2 GUNS (R) Mark Wahlberg reteams with his Contraband director Baltasar Kormakur for this action flick costarring Denzel Washington. Denzel and Marky Mark bicker and banter as a DEA agent and a naval intelligence officer tasked with investigating one another. However, the two tough guys are being played by the CIA, represented by Bill Paxton. The trailer makes the movie look like a lot of fun for two and a half minutes. How will it stand up over one hundred and nine?
20 FEET FROM STARDOM (PG-13) Award winning filmmaker Morgan Neville shines a light on the backup singers that made some of the greatest musical icons of the 20th century sound so good. Interviewees include Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Sheryl Crow (formerly, a backup singer for Michael Jackson) and Bette Midler. A Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Nominee, the film won the Special Jury Prize at the RiverRun International Film Festival and the Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival.
AFTER EARTH (PG-13) "Excruciatingly boring" sums up After Earth. Did you watch Castaway and think the film would be better with Jaden Smith substituting for Tom Hanks and Jaden’s papa, Will, for Wilson? Then enjoy this bland hunk of science fiction, which is, thankfully, under two hours. After their spaceship crash lands, a father and son (the Smiths) are stranded on Earth, abandoned by humanity years earlier. Young Kitai must traverse this dangerous Eden if he is to save his father, a legendary soldier named Cypher Raige (ugh). Some critics have blamed Smith’s rumored Scientologist beliefs for this sluggish piece of anti-entertainment. Tom Cruise is a known Scientologist, and he still delivered a fantastic, if derivative, sci-fi spectacle in Oblivion. Blame M. Night Shyamalan all you want; he directs a Robinson Crusoe-type adventure film like a humorless thriller. This flick should have been The Smith Family Robinson; instead, it’s another shovelful of dirt in M. Night’s cinematic grave. A lot of blame rests on Smith for being the least Will Smith he can be. Confined to a chair, barking orders at his son, the mega-charming superstar is drained of charisma.
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (PG-13) Filmmaker Benh Zeitlan’s feature debut certainly lives up to its sky-high expectations. Six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) lives in the Bathtub, a tiny community beyond the levee with her daddy, Wink (Dwight Henry). As Wink grows weaker from illness, the only world Hushpuppy has ever known starts to crumble. First come the rains, then the people that live on the dry land and finally the mythical, recently thawed aurochs. Still, Hushpuppy fights and survives. This fantastical tale unfolds in a harsh world that feels so realistic the film could be mistaken for a documentary. Zeitlan, who also co-wrote the pulsing, string-heavy score, captures the ruthlessness of rural poverty without the assumed pandering. Newcomers Wallis and Henry dominate the non-professional cast; their absence from the field come awards season would be stunning and heartbreaking. The film deserves to be this year’s Oscar dark horse. I have seen nearly 100 films in theaters this year, and not a single one of them has offered an emotional, imaginative, narrative experience approaching Beasts of the Southern Wild. Such a singular cinematic moment is rare in this day of sequels, reboots and readymade blockbusters. Go see this film now. (Ciné)
BEFORE MIDNIGHT (R) Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) have come a long ways from 1995’s Before Sunrise. The twentysomethings have become fortysomethings. Our third glimpse into Jesse and Celine’s lives paints a realistic landscape of adult relationships founded upon love. For an hour and forty-eight minutes, the duo laugh and spar, negotiating a couple’s treaty without the benefit of an arbiter. The film is funny and discomforting. Hawke and Delpy, both credited as co-writers, have grown into and as Jesse and Celine. Several threads from their first conversation are picked back up, with the benefit (and detriment) of years and experience. Filmmaker Richard Linklater has grown with them. Who would have thought the Dazed and Confused auteur’s greatest achievement would be one couple’s hopefully far from ending conversational journey?
