|Blockbuster season opens this weekend|
|Wednesday, May 2, 2012|
By PATRICK HALL
It’s that time of year, when summer approaches and studios kick out the brightest, but not always their best, films to get moviegoers in the seats, and this summer may be one of the largest on record.
Let’s take a look at the potential blockbusters slated for this summer starting with this weekend’s “Marvel’s The Avengers.”
I can’t really say more about the film in addition to what I said in my most recent column, such a long time ago. But, the basic plot involves heroes Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) against Thor’s mischievous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who wants to use a source of infinite power known as the “Tesseract” to rule the world, or destroy it, bring aliens to invade it, what have you.The film opens Friday, May 4, and has already been demolishing international box offices, earning $218.2 million already since its international opening on April 26 in most areas of the world.
Be warned, if you have not caught the lead-in films “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” “Incredible Hulk,” “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” you have a couple days to do so. Technically, the films kind of take place in that chronological order. Reviews by critics so far have been very positive with the film having a 93 percent “Fresh” rating on Rottentomatoes.com.
I’ll be reviewing the film after checking it out at one of our local theaters on Saturday. Oh, and be sure to stay after the end credits for one of those typical comic-book movie teaser scenes.
On May 18, you can check out “Battleship,” a movie based off the Hasbro Inc., board game that looks to contain all the explosions and action you can handle. Other than that, it doesn’t look to be exploring the depths of acting or writing skill.
“Battleship” is the story of a small fleet of Naval vessels that encounter an alien force off the coast of the Hawaiian islands. The aliens appear to trap the ships under an impenetrable dome, forcing them to fight the sinister ships rising from the deep.
At the same time, it appears the aliens are inflicting mass destruction on cities and military bases worldwide, for whatever reason. Seeing as how this is the latest film based off a Hasbro toy (the “Transformers” trilogy), when watching the trailer the aliens almost look to come from the same mold as the “Transformers.”
Liam Neeson (must be looking for a few bucks), Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker and Alexander Skarsgard will star in the big-budget release.
The summer season continues with a sure-fire money-maker, “Men in Black 3” starring Will Smith as Agent Jay, Tommy Lee Jones as Agent Kay, and newcomer to the franchise, Josh Brolin, playing a younger Agent Kay.
This time, Jay must time travel to 1969 after Kay goes missing from the secretive Men in Black. Back in the ’60s, Jay encounters his partner’s younger-self and must enlist his help to stop a pending alien invasion.
Honestly, if after this summer you aren’t tired of alien invasions, I commend you. “Men in Black” has been a hit since the first was released in 1997, thanks to Smith, who seems to attract moviegoers to theaters in droves.
While I didn’t enjoy the second installment of “Men in Black” as much as the first, I became a huge fan of Brolin upon seeing “No Country for Old Men” in 2007. I’m on board for a viewing and hope to see the mixture of comedy and the depth of character that Jones brought to the original.
Fast-forward to June 8 and you get “Prometheus” from director Ridley Scott, which is being billed as probably one of the most significant science fiction films in a long time.
Starring Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce and Charlize Theron, the film follows a group of explorers who travel to a distant planet seeking the origin of life on earth.
The crew is sent into the stars after archaeologists discover ancient civilizations all drew the same pictograph of a “star map” from ancient encounters with extraterrestrials.
I was no fan of James Cameron’s “Avatar” as it sacrificed originality of story, characters and great writing for a flashy show. Scott is known for his science fiction achievements such as “Alien” in 1979, and “Blade Runner” in 1982.
I am hoping “Prometheus” delivers equally compelling narratives and great characters as Scott’s previous sci-fi masterpieces, instead of just trying to “wow” us with visual effects.
On July 3, Sony returns to the roots of Spider-Man with “The Amazing Spider-Man,” trying to erase the awful taste left from the final installment to Sam Raimi’s trilogy.
Starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, “Amazing” is retelling the origin of the hero in what it promises is a different way. Emma Stone joins Garfield as Gwen Stacy, Parker’s romantic interest, and Denis Leary plays New York City cop and Stacy’s father, George.
The film is bringing in some of Spider-Man’s original elements, including Parker creating mechanical “web shooters” and having Stacy as his first love interest. While Raimi’s trilogy made billions, many fans are discouraged they started over, but that’s not going to keep them from seeing this film.
Later that month, Christopher Nolan unleashes his final installment in his Batman trilogy on July 20. “The Dark Knight Rises” brings back Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordan, Michael Cain as butler Alfred, along with new villain Bane (Tom Hardy) and anti-hero Catwoman (Anne Hathaway).
The film and Nolan promise to conclude his story of Batman’s journey from “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight.” The latest trailer for the film was released on Tuesday and has the most ominous and foreboding tone of any comic book film I’ve seen.
The film is set eight years after the events of “The Dark Knight” and new villain Bane comes to Gotham to “punish” Batman and push the authorities and the hero to their very limits. What role Catwoman has to play is so far, unclear, as is Batman and Bruce Wayne’s final fate.
Also, coming Aug. 3 is “Bourne Legacy” starring Renner from Avengers as a CIA operative following in Jason Bourne’s footsteps. You can also catch the “Total Recall” remake starring Colin Farrell on the same day or weekend.