The Watch List: 12 Movies to Catch in June
With summer coming quick, here are 12 home video and theatre picks to keep you entertained this June.
Liam Neeson is in alpha-male form as an oil pipeline worker whose team is stranded after their plane goes down in the wolf-ridden wilds of Alaska. The thriller leans a little severely on heavy-handed considerations of life, death and masculinity, but it’s a tense bit of survivalist drama nonetheless.
You’d think that eight seasons in, Larry David and company would have run out of awkward social scenarios to exploit. But with the help of guest stars Ricky Gervais and Michael J. Fox, the misanthropic comedy hit madcap highs and secured the highest ratings in its history.
It took two decades for Glenn Close to get Albert Nobbs to the screen, and she was rewarded for her determination with an Oscar nom. The expertly acted melodrama is named after its main character, an impoverished 19th-century woman who cross-dresses to secure herself a job as a waiter at a Dublin hotel.
Willem Dafoe stars as a mercenary dropped into backwater Australia to hunt down the elusive Tasmanian tiger. His cold heart thaws a little in the process, thanks to a kind family who gives him room and board. Uptown Theatre, Barrie, Ont., June 6.
Summer sci-fi prequel
It’s easy to get overexcited about summer blockbusters. And Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s prologue to the beloved Alien series, is most deserving of its wild hype. Sure, the last four Alien movies were lousy, but this one’s got Michael Fassbender! In theatres June 8.
Damsels in Distress
Director Whit Stillman (Last Days of Disco) returns after a 14-year absence with this story of a group of blue-blood Northeastern co-eds who task themselves with becoming less shallow. It’s funny, in that matchbook-dry, hyper-drôle kind of way. Westdale Theatre, Hamilton, Ont., June 9.
Kentucky fried movie
The new offering by American iconoclast William Friedkin (The Exorcist) sees him re-teaming with playwright Tracy Letts (Bug) for this over-the-top piece of exploitation. Matthew McConaughey stars as crooked Texas cop Joe Cooper, who makes a deal with a hard-up trailer-trash family. Will forever change the way you look at a KFC drumstick. In theatres June 1.
The new Pixar
Pixar movies built around a human cast of CGI cartoons (i.e., not living toys or talking dogs or janitorial robots) are few and far between. This latest draws its influence from Scottish folklore-a brash young princess accidentally plunges her kingdom into peril. In theatres June 22.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
In an age where Pride and Prejudice gets repackaged as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, you just have to shrug and say, “Sure, why not? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? Let’s do it.” In theatres June 22.
Remember? It won the Oscar for Best Picture. It’s a silent movie. And it’s in black and white. And it’s French. No? Well, get out from under your rock, because this will probably be your last chance to see what all the fuss is about on the big screen. Massey Theatre, New Westminster, B.C., June 25.
Shakey solo show
Neil Young Journeys
Jonathan Demme has a thing for Neil Young. For his third concert doc about the rocker in a decade-there’s 2006’s Neil Young: Heart of Gold and 2009’s Neil Young Trunk Show-the director follows Young to Massey Hall for an atmospheric solo performance during his 2011 Le Noise tour. In theatres June 29.
Hogtown love triangle
Take This Waltz
Sarah Polley’s sophomore directorial effort casts Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams as a cutesy Toronto couple whose domestic bliss is shaken up by the arrival of a dashing rickshaw driver (Luke Kirby). In theatres June 29.