Summer movies are dominated by things that explode or travel through
galaxies, and there is certainly an audience for them among the 18-24 cherished
demographic, but there are still some sweet, smart and well-written small movies
that might not make your radar screen.
As the industry launches the summer season earlier and earlier every year, we've already waded through the remake of the year ("The Great Gatsby") and several of the wall-shakers and sequels ("Iron Man 3," "Star Trek Into Darkness," to name two) with more on the way: "RED 2" (July 19), "Smurfs 2" (July 26) and "Kickass 2" (Aug. 16).
Here is a look at some of the anticipated biggies, as well as some of what we still like to call films -- gems that will tickle the brain without blowing out the eardrums.
OUT NOW "Now You See Me," starring Jesse Eisenberg and Melanie Laurent. Fans of "The Social Network" star Eisenberg may be interested to see him as part of a Robin Hood-like gang of bank-robbing illusionists.
"After Earth," starring Will and Jaden Smith. M. Night Shyamalan tackles the old what happens when Earth is demolished, with the father-son co-stars.
OUR JUNE GEMS
"Much Ado About Nothing," starring Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof and "Castle's" Nathan Fillion. Trailer looks charming and sophisticated (June 7); "Twenty Feet from Stardom," Morgan Neville's documentary about the ups and downs of the life of a backup singer, with cameos by many of those whom they sing behind (June 14); "This Is Martin Bonner," starring Paul Eenhoorn and Richmond Arquette, won the Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival in February. A middle-aged man tries to start over in Reno, Nev., where he befriends a young recently released ex-con who has a different take on life after 12 years in prison. Hopefully this got enough distribution money for a wide audience release (June 27).
JUNE 7 "The Internship," starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. The goofy twosome somehow land internships at Google. Enough said.
"This Is the End," starring James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel -- as themselves -- stuck in a house together as Los Angeles goes bye-bye. Seth Rogen directs, so it's not "The Impossible."
JUNE 14 "Man of Steel," starring Henry Cavill (as Superman), Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner. Good cast, good franchise, but is it a tired one?
"The Bling Ring," starring Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga and Nina Siemaszko. Early buzz was mixed, but who doesn't want to see Sofia Coppola's take on this ripped-from-the-headlines film about the teen home burglars who targeted celebrities?
JUNE 21 "World War Z," starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Matthew Fox. Brad Pitt fought hard to make this zombie movie. Has the makings of a biggie, but have we reached the zombie plateau?
"Monsters University," starring Billy Crystal and John Goodman in a prequel to "Monsters, Inc." Pixar, with a huge cast of funny people.
"The Heat," starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids") directs these two comedy vets in a female law enforcement buddy movie.
"White House Down," starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. One of these guys
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