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Summer Movie Preview

By Bert Ehrmann
February 18, 2011

Thor

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Since 2007 the summer movie season has kicked off with films based on characters from Marvel comics and this summer is no exception. Thor, out May 6, follows the mythical title hero who's cast down from Asgard above to live amongst the peoples of planet Earth and ends up having to defend our planet from all things evil.

Thor is just one of FIVE films this summer that's based on comic books.

Although the previous Pirates of the Caribbean movie was billed as the "last," it made enough at the box office to make sure that it wouldn't be. The fourth film of the series, On Stranger Tides, is due out May 20.

Hoping to strike comedy gold once again, The Hangover Part II out May 26 again follows the same group of guys from the first film as they deal with absurd things that happen on the eve of one of their weddings.

X-Men: First Class

Michael Fassbender as Magneto in X-Men: First Class

The second movie based on comic books is X-Men: First Class out June 3. More of a reboot of the X-Men franchise than a sequel to the third and terrible X-Men: The Last Stand movie, X-Men: First Class goes back very beginning/origin of the X-Men and follows the first class of mutants as they team together.

While some of the marketing materials released for the movie have been uninspiring, others, like the teaser trailer, were very interesting so I’m intrigued by this movie.

One of the few, if only, big-budget movies this summer that's not a sequel or based on previous material is Super 8 out June 10. There's not much known about Super 8 that's written and directed by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek) other than it deals with teens, a movie camera and some sort of monsterous alien.

If I’m not quite yet sold on how X-Men: First Class is shaping up, , I'm positively dreading the third film based on comic books Green Lantern out June 17. From the looks of the odd skin-tight costume of the title character to the cringe inducing trailer released a few months back, there's very little about Green Lantern I'm excited about/looking forward to.

Cars 2, out June 24 is a Pixar film so it's almost guaranteed to be great. Transformers: The Dark of the Moon out July 1 is a Michael Bay movie so it's almost guaranteed not to be. The final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two, marks the end of a decade long string of films on July 15.

Captain America

Chris Evans as Cap' faces off against Hydra

The fourth film based on comic books this summer is Captain America: The First Avenger. Though I'm guessing few of the general public are that familiar with the character of Thor -- those who haven't seen him in the comics, in the 1966 cartoon or the 1988 made for TV movie The Incredible Hulk Returns that is -- I'm guessing that most ARE familiar with the red white and blue character of Captain America.

Set during World War 2, The First Avenger features Captain America (Chris Evans) doing battle with his nemesis of Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) on July 22.

Cowboys and Aliens

Daniel Craig in Cowboys and Aliens

Cowboys and Aliens, out July 29, is the fifth film based on comic books this summer. Directed by Jon Favreau who also helmed the two Iron Man films, Cowboys and Aliens stars Daniel Craig as a cowboy who wakes up one morning to find a mysterious device on his wrist that's the only thing standing between aliens and world domination.

I'm not sure if Conan the Barbarian out August 19 is based on the original Conan stories, the comic book series or is a remake of the 1982 film of the same name that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger – but then again, does that really matter when the star of the movie is a shirtless muscle-bound guy who wields a sword?

The remake of the 1985 cult-horror "classic" Fright Night is also due out August 19. This time, Colin Farrell stars as the lead vampire of the film. Which either means that Fright Night is going to be really interesting, or that Colin Farrell's career is on the downturn. Only time will tell.