With the release of "Cheech & Chong's Animated Movie" we can say it's already been a big year for movies, but you're not stupid. We all know that starting in May, Hollywood starts to serve a steady diet of summer blockbusters. And in all seriousness, without too many comic book films and unnecessary sequels being shoved down our throats, there is a surprising number of high quality, big budget films set to spill onto the silver screen. The only question is, "Which of the big upcoming summer movies will you see first?" Read on to find your answer.
Iron Man 3 (May 3)
For those of you who enjoy the comic book flicks, specifically the "Iron Man" franchise, here is your answer. Robert Downey, Jr. returns to the role that revived his career, as Tony Stark must take on a terrorist villain played by Ben Kingsley in order to rebuild his personal world and save the world around him. Expect plenty of action and snarkiness.
The only current actor qualified to pull off the role of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby is obviously going to be Leo, so you better get to this one, as Mr. DiCaprio claims to be going on an indefinite movie-making hiatus after starring in the Baz Luhrmann adaptation of one of fiction's greatest novels (you should have already read). The only initial criticism to this colorful take on early '20s lavish living is having Tobey Maguire as the narrative character, Nick Carraway, but don't let that stop you from seeing an otherwise well-cast remake of the 1974 Robert Redford film.
J.J. Abrams’ follow-up to his 2009 “Star Trek” will feature the return of Chris Pine and most of its original cast members, including Zoe Saldana (woot!). The film focuses around an internal terrorist aboard the Starship Enterprise, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who forces Captain Kirk and the gang to track him down before he posts terrible things on their Facebook walls.
The Hangover Part III (May 24)
If you’re going to "Fast & Furious 6" on this weekend instead of the thrilling conclusion to a series of most epic road-trippers, then you’re the reason why "Fast & Furious 7" is already slated for next summer. The third installment co-starring Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms will likely be a step up from the first sequel and a step further into the deep end, as director Todd Phillips has little reason to hold back on this deranged finale to all things ungodly and seemingly unforgettable
Before Midnight (May 24)
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy star in one of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival's most talked about trilogy endings. No, there are no comic books involved in this trilogy, but anybody who has followed this couple down the path of "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" know that finding out the conclusion to these two nine years later is worth the watch.
Now You See Me (May 31)
A not-so-typical heist flick starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Woody Harrelson focuses on a group of illusionists who rob a foreign safe to the awe of the general public. It's kind of like "Ocean's Eleven" meets "The Prestige," only with better tempered actors. There's not much more that can be said, as any good magic trick is kept a pretty good secret.
After Earth (June 7)
M. Night Shyamalan's return with Will and Jaden Smith on his shoulders will feature a post-humanity Earth 1,000 years since their extinction. Will Smith is one of the last survivors of the planet (that seems like familiar territory for him), and this time his son is along to battle with him. Shyamalan's writing and crazy twists will hopefully make this a unique turning point for films with the last humans on Earth plot.
The Internship (June 7)
The womanizing wedding crashers are now jobless, transient losers. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are back as the duo with the huggable teddy bear meets idiot man-child chemistry. This time around, Vaughn and Wilson play a duo failing to be analog guys in a tech-hungry modern world, forcing them into unemployment and starting fresh, fighting tooth and nail with kids half their age to get into the painful, loveless internship world at Google. We're not sure how this one ends, but Rose Bryne is in it, so there's probably a struggle of post-adolescent love and some
growing pains for men who want to be forever young. They'll figure it all out, though.
This Is the End (June 12)
Calling all freaks and geeks. Here's a film of actors playing themselves while at a party before the apocalypse. Seriously, this could be one of summer's biggest comedies, as the cast of "Freaks and Geeks," along with the bulk of Judd Apatow's clan, are featured. Seth Rogen, James Franco and Jason Segel, along with all the other fat, skinny, and formerly fat funny guys who we love to laugh at will be in attendance.
