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.


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Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man 3”

Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures

Additional Photos Below


"Black Rock" (R): Maine's own Katie Aselton ("The League") writes, directs and stars in this "Deliverance"-style horror movie set on the titular Maine island, where the vacation plans of a trio of young women turn ugly when the locals show up. Hey, wait -- we are the locals. What's up with that, Katie? (Seriously, though -- this one looks great.)


MAY 24

"Fast & Furious 6" (not yet rated): Six of these? Huh. Former street racers-turned-car thief-catchers drive very, very rapidly once again while Vin Diesel and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson compete to see who's the baldest and burliest in the land, while Paul Walker tries to look menacing and remind people he exists.

#drive-in #six? #really?

"The Hangover: Part 3" (R): Did you like the first one? Did you not mind that the second one was exactly the same but not as good? Then you're the ideal audience for the summer's second threequel, with Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and that boring guy continuing to prove they cannot hold their booze to the delight of the undiscriminating.

#threequel #diminishingreturns

"Before Midnight" (not yet rated): The least-likely threequel of the summer is also the most anticipated, at least by me. Director Richard Linklater and stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke continue to check in every nine years on the young lovers first encountered in 1995's "Before Sunrise," crafting in the process one of the most moving, funny and insightful depictions of a relationship in screen history.


MAY 31

"After Earth" (not yet rated): The time: A thousand years after a mysterious crisis has caused humans to vacate the planet. The setup: A father and son (Will and Jaden Smith) crash-land on Earth and must survive the now-hostile environment. The problem -- M. Night Shyamalan. Will an absurd twist ending chase the movie up its own butt (see: "The Happening," "The Village"), or has he got another "Unbreakable" or "The Sixth Sense" in him?

#evenmoney #nepotism

"Now You See Me" (PG-13): Imagine "Ocean's Eleven," except with Penn and Teller in charge. That's the deal when a ragtag gang of stage magicians pull off heists using their ala-kazams and whatnot. Sounds silly/awesome, but the cast (including Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo and Jesse Eisenberg) should make cinematic sleight-of-hand entertaining enough.


"The Purge" (R): In a world of overcrowded prisons and obviously stupid lawmakers, all crime is legalized for one 12-hour period each year. One family tries to deal with the night of horror without murdering their neighbors for letting their dog poop in the yard, and movie theater-talkers everywhere are grateful this isn't a real thing.


"The East" (PG-13): From the team that made the intriguingly weird 2012 indie thriller "Sound of My Voice" comes another intense mind-twister, with private investigator Brit Marling ("Another Earth") getting in too deep when she infiltrates an anarchist group that targets corporations.

#uneasy #queasy


"The Internship" (not yet rated): The "Wedding Crashers" themselves, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, reunite in this similarly raunchy comedy with a bummer of a premise, as their two slicky-boy salesmen have to start at the bottom as Google interns when the economy tanks. Mining laughs from midlife crises and bankruptcy will require these two to tap back into the undeniably funny live-wire energy of their teaming of eight years ago(?!) Just typing that makes me feel old; here's hoping they don't.

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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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