Summer Movie Study Guide

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With the Avengers already in high gear and Will Smith making his return to the big screen after a four year hiatus in Men in Black III, the summer blockbuster season has officially begun! What’s that you say? Your nose has been buried so deep in books for the past few months that you have no idea what movies to keep an eye (or both, unless you’re Nick Fury) peeled for? Well, isn’t it convenient that we’ve conjured up a must-see-list for you? Yes, you!

It’s that time of year again—time for a brand new Pixar film! Brave looks to venture into unexplored territory, both literally and figuratively. It's the first Pixar film to feature a female protagonist since A Bug's Life and it looks to be much more adventurous than its predecessors; it almost seems to be an animated, Gollum-less version of The Lord of the Rings. Replace "destroying the Ring" with "a coming of age tale about a redhead living in Scottland who decides to run away from home and take charge of her destiny, bravely braving any obstacles that come in her way" and it's pretty much the same story. One thing's for sure: it won't be the stink-fest that was Cars 2.

The Amazing Spider-Man
Alright, alright. Spider-Man 3 may not have been the best version of itself it could’ve been and five years may not be a long enough wait for a reboot but, in a few words, “haters gonna hate.” Featuring The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, this film looks to be a true-to-the-comics take on the friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man. And if the web-slinging hero we've all come to know and love isn't enough to get you to the theater, maybe these two words will: Emma Stone. Definitely don't miss seeing The Amazing [Love Interest of] Spider-Man when it's released to theaters on July 3rd


Snow White and the Huntsman
This one is for the fairytale/fantasy fanatics out there. If you couldn't get enough of Snow White in ABC's Once Upon A Time, Kristen Stewart making hideously unattractive faces in Twilight (or anything else on her resume, for that matter) or even just watching Thor Chris Hemsworth take on bad guys, this is the film for you.


Director Ridley Scott (Bladerunner, Gladiator, Body of Lies, Robin Hood) returns to the science-fiction genre of filmmaking after a 30 year absence to bring us a prequel of sorts to the Alien franchise. This film has had critics and audiences buzzing ever since the trailer for the trailer for the trailer was released almost a year ago. There are no doubts that the full, 120 minute trailer for this film will blow audiences away when it sees its cinematic release on June 10th.


The Bourne Legacy
Jason Bourne is back and better than ever! In fact, he’s now so good at his job that you probably won’t even spot him in this film. Okay, he’s not that good, Matt Damon is just taking a break from the franchise, allowing Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton to flex their CIA muscles in the upcoming fourth film of the Bourne series. It'll be interesting to see how this film fares without the American version of James Bond starring in it; it'll be even more interesting to see if this paves the way for a fifth film with Damon and Paul Greengrass (director of the first trilogy) returning.


A comedy featuring the most cuddly of teddy bears, Ted is Seth McFarlane’s first venture into a “real” film. And if Mark Wahlberg starring in this isn’t enough to get you to your nearest box office, there’s an actual teddy bear in this film! In short, the story is a real life adaptation of Brian and Stewie's relationship in Family Guy. Oh, and the stunning MIla Kunis is in this.


The Expendables 2
When this trailer aired before The Avengers’ midnight showing, crowds roared in approval–literally. Why? Because, if the cast from the first film wasn’t epic enough, the Expendables must now call upon Chuck Norris for back-up in this one! Yes, you read that right, the Chuck Norris. Let there be no doubt that this will be a terrible, terrible film…but it’ll be one hell of a ride.


Total Recall
Is it a reboot? Is it a sequel? Is it just poor titling? No matter, the premise of the film is intriguing, albeit a bit overdone at this point. It has Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame in addition to the foxy Kate Beckinsale and it has Colin Farrell returning to his action roots. What’s not to like?


The Dark Knight Rises
Following the success of The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan is back for the third and final chapter of his Batman trilogy. Easily one of the most anticipated films of the year, hold Peter Jackson’s Hobbit: Part I and the already released Avengers, rest assured you’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more about this film in the coming month and a half. 


That’s My Boy
We saved the best for last! Just kidding. Don’t keep your eyes peeled for this sure-to-be stinker. If this film proves anything, it’s that Adam Sandler really does have a fetish for accents you would never hear ever.

So, ladies and gentlemen, your homework for the summer is to see as many of these as you can. See you in the fall for the Oscar season!

Junior > Journalism and Architecture > University of Massachusetts Amherst

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