Summer flicks heightens anticipation

With the school year winding down and the days getting longer and warmer, Summer is coming. Coming with it is the Summer movie season, when all the big budget crowd-pleasing blockbusters get released and movie theaters become a regular friday-night destination. Last year, however, produced slim pickings for moviegoers. Outside of the conclusion of the Harry Potter franchise, the third Transformers movie, and the fourth movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (thats not a typo), bona fide blockbusters were few and far between. This summer, however, promises to make up for last year and more, with big time franchises, hyped-up reboots, and new installments by top tier directors. To help you get hyped for this summer’s lineup, here’s the top 10 movies of Summer 2012:

10. The Expendables 2 (8/17)- The sequel to the 2010 ensemble film The Expendables (which was essentially Sylvester Stallone’s love letter to 80s and 90s action flicks) promises to have bigger explosions, more stars, and better action. The big-name cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

9. Battleship (5/18)- Directed by Peter Berg of Friday Night Lights fame, Battleship follows Naval officers played by Taylor Kitsch and Liam Neeson during a fleet training exercise gone haywire. Aliens invade during the exercise, trapping the fleet in the middle of the Pacific and forcing them to play a game of, well, Battleship.

8. Snow White and the Huntsman (6/1)- This re-imagining of the fairy tale in a decidingly Un-Disney way casts Charlize Theron as a malevolent queen and Kristen Stewart as her future usurper, Snow White. The Queen hires a Huntsman (Thor’s Chris Hemsworth) to kill Snow White, but instead he trains her to become a warrior. With help from 8 dwarves and the Huntsman, Snow White leads a rebellion against the Queen.

7. Bourne Legacy (8/3)- The fourth installment in the Bourne series will be somewhat of a cross between a spin-off and a sequel. Legacy will be without Matt Damon playing the series’ eponymous star, instead featuring an all new cast of characters dealing with the ramifications of Bourne’s actions in the original trilogy. Jeremy Renner of The Hurt Locker fame will be the series new leading man and Edward Norton will play the film’s new antagonist.

6. Brave (6/22)- Pixar is arguably the most critically successful studio of the last decade. But after last summer’s Cars 2, which was the first Pixar film to fail to be a hit with critics, Pixar looks to prove it hasn’t lost its touch with Brave. Brave follows Scottish Princess Merida, who must save her father’s kingdom and lift a curse that has been cast upon her.

5. Total Recall (8/3)- This remake of a 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger action thriller stars Colin Farrell as a discontented industrial worker in a far dystopian future. Farrell signs up for a procedure that will implant memories of a career as a spy, but the procedure goes wrong and he finds himself on the run from a totalitarian government, unsure of what is reality and what is implanted memory.

4. The Amazing Spider-Man (7/3)- After conflict between director and studio pushed Spider-man 4 past its planned 2011 release date, the film’s producers at Sony decided to reboot the series with an all new cast. Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) will replace Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man. The new movie will be an origin story exploring parts of Peter Parker’s past the original did not and will be darker and grittier than the original.

3. Prometheus (6/8)- Ridley Scott’s prequel to his 1979 sci-fi classic Alien follows the crew of the spaceship Prometheus as they investigate the ruins of an ancient civilization on an alien world. In classic Alien fashion, the mission does not go as planned and the crew find something that could threaten humanity’s existence.

2. The Avengers (5/4)- New Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, or Thor movies would all be enough individually to get the hype machine going. Combine all of those heroes together into one movie and have them face off against invading aliens and you have one of the most hyped superhero films ever.

1. The Dark Knight Rises (7/20)- This is the grandaddy of them all. The Dark Knight Rises will see main characters on the verge of death, Occupy Gotham-type civil-unrest, and a football field blown up by terrorists. And that’s just in the teaser trailer. Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman film will ratchet the intensity up to 11 and is quite possibly the most anticipated movie since Return of the King. After 2008’s smash hit The Dark Night, TDKR will have a crazy amount of hype to live up to and will be the undoubted box office king of Summer 2012.