a snail who wants to be speedy. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD and blu-ray in July.
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THE LONE RANGER
PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material. In theaters 7/03. Ok for kids 12+. Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels. http://disney.go.com/the-lone-ranger
Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger! Johnny Depp as Tonto! Disney introduces another generation to the legendary Western do-gooder and his enigmatic Native American sidekick. With director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer at the helm, this origins tale features beautifully dusty Western vistas and lots of fast-action and fun banter. Helena Bonham Carter, Barry Pepper, William Fichtner, James Badge Dale and Tom Wilkinson also star.
DESPICABLE ME 2
PG for rude humor and mild action. In theaters 7/03. Ok for kids 6+. Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels. http://despicableme.com/
This sequel to the 2010 blockbuster finds Gru (voiced once again by Steve Carell) no longer a villain after saving his three adopted daughters Margo, Edith, and Agnes from Vector in the first film. But his calm new life takes an unexpected turn when he’s recruited by Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) and Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan) and taken to the headquarters of the Anti-Villain League, a society dedicated to fighting global crime. There he’s tasked with battling new villain Eduardo (Benjamin Bratt). Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, this movie also features the voices of Ken Jeong, Miranda Cosgrove, and Russell Brand. Best part? Adorable minions.
PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language. In theaters 7/12 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D). Ok for kids 12+. Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels. http://pacificrimmovie.warnerbros.com/
Sometimes you just need to see aliens, robots and humans battle it out. Director Guillermo Del Toro unleashes an apocalyptic onslaught of massive aliens who emerge from the oceans, battled by equally colossal robots piloted by a pair of humans. This big budget blockbuster starring “Sons of Anarchy” rivals Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman is rife with extraterrestrial baddies and ‘bots.
GROWN UPS 2
PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, language and some male rear nudity. In theaters 7/12. Ok for kids 14+. Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels. http://www.grownups2-movie.com/
After having the greatest time of his life three summers ago, Lenny (Adam Sandler), decides he wants to move his family back to his hometown and have them grow up with his gang of childhood friends and their kids. But between old bullies, new bullies, schizophrenic bus drivers, drunk cops on skis, psycho grade school girlfriends and 400 costumed party crashes, he learns that things are just as crazy as ever. Kevin James, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, David Space and Maya Rudolph also star in this Dennis Dugan-directed comedy.
PG for some mild action and thematic elements. In theaters 7/17 (2D, 3D). Ok for kids 6+. Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels. http://www.turbomovie.com/
This computer-animated comedy centers on Theo, a.k.a Turbo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), a garden snail who dreams of being the greatest racer in the world, just like his hero, Indianapolis 500 champ, Guy Gagne (Bill Hader). As luck would have it, Turbo gets that chance one fateful day after a freak accident fuses his DNA with nitrous oxide. The ultimate underdog pursues his dream and refuses to let his limitations get in the way. Paul Giamatti, Snoop Dogg, Maya Rudolph, Michelle Rodriguez, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Pena also voice roles in this movie directed by David Soren.
PG-13 for violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality, and language, including sex references. In theaters 7/19. Ok for kids 14+. Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels. http://www.ripd.com/
The buddy-cop genre takes a supernatural turn in this movie directed by Robert Schwentke. After a detective named Nick Cruz (Ryan Reynolds) is murdered, he joins the undead police division and is assigned to be the partner of Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges), a veteran officer of the R.I.P.D. The “Rest In Peace Department” is dedicated to protecting the living from arrogant, malevolent, bloodthirsty, evil spirits who refuse to move into the afterlife. Kevin Bacon and Mary-Louise Parker also star.
PG-13 for pervasive action and violence including frenetic gunplay, and for some language and drug material. In theaters 7/19. Ok for kids 14+. Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels.
This sequel to 2010’s “Red” finds retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reuniting his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren also star in this Dean Parisot-directed thriller. Let’s face it – Helen Mirren as a trained assassin is geeky fun.
