June 11 – The A-Team
Updating the hit ’80s television show and introducing the gang to a new generation, “The A-Team” is only looking more entertaining as its release gets closer. The team consists of four army commandos (Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley from “District 9” and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson as this version’s Mr. T) who escape from prison after being framed, and then fight to clear their names – leading to lots of awesomely over-the-top battles and explosions.
“The Losers” already used this formula to achieve success, and “The A-Team” will similarly be following it, but done bigger, badder and better. Contributing to this is the hilarious rapport the four have with each other and the exhilarating action sequences, which all look elaborate, intense and a ton of fun. Whoever doesn’t want to see this full-throttle, action-packed adventure – I pity the foo’.
June 18 – Toy Story 3
Of all the movies that influenced my childhood, “Toy Story” had the greatest impact. When the first and second movies were re-released in theaters in a 3D double feature back in October, I watched them in blissful glee. Now that the third installment is finally here, after more than a decade since the sequel, I feel like my six-year-old self dressed in a Woody cowboy outfit all over again.
This time around the toys are sent to a young children’s day-care when their owner Andy departs for college. But despite receiving a luxurious new life, they realize their only place is with him, so they set out on an adventure to reunite with Andy.
Even though we’re no longer kids, all Pixar films still manage to capture our hearts with a child-like sense of wonder. And since “Toy Story” is the studio’s most beloved franchise, you can bet this animated sensation will soar to infinity and beyond.
July 2 – The Last Airbender
I can’t say I was ever a fan of the original anime show “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” but this special effects-driven blockbuster looks like one magnificent whirlwind of a summer action epic. The story has something to do with a young boy whose elemental powers are the only thing that can save the world, but it’s not the plot that interests me in this film. I’ll be seeing this for two main reasons: the intense, dazzling fantasy action and to find out if M. Night Shyamalan can still make a worthwhile movie.
The once great director (“The Sixth Sense,” “Signs”) has failed twice in a row with his last two pictures (“The Happening,” anyone?). “The Last Airbender,” besides marking his first piece of adapted material, also denotes his first truly large-scale production, first action movie and most importantly, his last chance to save his career and reputation. If it’s a failure, then he’s officially lost his talent, but if it succeeds then he’s finally made his triumphant return, and I’m putting money on the latter.
July 16 – Inception
“Inception” already holds the title of this summer’s most important movie (in my eyes at least), all because of eight little words: “from Christopher Nolan, director of ‘The Dark Knight.” Nolan unquestionably stands as one of this generation’s most talented filmmakers, from “Memento” to “The Prestige” to the best superhero movie yet, and the fact that he decided to make this film before Batman 3 means it’s obviously something special.
As of now, little is known about the story, but it takes place in a future where advanced technology allows for the construction of a dream world for an individual. In this environment, a single idea can be the most powerful weapon on the planet – so one man aims to steal it. Boasting an exceptional cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page, this sci-fi thrill ride promises a fascinating, mind-bending phenomenon that’ll be talked about for years to come.
August 6 – The Other Guys
The partnership of director Adam McKay and Will Ferrell has led to several of the funniest, most quotable movies in recent years (“Anchorman,” “Step Brothers”), along with some of Ferrell’s best work. In their newest collaboration, Mark Wahlberg teams up with the clever funnymen in a buddy cop action-comedy that has the potential to become this year’s hit comical adventure. Ferrell and Wahlberg play desk-working detectives who take a chance to turn into action-hero cops, although unsurprisingly, their escapades don’t quite go as planned.
From the trailer alone it’s clear that “The Other Guys” will be rife with McKay’s signature witty dialogue and Ferrell’s outrageous comedic style. As for Wahlberg, he actually works quite well in a humorous setting, so they may just earn the distinction of the most amusing duo since, well, Ferrell and John C. Reilly in McKay’s “Step Brothers.” Rounding things out with some solid action, you can expect this to be a huge success, quoted constantly by the time school rolls around.