THE CONJURING (R) James Wan has directed several horror films since bursting on the scene with the original Saw. Insidious looked like it would be his masterpiece, but a mushy final act stole the goodwill generated by a wonderful setup. Not so with Wan’s The Conjuring. An excellent haunted house-cum-demonic possession movie, this film, much like Pacific Rim, excels in its genre because of its innocence and its lack of cynicism. Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) investigate the things that go bump in the night. Most times, a rational explanation solves the case; sometimes, it’s something paranormal. The occurrences in the Perron family’s new house are not just paranormal; they’re malevolent. Wan stages the Perron’s haunting with utmost care for mise-en-scene and framing. Don’t expect a lot of CGI ghosties. From the font in the opening credits, the film harkens back to the 70s and places itself not as a wannabe, but as a peer next to such modern classics as The Amityville Horror and (dare I type it) The Exorcist. Horror movies don’t get much better than this flick nowadays.
DESPICABLE ME 2 (PG) As far as animated sequels go, Despicable Me 2 has more creative life in it than might first be thought; it’s way better than Cars 2. Gru (v. Steve Carell) may no longer be a master criminal, utilizing his freeze rays and other diabolical inventions to raise his three adopted daughters—Margo (v. Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (v. Dana Geier) and Agnes (v. Elsie Fisher). When a new super villain steals a dangerous, experimental serum, the Anti Villain League – represented by sweet potential love interest Lucy (v. Kristen Wiig) – enlist Gru’s assistance. Watching this enjoyable kiddie flick with a kid definitely increases the appeal of the little yellow Minions, whose roles have been enlarged with their own spinoff in the works for 2014. Carell’s Boris Badunov accent still entertains and warms the heart, as does little Agnes. A little long, even at 98 minutes (remember when Disney cartoons clocked in under 80?), Despicable Me 2 has no shot at surpassing expectations like its underdog predecessor, and its appeal to anyone over ten probably depends on one’s tolerance for the Minions. Still, it’s a funny movie for kids and parents. On a hot or rainy summer day, that’s more than good enough.
EPIC (PG) Epic, from Ice Age and Robots director Chris Wedge, is like Star Wars in a forest; wait, that would just be Return of the Jedi. Still, another monomyth should be less exciting than this animated family film based on the William Joyce book, The Leafmen. Unbeknownst to humanity, the forests are protected by the Leafmen, who constantly do battle with the Boggans, led by Mandrake (v. Christoph Waltz). When M.K. (v. Amanda Seyfried) is magically transported to the world of the Leafmen, she must team up with wizened soldier Ronin (v. Colin Farrell) and young turk Nod (v. Josh Hutcherson) to ensure the survival of the forest. Stunningly animated, Epic could be an American attempt at Miyazaki—bigger, blunter, more action, less subtlety, more Pitbull (whose voicework is better than expected). Nevertheless, the movie does far too little to avoid Star Wars comparisons; it practically invites them. See bird racing (pod racing) and the two slugs (humorously voiced by Chris O’Dowd and Aziz Ansari) who give off a distinct R2D2/C3PO sidekick vibe. When Star Wars isn’t being referenced, it’s The Lord of the Rings. I’d still rather sit through Epic than most kids’ movies.
FAST & FURIOUS 6 (PG-13) The unlikeliest blockbuster franchise of all-time (especially considering it survived a first film directed by Rob Cohen) has enough gas left in the tank for several more entries. (The pre-credits stinger is a doozy of a game changer). Following the international hijinks of Fast 5, Furious 6 (according to the opening title) puts Dominic “Dom” Toretta (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest (Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot) on the heels of big bad Shaw (Luke Evans), as they seek to recover Letty (Michele Rodriguez) and attain pardons all around from Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). These movies keep improving under the direction of Justin Lin and screenwriter Chris Morgan. It’s arguable that Furious 6 is the best of the high gloss bunch. If a muscle car mag filled with bikini-covered boobs and chrome was adapted into a movie, this flick would be it. This live action comic book sags a little in the talky, plot-driven sections, but gets back on crazy course whenever the gang gets behind the wheel for another ridiculous car chase. Dom even flies! Simply sit back and enjoy Mr. Dom’s Wild Ride.
FRUITVALE STATION (R) Fruitvale Station enters theaters having established quite a pedigree, picking up Sundance’s prestigious Grand Jury Prize (and Audience Award) plus the Best First Film Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Writer-director Ryan Coogler based his feature debut on the real life events that occurred to Oscar Grant, played by “Friday Night Lights”’ Michael B. Jordan, on the last day of 2008. With Chad Michael Murray, Kevin Durand, Melonie Diaz and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer.
