The summer movie season is heating up, whether you're a fan of superheroes or super laughs. We asked our staff members to tell us what movie they're most excited about this summer. Pass the Raisinets and crank up the air conditioning.
June 8: 'Prometheus'
Two of my favorite films ever are science-fiction films directed by Ridley Scott. “Alien” and “Blade Runner” defined what the future should look like cinematically, and now Scott is taking us back to his future with "Prometheus," a much-hyped space odyssey. Since the film stars Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender, among others, I have high hopes that I'll be moved as much by the characters as by the visual effects. It was Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley in “Alien” and Harrison Ford’s Deckard in “Blade Runner” who made those movies stand out amidst the cutting-edge sights and sounds. No one has scared me with a movie as much as Scott did with “Alien.” And no one has wowed me as much with his vision of life beyond the here and now as the filmmaker did with “Blade Runner.” I know “Prometheus” will look fantastic -- the trailers have already assured that. Time will only tell if the futuristic thriller becomes a thing of the forgotten past. --Kurt Schlosser
June 22: 'Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter'
Forget the superheroes in their fancy tights and masks: The coolest evil-hunter of summer moviedom is a tall lanky president in a stovetop hat, swinging presumably the same axe he used to split logs back home in Illinois. But now he's using it against the vamps who killed his mother. Yes, someone's playing fast and loose with historical facts, but the trailer makes this film, based on the 2010 novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, look like a delight. President Obama and Mitt Romney may think they've got the right stuff, but seriously, how many vampires have you seen them personally take down? Lincoln in 2012! --Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
June 22: 'To Rome With Love'
After unexpectedly enjoying Woody Allen's “Midnight in Paris” so much, I’m ready to travel from France to Italy for the acclaimed director’s new release. In addition to a star-studded cast featuring Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, Greta Gerwig, Roberto Benigni and Judy Davis, Allen is also reunited with his “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” star Penelope Cruz as a confused call girl. By the looks of it, this film appears to run along the lines of Allen’s laugh-out-loud comedies, featuring locals and lovable misfits whose lives are interrupted by fate, with unintended and funny consequences. And of course, there will be plenty of sexy romping around in the gorgeous streets and famous hot spots of Rome. --David Gostisha
June 22: 'Brave'
In our house, a new Pixar movie is an event. And having spent more time than I’d like to admit watching every “Brave” trailer that’s been released, I’m particularly stoked for the upcoming film from the best movie factory in the business. Having figured out it’s long past time to feature a female heroine, Pixar has gone all out to make this film's star, Merida, a modern gal in princess garb. She'll be chasing adventure and a bear across the gorgeous Scottish Highlands, all while flipping a lush mane of red hair that should squash any ginger jokes forever. I expect to again be wowed by the technical details, entertained by the goofy yet spot-on humor (particularly if the animals talk) and driven to tears by the emotional arc. (There are few Pixar releases that don’t turn on my waterworks at some point.) Bring it on! --Randee Dawn
June 29: 'Magic Mike'
I’m no movie buff. I don’t go to the theater because some film is winning awards left and right. I don’t pay $11 to see what visual wonders a director can accomplish. I go to the movies to relax and have a good time. And with “Magic Mike,” a film starring some incredibly good looking men (Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Joe Manganiello and Matt Bomer) playing ridiculously hot male strippers, I know that plenty of fun is going to be had. In fact, my gal pals and I are so sure of it, we started planning our sure-to-be-giggle-packed girls’ night out weeks ago. And seeing as how the comedy is directed by Steven Soderbergh, we may be getting not just eye candy and laughs, but a good movie to boot. --Anna Chan
July 20: 'Dark Knight Rises'
From "Star Wars" to” Lord of the Rings," successful movie epics invariably end in good triumphing over evil. "Dark Knight Rises" director Christopher Nolan doesn’t exactly play that way. While Batman will almost certainly defeat Bane, his newest nemesis, Nolan isn’t always clear about what’s good and what’s evil. Even Batman himself isn’t completely a hero. (Remember, he’s the reckless, megalomaniac playboy Bruce Wayne too.) What Batman will have to do, what he will face and what he will sacrifice in order to achieve the quintessential triumphant ending could be much murkier and more difficult than what we’re used to. We can’t know what exactly to expect from Nolan -- we only know it will be complex, dark and dazzling. --Cody Delistraty
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