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Summer Movie Preview

By Bert Ehrmann
February 17, 2012

The Avengers

Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans in The Avengers

I always find that the best way to beat the mid-winter blues is to think about the upcoming slate of Summer movies. First up next summer is The Avengers, out May 4. The Avengers is a sort of super-group of super-heroes with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) teaming together to fight some gigantic evil no one hero can defeat alone.

Dark Shadows, out May 11, stars Johnny Depp as vampire Barnabas Collins in this 1960s soap opera to feature film directed by Tim Burton. Out May 18 is Battleship, which is, no joke, based on the board game Battleship. Have movies really come to this?

15 years after the original and a full decade after the sequel comes Men in Black III on May 25. This time, Agent J (Will Smith) travels to the past where he meets a younger Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones/Josh Brolin).

Out June 1 is the second of two Snow White movies this year with Snow White and the Huntsman. Here, Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is a sword wielding warrior and the seven dwarves her helpers in battle with the evil Queen (Charlize Theron).

Prometheus

Noomi Rapace in Prometheus

The movie I'm looking forward to the most this summer/am expecting to be disappointed by most is director Ridley Scott's Prometheus out June 8. This sci-fi film isn't supposed to be a prequel to Scott's masterpiece Alien (1979) but from everything I've seen Prometheus is most certainly a prequel to Alien. My biggest concern is that a) do we really want to know the backstory to Alien? and b) it's been nearly a decade since Scott's last memorable film. But still, I can't imagine I'll be anywhere else but in the theater to see this one opening night.

Out June 22 is Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter which totally sounds like a fake movie title but I can assure you is very real. Also out that day is the next Pixar film Brave about a princess in an ancient world who must undo a dastardly curse.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in
The Amazing Spider-Man

The "I can't believe they made a sequel to a movie that was terrible" award goes to G.I. Joe: Retaliation out June 29. However, I must admit that the trailer for this one doesn't look that bad. I'm not sure if I'll be inevitably let-down by this one in in the theater or wait for the DVD to be let-down.

The "is this successful movie franchise even old enough to be rebooted?" award goes to The Amazing Spider-Man out July 3, a reboot of the first Spider-Man franchise of films from 2002-2007. Replacing Tobey Maguire as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man/Peter Parker is Andrew Garfield. Set back when Parker was still a high school student, he and his best-girl Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) must do battle with the the evil Lizard (Rhys Ifans). I'm interested in this one, but find myself concerned over dark and moody take of Spider-Man in this new film. Don't we already have enough "dark and moody" super-heroes? I always thought that Spider-Man was supposed to be the opposite of that.

The Dark Knight Rises

Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises

And speaking of "moody." which it has every right to be, is The Dark Knight Rises out July 20. This final film in the Christian Bale/Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy features Batman squaring off against evil Bane (Tom Hardy) who wants to bring death and destruction to Gotham City. Or was that the plot to Batman Begins except with Ra's Al Ghul instead or Bane…er…I mean the plot to The Dark Knight with Joker instead of Bane? Is anyone else sensing a trend here?

Out August 3 is The Bourne Legacy, a continuation of the Bourne franchise with Jeremy Renner in the lead as character Aaron Cross with Matt Damon as Jason Bourne sitting this one out. So, shouldn't this one be called The Cross Legacy instead? Also out that day is a remake of the 1990s film Total Recall with Colin Farrell in the role Arnold Schwarzenegger originally made famous.

It's anyone's guess as to wether Farrell's interpretation of his Total Recall character can live up to the nuanced Schwarzenegger "Give these people air!" take on him.