• GIRL MOST LIKELY (PG-13) A movie more disappointing for its multiple inadequacies than its rare competence, Girl Most Likely will not help Kristen Wiig’s rise from SNL MVP to leading lady. Once the next big thing, playwright Imogene (Wiig) resorts to faking a suicide attempt to get her ex’s attention. As a result, Imogene is placed in the care of her gambling addict mother, Zelda (Annette Bening). Imogene’s childhood house is already pretty full, what with her mother’s compulsive liar boyfriend (Matt Dillon), Imogene’s reclusive brother (Christopher Fitzgerald) and a young singing stranger (Darren Criss) now sleeping in her old bedroom. Girl Most Likely is populated with characters far too cartoonishly quirky to generate more than a chuckle, much less a genuine connection, and ends with such an screwball climactic sequence. Fortunately, Wiig and Bening are standouts, and Dillon’s always more fun than expected. Wiig shouldn’t have hurt her rising stardom too much; she just didn’t help it.
THE GREAT GATSBY (PG-13) Like all Baz Luhrmann’s films save Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby left me highly conflicted. A creative, stylistic tour de force, the film starts off kinetic to the point of claustrophobia. The constant moving and zooming camera and non-stop edits choke the air out of the first act; the film just needs to stop and catch its breath for a moment. The film doesn’t stop its constant Charlestoning until Nick Carroway (Tobey Maguire) meets reclusive millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) at one of the latter’s renowned parties. Finally, the film takes a hiccupping breath. Luhrmann’s always favored style over substance (it’s why his Romeo + Juliet is so appealingly frustrating), and the Roaring '20s are a great place to indulge his whims. However, his hyperactive visualization fill his adaptation of Fitzgerald’s classic novel with the air of parody. The film often feels like a musical with the song-and-dance numbers cut out. Still, its liveliness bests Jack Clayton’s dull 1974 adaptation starring an especially wooden Robert Redford. DiCaprio better imbues Gatsby with the decade’s decadent hopefulness. Gatsby is also one of the few films I think I would have preferred viewing in 3D.
GROWN UPS 2 (PG-13) With nary a grown-up in it, this sequel to Adam Sandler’s second biggest box office hit of all time is worse than its sub-par predecessor. Former Hollywood bigshot Lenny Feder (Sandler) moves his family back to his tiny hometown, but rather than spend time with them, he mostly hangs out with his childhood besties—Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock) and Higgins (David Spade)—and some meathead hangers-on (including Nick Swardson and Shaquille O’Neal). Grown Ups 2’s biggest accomplishment is how worthless it is. “Jokes” fail to land. I lost track of the “guys like boobs” moments; they were simply too many. Likability and funny are not one and the same. Argue all you want about what a great guy Sandler is, because at this point in his career you’ll find it impossible to convince someone he’s still funny, or better yet, relevant; The Internship was more of both. On a gags to chuckles ratio, Sandler ranked behind James, Rock, Spade (yikes), Colin Quinn and maybe, just maybe, Jon Lovitz. That being said, it’s already a box office smash, the monster from the depths that’s destroying the much more entertaining Pacific Rim. Good job, America.
THE HEAT (R) After taking far too long to warm up, this buddy cop comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy hits its stride when it counts. Uptight FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) needs the help of foulmouthed, unpopular Boston cop Shannon Mullins (McCarthy) to take down a dangerous drug lord. Bullock and McCarthy don’t have Fey/Pohler chemistry. The just under two hour comedy needs about 45 minutes for its actors/characters to lose enough of their flaws for the jokes to stick. McCarthy flails too wildly early, while Bullock’s too tightly wound for comedy. Nevertheless, enough cannot be said about how refreshing it is to watch a buddy cop comedy starring two women; “Cagney & Lacey” has been off the damn air since 1988, for crying out loud, and still no campy remake? Unlike a sillier, lesser comedy, writer Katie Dippold and Bridesmaids director Paul Feig never explain away Ashburn and Mullins’ tough, brash exteriors as shields needed to survive their male dominated profession. Ashburn’s just weird and Mullins grew up with four brothers (Michael Rapaport, Bill Burr, Nate Corddry and, yes, that is Joey McIntyre). The Heat may not be smoking, but after a barren first act, it’s pretty darn funny.
