Summer Movie Release Schedule

By Anita Gates -The New York Times –  5/2/2014

Yes, Scarlett Johansson wakes up with superpowers and takes no prisoners, but the season isn’t totally about would-be action blockbusters. Philip Seymour Hoffman gifts us with two posthumous performances, as a blue-collar American loser and as a powerful German spy. Documentaries explore a dizzying range of topics, including legal marijuana, the war in Afghanistan, breast-feeding and the Koch brothers. And climate change rears its plot-driving head, ready to replace midcentury nuclear testing as the villain in sci-fi and futurist fantasies.

While it’s raining sequels — about Spider-Man, Transformers, Expendables, talking turtles, talking apes and animated dragons — at least two directors are brave enough to take on material from Broadway: Clint Eastwood and Roman Polanski. Road movies are going in all directions. Filmmakers reveal their fascination with evil — its nature, our moral duty to fight it and its embodiment in a witch with perfect cheekbones (Angelina Jolie). And Woody Allen goes back to France. It’s going to be an eventful few months.

ELENA A Brazilian documentary about running away to become an American actress. In 1989 a young South American woman moved to New York in hopes of becoming a movie star, but after a while her letters stopped and she was lost to her family, including a 7-year-old sister. Two decades later that sister (Petra Costa, the director) followed her own career dreams to New York and set out to find Elena.

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