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Flixist's Spectacular Superific Summer Movie Preview

10:00 AM on 04.27.2012 // Matthew Razak

Next week, summer kicks off. The Avengers lands, and when a movie this big hits, you know we're in the throes of summer blockbuster season. Put aside those art house movies that come around near the end of the year. Toss out the sleepers that sneak in when it isn't "movie season." We are about to enter the thunder dome, and it's going to be awesome.

This summer might be one of the most action-packed ever, and it's definitely jammed with plenty of sequels to movies everyone actually wants a sequel to (and a few we don't). In fact, we're pretty sequel-heavy this summer, but not to worry: Flixit's Spectacular Superific Summer Movie Preview doesn't just cater to the needs of the sequel junkie, but to the needs of everyone. Yeah, there's some indie stuff around this summer as well. Read on to discover it all. 

Director: Joss Whedon
Release Date: May 4

Alex has already explained why we don't need a Justice League movie, but my reasons are simpler: you don't need anyone else if Superman can throw all your problems into the sun. The Avengers, on the other hand, are a way more interesting superhero team because there's no all-powerful figure, and those with power have other faults. The plot threads that Marvel seeded in the lead-up stories brought down promising movies like Iron Man 2, but we're finally here at the main event. However, seeing a bunch of heroes fight against a major enemy isn't going to be the main appeal. Watching these clashing personalities learn to work together is going to be the most interesting, and it's probably the part of the movie that Joss Whedon will excel at the most. Plus, hopefully Tony Stark's wit will balance out Thor's overall boringness. - Bob Muir

Director: Grant Gee
Release Date: May 9 (NYC)

W. G. Sebald is one of my favorite writers -- sort of like a cross between Jorge Luis Borges and Marcel Proust -- and nothing says "summer movie" like a documentary about a dead German writer of hybrid fiction, non-fiction, history, and memoir. Patience (After Sebald) takes us through one of his most celebrated books, The Rings of Saturn. What begins as a travelogue of Suffolk becomes another philosophical examination of memory and dying. (It's the literary fiction equivalent of 'splosions, boobs, and Batman.) The film is from Grant Gee, who's also made documentaries on Joy Division and Radiohead. If you're a fan of rich and thoughtful literature, you'll want to check out Sebald's books and then see how Patience (After Sebald) handles the material. – Hubert Vigilla

Director: Tim Burton
Release Date: May 11

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Another Tm Burton movie starring Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp. What a shocker. What's that? Danny Elfman's providing music? Gasp. But's a remake of a 70's supernatural soap opera? Hitgirl is in it? It looks...awesome? Well, that's certainly a horse of a pallid, vampiric color, isn't it? I may have Burton fatigue by and large, but I'm actually pretty freaking pumped for Dark Shadows. Magic ladies, vampires, and Jackie Earle Haley in a 1970's backdrop will hopefully cure what ails me and all the other people afflicted with too much TB (Tim Burton, not, y'know, the other one). - Sean Walsh

Director: Wes Anderson
Release Date: May 16

The latter half of Wes Anderson's oeuvre has been polemic, in my opinion. Since ceasing collaborations with Owen Wilson, his work has become increasingly indulgent and eccentric, with mixed results. The Life Aquatic, for instance, was good, but long. Fantastic Mr. Fox was good, but strange. The Darjeeling Limited was good, but bad. His first live action film in five years, Moonrise Kingdom reunites Anderson mainstays Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman and brings Bruce Willis and Edward Norton into the director's arsenal. As Anderson is always able to draw idiosyncratic and memorable, if muted, performances from his actors, the film could show us a side of the latter two we've rarely seen otherwise. The trailer tells the story of a boy and a girl (the debuting Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) who run away from their summer camp in search of timeless young romance, setting the ensemble cast of adults into an understated frenzy. French music abounds. - Jason Savior

