Summer Movie Preview 2012

on May 8, 2012

‘The Avengers’

(Opens May 5) An all-star squad of comic-book superheroes gets the summer started with a live-action bang as Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Capt. America (Chris Evans), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) lead way in defending the Earth against an onslaught of other-worldly evil. With Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

(Opens July 3) The fourth installment of the super-successful superhero saga returns to the character’s roots, with a new actor (Andrew Garfield) as Peter Parker, the teenager who becomes the crime-fighting, web-slinging crusader. With Emma Watson as his high-school crush, Gwen Stacy, Martin Sheen and Sally Fields as his beloved Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and Rhys Ifans as the villainous Dr. Curt Collins/The Lizard.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’

(Opens July 20) Director Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to The Dark Knight finds Batman (Christian Bale) emerging from the shadows after taking the rap for a crime he didn’t commit to help save Gotham City from the destructionist clutches of a new terrorist criminal named Bane (Thomas Hardy). With Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon and Michael Caine as Alfred.

‘Neighborhood Watch’

(Opens July 27) By late July you’ll be ready for a big laugh, and this sounds like just the ticket. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill star as bored suburban dads who form a group to patrol their mostly sleepy streets…then they stumble upon some space aliens that threaten to bring down more than just local property values. Filmed on location in and around Atlanta, Ga.

‘Total Recall’

(Opens Aug. 3) As two global superpowers slug it out for supremacy in the future, a factory worker (Colin Farrell) suffering from violent nightmares begins to suspect he’s actually a spy whose memory has been erased---though he doesn’t know why, or which side of the fight he's on. You may recall the original movie of the same title, released in 1990 and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

‘The Bourne Legacy’

(Opens Aug. 3) Based on the fourth novel in the Bourne series by author Robert Ludlum, this action-packed espionage thriller centers on a new operative, played by Jeremy Renner, stepping into the spotlight in the place of Matt Damon, who decided not to return to the role of Jason Bourne or the franchise after three previously successful blockbuster films.

‘The Campaign’

(Opens Aug. 10) Funnymen Will Farrell and Zach Galifianakis team up as two rival small-town politicians vying for a congressional seat. Farrell’s character has the comfortable upper hand until a scandal opens the door for Galifianakis’ underdog to make his move. Director Jay Roach’s sure hand for movie comedy also steered Dinner For Schmucks, Meet The Parents and three successful Austin Powers spy spoofs.

‘Sparkle’

(Opens Aug. 17) Whitney Houston stars in this saga of three sisters who become a Motown singing sensation in the 1960s and struggle with the high price of fame. Houston, who had not appeared in a theatrical release since The Preacher’s Wife in 1996, planned the film as her movie comeback, but died during its production. Also starring Jordin Sparks, Mike Epps and Cee-Lo.

‘Premium Rush’

(Opens Aug. 24) Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a New York City bicycle messenger who gets an ordinary-looking envelope for “premium rush” delivery…until it attracts the attention of a corrupt cop and sends him pedaling for his life as he’s pursued all over the Big Apple. Shooting on location in Manhattan traffic, Gordon-Levitt cycled into the back of a taxi, slashing his arm and requiring more than 30 stitches.

‘Argo’

(Opens Sept. 14) Ben Affleck directs and stars in this action thriller based on a true story about a daring plan to rescue six Americans caught in the middle of the Iranian revolution in 1979. To pull it off, CIA operatives must to pose as a Hollywood film crew and convince authorities they’ve come to make a sci-fi film. With Alan Arkin, John Goodman and Bryan Cranston.

‘Brave’

(Opens June 22) Originally titled The Bow and The Bear, Pixar-Disney’s new animated action-adventure is the tale of a young Scottish princess who defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom, setting her and her archery skills on a path to undo an ancient curse. Watch closely and see if you can spot the Pizza Planet truck, a “signature” fixture in every Pixar film except The Incredibles. (Hint: Maybe it’s in the witch’s hut.)

‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

(Opens June 22) In addition to his time-consuming duties as our nation’s 16th president, freeing slaves and ending the Civil War, Honest Abe somehow found time to quash a sinister plot by blood-sucking vampires to take over the union. What? You don’t recall that chapter from American History 101? Well, all the more to find out what you missed!

‘Dark Shadows’

(Opens May 11) Director Tim Burton reunites with one of his favorite stars, Johnny Depp, for this comedic remake of the vampire “soap opera” of the 1970s. This time around, 18th century undead playboy Barnabas Collins re-emerges in a world of disco balls, lava lamps and VW minivans. With Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, and some very cool guest appearances by Christopher Lee, Alice Cooper and Jonathan Frid, TV’s original Barnabas.

‘Battleship’

(Opens May 18) Taking its title from the iconic Hasbro naval combat game, this sci-fi action-adventure follows a fleet of ships as it encounters an not-of-this-world armada during an oceanic training exercise, triggering a sprawling not-on-MY-watch brawl on the land, on the sea and in the air. Starring Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker and the singer Rihanna.

‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’

(Opens May 18) Taking its title from the bestselling 1984 pregnancy guide, this romantic comedy-drama looks at the up-and-down roller-coaster ride of having a baby through the experiences of five interconnected couples. With Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Brooklyn Decker, Anna Kendrick, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock and Megan Mullally.

‘Men in Black III’

(Opens May 25) For the third installment of the popular aliens-among-us franchise, Agent J (Will Smith) travels back in time to the 1960s to prevent the murder of his friend and alien-control coworker, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), an event that put the entire future cosmos in peril. Emma Thompson, pop singer Lady Gaga and Bill Hader costar, and Josh Brolin plays the younger, ’60s version of Tommy Lee Jones’ character. (PG-13)

‘Snow White and The Huntsman’

(Opens June 1) With a gritty twist to the familiar fairy tale, the huntsman ordered to take the pale-skinned maiden into the forest for her execution becomes her protector and partner in vanquishing the evil queen. Kristen Stewart had to overcome her fear of horses to play Snow White, who transforms into a woodland warrior and sets off to dethrone the rotten royal (Charlize Theron) who wants her dead.

‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’

(Opens June 8) An all-star list of actors, including Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and Sacha Baron Cohen, provide the voices for this animated family film from Dreamworks in which a displaced menagerie of animals, trying to get home to New York’s Central Park Zoo without causing an international incident, takes cover as part of a traveling circus making its way through Europe. (PG)

Prometheus

(Opens June 8) Director Ridley (Avatar) Scott’s latest highly anticipated, shrouded-in-secrecy project involves a team of explorers whose remarkable discovery leads to a revelation about mankind’s origins---and then a journey to the darkest corners of the universe to save the human race. Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba.

‘Rock Of Ages’

(Opens June 15) Julianna (Footloose) Hough and Diego Bonita anchor the large ensemble cast (which includes Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin and Tom Cruise) in this singin’, dancin’ comedy-drama about a waitress and busboy who fall in love to the accompaniment of the heavy-metal crunch and hair-band ballads of the 1980s.

‘That’s My Boy’

(Opens June 15) In Adam Sandler’s latest opus, he plays a brilliant astrophysicist who brings peace to a broken world. Just kidding! He’s actually a boorish, man-child slob who crashes the wedding of his long-estranged son (Andy Samberg). With Leighton Meester and James Caan, and cameos by Vanilla Ice and Tony Orlando.

‘Hotel Transylvania’

(Opens Sept. 21) Vampires are big this summer! Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade and Andy Samberg provide the voices for this family-friendly animated comedy, in which the king of the bloodsuckers, Dracula, has gone legit as the operator of an exclusive supernatural resort. But things get crazy when a flesh and blood boy stumbles across the spooky inn and falls for Drac’s drop-dead teenage daughter.