THE INTERNSHIP (PG-13) As a follow-up to stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s Wedding Crashers, this movie would have killed in 2007. Of course, the economy hadn’t quite tanked at that point, so the tale of two down-on-their-luck salesmen forced to tackle a Google internship wouldn’t quite have had much relevance—not that a buddy comedy from Vaughn/Wilson has much relevance in 2013. The movie made me feel as if I’d stumbled upon a big budget training video for new Google employees. Sadly, most training videos are unintentionally funnier (just check out any edition of the Found Footage Festival for proof). Due to its still likable (if not bankable) stars and a laudably creative end credits sequence, The Internship leaves one feeling better about the movie than it deserves, being that it's a two hour chore through which to sit. Were the movie the least bit funny—rather than a mere vehicle for Vaughn and Wilson to mug at the camera—and thirty minutes shorter, it might garner a mild recommendation for a lazy cable viewing. In its current state, do with this movie what the movie folks at Google should have done: say no.
KEVIN HART: LET ME EXPLAIN (R) Kevin Hart is one of the more entertaining and, more importantly, least disappointing stand-up comics turned actor. If you missed his return to the stage for the 2012 “Let Me Explain” world tour (and I did), you can now catch his sold-out show at Madison Square Garden in this concert film which may or may not have been directed by the Tim Story of Fantastic Four and Barbershop fame. For a warm up to Let Me Explain, you can always check out 2010’s Laugh at My Pain.
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (G) So let’s call it a slump. Cars 2 was a clunker; Brave was good verging on really good but not close to great; and Monsters University lacks the Pixar pop of their undeniably great features (Up, Wall-E, Toy Story 3). In this prequel to Monsters, Inc., we learn how Mike (v. Billy Crystal) and Sully (v. John Goodman) met. Apparently, the two scarers didn’t start as best buds. First, they were scaring rivals at Monsters University. This Revenge of the Monster Nerds doesn’t creatively bend college life for monsters as one would expect from Pixar. The life lesson is trite—don’t let others define your limits or some similar sentiment—and is taught as cleverly as an inferior animation studio’s Monsters, Inc. knockoff. Fortunately, the animation, especially the creature design, is as lush and lifelike as ever, and the voicework from Pixar newcomers like Nathan Fillion and Charlie Day saves the comic day. Kids will love the silly, low scare fun, and parents will be happy it’s not Cars 3. (Just wait, that’s coming in August in the form of Planes.)
PACIFIC RIM (PG-13) Yes, Pacific Rim’s giant monsters versus giant robots concept is unbelievably dumb, but the level of unironic fun is bigger than Knifehead and Gipsy Danger combined! (Granted, that comparison won’t mean much to you until you see the movie, but trust me, it’s big.) A portal to another dimension opens in the Pacific, unleashing giant monsters called Kaiju on humanity, who builds giant robots called Jaegers to counter them. Controlled by two mind-linked (the film calls it drifting) pilots, Jaegers give us the edge over the Kaiju, until they don’t. Years into a losing war, the Jaeger program leader, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), takes one last chance, sending the last surviving robots and pilots (including Charlie Hunnam, “Sons of Anarchy”) to close the portal for good. I could gush about this film for pages. The most well-realized blockbuster of its kind, Pacific Rim delivers the childlike robot action missing from all three misguided Transformers flicks. Writer-director Guillermo del Toro’s smartest move was leaving the snark and the cynicism to lesser movies (Sharknado, anyone?), and Pacific Rim delivers on the geek promise of his previous features. Summer 2013 thanks you, Mr. del Toro!
