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Summer Blockbuster Movie Preview: Hollywood Loves Sequels & Comic Books

Thor comes from Asgard to Earth and lets Natalie Portman touch his hammer - the joys of being the god of thunder. Thor comes from Asgard to Earth and lets Natalie Portman touch his hammer - the joys of being the god of thunder.

Even with the increased ticket prices for 3D movies, Hollywood is having an abysmal year at the box office. Perhaps it’s because so many bad movies are released. But never fear, summer’s here. And Hollywood is rolling out its usual slate of sequels, comic book films, and a few flicks based on toys. Here’s a rundown of some of big movies, including Cowboys & Aliens, Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Hangover 2.

While not as popular as Batman or Super Man, DC Entertainment is hedging its bets on the Green Lantern this summer.

May 6

Thor: God of Thunder 

Kenneth Branagh has gone from Shakespeare to Marvel comic books in this big-budget action movie that introduces Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder. Oscar-winner Natalie Portman plays Thor’s love interest and Tom Hiddleston brings his foe, Loki, to life on the big screen. This movie sets up Thor as a key character in Joss Whedon’s 2012 The Avengers movie.

May 20

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Johnny Depp sets sail with a fresh story (loosely based on Tim Powers’ On Stranger Tides book) in search of the Fountain of Youth. This time around, Captain Jack Sparrow must contend with a new love interest in Penelope Cruz and a new villain in Ian McShane’s Blackbeard. Director Rob Marshall helms the first 3D film in the franchise in hopes of steering the franchise back to its roots.

May 26

The Hangover 2

After sneaking into theaters with a $200 million U.S. take the first time around, this sequel sends the original cast to Bangkok for Stu's wedding. Of course, the gang find themselves in another post-blackout misadventure. Director Todd Phillips now has a very high bar to meet, having created the most successful R-rated comedy ever.

June 17

Green Lantern

While not as popular as Batman or Super Man, DC Entertainment is hedging its bets on the Green Lantern this summer. Ryan Reynolds stars as test pilot Hal Jordan in director Martin Campbell’s take on the comic book superhero, one that gets his powers from an alien ring. Also along for the ride are Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett.

June 24

Cars 2: World Grand Prix

John Lasseter gets back into the director’s chair for more racing action. Pixar is following up the Oscar-winning Toy Story 3 with another 3D sequel, Cars 2. Owen Wilson’s Lightning McQueen crosses the pond to compete in the World Grand Prix. Larry the Cable Guy’s tow truck Mater gets detoured with some international espionage along the way.

July 1

Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon

Michael Bay has filmed the third and final film in the Hasbro toy franchise in 3D, which should translate well with the type of robot action and breathtaking stunts involved. Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel return, but there’s new eye candy in the form of Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, as original female lead Megan Fox was cut after a very a very public war of words with Bay. She joins Frances McDormand and John Malkovich in this sequel, which Bay promises won’t suck.

July 15

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Warner Bros. is finally parting ways with the magic of its most successful franchise of all time. Harry Potter faces off against Voldemort in this final chapter, which sends Harry, Ron, and Hermione out to destroy the final horcruxes. Director David Yates, who has helmed the last three movies, has converted this eighth to (no surprise) 3D.

July 22

The First Avenger: Captain America

In this summer of Marvel comic film adaptations, the studio hopes that Captain America will earn the type of mainstream following that Iron Man did a few years ago. Director Joe Johnston is bringing the origin story of the red, white, and blue-clad superhero to life in 3D with Chris Evans (who played Johnny Blaze in the Fantastic Four movie) donning the shield. Hugo Weaving plays his nemesis the Red Skull in the film, which is set during World War II.

The Smurfs

Sony is bringing the classic blue characters to life in a new live action 3D movie that has Gargamel (Hank Azaria) chasing the Smurfs from their village to New York City. Director Raja Gosnell, who worked with digital characters in the Scooby Doo movie, has been tasked with making these once-popular cartoon characters relevant for the modern audience. Katie Perry voicing Smurfette should help.

Keep an eye out for more summer movies, including an exclusive interview with Cowboys & Aliens director Jon Favreau, in the July/August issue of Rosebud Magazine - on newsstands and in bookstores this summer.

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Cowboys & Aliens is the western/sci-fi mash-up you've been waiting for.
Last modified on Thursday, 30 August 2012 18:06

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