More promising is Oliver Stone's return to hard R thriller territory, "Savages" (July 6) which lines up a great cast: John Travolta as a corrupt FBI man, jaded ex-Navy SEAL Kitsch and laid-back agronomist Aaron Johnson as successful pot growers who run afoul of Mexican mafiosa Salma Hayek, whose nasty henchman Benecio del Toro kidnaps their babe girlfriend (it's a menage a trois) Blake Lively. "It's about the world right around us," said Stone. "It's contemporary, it's going on now."
TV "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane's movie comedy "Ted" (July 13) stole the Universal show. In a bit of wish-fulfillment magic, young Mark Wahlberg's teddy bear (MacFarlane) comes alive and grows up into a foul-mouthed buddy. When Wahberg gets serious about Mila Kunis, trouble ensues. ("The Muppets" movie had a similar trope.) Comedy powerhouse Judd Apatow's return to the director's chair in "This is 40" (December) starring "Knocked Up" couple Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, also played well with the crowd.
Also wowing the Colosseum was a first look at Tom Hooper's Christmas release "Les Miserables," starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, who showed off her live singing skills in a moving clip. The over-budget 3-D martial arts epic "47 Ronin," starring Keanu Reeves and a digital cast of thousands, has been pushed back to February 17 due to VFX completion issues and a need for more post-production time. In the studio pipeline are "TRON: Legacy" director Joseph Kosinski's Tom Cruise/Morgan Freeman actioner "Oblivion" (April 2013), the action comedy "RIPD," starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds as a team of dead cops seeking to return errant stragglers to their rightful place in the afterlife (June 2013) and the inevitable latest iterations of the "Fast & Furious" (director Justin Lin returns) and "Despicable Me" franchises.