May 2, 2013

Summer movies: Heat wave comin' on

Temps are rising at the box office, which is about, for better or worse, to loose the blockbusters of the season.

By DENNIS PERKINS

Summer's here (at least for movies), and the studios are trying to lure you out of the sunshine and into a dark theater with their traditional glut of would-be blockbusters. It's a veritable bulk candy aisle full of thrillers, smashers, smoochers, superheroes and the occasional actual movie, and I'm here to advise you, quick-hit Twitter style, on what to gobble up like delicious M&Ms and what to avoid like those Jordan almonds. (All release dates and ratings subject to studio whim.)

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Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man 3”

Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures

Additional Photos Below

FRIDAY

"Iron Man 3" (PG-13): Superhero franchises' third installments generally mean trouble. The desire to top themselves results in too many villains, too much spectacle and a serious case of running-time bloat. Add into the mix a new director and screenwriters, and there's potential (if lucrative) disaster for ol' Tony Stark. Luckily, new guy Shane Black is familiar with the singular comic charisma of Robert Downey Jr., having directed him in the underrated "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," so I'll reserve judgment. (Although, guys -- no one was clamoring for more Gwyneth Paltrow. Maybe her mom.)

#superheroes #threequel #her

"The Iceman" (R): I think I'd know it if my spouse was a contract killer (I'm fairly sure she's not), but in this thriller, Michael Shannon ("Take Shelter," "Boardwalk Empire") plays a real-life hitman who hid his bloody double-life from the wife and kids for years. I don't know what's more implausible, the guy keeping his secret or the terrifying Michael Shannon playing a loving husband and father.

#mobmovie #hitman #MichaelShannonscaresme

MAY 10

"The Great Gatsby" (PG-13): Director Baz Luhrmann brings his loopy, unrestrained visual style to this opulent adaptation of the literary classic. As with his "Romeo and Juliet" (also starring Leonardo DiCaprio), the sheer amount of spazzy spectacle is sure to enrage purists everywhere. But there were rewards to be found, and at least this promises more entertainment value than the leaden Robert Redford version. (Note to students: If you're gonna skip reading the book, be advised that Gatsby did not listen to Jay-Z.)

#3DGatsby?

"Peeples" (PG-13): The words "presented by Tyler Perry" aren't encouraging, but at least this "meet the family" comedy gives the undeniably hilarious Craig Robinson ("The Office") a leading-man role for a change (even if he does appear to get humped by a dog at one point).

#alead'salead

"Aftershock" (R): "Hostel" 's Eli Roth continues to subtly suggest that Americans stay at home with another bloody horror flick about U.S. tourists getting gruesomely tortured the second they cross the border. This time, Roth (who writes and stars) crosses Chile off your travel itinerary as the leader of a group of Yanks whose travel disaster starts with an earthquake and ends with gratuitous nastiness at the hands of those darned foreigners. Seriously, did Roth have a bad experience on spring break?

#stayhome

MAY 17

"Star Trek Into Darkness" (PG-13): J.J. Abrams continues his revamp of the beloved sci-fi franchise, bringing in the deliciously arch evil of "Sherlock" 's Benedict Cumberbatch to menace Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise. Huge, massive, un-ignorable plotholes aside, the first film was hugely entertaining, throwing clever nods to longtime fans while forging its own separate identity and showing unerring casting instincts.

#sequel #remake #sequelmake

"Frances Ha" (R): Looking for a quirkie indie amidst all the superheroes, spaceships and s'plosions? This comedy from writer/director Noah Baumbach ("The Squid and the Whale") about manic pixie dream girl Greta Gerwig chasing her improbable dreams all over NYC should do it. Not a phaser in sight

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Benedict Cumberbatch in “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Paramount Pictures

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Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Great Gatsby”

Warner Bros.

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Henry Cavill in “Man of Steel”

Warner Bros.

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Bradley Cooper, left, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms in “The Hangover 3”

Warner Bros.

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Clockwise from front, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson in “Now You See Me,” like “Ocean’s Eleven,” only with magicians.

Summit Entertainment

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Armie Hammer, left, and Johnny Depp in “The Lone Ranger,” opening July 5.

Summit Entertainment

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Greta Gerwig in “Frances Ha,” a comedy from director Noah Baumbach.

IFC Films

  


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