On the third anniversary of this blog, it is once again time to announce my picks of the films that I'm most looking forward in seeing this summer.
Also, as usual, the release dates are subject to change:
Release date: May 4, 2012
We have already seen Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, new to the role) each battle against evil individually but now they have been assembled together by Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Samuel L. Jackson) to fight against a bigger enemy in "The Avengers". Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and a new hero to the scene, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) are also brought on board and they'll need all of their combined strength to save the planet. This is probably the film I am most excited about seeing all summer since I was such a big comic-book geek as a kid.
Release date: May 11, 2012
Director, Tim Burton has teamed up with Johnny Deep for the seventh time in this comedic remake of the gothic soap opera, "Dark Shadows" that ran on television from 1966 to 1971 which I watched and loved as a kid. Depp plays Barnabas Collins, an eighteenth century playboy who is turned in to a vampire by an jilted witch (Eva Green) and buried in a coffin before accidentally being released hundreds of years later in 1972. He discovers a world that is a bit different than the one he last remembered and meets his dysfunctional descendants living in his mansion. Chloe Grace Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Helena Bonham Carter (what's with these three names?) and Michelle Pfeiffer round out the cast.
Release date: May 18, 2012
This British romantic-comedy is about a nineteenth century doctor (Hugh Dancy) trying to discover a cure for female hysteria, which was considered a medical condition that was helped by treatments that involved doctors performing a "pelvic massage". A device is invented to make the procedure more effective: the vibrator. Felicity Jones, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Maggie Gyllenhaal also star in this film directed by Tanya Wexler.
"SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN"
Release date: June 1, 2012
This is the second film inspired by the classic fable released this year but unlike, "Mirror Mirror" (the lighthearted version that starred Julia Roberts as the evil queen) "Snow White and the Huntsman" is definitely not made with children in mind. This visually stunning take is a much darker spin with this Snow White being more than capable of taking care of herself and kicking some ass. Kirsten Stewart ("Twilight") plays the fairest of them all with Charlize Theron as the Queen who is not at all happy to hear that. It appears that the dwarfs and Prince Charming take a back seat to the brooding huntsman, played by Chris Hemsworth ("Thor").
Release date: June 8, 2012
Ridley Scott, the director of "Blade Runner" and "Alien", has returned to the world of science-fiction with "Prometheus", a film that is set before the first "Alien" film. Although the filmmaker insists that this is not exactly a prequel to that film but it's also clear that "Prometheus" is closely connected to what happened before the "Alien" series began. Does that clear things up? Noomi Rapace (the original Lisbeth in the Swedish version of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") leads a strong cast that includes Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba and Michael Fassbender.
"TO ROME WITH LOVE"
Release date: June 22, 2012
After the surprising success of "Midnight In Paris", Woody Allen is hot once again with his forty-third film, "To Rome With Love" being highly anticipated. The film was first going to be called, "The Bop Decameron", then "Nero Fiddles" before settling on this fairly generic title but hopefully the film will be much more interesting than the title. The cast includes Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, and Judy Davis, with the return to the screen of Roberto Benigni (Best Actor Oscar winner for the 1997 film, "Life Is Beautiful") and Mr. Allen himself , who was last seen in 2006 in his film, "Scoop".
Release date: June 29, 2012
A movie involving male strippers doesn't require much more than that to get me interested but Steven Soderbergh as the director involved makes this even more intriguing. Loosely based on star, Channing Tatum's past as an exotic dancer, "Magic Mike" is about the veteran stripper, Mike (Tatum) teaching a newcomer (Alex Pettyfer) the ropes while trying to gracefully leave the profession. Television hunks, Matt Boner ("White Collar"), Adam Rodriguez ("CSI: Miami") and Joe Manganiello ("True Blood") fill in as other dancers with Matthew McConaughey as a former stripper who now owns the club.
"TAKE THIS WALTZ"
Release date: June 29, 2012
Following her terrific debut, the award-winning 2006 film, "Away From Her", actress, Sarah Polley made quite an name for herself as a writer/director and has finally returned with her latest, "Take This Waltz". Michelle Williams (recent Oscar nominee for "My Week With Marilyn") plays a happily married woman to her husband of five years (Seth Rogan) but finds herself being drawn to her attractive neighbor (Luke Kirby). The drama also features comedian, Sarah Silverman, being very serious.
Release date : July 13, 2012
"Ted" is a raunchy new comedy written and directed by Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the raunchy animated television series, "Family Guy" and "American Dad". John (Mark Wahlberg), as a little boy, wished that his teddy bear would come to life and he does; Ted is a foul-mouthed, drug-taking bad influence on John and is standing in the way of him growing-up and finding happiness as an adult with a potential new love interest (Mila Kunis).
"THE DARK KNIGHT RISES"
Release date: July 20, 2012
Although "The Dark Knight Rises" is being touted as the third and final chapter in the Christopher Nolan - Christian Bale collaboration but I think it's pretty safe to say that we have not seen the last of the caped crusader. This time Batman has to deal with not one but two dangerous foes in the form of The Catwoman with Anne Hathaway filling in as Selina Kyle and Bane (Tom Hardy), a masked, lethal brute with super-strength. Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman return in their previous roles along with Nolan's "Inception" stars, Joesph Gordon-Levitt as a Gotham City cop and Marion Cotillard as Bruce Wayne's potential new love interest.
Release date: August 3, 2012
I admit to having zero interest in seeing "Total Recall"(one of Arh-nuld's most popular films) which seemed like yet another pointless Hollywood remake that would pale in comparison to the original but then I actually saw the trailer. Now, I have to admit that the trailer alone makes this version look like a vast improvement over the 1990 film. I realize this doesn't mean this film will be any good but now I'm much more interested in seeing it. Set in the near future, Colin Farrell (improvement number one) takes over as Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who discovers that false memories have been implanted in him to cover that he is acually a rebel fighter trying to take down the government. This version (directed by Len Wiseman) also features Bryan Cranston, John Cho, Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale as Quaid's loving wife.
Release date: August 17, 2012
In what is, sadly, Whitney Houston's final film is a remake of the 1976 musical, "Sparkle". Now set in the 60's, this story is still about three young sisters who dream of becoming singing stars but fail to see the price they might have to pay for this success. Their mother (played by Houston) tries to protect her girls as she knows firsthand about the hardship of the music biz. The cast includes Derek Luke, Mike Epps and "American Idol" winner, Jordin Sparks making her cinematic debut. "Sparkle" will feature some of the original music written by Curtis Mayfield as well as new material by R. Kelly.