Man of Steel (June 14)
Say "hello" to the blockbuster superhero movie that really warrants your attention this summer. Considering the lack of solid up-to-date modern Superman movies, it's about bloody time, wouldn't you say? Anybody who saw "Superman Returns" probably wished the only thing returning was their money after that miscarriage of a comic book saga.
World War Z (June 21)
Based off a rare successfully selling horror novel not written by Stephen King, "World War Z" isn't trying anything too new by joining the zombie apocalypse bandwagon, but it will likely do it better than anybody preceding it. With the help of Brad Pitt and a fast-paced version of a zombie epidemic, the film grips the suspenseful idea of a speedy race for humanity against its demise.
The Heat (June 28)
It's hard to argue that there is a more hilarious actress out there right now than Melissa McCarthy. She steals every scene she is in and doesn't apologize for it. And being paired with the versatile Sandra Bullock seems like a home run after watching the trailer for "The Heat," as the two play cops who have never had a partner, or a friend, before in their lives.
The Lone Ranger (July 3)
Johnny Depp in another dark Disney action film? Sure, why not. The rock 'n roll actor is in this summer's western adventure rendition of "The Lone Ranger," in which Depp is, for once, not the lead role in a Gore Verbinski-directed Disney movie.
Grown Ups 2 (July 12)
How the hell did this get in here? We're not going to say don't worry about seeing this one, but just keep these facts in mind before you make a decision:
Adam Sandler's recent movies - "That's My Boy," "Jack and Jill," "Just Go With It."
Kevin James' recent movies - "Here Comes the Boom," "Zookeeper," "The Dilemma."
Pacific Rim (July 12)
An alien attack on Earth that is fought by humans controlling giant robots sounds a lot like an everyday episode of "Power Rangers," but since "Sons of Anarchy" lead men Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman are in the driver's seats, along with Idris Elba and Charlie Day, it should be a major step up. Regardless of how the movie does, having "Grown Ups 2" as your main competition during a summer release seems like a pretty good situation.
Fruitvale (July 26)
Forget "The Wolverine," this is the film to see on July 26th. Winner of the highest awards at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, "Fruitvale" explores the true story of the final hours of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area kid, before his death. Starring "Friday Night Lights" quarterback Michael B. Jordan, the film is intense, suspenseful and moving. If you're looking for bad X-men plot lines, you know where to go, but this film is the ticket if you're looking for a strong true story of the ups and downs of real life.
300: Rise of an Empire (August 2)
The cinematic event to play prequel to 2007's "300" features Zack Snyder moving out of the directing chair in his screenplay adaptation of Frank Miller's follow-up graphic novel, an August release set to appear in IMAX 3D. The first installment is set in 480 B.C. featuring an alliance of historical fantasy between Greek and Persian cities. For Frank Miller fans, the backstory of Xerxes is touched upon, as well as a bit of potential bloodshed here and there.
Kick-Ass 2 (August 16)
The masked high school heroes with a curfew are back with McLovin as kid nemesis, Motherf***er, and Jim Carrey as some oddball colonel, all of which is rumored to be under an excellent script and is perfect for a late summer release. The first "Kick-Ass" was surprisingly funny and well written. Now, swapping Jim Carrey for Nicolas Cage is a real slam dunk move. But we swear, if Nic Cage makes a surprise cameo, we're just going to flip out and kick someone's ass ourselves.
Elysium (August 9)
Set in 2154, Elysium is a space station that exists with no sickness, war or poverty. It's a paradise away from Earth, which is now a human wasteland. The film, from "District 9" director Neill Blomkamp, sends Max De Costa (Matt Damon) from Earth to Elysium to order to bring about equality between the two. There will likely be a struggle for control between Damon and Secretary Rhodes, played by Jodi Foster, who is arguably more tough than most grown men.
The World's End (August 23)
Five friends reunite 20 years after an epic pub crawl in an attempt to top it. Then they end up becoming the only hope to save mankind. The movie stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost of "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" fame. If you are a fan of those movies (as you should be), then this is a can't-miss for the end of summer.