When it comes to the two biggest movie release seasons of the year, I usually find myself leaning in favor of the winter/holiday season releases. They tend to be more to the serious end of the spectrum, the closer to the "arts" side of "arts and entertainment" (re: Black Swan and True Grit this past year, among others). Still, I can't deny the appeal of the loud, shiny, bombastic summer blockbuster. Things in that department have started out fairly strong for the water-testing May releases like Thor, so the atmosphere seems positive for the headlining entertainments of the rest of the summer. Here's what's heading to the multiplex when school lets out.
X-Men: First Class- To be honest, I'm looking forward to this one more than just about any summer blockbuster, if only because director Matthew Vaughn seems like he managed to rescue the X-Men movie franchise from the increasing terribleness of The Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine. The cast of First Class is strong, the visuals look impressive and the story seems like it should be thrilling. My inner ten-year-old is ecstatic while my outer adult can appreciate the subtlety of a Michael Fassbender.
Green Lantern- The super hero movie genre is having to cut a little deeper now that the big names have either been done to death or ruined by mishandled debuts (twice in the case of The Hulk). DC's somewhat weird, somewhat traditional hero Green Lantern has been given the Ryan Reynolds treatment, which I guess means he'll be a little more wisecracking than he was in the comics. At any rate, this one looks like a pretty but otherwise run-of-the-mill comic book adaptation.
Cars 2- It was a winning formula five years ago and I imagine it'll be a success today, too; CGI cars with celebrity voices telling jokes in a bright, family-friendly Pixar world. We'll have to see what Disney's acquisition of the famed studio has done to one of their more popular properties, but it should be good for the kids regardless.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon- The first two were terrible and somehow made money. This one is going to be terrible and probably make money. On the plus side, we no longer have to pretend that Megan Fox can act.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part II- The series comes to an end after more than a decade at the movies. The first half of Deathly Hollows was a strange experience, a grab bag of genres and odd directorial decisions that turned an ostensible kid's movie into a brooding but beautiful shambles. The loaded back half of Rowling's book might serve to be a little more exciting.
Captain America: First Avenger- A super hero with a bizarre origin story set in the middle of a war that has been in the movies for decades. My guess, this one is going to be fun, uneven and occasionally confounding.
A Planet of the Apes movie nobody asked for
Another freaking Spy Kids movie
A totally unnecessary Glee movie