RED 2 (PG-13) Red 2 is a lot of fun. What more did you expect? Retired Extremely Dangerous CIA operative Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is trying to live a quiet life with his girlfriend, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker). But then his paranoid pal, Martin (John Malkovich), shows up, and another caper begins. This time, the boys (and girl) are being hunted by everyone, including an old pal, Victoria Winters (Helen Mirren), and an old enemy, Han Cho Bai (Byung-hun Lee). The quips fly as fast as the bullets, and the script by Jon and Erich Hoeber isn’t as lousy a shot as one might expect from the Whiteout writers. Director Dean Parisot corrals his lead cats, especially the typically bored Willis, efficiently. Red 2 won’t set the world on fire, but if your old 80s action VHS tapes have worn thin, this new movie will fit the bill quite nicely.
• R.I.P.D. (PG-13) Summer’s biggest bomb absolutely deserves its box office failure. This misguided adaptation of Peter M. Lenkov’s comic, Rest in Peace Department, stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges as deceased cops—former Boston PD detective Nick Walker and Old West lawman Roy Pulsipher—tasked with bringing in rogue spirits. If you think this flick is a Men in Black rip off, it pretty much is. Bridges could just phone in a Rooster Cogburn impression, but he works harder than needed. Reynolds is ever the effortless sarcastic charmer, but he’s such a lightweight. Like the leads, Kevin Bacon and Mary-Louise Parker bring more to the movie than it deserves. All of the movie’s comic instincts are wrong, even if the action and FX are more than adequate. As far as comic book adaptations go, Jonah Hex might have been worse, but it’s a close race in which the viewers are the biggest losers.
THE SMURFS 2 (PG) The little blue guys are back. Unfortunately, so is Hank Azaria’s DOA Gargamel, whose sequel scheme involves creating his own, gray version of the Smurfs, called Naughties (voiced by Christina Ricci and J.B. Smoove). But the evil sorcerer must kidnap Smurfette (v. Katy Perry), who knows the secret spell that will turn the faux Smurfs into the genuine article. Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mayes return, as do the voices of the late Jonathan Winters, Anton Yelchin, Fred Armisen, Alan Cumming and George Lopez.
THE SPECTACULAR NOW (R) Local filmmaker made good James Ponsoldt (if you haven’t seen either of his previous features, Off the Black or Smashed, watch them both immediately) adapts Tim Tharp’s novel about a hard partying high school senior (Miles Teller) and the different, “nice” girl (Shailene Woodley) for whom he falls. This movie filmed some scenes at Clarke Central last August. The movie’s female lead, The Descendant’s Woodley, is on the verge of a Jennifer Lawrence level breakout with the upcoming Divergent.
THE TO DO LIST (R) I really want this teen comedy to be good, mostly so that Aubrey Plaza can become a bigger star, a la Emma Stone in Easy A. Before heading off to college, a sexually inexperienced, straight A student (Plaza) makes a to do list of experiences she needs to have before setting foot on campus. Maggie Carey, a “Funny or Die Presents…” alum, directs from her own screenplay. With Bill Hader (writer-director Carey’s hubby), Alia Shawkat, Rachel Bilson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Andy Samberg and Donald Glover.
TURBO (PG) Why, in a cinematic world so accepting of superheroes, is the idea of a racing snail so absurd? I don’t know, but it is. After a first act highlighted by endearing animation and stellar voice work from Ryan Reynolds and Paul Giamatti, Turbo gets stupid, as the main mollusk is imbued with the abilities of a car (not just speed but alarm, radio and headlights) after a freak accident involving a street racer and some nitrous. After buddying up with a taco-making fellow named Tito (Michael Pena), Turbo and his other racing snail pals—including Whiplash (v. Samuel L. Jackson) and Smoove Move (v. Snoop Dogg)—head to the Indy 500, where they will face off against defending champion and world’s greatest racecar driver, Guy Gagne (v. Bill Hader). While a much better cartoon than its trailer portrays, Turbo will mostly appeal to those kiddies for whom Cars has run out of gas. I never imagined animated snails could be so appealing. Turbo definitely benefits from one of the best voice casts (I have yet to mention Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph and Luis Guzman) of the summer.