Director: Peter Berg
Release Date:
May 18 

To say I genuinely can't wait to see Battleship is a bit of a misnomer. Do I sincerely think this movie is going to be any good? No way. Am I die hard fan of the original board game? Meh, it was a cool guessing game. Am I convinced that something like Battleship embodies everything that's wrong with the Hollywood system? Absolutely. Is watching Rhianna attempting to act while slowly killing myself with over buttered popcorn and a flask of gasoline sort of cry for help? No comment. One thing is for sure, with the lunacy of robots, naval ships and a f*ckton of 'splosions ... Battleship is destined to be a the brainless thrill ride I expect it to be. Why? Because America. - Andres Bolivar

Director: Tanya Wexler
Release Date: May 18

This is a movie about vibrators. Seriously. This entire movie is about doctors who get women off for a living. Maggie Gyllenhaal is in it and probably uses a vibrator. They're, like, old-timey vibrators with extension cords, or manually-powered egg beater type deals. How could you not want to see it? - Jenika Katz

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Release Date:
May 25

I remember the first time I saw Men in Black. As my family is oft to do in the summer months, we frequent the movies. I think it was my mom that convinced us to give MiB a shot, because Will Smith hadn't gone insane yet. And to this day, it's still one of my favorite movies to watch with her. However, the sequel did nothing for us, and upon a second viewing recently, I can confirm that it's in fact a turd. And here we are, several years late with part three. And...I don't have a lot of faith. Sure, I'm going to go see it, but I'm not expecting much at this point. Rushed development, troubled shooting, and pretty horrible marketing have done nothing but make me a non-believer in this franchise. Let's hope I'm wrong. - Maxwell Roahrig

Director: John Gulager
Release Date: June 1

Piranha 3D was a pleasant surprise back in ye olden days of 2010, packed to the brim with unrestrained gore and the best use of 3D you'll ever see, courtesy of Kelly Brook and Riley Steele's nude subaqueous sapphic ballet. The sequel not only adds another 'D', but features new eye candy in the shape of 30 Rock's lesser spotted intern, otherwise known as Katrina Bowden, and Danielle Panabaker, who I'm reliably informed has also been in stuff. Christopher Lloyd and Ving Rhames return, the latter packing shotgun legs, while newcomers Gary Busey and David Hasselhoff (playing himself) will bring their distinctive flavour of slightly tragic weirdness. Expect greatness... maybe... ummm... hey look, the Batmobile! *runs away* – Xander Markham

Snow White and the Huntsman

Director: Rupert Sanders
Release Date: June 1

Snow White and the Huntsman is the second, and possibly better Snow White re-imagined movie to come out this year. Starring Kirsten Stewart and Charlize Theron, Huntsman looks like a very gritty take on the children's fairy tale, which is fine by me. This is one of Stewart's bigger roles non-Twilight roles, so it'll be interesting to see if her fans will make the transition to this movie. Also the costumes for Snow White and the Huntsman look amazing. I might go see it for that alone. - Liz Rugg

Directors: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath
Release Date: June 8

The original Madagascar was a surprise winner for me. I expected a bloated children's comedy and got a smart and quirky animated film that stood out from a large influx of talking animal films. Then it turned into a franchise and a bunch of shorts and a second film were made. None of these really captured the quality humor in the first, and the second film was lackluster to say the least. So it's with much trepidation that I look forward to the third full-length film in the series, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. Could it recapture the magic or will it just be a rehash of the same old jokes that were marched out in the first and second films. The cynic in me tells me it's the latter, but the little boy laughs at the silly animals can't stop believing in the former. - Matthew Razak

Director: Ridley Scott
Release Date: June 8

Ever since I first saw Alien as a kid, my favorite part has always been the reveal of the gargantuan Space Jockey. It's always instilled this sense of awe and bewilderment that hardly any other movie out there can replicate. Upon hearing that not only was Ridley Scott returning to sci-fi/horror, but that it'd explore the origins of the Space Jockey, my inner ten-year-old lept with joy. And it looks like I'll have good reason to be excited, since the movie is looking incredible. This is my pick for the summer. Don't let me down, Ridley. - Maxwell Roahrig

