Can you feel it in the air? The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the blossoms are... blossoming, school is almost out... that can only mean one thing! Time to go to the movies!! Summer movie season seems to start earlier and earlier. And even though there is usually a cinematic lull in the fall, we have some wonderful shows to look forward to at Christmas this year, too!
Movie season 2013 kicked off last weekend with "Iron Man 3" (or, arguably with "Oblivion", back in April) and continues at top speed for a few weeks.There are an inordinate number of superhero sequels and dystopian worlds-end stories, along with a handful of unique, stand-alone features to look forward to.
Here is just a sampling of what's coming up next:
Next weekend, on May 17th, the much-anticipated sequel to 2009's "Star Trek" opens: "Star Trek Into Darkness". I'm super-duper-geeking-out excited about this, as one of my favorite actors, Benedict Cumberbatch of BBC's Sherlock (which is my favorite TV show), is playing the villain. I really enjoyed the 2009 movie, too, so I'll be getting tickets to see this on opening weekend!
Will Smith's presence in summer seems like a tradition, hearkening all the way back to "Independence Day" from July of 1996, and including the "Men In Black" franchise and "I, Robot" and many others. So it comes as no surprise that he'll have a big sci-fi adventure this year with "After Earth" on May 31st. His son, Jayden, gets second billing, and it's directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Not sure what to think of that... Jayden gave a mediocre performance in 2010's "Karate Kid" re-imagining, and Shyamalan hasn't had a hit in many years, but maybe this will be a pleasant surprise. And I'll see almost anything with Will Smith...
"Now You See Me" is a heist thriller, where a group of illusionists commit heists during performances, giving the money to their audiences. This movie looks so good, I'm actually as excited about it as I am about any of the superhero films coming this year. If nothing else, it's one of the better trailers I've seen this year. And who doesn't love Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo and Morgan Freeman? Plus Jesse Eisenberg, who is very good at the fast-talking smarter-than-everyone character rounds out a promising cast. This one comes out on May 31st.
On June 14, "Man of Steel" resets the Superman story, with a new version of the caped hero's origin story, starring Henry Cavill. The trailers look enticing-- hopefully this will be one the whole family can enjoy. Superman has always been such a great role model of truth, justice and doing the right thing.
June 21st has two movies opening, one for kids and one for... not kids: "Monsters University", the sequel to the beloved "Monsters, Inc." and the literal zombie-apocalypse horror/thriller "World War Z", starring Brad Pitt. You'll probably find me with the kiddos and not the zombies... Sorry, Brad.
In spite of concerns over racial insensitivity, Johnny Depp as Tonto in the July 5th's "The Lone Ranger" doesn't seem any more over the top than any other Depp character, and Armie Hammer appears to fit the big, white hat and the mask of the title character. I suppose the quality and potential offensiveness will remain to be seen, but it looks like a fun western adventure.
Also on July 5th, the sequel to 2010's "Despicable Me", simple titled "Despicable Me 2" hits theaters, and I'm sure it will be filled with more of Steve Carrel's signature shtick and the goofy minions that we all loved in the first movie.
Hugh Jackman returns as the title character on July 26th as "The Wolverine". Apparently a sequel to the 2009 film, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", it takes the title character to Japan to encounter an old enemy. So many superheros, so little time...
I wouldn't mention "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" except that geek favorite Nathan Fillion surprised me by appearing in the trailer-- he's playing the god Hermes. I will probably see it just for him.
On November 1, I will be right there with all you other geeks, nerds and wanna-be's standing in line to see "Ender's Game". This is one of the most beloved sci-fi books of all time, and if you haven't read it, do so before you see the movie. I don't know whether they will slaughter the story or stay true to it, but the end is one of the best twists ever, and even if you see it coming, it's better to read it yourself than to have it spoiled online or onscreen. Seriously. Read it.
One week later, on November 8th, the hunky Chris Hemsworth returns as the title character in "Thor: Dark World". 'Nuff said.
And on the 22nd of November, Chris' brother, Liam Hemsworth, returns with the great Jennifer Lawrence and the adorable Josh Hutcherson in the second "Hunger Games" movie "Catching Fire". Fans of the books will show up in droves. Others? Maybe not so much.
Probably THE most anticipated film of the year arrives on December 13th, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" starring the great Martin Freeman (I also love him-- he plays John Watson on the aforementioned "Sherlock"). You and I both will be in line for this one, right?
It's looking like one of the best years in superhero and sequel history. Hopefully there will be more great films than duds this year.
What did I miss? This is a VERY condensed list of films I'm excited about, but what would you have included on this list?
All images used are from IMDB.com.