Film Feature: The 10 Most Anticipated Films of Summer 2012

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5. “The Bourne Legacy”

The Bourne Legacy
The Bourne Legacy
Photo credit: Universal

Release Date: August 3rd
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Joan Allen, Donna Murphy, Oscar Isaac, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney, David Strathairn, Stacy Keach, and Corey Stoll
Written by: Tony & Dan Gilroy
Directed by: Tony Gilroy

Plot: A story centered on a new CIA operative in the universe based on Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne novels.

Why It Should Rule: Look at that cast. And with a great writer like Gilroy behind the scenes to bring out the best in them? The potential for this to be one of the most successful reboots of all time is HIGH. In fact, if this works, we could truly be watching this franchise morph into what was always one of its greatest inspirations — the next Bond. Jeremy Renner is to Matt Damon as Roger Moore is to Sean Connery. My brain hurts thinking about that.

Why It Might Suck: Well, it’s right there in the Bond analogy. What if this is a watered-down, Roger Moore version of Jason Bourne? What if, like “The Amazing Spider-Man,” we’re stuck comparing this to the fantastic Greengrass/Damon films? The fact is Renner and Gilroy are filling HUGE shoes in the history of action movies. The Bourne flicks feel more accomplished and influential every year. Will “Legacy” be influential in its own way or merely feel like another retread?

4. “Brave”

Photo credit: Walt Disney

Release Date: June 22nd
Starring (the voices of): Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly, John Ratzenberger, and Craig Ferguson
Written by: Brenda Chapman & Irene Mecchi
Directed by: Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman

Plot: Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

Why It Should Rule: Pixar may have stumbled last year with the dreadful “Cars 2,” but their track record is still one of the best of the last two decades. Their first original property in three years (we’ve only gotten sequels for the last two summers) should interest any movie fan. Will it be the next “Up”? There’s also reason to be excited about the fact that Pixar has taken this opportunity to provide viewers something RARELY seen in children’s entertainment — a strong female heroine. If girls really come out and get behind “Brave,” it could easily be one of the biggest movies of the year. And the fact is that every Pixar film always has the potential to be one of the best.

Why It Might Suck: The first preview didn’t wow me and the filmmakers are kind of unknown (I’d feel better if this was Stanton or Bird, for example). Honestly, that’s it. There’s a chance it won’t be “Up” at all, but a very small one that it will completely suck.

3. “The Avengers”

The Avengers
The Avengers
Photo credit: Sony

Release Date: May 4th
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson, and Gwyneth Paltrow
Written and directed by: Joss Whedon

Plot: Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of superhumans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his invading army.

Why It Should Rule: The buzz coming out of early press screenings has been absolutely deafening. And it’s not just the comic-loving fish in the jumbo barrel. The trades and other publications keep trying to top each other in terms of rapturous praise. In fact, Nolan has to be a little concerned that he won’t have the most critically acclaimed superhero movie of the season. What if “Avengers” and “Dark Knight Rises” aren’t just the highest grossing but the BEST movies of the season? It could truly change the landscape.

Why It Might Suck: “The Incredible Hulk” wasn’t good. “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor” were just OK. So was “Iron Man 2.” Honestly, the threshold for this to become the best movie involving its characters isn’t that high. There have been several “good” movies starring some of the Avengers, but not many great ones. Will this be another fun ride that doesn’t resonate beyond the credits or will it stand with classics like “Spider-Man 2”?

2. “The Dark Knight Rises”

The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight Rises
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Release Date: July 20th
Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Liam Neeson, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple, Michael Caine, Joey King, and Matthew Modine
Written by: Jonathan & Christopher Nolan
Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Plot: Eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face’s crimes, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that brands him an enemy.

Why It Should Rule: “The Dark Knight,” “Inception,” “Batman Begins,” “The Prestige,” “Insomnia,” “Memento”. If you seriously have to ask why this should rule, you’re probably lost on the internet again.

Why It Might Suck: We heard some negative buzz regarding the first few minutes shown at IMAX last year and the previews have not been stellar. I can’t be the only one a little nervous about this one falling short of the brilliant last entry in the series, the best superhero movie ever made. I give Nolan all the benefit of the doubt or else, honestly, this wouldn’t even be this high. Yes, he could match his past brilliant work. And, yes, he could deliver his version of “Spider-Man 3.” He probably won’t. But the risk is there. Even if you don’t want to admit it.

1. “Prometheus”

Photo credit: Fox

Release Date: June 8th
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, and Rafe Spall
Written by: Jon Spaihts & Damon Lindelof
Directed by: Ridley Scott

Plot: A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

Why It Should Rule: I may be showing my age here a bit but I find it hard to believe that anyone can watch the previews for “Prometheus” and not instantly sign up for this ride. Especially those of us from the generation raised on the genius of “Alien” and “Blade Runner.” Not only has the advertising been amazing, but the fact is that the man who made two of the best sci-fi films of all time is returning not only to the genre but to the specific world of one of them. If you’re not psyched, you don’t like movies.

Why It Might Suck: Does he still have it? Is this the Ridley Scott of the ’70s and ’80s or the guy who made “Robin Hood”? Seriously, don’t worry. Unless those are the best-edited previews of all time, this ain’t gonna suck.

Source: All Plot synopses courtesy of IMDB content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

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