2012: The Summer Blockbuster Rises

I’m so excited right now. After 4 1/2 months of utter cinema garbage (“The Three Stooges,” really Hollywood?!), it’s time for what many consider the golden age of yearly theater-hopping. While this is a promising time every year, some summers are more generous than others. Take 2009 for example. It gave us great films like “Star Trek” and “Up,” but also delivered “Terminator Salvation,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

In recent years, the summer blockbuster season has become a little lackluster in my opinion. Part of this is due to the fact that 2008 was the greatest summer for movies since Steven Spielberg introduced audiences to a killer shark in 1975’s “Jaws.” My proof? How about this list of films?

  • “The Dark Knight”
  • “Wall-E”
  • “Iron Man”
  • “Hellboy 2”
  • “Wanted”
  • “Tropic Thunder”
  • “Kung-Fu Panda”
  • and many more

Find me a list that tops that and I’ll be happy to relinquish the claim. Since then, the summers have grown a little duller for the most part. It’s seems to be a little more “Green Lantern” and a lot less “Toy Story 3.” But I believe in my heart that 2012 can be the year to end all years for summer audiences (also for Mayans). Here are the movies that I’m most excited for this summer.

MAY

“The Avengers” – May 4

Duh. Old news for you guys. It came and conquered last weekend like the Hulk in a china shop.

“Men in Black III” – May 25

I remember when I saw MIB II back in 2002 and my little movie-loving mind was disappointed by the lackluster sequel to a film I had grown to love as a kid. That being said, I cannot wait for the series’ redemption to finally come through ten years later. If nothing else, it’ll be fun to hear Josh Brolin talk like Tommy Lee Jones for 2 hours.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” – June 1

When Kristen Stewart was originally cast to play the “fairest of them all,” my eyes nearly rolled out of my head. I could name at least 50 actresses I’d rather see in the role. The more I see of the film itself, though, I’m intrigued by the dark tone. Also, Charlize Theron looks deliciously evil and Chris Hemsworth has had me sold since he first picked up Mjolnir.

“Prometheus” – June 8

Ever since this project was announced, I have been trying to stop rocking back and forth with uncontrollable fits of excitement. Ridley Scott returning to the world of his 1979 sci-fi classic “Alien” and with one of the best ensemble casts in recent memory? It’s too much to bear. Do yourself a favor and go into this film as blind as possible. It will be scary, gruesome and fantastic (I hope).

“Brave” – June 22

Coming hot off its first critical failure, look for Pixar to be in full swing with the tale of a Scottish princess yearning for freedom and adventure. Even if it’s only half as good as movies like “Up” and “The Incredibles,” it’ll be worth watching.

“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” – June 22

What’s summer without a little apocalyptic comedy, right? This film stars Steve Carell and Keira Knightley as two people who are looking for happiness during the earth’s final days. With such an interesting premise and likeable stars, I’m more than a little hopeful.

“The Amazing Spiderman” – July 3

I’m usually the first in line to hate on reboots, but after the horrifying taste left in my mouth after Emo Peter Parker took over in in “Spiderman 3,” I’ll take any fresh ideas. It also helps that the casting seems better this time around. The only thing that really worries me is how much I may hate the 3D.

“The Dark Knight Rises” – July 20

This is probably the film I am most excited about for this summer. I’ve been a die hard fan of the Caped Crusader for as long as I can remember and, like everyone else with a pulse, I love what Christopher Nolan has done for the franchise. Judging by the latest trailer, this looks like a fitting conclusion for the trilogy.

“The Bourne Legacy” – August 3

I love the popularity Jeremy Renner has received in the last 2 years. “The Bourne Legacy” will be his 3rd big action movie in about 9 months (“The Avengers” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”). I trust that he will be a worthy replacement for Matt Damon and can’t wait to see where the story is taken.

“Total Recall” – August 3

On the same day, we get a remake of the classic 1990 film that followed Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s adventures on Mars. With a great cast (Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Bryan Cranston) and today’s technology, it could be a great summer outing (or it could be a lame rip-off, but hey…..).

“The Expendables 2” – August 17

I know I shouldn’t fall into the trap, but with Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme added to the original cast, I’m genuinely interested. We’ll see what happens when the world’s rowdiest nursing home travels to the local theater.

“Lawless” – August 31

Few things can beat a good crime film, and this one has an amazing cast to get things started. Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Shia LaBeouf and Gary Oldman play cops and robbers in this Depression-era shoot ’em up.

Who knows what the summer of 2012 has in store for us simple moviegoers? It would take a whole lot of bad execution for things to go awry, but as sports fans always say “that’s why they play the game.”

Until next month, happy viewing.

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