Now that the first round of summer blockbusters has come and gone, get ready for more interesting mid-season fare
Who’d have thought at the outset of 2008 that Robert Downey Jr. would emerge as one of the year’s critical and box office superheroes? This summer he continues his iron-?clad comeback in a sure-?to-?be-?talked-?about role in the comedy Tropic Thunder. Downey plays an intense white actor playing an intense black soldier who, along with Jack Black and Ben Stiller, gets caught up in a real war. Think Galaxy Quest in army fatigues. Opens July 11.
X marks the spot
Is the truth still out there? More importantly, are the fans? By the time The X-?Files went off the air six years ago, the storylines had become totally convoluted and David Duchovny wasn’t even in the cast, so it was difficult to care. It’ll be interesting to see how many believers show up for The X-?Files: I Want To Believe. Word is it’s a stand-?alone suspense thriller – no need to know anything beforehand – and one of its subplots concerns Mulder (Duchovny) and Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) son. Opens July 25.
A warm reception at Sundance is often the kiss of death at the box office, but American Teen could be an exception. Sundance best-director winner Nanette Burstein’s documentary examines the ups and downs facing high school seniors in a Midwestern town. The trailers – especially of the pimply guy – look like fun, as does the Breakfast Club-?style marketing campaign. Opens August 1.
Another pair of Pants
Funny how a couple of years can make a huge difference in your career status, especially if you’re a young female actor. When the original guilty pleasure called Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants (based on the Ann Brashares novel) appeared three years ago, the big-name draws were Joan Of Arcadia’s Amber Tamblyn and Gilmore Girl Alexis Bledel.
Those two are back in the sequel, of course, but they’ll likely be overshadowed by current TV queens America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) and Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), who round out the cast in this continuation of the teen testament to friendship and denim. Opens August 6.
Pavement ’n’ popcorn
Why worry about late fees or your less ?than ?state-?of-?the-?art video system when you can just walk a few blocks to take in a movie? That’s right. Enjoy a flick al fresco at the city’s two free summer film series.
Yonge-?Dundas Square continues its Romantic Reels series with Tuesday-night screenings of swoon-?worthy fare like The Princess Bride, Titanic, The Notebook and (show your pride) Brokeback Mountain. Meanwhile, Harbourfront’s free series returns (also on Tuesdays) with screenings of indie flicks including Juno, Rushmore, Dick and The Virgin Suicides. ydsquare.ca, harbourfrontcentre.com.