Summer 2012 Promises Enticing Variety of Movies



After putting all of that brainpower to exhaustive use on the last stretch of the school year, the summer season allows you to kick-back and indulge in some mindless and carefree cinematic entertainment. With said season just around the corner, it is time to take a look at what it has to offer—highlighting some of the releases that will hit the big screen during the dog days.

Hollywood’s apparent short-term memory and lack of creativity continues to run rampant, as a plethora of various sequels, prequels and reboots are prepared to ride into theaters on a wave of freshly buttered popcorn. First out of the gate is “The Avengers,” hitting theaters May 4, which sees all of the major Marvel comic book characters, from Iron Man to Captain America to Thor, teaming up to stop arch-nemesis Loki. The plot is pure routine, but it should be a kick to see Tony Stark’s wiseass antics coexisting alongside the muscled Norse god Thor and the temperamental Incredible Hulk.

It’s a relatively swift return to the drawing board for the Spiderman franchise, as a mere five years after the Tobey Maguire-starring trilogy has brought an entirely new origin story in the form of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” due out July 3. British actor Andrew Garfield will be assuming the role of Peter Parker, with real-life Emma Stone playing his love interest Gwen Stacey.

With “Prometheus,” opening June 8, Ridley Scott offers an enticing prospect for science fiction buffs. The plot of the film, thought shrouded in secrecy, is set to be a return of sorts to the world of his influential sci-fi horror classic “Alien.” Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace star as crewmembers of a spaceship who encounter an ancient extraterrestrial race that proves potentially dangerous to the well-being of Earth, with excitement and scares surely in tow.

Christopher Nolan will be bringing his modern Batman trilogy to a close with “The Dark Knight Rises,” out July 20. One of the most talked-about aspects of the film is its incorporation of two iconic villains, as British actor Tom Hardy will be taking on the role of Bane and Anne Hathaway will be portraying Catwoman.

Nolan’s combination of gritty intensity with the more fanciful aspects of the comic book has proven wildly successful with the previous installment’s record-breaking box-office. It will be interesting to see if he can close the series of films on an equally high note.

For those that are not in the mood to strictly stick to the megaplex, the impending season also has its fair share of specialty projects, as a slew of prominent indie auteurs are set to release their movies during the summertime. One of the most anticipated is Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” hitting theaters on May 25. The plot sees a pair of misfit love-struck kids who run away together, causing their tiny New England town to band together to try to find them.

Judging by the preview, Anderson fans who are well-versed in his characteristic whimsy and visual inventiveness are sure to be satisfied, not to mention an enticing ensemble that includes such Anderson regulars as Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman.

Another notable art house release is “To Rome With Love,” opening on June 22. Despite being 76 years old, director Woody Allen shows no signs of slowing down, having consistently released one film a year for the past two decades. He has also been on something of an international exploration, as seven of his eight last features have taken place in the likes of London, Barcelona and Paris. His latest has him tackling the Italian capital, bringing along an eclectic barrage of stars, from Penélope Cruz to Alec Baldwin to Allen himself.

So whether you are in the mood for Hollywood-crafted spectacle or more obscure fare, this summer is sure to have something to satisfy any cinematic sensibility.