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

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#productplacement #breakroomcrashers

"Much Ado About Nothing" (PG-13): Because he's brilliant and insane, Joss Whedon made this micro-budgeted Shakespeare adaptation at the same time he made "The Avengers," with TV pals Nathan Fillion ("Firefly"), Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof ("Angel"), and Fran Kranz ("Dollhouse"). Shakespeare and Whedon together? In a perfect world, this would out-gross "Iron Man 3," but at least I'll see you smart people there.



"Man of Steel" (PG-13): Boy, am I on the fence about this one. Stirring trailers aside, I remain skeptical that the Big Blue Boy Scout needs a grim 'n' gritty "Dark Knight" reboot at the hands of a flashy director (Zack Snyder, "300," "Watchmen") with suspect instincts. That being said, those trailers do look great, Henry Cavill looks born to play Supes, Michael Shannon's on board as the evil Zod, and, well, it's just been too long since we had Superman to save us every summer.


"This Is the End" (R): A meta-summit of all the stars of your favorite stoner comedies, this rude-looking yuk-fest features Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and others (playing themselves) attending a boozy blowout at James Franco's mansion when the apocalypse breaks out. How will Judd Apatow's slobby slack-pack cope with the end of the world? I'm guessing not well, but hilariously. And with more f-bombs than "Scarface."

#perfectformom #jk

"The Bling Ring" (R): Sofia Coppola continues her reign as the doyenne of quirky indie dramas with this true story about a gang of young thieves who track celebs via social media and then rob their homes. Sounds a little superficial to me, but Coppola rarely steps wrong, so it's undoubtedly worth a peek.



"Monsters University" (not yet rated): Sure, Pixar has had an unprecedented dry spell of late ("Cars 2" and "Brave"), but I still have faith that the House of Nemo can still deliver. Billy Crystal and John Goodman are back as lovable monsters Mike and Sulley in a prequel showing their time at the titular state school training to be the scariest scare-ers in scaretown.


"World War Z" (R): I have never hated a movie more prior to seeing it, because it's clear that this apocalyptic zombie flick has imported nothing but the name of Max Brooks' brilliant zombie novel. Instead of its thoughtful, nuanced and terrifying portrait of humanity on the brink of extinction (and beyond), it looks like we're getting hunky Brad Pitt being chased by sprinting zombies and trying to save his adorable kids. A troubled production helmed by the guy who directed the worst of the Daniel Craig Bonds, I'm not saying you should boycott this movie, but I sure am.



"The Heat" (R): Paul Feig re-teams with his "Bridesmaids" costar Melissa McCarthy in this female buddy-cop comedy pairing the Oscar nominee with straightlaced FBI agent Sandra Bullock. "Bridesmaids" reminded Hollywood that funny women being absolutely filthy can be box-office gold, and McCarthy's an improvising pistol, so here's hoping her energy can carry America's sweetheart to the finish line.

#girlpower #fartjokes

"White House Down" (not yet rated): Channing Tatum is a cop on a tour of the White House when terrorists stage one of their pesky paramilitary raids on the commander-in-chief. When this movie was called "Olympus Has Fallen," I was uninterested. Now I'm genuinely annoyed.

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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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