Summer movie season kicks off in a big way tomorrow with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Other comic book superheroes coming soon to a theater near you include “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (which unites both casts from the previous films). Next week, we’ll get the new “Godzilla,” starring Bryan Cranston.
And summer means sequels. I’m very excited about “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” I’ve seen some footage already and it looks amazingly great. They don’t want us to call “Transformers: Age of Extinction” a sequel! It’s a reboot, with a new cast including Mark Wahlberg (but Stanley Tucci is back). “Dawn of Planet of the Apes” is a both a reboot and a sequel, if you know what I mean. “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is a sequel to the Frank Miller story, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, and Mickey Rourke. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back for more pizza and action. “Think Like a Man Too” takes the gang to Las Vegas. For families with young children, “Planes: Fire and Rescue” is coming from Disney. I’m always glad to see another “Step Up” movie — this one is “All In.” Angelina Jolie stars as “Maleficent,” giving us another look at one of Disney’s scariest villains. And “22 Jump Street” looks very funny in a totally NSFW way.
YA novels come to the screen with the much-anticipated “Fault in our Stars” (bring a box of tissues, maybe two) and “The Giver.”
Quirky indies include Jon Favreau, returning to a small-budget, intimate story after the “Iron Man” blockbusters with “Chef,” and Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Driver, and Zoe Kazan in “What If.”
It looks like a great year for sci-fi special effects films. I’m especially looking forward to the Wachowskis’ “Jupiter Ascending” with Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum and Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in “Edge of Tomorrow.” And we’re getting a second Hercules film this year, this one starring The Rock.
And Scarlett Johansson continues her extraordinary year with Luc Besson’s “Lucy.’
Off-the-wall gross-out comedies include Melissa McCarthy’s “Tammy” with Susan Sarandon (as her grandmother!), “Sex Tape” with Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz learning to their dismay what “the cloud” means, and Seth Rogan and Zac Efron as feuding “Neighbors.” Adam Sandler reunites with his best co-star, Drew Barrymore, in “Blended,” the story of two single parents who have a disastrous date and then find themselves and their children sharing space on vacation on an African safari. I’m guessing there will be animal poop.
One of the most intriguing films this summer is “Boyhood,” filmed over a 12 year period so that it could follow the story of a young boy as he goes through adolescence, from Richard Linklater of the “Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight” series.
We’ll also get some great documentaries this summer, led off by the brilliant film I saw last week at Ebertfest, “Life Itself.” I can’t wait to see it again.