2012 Summer Movie Preview
By Kevin Finnerty
As the weather warms across the country and people start to break out the barbecues and head to the beaches, the movie theatres will soon be packed with audiences eager to see their favorite heroes battle all kinds of evil villains. It’s time for the big Summer Movie Preview. This year Superheroes, Aliens, An Evil Queen, A Princess, A Dictator and a Vampire will be up on the big screen.
Plot: Thor’s exiled brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), begins to attack earth to become its ruler. This forces Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to assemble a team of super heroes including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) to stop him. But only if the group can stop fighting each other and find a way to work together does earth have a chance of surviving.
Outlook: Perhaps the second most anticipated film this summer, The Avengers with its $220 million dollar budget and star-studded cast should give another famous hero a run for his cowl – and money – at the box office.
Men in Black 3: Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Josh Brolin
Plot: Agent J (Will Smith) travels back in time to the year 1969 to stop an alien named Boris (Jemaine Clement) from changing history and killing Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) who is played in 1969 by Josh Brolin.
Outlook: The re-teaming of Smith and Jones as Agents J and K and the superb casting of Brolin as the young Agent K should provide many laughs and hopefully a big improvement over the debacle that was Men in Black 2.
Dark Shadows: Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green
Plot: Cursed by an evil, lovelorn witch (Eva Green) and turned into a vampire, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) wakes up in the year 1972 after being entombed for two centuries. Struggling to get used to the world today and determined to protect his relatives from the witch’s undying wrath, Barnabas sets out to save the family and stop the witch once and for all.
Outlook: Directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as the awkward, out of time vampire – he’s dead and we’re loving it.
Battleship: Starring Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna and Alexander Skarsgard
Plot: Based on the classic Hasbro Naval game, an army of ships are forced into battle with an alien invasion force from under the sea.
Outlook: It’s Transformers meets Independence Day, only on the water. Here’s hoping it doesn’t sink to the bottom of the ocean and the bottom of the box office.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting: Starring Elizabeth Banks and Cameron Diaz
Plot: Focuses on five interconnected couples going through the trials and tribulations of starting a family.
Outlook: Like the other interconnected story films before it – New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day – What To Expect When You’re Expecting will most likely fall short of any real character development or emotion.
The Dictator: Starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Anna Faris
Plot: The story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy will never reach his country and that his reign there will continue.
Outlook: If the entire film is as funny as the trailer it will be a sure-fire, laugh-out-loud hit at the box office this summer.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: Starring Judi Dench and Bill Nighy
Plot: A group of British seniors travel to a shabby Indian hotel run by an ambitious entrepreneur (Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel).
Outlook: This may do well in England and India, but even with a strong British cast it most likely will hold little interest to the American movie-going public.
Plot: The Evil Queen (Charlize Theron) sends a despondent huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) into the Dark Forest to kill Snow and bring her heart back to her so her reign will last forever. However, the Huntsman becomes Snow’s protector and mentor and helps build an army and fight to win her kingdom back.
Outlook: Darker and grittier than other film versions of the classic fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman should benefit from the wonderful casting of Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. Just her scenes in the trailer are impressive, and this will be a cinematic first in that the Queen is truly more beautiful than Snow White.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: Starring Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith
Plot: Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett) are still trying to get back home to their beloved Central Park Zoo. This time around, their adventure finds the four lost animals being chased through Europe by a crazed animal control officer. In order to escape, they wind up hiding out with a traveling circus.
Outlook: The return of these four lovable, funny, lost characters to the big screen in a new adventure might just be exactly what families looking to spend some time at the movies this June want.
Brave: Starring Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson and Kevin McKidd
Plot: Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald), being a feisty, brave and excellent archer, stirs up trouble for her father the King (Billy Connolly) by not following the country’s customs and ultimately must try to undo a horrible curse.
Outlook: This is the first time in Disney and Pixar’s history that the ‘Princess’ is also a warrior and isn’t seeking true love but fighting for both her kingdom and her independence. It just might be the animated film to beat this year.
