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Film Reviews Blog: Summer Movie Preview

By Mikhail Chernyavsky
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Summer is here (almost), which means the studios are busting out the highest budgeted films of the year.

What seems to have become a summer trend, the theaters will be swarming with sequels, a few reboots, and a remake.

Here are some of the most anticipated films of the year:

June 1 – Snow White and the Huntsman
The old fairy tale gets the “original” treatment. Most people are familiar with the Disney version full of singing and dancing, but what most don’t realize is that the evil queen wanted to eat the insides of Snow White. In this version, the evil queen (Charlize Theron) wants to eat the heart of Snow White (Kristen Stewart) to gain immortality.

The trailer has a “Robin Hood” (Ridley Scott) feel to it, dark, gritty, and war torn. I don’t care for Stewart’s acting, or lack there of. I’d probably just wait for the DVD.

See it if you like the cast.

 

June 8 – Prometheus
The latest installment in the “Alien” franchise is not a prequel so to speak but more along the lines of an origin story. Director Ridley Scott says it takes place in the same universe as “Alien” but the plot of “Prometheus” does not directly lead into the popular 1979 film.

Set in the late 21st century, the crew of Prometheus follows a clue in hopes of discovering the origins of mankind on Earth.

As a fan of the franchise, the biggest appeal to this film is Scott directing. The trailer looks interesting but doesn’t really reveal much of what’s going on, except that everything goes horribly wrong, as most things do in these types of films.

See it if you are a fan of the genre and franchise.

 

June 8 – Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
First they escaped from their New York zoo, then they went to Africa, and now they are trying to make it home, but not before a detour through Europe.

The gang joins an animal-centric circus and gets the 3D treatment (another Hollywood trend in recent years).

Like the first two, the film looks cute, and will probably bode well with families.

See it if you have kids, otherwise save your money and wait for the DVD.

 

June 22 – Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
It is the first film adaptation of the mash-up book genre and the second American film directed by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (he directed 2008’s “Wanted”).

The 16th president discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. Fueled by his hatred for them, Lincoln makes it his mission to eliminate them.

Mixing in some history, this action sci-fi film has the feel of many graphic novel adaptations. It looks fun and full of action. The historical retelling played out well for the Nazi hunters of “Inglourious Basterds,” and may do just the same for Honest Abe.

See it if you like the vampire film genre (For the record, the “Twilight” films don’t count as vampire movies).

 

June 22 – Brave
Opening the same weekend is Disney/Pixar’s 13th feature film. Set in Scotland, Princess Merida (Kelly Macdonald) has brought chaos to her kingdom by defying the custom of the land. She must rely on her bravery and archery skills as she sets out on a quest to restore peace to her land.

The trailer looks absolutely stunning. Pixar has a solid track record of releasing hit films that are more than just visually captivating. This film doesn’t look like it will disappoint.

See it if you’re a Pixar fan.

 

Pushed To 2013 – G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Note: On Wednesday, a little over a month before it was set to premiere in theaters, it was announced that the film would be pushed back to March 29, 2013, and converted to 3-D. I have a feeling that this means the film isn’t that great.

Framed as terrorists, the Joes are out number and out gunned. Cobra has most of the world leaders under their control and the Joes need to find a way to take down Cobra’s command.

The sequel/reboot (think The Incredible Hulk) has Channing Tatum (Captain Duke Hauser), Ray Parks (Snake Eyes) and Byung-hun Lee (Storm Shadow) returning. The film adds big name action stars Bruce Willis as the original G.I. Joe and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

The trailer already shows a lot more action than the first film. Instead of appearing to be a quasi-futuristic film, it gets down to the heart of G.I. Joe, action. With the beefed up cast, this may actually turn out to be a great sequel/reboot. Then again, it could always just turn out to be another Hulk failure.

See it if you’re a fan of The Rock, and are hopeful this movie will be better than the first.

 

July 3 – The Amazing Spider-Man
Another origins story this summer, the reboot follows Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield of “The Social Network”) in his high school days. He is looking for clues in the disappearance of his parents and crosses paths with Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s former partner.

Comparatively, the film takes on a much darker feel for the franchise, which again seems to be the current trend of superhero films. The trailer leaves us wanting for more of Connors’ alternate persona The Lizard, but enough to be excited for this new chapter in the Spider-Man saga.

See it if you are a fan boy or just a fan of the Marvel films.

 

July 13 – Ice Age: Continental Drift
The original gang is back for another adventure as they discover lost family, new love, and encounter pirates on the open sea.

This is the fourth film in the franchise and it officially becomes the new Shrek. The first film was great, the second ok, and I just stopped caring after that. I’m sure the film will be great for anyone with young children.

See it if you can take the kids, otherwise save your money and wait for the DVD.

 

July 13 – Ted
Have you ever wished your toys would come to life and play with you? Meet Ted, a big fuzzy teddy bear. This is the story of what happens when your wish comes true and you’re all grown up.

The debut feature film from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane looks funny, but comedically doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch from the show. In the “Family Guy” universe, a talking dog for a drinking buddy isn’t too out of the ordinary and the same goes for “Ted.”

The film looks to be full of the same raunchy humor you’d find on MacFarlane’s show, and I predict it will feel more like a long episode of “Family Guy” than a feature film.

See it if you like this type of comedy, otherwise save your money and wait for the DVD.

 

July 20 – Dark Knight Rises
This is without a doubt the most anticipated film of the year.

Eight years after Batman took the blame for the crimes of Two-Face and went into hiding, he returns as Gotham’s new crime lord, Bane, terrorizes the city streets.

Rarely do I get goose bumps out of excitement for a film, but any fan of this franchise directed by Christopher Nolan will feel the same way. This is the must see summer film. The only downside is that this will be the conclusion to the trilogy.

See it, plain and simple, see it.

 

August 3 – Total Recall
The new unions of Euroamerica (North America and the European Union) and New Shanghai (China and South East Asia) fight for political power, but our hero doesn’t know which side he is on.

The remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film goes in a different direction than the original. In 1990, it was about corporate greed; this time around it’s about politics.

The original was over the top and walked a fine line of being more of a comedy, than actual science fiction. The remake staring Colin Farrell appears to take a more “realistic” approach to the film and giving it a more human feel.

See it for the cast and if you like the sci-fi genre.

 

August 3 – The Bourne Legacy
Bourne is not back. The fourth film, like Prometheus, takes place in the same universe and follows a new CIA operative that was trained in the same program as Jason Bourne.

The trailer looks like a typical Bourne action film, explosions, hand-to-hand combat, and bigwigs in a briefing room talking about where he is.

Jeremy Renner is a solid actor and has show his star power in the recent films “The Avengers” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.” It’s very apparent that his addition to the franchise is to give it new life.

See it if you are a fan of the Bourne films and of Renner.

 

August 17 – The Expendables 2
The last film of our summer guide is another sequel. Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his team of Expendables are back for a bigger, more action packed sequel.

(In classic movie guy voice) It was supposed to be an easy paycheck but one of the Expendables is killed on the job. Now, their quest for revenge will send them deep into enemy territory and pin them against an unexpected threat.

The first film paid homage to the action films of the 90s, which made just about everyone of the film’s stars famous. And, the trailer for the sequel doesn’t expand much from that; except it adds a few other 90s action stars into the mix.

See it if you liked the first one and love 90s action movies.

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