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Hot films for a hot summer

By Anthony J. Machcinski

With the 90 degree temperatures our area experienced June 20-22, many people have been searching for ways to beat the heat. One of the easiest ways is by checking out one of the many films coming to area theaters.

With this summer’s load of movie blockbusters as heavy as ever, it’s easy for moviegoers to get lost in the shuffle of what to see. Here are some quick tips on the films you should be seeing.

The Big Names

Among the big budget blockbusters on tap are: “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Amazing Spiderman,” and “The Bourne Legacy.” The most surprising of these big names is “The Amazing Spiderman,” considering this is essentially a remake of the 2002 film “Spiderman.” As we’d expect, the new film chronicles the origins of Spiderman and his transition from nerdy teenager to superhero. However, according to several reviews, the plot of this reboot will be much darker and truer to its comic book storyline. In this adaptation, Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) will play the teenage web-slinger while Emma Stone (“Zombieland,” “Easy A”) is Spiderman’s love interest.

The other major player for the big names is “The Dark Knight Rises,” with Christian Bale returning as Batman. The big challenge for this film will be creating another great hit with the absence of the great acting performance of the late Heath Ledger, whose adaptation of The Joker stole the show in the original film. “The Dark Knight Rises” is easily the most anticipated film of the summer, with some patrons securing midnight premiere tickets for $100.

The other series continuation yet to debut is “The Bourne Legacy.” Matt Damon, who plays Jason Bourne in the first three installments, won’t be returning for the fourth, citing the need for “a different challenge.” In his place, the story centers around Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner. Cross is another assassin from the same outfit as Bourne’s, and, according to director Tony Gilroy (via movie insider), Renner’s character will be “a whole new hero (in a) whole new chapter.” With that in mind, “The Bourne Legacy” provides a whole new start for a series that has remained fresh for more than a decade.

The not-so publicized

For those simply looking for a good family movie to go watch, Disney and Pixar are looking to continue their success with the film “Brave.” Brave follows Princess Merida, who defies an age-old custom and unleashes chaos into her kingdom. If “Brave” is anything like the other Disney/Pixar-produced films, there will be plenty of fun for both adults and children alike, potentially making this the family film of the summer.

For adults, the major comedy of the summer looks to be “Ted,” created by “Family Guy” writer/illustrator/ producer Seth MacFarlane. The film follows John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) and his childhood Teddy Bear Ted (voiced by MacFarlane). Mila Kunis stars as Bennett’s love interest. MacFarlane utilizes his “Family Guy” experiences and free-range ability of the theatre to make a downright crude comedy that will have audiences nationwide laughing.

For moviegoers seeking something from left field, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” should provide that type of fare. The film takes place during the Civil War, where Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) discovers the real reason behind the war: vampires. While the plot details are vague at best, avid movie fans can expect a good film, as it was written by Tim Burton, who is known for his “different” but quality films such as “Edward Sissorhands” and “Corpse Bride.”

Already released

Several films that have already been released for the summer have created a buzz about the summer movie season. “

Rock of Ages,” based on the Broadway play of the same name, showcases a love story between two aspiring Hollywood stars to the tune of many ‘80s hits. Big names such as Tom Cruise and Mary J. Blige star in the film.

Don’t let the title fool you: another big box office hit, “Snow White and the Huntsman,” is not the same type of joyous movie Walt Disney bestowed upon audiences in 1937. This adaptation of the popular fairy tale is much darker than other adaptations. The film has received great reviews from the moment it was released. Kristen Stewart (Snow White) and Charlize Theron (The Evil Queen) have drop-dead performances that have blown away all expectations.

This article could not be written without mentioning what many are calling the movie of the summer, “The Avengers.” Based on a continuation of the last few summer blockbusters (“Thor,” “Captain America,” “Iron Man,” and “The Incredible Hulk”), the film focuses on the creation of a group of superheroes facing one of their toughest challenges yet. One great part about the film is that while the film is based on the group of superheroes, it still gives equal time to each of the characters comprising “The Avengers.” This isn’t just your normal comic book adaptation; the film is a must-watch, even if you haven’t watched the prequels or read the comic book.

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