Prometheus: Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron
Plot: A crew of a spaceship head out for a distant planet, which is home to a civilization that was on Earth long ago and has left proof of its existence.
Outlook: Directed by Ridley Scott and unofficially considered to the prequel to the Alien films, Prometheus might just bring scares back to outer space and to a theatre near you.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Starring Benjamin Walker
Plot: The 16th President of the United States discovers vampires are trying to take over the country and makes it his mission to stop them.
Outlook: Based on the bestselling book, at least this is a different take on the overdone vampire genre.
Seeking A Friend For The End of the World: Starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley
Plot: Having only three weeks left before an asteroid destroys life on Earth, a lonely, sad man (Steve Carell) decides to take a road trip and his next door neighbor (Keira Knightley) tags along.
Outlook: If the film has as many laughs as the trailer, this could be the comedy hit of the summer.
Plot: It’s been eight years since Batman defeated the Joker and took the fall for Two Face’s crimes. The Winged Vigilante is still MIA and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is still trying to recover emotionally and physically from his battles. Gotham City is at peace and prospering when a new hulking terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy) sets out with his small army of men to destroy the city. Another criminal, high-class grifter Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) – aka Catwoman – also focuses on Gotham as her new home. This forces Bruce Wayne/Batman out of his self-imposed exile to join GCPD in fighting Bane and stopping him from destroying the city.
Outlook: It’s the summer blockbuster to beat and if it’s half as good as The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan will be responsible for the best film trilogy since The Lord of the Rings and the first Star Wars films. Can’t wait!
The Amazing Spider-Man: Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans
Plot: Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) gets bitten by a genetically altered spider and turns into the web-slinging hero who’s also on a quest to uncover the secret behind the mysterious disappearance of his parents years ago – all while fighting crime and avoiding the police.
Outlook: This reboot of a film series that had only one solid entry out of its three films arrives too soon and doesn’t exactly wow us with its trailer. Here’s hoping old Spidey still has a few fun surprises in his web.
Ice Age: Continental Drift: Starring Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo
Plot: After their continent is set adrift, Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Denis Leary) use an iceberg as a ship to take on pirates and face dangerous sea creatures.
Outlook: These three characters (plus Scrat) were funny, sweet and endearing, but now seem tired and dull. The plot also sounds unoriginal and uninspired. Perhaps it’s time for a new Age with new characters to take over the screen.
Neighborhood Watch: Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill
Plot: A misfit group of volunteer crime fighters who end up fighting an alien invasion.
Outlook: With a solid cast and a very quirky idea, Neighborhood Watch might be a solid summer comedy. It’s just too bad the first promotional items hit about the same time as the Trayvon Martin tragedy was in the news.
Plot: A new CIA operative from Treadstone is killing and causing chaos for his superiors at the agency.
Outlook: A risky gamble moving forward with the Bourne franchise without Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass, but if anyone can pull it off it’s Jeremy Renner who is hands-down one of the best actors of his generation. Here’s hoping The Bourne Legacy does good enough at the box office to continue the best spy film series since 007.
Total Recall: Starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale
Plot: Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell), a factory worker who is bored with his routine life, tries a new experimental mind-tripping spa which gives its clients memories of a different fantasy life. The visit triggers memories from Quaid which make him start to believe he’s really a spy being hunted.
Outlook: Sigh…another pointless remake.
Hope Springs: Starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones
Plot: A Midwestern couple who have been married for 30 years attend a weekend of therapy to try to decide the fate of their struggling marriage.
Outlook: With an A-list cast and a serious and at times very funny look at married life, this might just be the film for the older movie fan looking for a more adult relationship story.
The Expendables 2: Starring Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis
Plot: A team of mercenaries head out seeking revenge for a fallen comrade.
Outlook: With more action, more explosions and bigger roles for Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s the sequel that will have men heading to the theater with their buddies for a guy’s night at the movies.