Summer Movie Preview 2011
There are at least nine sequels opening this summer, and that doesn’t include prequels, remakes, comic book movies or other adaptations. But while originality is scarce, quality should not be. Hollywood certainly needs a good summer. Here’s a lighthearted look at what I’m keeping an eye on for the next four months.
“Fast Five” (April 29) – Hard to believe it’s the fifth movie already. Seems like just yesterday some punk challenged me to a race after “2 Fast 2 Furious” (which was the second film, in case you couldn’t tell).
“Thor” (May 6) and “Captain America: The First Avenger” (July 22) – If these movies flop, Marvel’s master plan for “The Avengers” next summer goes up in smoke.
Bridesmaids (May 13) – It’s supposed to be the female equivalent of “The Hangover.” I’ll believe it when I see it.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (May 20) – Penelope Cruz has replaced Keira Knightley as the franchise’s token hottie. I can accept that.
“The Hangover II” (May 26) – They better not have screwed this up.
“Kung Fu Panda 2” (May 27) – This will forever determine whether Jack Black is just as annoying in animated form as he is in live action.
“X-Men: First Class” (June 3) – With Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass”) directing, this could be the best movie of the summer.
“Super 8” (June 10) – With J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek”) directing, this could be the best movie of the summer.
“Green Lantern” (June 17) – Ryan Reynolds in tights gets me excited (he writes as his wife judgmentally sighs at him).
“Cars 2” (June 24) – “Cars” is one of the few Pixar movies I’m not a huge fan of. That said, the studio has more than earned the right for a do-over.
“Bad Teacher” (June 24) and “Friends With Benefits” (July 22) – These two comedies will determine if Justin Timberlake has any staying power as an actor. I’m rooting for him.
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (July 1) – Shut off your brain and bring some Advil, this bad boy is in 3D!
“Larry Crowne” (July 1) – There was a time when no one dared question the star power of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Too bad that was 10 years ago, as they’re about to get crushed by Megatron.
“One Day” (July 8) – I’m at a point where I’ll watch Anne Hathaway in anything, even if her character ages two decades and might look old and decrepit by the time the movie’s over.
“Harry Potter and the Death Hallows: Part 2” (July 15) – Never before have more people eagerly anticipated a movie in which every single person interested in seeing it knows how it will end.
“Cowboys & Aliens” (July 29) – Indiana Jones and James Bond fighting aliens in the Wild, Wild West. I’m in!
“Crazy Stupid Love” (July 29) – An adult comedy with A-list dramatic and comedic (Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone) talent. Could be the hidden gem of the summer.
“The Smurfs” (July 29) – There goes my childhood (again)!
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (Aug. 5) – James Franco plays a scientist experimenting on apes when things go horribly wrong in this prequel. Who wants to bet Mr. Franco screws up because he’s stoned?
“The Help” (Aug. 12) – A serious summer movie in which a college student (Emma Stone) returns home to Mississippi in 1962 and learns for the first time about racism in her community. Apparently, to this point she was a blind deaf mute with no sense of her surroundings.
“Conan The Barbarian” (Aug. 19) – Hahahahahahaha! ¦
— Dan Hudak is the chairman of the Florida Film Critics Circle and a nationally syndicated film critic. You can e- mail him at email@example.com and read more of his work at www.hudakonhollywood.com.