Director: Colin Trevorrow
Release Date: June 8

Movies dealing with time travel and second chances can often drive the point home a little too hard, and it's difficult to find one that doesn't take itself too seriously. A movie from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine based on a joke ad in a newspaper definitely doesn't seem the type to belabor the point. This may be cheating a bit, since I've had the pleasure of seeing this one early, but if you're looking for an optimistic love story with a sci-fi twist, this won't disappoint. - Jenika Katz

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Release Date: June 22

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln could explode a tree with a single axe stroke? Or that he was a crack shot with his flintlock rifle? Or that his crippling depression was actually caused by lack of blood due to vampires? You will. Because this summer, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, will be coming to a cinema near you. It’s from director Timur Bekmambetov, who brought us Wanted, the movie where Angelina Jolie pretended to punch things with her scarecrow arms. It promises to be good, raunchy, over-the-top action fun, which any movie called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter really has to be. Spoiler alert: Daniel Day Lewis is not in this one. - Cecilia Razak

Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Release Date: June 22

First off, it's a new Pixar movie that's not about talking cars. If you don't want to see it on that alone, fuck off. Brave is Pixar's first attempt at a more classical, swords-and-sorcery style of fantasy infused with classic Scottish fables and culture. It's definitely a solid change in style and tone from the last few Pixars movies, which relied on more fantastical elements and, at times, very experimental forms of storytelling. Combine that with the fact that it is scientifically proven to be a better movie than The Hobbit, Brave ought to be on everyone's list of most anticipated films of the year. - Alex Katz

Director: Jon M. Chu
Release Date: June 29

If the idea of The Rock and John McClane teaming up to fight superterrorists that have infiltrated the White House and threaten to destroy London doesn't excite you, you may be dead inside.There's absolutely nothing intelligent happening in G.I. Joe Retaliation, but that doesn't matter in the slightest. It looks cool, it doesn't seem to be taking itself too seriously, and it's going to put dumb fare like Battleship and all the Transformers to shame. - Alex Katz

Director: Tyler Perry
Release Date: June 29

If you like any of Tyler Perry's movies, then you'll probably find the latest entry into the Madea franchise tolerable. But who really likes Madea? Or Tyler Perry movies? Madea's Witness Protection is the seventh in a long line of Perry movies that feature the predictable laughs inherent to a man dressing up as and trying to portray an older woman. While I was done with this particular brand of comedy dating back to Big Momma's House, it's probably good for those times when you just need to veg out and see a mediocre comedy. Maybe if we're all very lucky, this could just be better than average. - Crystal White

Director: Marc Webb
Release Date: July 3

I am a HUGE Spider-Man fan. What I’m not a fan of, however, was the Sam Raimi trilogy. Say whatever you want about them; I honestly could not care less for them. I like Tobey Maguire as an actor and a person, but he simply wasn’t the right person for Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I'm still not 100% sold on Andrew Garfield (or even Webb directing, for that matter), but I love the direction they're following in terms of doing a loose adaptation of the Ultimate Spider-Man plot. In a summer full of big name comic book movies, here's hoping that The Amazing Spider-Man will come out on top. - Geoff Henao

Directors: Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz
Release Date: July 4

Boobs. - Maxwell Roahrig 

Director: Seth MacFarlane
Release Date: July 13

Ted was one of the first films I covered for Flixist. As such, I’ve more or less been tracking its progress since we’ve existed as a site. To say I’m excited for it is an understatement. While I’m a moderately huge Family Guy fan, I’m more interested to see exactly how MacFarlane’s humor will translate into a live-action, feature length film. While the trailer was hit or miss (more hits than misses), I’m confident that Ted will be able to live up to my unreasonably high expectations. - Geoff Henao

The Dark Knight Rises

Director: Christopher Nolan
Release Date: July 20

The Dark Knight Rises is my most anticipated film not only of the summer but of the entire year. I absolutely loved Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and I am a huge fan of everything that Christopher Nolan puts out. I have continued to keep myself completely away from all of the trailers and general information about the film. I've seen a couple of stills, sure, but I know very little about what is actually going on in them. I want to see everything on a giant IMAX screen first. And I'm going to. And it's going to be amazing. – Alec Kubas-Meyer