THE WAY, WAY BACK (PG-13) After winning an Oscar for writing The Descendants, Jim Rash (Dean Pelton on “Community”) and Nat Faxon (the sadly cancelled “Ben and Kate”) reteamed for their directorial debut. This coming of age comedy stars Liam James as Duncan, who negotiates a summer with his mom (Toni Collette) and her boyfriend (Steve Carell) by getting a job at a local water park, where he is befriended by its odd owner (Sam Rockwell). This Sundance favorite looks appealing enough to be summer’s indie breakout hit. With Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry and Amanda Peet.
WHITE HOUSE DOWN (PG-13) Much like the summer of 1998 when discussions of July’s Armageddon required mentioned of May’s Deep Impact, a critique of White House Down cannot take place without comparisons to March’s Olympus Has Fallen. Unlike Armageddon and Deep Impact, two distinctly different movies about an asteroid on its way to Earth, White House and Olympus are nearly interchangeable. In White House, Channing Tatum stars as D.C. cop John Cale, who must protect the President (Jamie Foxx) and rescue his precocious daughter (Joey King) after terrorists take over the White House. Disaster master Roland Emmerich stages the destruction with his usual crowd-pleasing clarity (how many times can he blow up the White House?), and the movie, written by The Amazing Spider-Man’s James Vanderbilt, has a sense of humor about it (though nothing as entertaining as Melissa Leo’s “Star-Spangled Banner” in Olympus occurs). At 131 minutes, WHD drags a bit in its final act, but C-Tates and Foxx are the appealing duo I prefer to be thrust into the most Die Hard of Die Hard rip-offs. It is kind of hard to hate a summer blockbuster concerned with a constitutional crisis, even if its POTUS fires a rocket launcher.
• THE WOLVERINE (PG-13) I’ve been living with a fascination for the mutant known as Logan AKA Patch, but best known as Wolverine, for over twenty years, and my level of disappoint at the X-Man’s previous outing, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was nigh on devastating. A darker, more complicated hero than Marvel’s super-bankable Iron Man and Spider-Man, Wolvie poses a narrative difficulty, much like The Punisher, who Hollywood has yet to get right. The Wolverine comes closest to nailing this popular, mysterious icon. After the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, Logan has shed his Wolverine persona to live a solitary life in the woods. However, the last request of a dying friend whisks the clawed one off to Japan, where he meets classic comic characters like Mariko, Yukio, Viper, Silver Samurai (kind of) and more. Director James Mangold and writers Mark Bomback and Scott Frank chose smartly, in adapting Frank Miller and Chris Claremont’s seminal 1982 limited series. The gravitas of this deeply troubled character comes across, but so does the humor and brutal action, thanks to Hugh Jackman, who despite his height, nails Logan again. Though less ebullient than previous Marvel blockbusters, The Wolverine thrills, then leaves you anticipating the next X-film.
WORLD WAR Z (PG-13) The biggest zombie (and arguably horror) movie EVER MADE is better than expected, judging from its PG-13 rating and tortured production history. Former U.N. employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is sent around the globe to discover the source of the zombie pandemic threatening to wipe out humanity. Also, if he doesn’t go, the U.S. military is going to kick his wife (Mirielle Enos of “The Killing,” another TV show you should be watching) and two daughters off their aircraft carrier. One-time Bond director Marc Forster (he of the uber-versatile filmography) and his stable of writers (the screenplay’s credited to three writers including The Cabin in the Woods’ Drew Goddard and “Lost”’s Damon Lindelof) turn Max “Son of Mel” Brooks’ oral history of the zombie conflict into a more focused, traditional “one hero must race time to save the world,” and it works. Minor quibbles range from a lack of blood (blame the need for a PG-13 rating to recoup the massive budget) and way too fast, superstrong zombies; still, it’s way more exciting than the second season of “The Walking Dead.” With its focus on action over scares, WWZ is the Resident Evil 5 of zombie movies.
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (PG) 1974. Ciné’s Summer Classic Movie Series continues with Mel Brooks’ classic monster movie parody. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) returns to the family castle and resurrects the family monster (Peter Boyle) with monstrously hilarious results. Rife with as much comedic evidence as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein reifies Brooks’s status as one of Hollywood’s all-time funniest filmmakers. Wilder and Brooks were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. With Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr and Gene Hackman as Harold, the blind man.