Not yet rated; likely PG-13. In theaters 7/26. Ok for kids 12+. Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels. http://thewolverinemovie.com/
Time for Hugh Jackman to rock those furry sideburns again! This action thriller finds The Wolverine in modern day Japan facing his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality. James Mangold directs this movie also starring Famke Janssen, Brian Tee, Svetlana Khodchenkova and Will Yun Lee.
THE SMURFS 2
Not yet rated; likely PG. In theaters 7/31. Ok for kids 6+. Reel Preview: 2.5 of 5 Reels. http://www.smurfhappens.com/
Those little blue people are back! This time the evil wizard Gargamel (voiced by Hank Azaria) creates some mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will help him harness the all-powerful, magical Smurf-essence. But when he discovers that only a real Smurf can give him what he wants, and only a secret spell that Smurfette knows can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs, Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette (Katy Perry) and brings her to Paris, where he’s adored as the world¹s greatest sorcerer. Raja Gosnell directs and Anton Yelchin, Sofia Vergara, Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Ricci and Jayma Mays also star.
NEW ON DVD | BLU-RAY:
AN AMERICAN GIRL: SAIGE PAINTS THE SKY
Not rated. On DVD 7/02. Ok for kids 5+. Reel Review: 3.5 of 5 Reels
This installment of the “American Girl” series stars Sidney Fuller as nine-year-old Saige, a talented artist with a passion for horses. Saige is excited about the new school year, until she discovers that art – her favorite class – has been cut. On top of that, her best friend, Tessa (Alex Peters), is spending more and more time with another girl. Saige turns to her Grandma Mimi (Jane Seymour), a well-known artist and horsewoman, who inspires her to take action. Heartwarming, empowering, and fun, this sweet movie is for every girl who’s ever dreamed big.
PAJANIMALS: PAJANIMALS PARTY
Not rated. On DVD 7/02. Ok for kids 3+. Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels.
Jim Henson’s Pajanimals – CowBella, Apollo, Sweetpea Sue, and Squacky – are four friends who snuggle together every night and sing sweet night time songs to their preschool friends at home. Through their imaginary journeys, these cuddly friends discover fun ways to transition from playtime to bedtime and encourage nightly routines for little ones.
Props to Shout Factory! for releasing this classic series on DVD (3600 minutes on 20 discs). Based on the novels by Max Shulman, the TV classic stars Dwayne Hickman as Dobie, a middle-class 17-year-old whose main goal in life is to find the girl of his dreams. Bob Denver (“Gilligan’s Island”) plays Dobie’s beatnik friend Maynard G. Krebs, who just wants to avoid work at any cost. The show popularized the idea of the proto-hippie, but is innocent fun for kids 8 and older.
THE LEGEND OF KORRA – BOOK ONE: AIR
Not rated. On DVD 7/09. Ok for kids 7+. Reel Review: 5 of 5 Reels.
We love this girl-powered series from Nickelodeon and the team behind the award-winning “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” When Avatar Aang passes, he is reincarnated as a girl named Korra (voiced by Janet Varney) from the Southern Water Tribe. Against the wishes of her guardians, Korra leaves the safety of her home to travel to Republic City. Before long, Korra’s Avatar skills are put to the test when she encounters a group of Chi-blockers led by a masked man named Amon. With his Equalist followers, Amon plots to gain control over Republic City and ultimately rid the world of the “impurity” of bending. but Korra and her friends will stop at nothing to capture him.
YOUNG JUSTICE INVASION: GAME OF ILLUSIONS – SEASON 2 PART 2
Not rated. On DVD 7/16. Ok for kids 7+. Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels.
Jesse McCartney, Danica McKellar, Nolan North, Jason Spisak and Khary Payton are a few of the voices in this action-packed animated adventure (10 episodes on two discs). Watch as The Reach, spearheaded by the quick-talking Ambassador and backed by the muscle of Black Beetle, continues its manipulation of a trusting public while maintaining its shadowy maneuvering with The Light. Meanwhile, team members Robin, Blue Beetle and Impulse go undercover to investigate LexCorp and its newfound partnership with The Reach, the results of which could shift the balance of power forever.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.