Director: Scott Speer
Release Date: July 27

We all know how dance movies go. Girl from other side of tracks meets boy, they dance / fall in love. An obstacle that keeps them from loving / dancing appears. Maybe it’s Peter Gallagher building an enormous condo / day spa on top of their sacred dancing grounds. They have to take action. “Enough with performance art!” says the girl. Yeah! Time to enact some real change, write to our congressmen and – “It’s time for protest art!” Oh. Ok. Yeah! Dance will save the day! The sweet, delusional spirit of the Step Up films will save them, in turn. Besides, all we really want is a vehicle for awesome choreography, which is what this movie is. I have one serious beef, though, and it’s the title. Step Up 4 Your Rights, anyone? - Cecilia Razak

The Bourne Legacy

Director: Tony Gilroy
Release Date: August 3

If I had been able to choose who would play the protagonist in the fourth Bourne movie, it would have been unequivocally Jeremy Renner. So I'm excited that the people in charge of The Bourne Legacy felt the same way. Dude's awesome. Although director Tony Gilroy only have one directorial credit to his name, that one credit is the fantastic Michael Clayton. That would be enough for me to get behind him as the man in charge, but the fact that he wrote the first three Bournes really clinches things for me. I can't wait to see what this thing ends up being. – Alec Kubas-Meyer

Director: Len Wiseman
Release Date: August 3

I was the first one to start hating on the remake of Total Recall. Arnold is sacred ground around these parts and even more so when we're talking science fiction Arnold. I could just not see the point of remaking this movie, especially with the decidedly not-as-awesome-as-Arnold Colin Ferrel. Then Len Wiseman was directing and it started to sound a bit better. Then the trailer landed and I was looking at a movie that I wanted to hate, but was actually starting to like. As more and more info has come out on this remake I've actually gotten excited for it, and that's despite my inclination to hate it. That's pretty impressive. - Matthew Razak

Director: Jay Roach
Release Date: August 10

I'm a bit of a political junkie, so presidential election years are major points of interests. Ditto political films, whether they're serious documentaries like Street Fight or surreal farces like The President's Analyst. With The Campaign, I'm hoping for a bit of political slapstick from Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, especially since there's sleaze and sex scandals and political outsiders involved. The film's from Jay Roach of Austin Powers and Meet the Fockers fame, and it marks his second dip into political filmmaking this year. Earlier he helmed the HBO movie Game Change (adapted from the book), which chronicled Sarah Palin's veep run. He also did the riveting HBO movie Recount about Florida and the 2000 presidential election. Should be interesting to see what he does with a full-on political comedy. – Hubert Vigilla

Director: Simon West
Release Date: August 17

The Expendables garnered much attention from action movie fans when it opened in 2010, featuring what was probably the most ambitious ensemble of genre stars ever assembled. The Expendables 2 outclasses it, upgrading Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger's cameo roles from the first film into something more substantial and adding names like Chuck Norris and, most excitingly, Jean-Claude Van Damme as the film's antagonist. Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Sylvester Stallone of course return, with Stallone once again scripting, although directing duties have been handed to Simon West. Some news was made when it was revealed that the film dropped to PG-13 to accommodate Chuck Norris' irksome moral scruples, but Stallone guarantees the film is “LARGE in every way and delivers on every level.” Just don't come looking someone to drop an iconic F-bomb. - Jason Savior


Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Release Date: August 17

Paranorman is the highly anticipated return of Laika, the animation studio that also made the lauded, creepy-yet-fun young adult movie Coraline. Paranorman looks to be in a similar tone, but even more fun. It's the story of Norman, a young boy who can speak to the dead, and even though he's thought of as a freak by the rest of the town, his abilities end up being the only thing that can help save them! Paranorman comes out at the end of the summer, and will hopefully be worth the wait. - Liz Rugg

Matthew Razak, Editor-in-Chief
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Matthew Razak is the Editor-in-Chief here at Flixist, meaning he gets to take credit for all this awesome even though its really the rest of the amazing staff that gets it done. He started as a c... more   |   staff directory

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