Summer Movie Preview: 2012

Posted on May 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

The summer movie season kicks off this week with the year’s most eagerly anticipated superhero movie, “The Avengers,” with an all-star cast of Marvel characters including returning stars Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and newcomers Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.  Some of the other highlights of the next four months include:

Big and Loud — Chases, Explosions, Superheroes, and Aliens:

“Battleship” Yes, it’s based on the classic guessing game.  But we never played it with aliens.  With Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights”) directing and a cast that includes Liam Neeson and Rhianna, it looks very promising.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” The year’s second Snow White movie is the dark and scary one with “Twilight’s” Kristen Stewart as the princess and Charlize Theron as the evil stepmother.

“Prometheus” Probably tops on the fanboy excitement list, this “Aliens” spin-off directed by Ridley Scott stars Guy Pearce, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, and, from the original “Dragon Tattoo” trilogy, Noomi Rapace.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”  Steven Spielberg directed the prestige Lincoln movie coming out late this year.  This is the summer Lincoln movie, based on the best-selling book that has our 16h president splitting fewer rails and staking more hearts.  The wonderful Mary Elizabeth Winstead appears as Mary Lincoln.

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” The sequel looks like a big improvement over the original, with Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, and The Rock.  From the trailer, it looks like “Step Up 3D” director Jon M. Chu may bring some dazzling kinetic energy to the stunts.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” Andrew Garfield takes over the role of Spidey as a teenager and Emma Stone plays high school love interest Gwen Stacy in this reboot.

“The Dark Knight Rises” Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan have completed their third and last Batman movie.  Tom Hardy plays supervillan Bane.

“The Bourne Legacy” Jeremy Renner takes over from Matt Damon in this story of another agent who was part of the notorious Treadstone project.  Tony Gilroy, who wrote the three Bourne movies takes over as director.

“Total Recall” The classic, if campy, Arnold Schwarzenegger movie about a man trying to recover the erased memories of his work as a spy has been remade with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, Bill Nighy, and Ethan Hawke.

“The Expendables 2”  Sylvester Stallone’s AARP action hero movie was such a hit we get a sequel.  Expect to see a lot of stuff blow up.

Quirky, Offbeat, and Independent:

“Ted” Mark Wahlberg has a talking teddy bear, voiced by Seth MacFarlane.  Definitely not for kids.

“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”  Steve Carell and Kiera Knightly try to figure out how to make the best of the three weeks before the planet blows up.

“To Rome With Love” Woody Allen.  Another European city.  Another powerhouse cast, including Jesse Eisenberg, Alison Pill, Greta Gerwig, Judy Davis, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Page, and Allen himself.

“Hope Springs” Middle-aged couple Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep go for marital counseling with therapist Steve Carell.

Comedies and Kids’ Movies: 

“Dark Shadows” Tim Burton and Johnny Depp bring the classic — if low-budget — vampire soap opera to the big screen as Barnabas Collins has to cope with the lava lamp era of the 1970’s.

“Neighborhood Watch” Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Rosemarie DeWitt star in a story of a group of suburban dads who take on alien invaders.  Sort of “Attack the Cul-de-Sac.”

“Men in Black 3”  I don’t ask it to be as good as the first one.  I just ask that it be better than the second one.  J (Will Smith) goes back in time to meet K (Tommy Lee Jones) as a young man (Josh Brolin, eerily channeling Jones).  Alice Eve and Emma Thompson join the cast as the young and older versions of “Agent O.”

“Madagascar 3” The animals are still trying to get back home, this time hiding out in a European circus.

“Ice Age: Continental Drift” The sabertooth tiger, the mammoth, and the sloth are back, and so is Scrat.  Additions to the cast include Jennifer Lopez and Nicki Minaj.

“ParaNorman” The “Coraline” folks are back with another spooky story, this time an “animated zombie comedy” about a boy who can see dead people

“Brave” Pixar’s first movie with a girl as the lead character is the story of a feisty Scottish princess who has to save the day — and does not have to marry a prince.

And Big Hair Musicals:

“Rock of Ages” Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta Zones, and Alec Baldwin star in this tribute to stadium rock and the 80’s.

“Sparkle” “American Idol’s” Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in her last role appear with Ceelo Green, Mike Epps, and Derek Luke in this remake of the musical about a “Supremes”-style girl group.





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