Summer movies: Superheroes set to run the show

Marvel Studios' "The Avengers" to kick-off the summer movie season on May 5.

The summer movie season usually begins the first week of May with a blockbuster release, which will be a Marvel Entertainment release for the fifth year in a row. It usually ends in mid-August as a new school year begins. What happens between May and August is an absolute bloodbath of movie studios vying for your attention by throwing A-list actors and computer-generated imagery at you everywhere you look. There are many notable releases, but this guide will show you what the major players will be this summer.

“The Avengers” – May 5 – Marvel has been building up to this film for the past three years, starting with “Iron Man” and continuing with the most recent release, “Captain America: The First Avenger.” With all the back stories told of Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, and Captain America, as well as being joined by Hawkeye and Black Widow, The Avengers finally assemble to fight villainy led by “Thor”’s Loki. If early footage is any indication, “The Avengers” looks to fulfill the promises of large-scale battles and witty banter between the heroes.

“Snow White and the Huntsman” – June 1 – With the travesty that was “Mirror Mirror,” released in March, fans of the classic fairytale may have a sour taste in their mouth about Snow White. That taste doesn’t sweeten when “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart is the titular leading princess in “Huntsman.” However, this re-telling looks promising. With co-stars Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) and Charlize Theron (“Young Adult”) cast as the huntsman and the evil queen, respectively, and “Lord of the Rings”-style battle scenes, this adaptation looks to appeal to just about everyone.

“Prometheus” – June 8 – It’s a prequel to “Alien.” Well, no, it’s a “spiritual prequel” to “Alien.” Director Ridley Scott has been vague on what exactly “Prometheus” means to the “Alien” story. There are several references in the film that point to the “Alien” movies, and it is set in the same universe, but it is not a direct prequel. Whatever it turns out to be, “Prometheus” looks as if it will be stunning and thrilling both for fans of the “Alien” movies and newcomers alike.

“Brave” – June 22 – Pixar’s first heroine is a princess set in a mythical Scotland. This will be an important year for Pixar, who had their first critical dud last year with “Cars 2.” After releasing sequels the past two years, Pixar is looking to establish a new brand and maybe a new Disney princess with the release of “Brave.” Based on what’s been seen, it looks like they may have success.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” – July 6 – After releasing a “Spider-Man” trilogy with director Sam Raimi and lead actor Tobey Maguire, Sony decided it was time for a series reboot, hence “The Amazing” addition. Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) and Emma Stone (“The Help”) will play Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, respectively. This reboot seems to have a darker look and tone, a la “The Dark Knight.”

“The Dark Knight Rises” – July 20 – The last and possibly most important of the comic juggernauts to be released this summer, “The Dark Knight Rises” will effectively end the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. Tom Hardy (“Warrior”) will play the villain Bane, a man almost as demented as The Joker. With Nolan raising the bar impossibly high for whichever director takes on Batman next, fans should anticipate this film as what may be the last great Batman movie.

“The Bourne Legacy” – August 3 – It may have “Bourne” in the title, but Jason is nowhere to be found. Although the book of the same name does have Jason Bourne in it, Matt Damon was unable to reprise his role, so “Legacy” will act as a side story about another agent, Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner (“The Avengers”).

“The Expendables 2” – August 17 – Sylvester Stallone has taken the first movie and injected it with steroids (pun intended). The original cast returns, sans Steve Austin, along with Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van-Damme, and substantial roles for Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Look for more testosterone and ammunition than ever in this call-to-all badass action stars event.

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