Summer blockbuster preview

Tom Andrew and Tom Andrew

The summer movie season traditionally begins on Memorial Day Weekend, but you wouldn’t know it with most big films opening in July. Here is a rundown of some of the films you can expect to see this summer at local movies houses around San Diego County.

Opening the weekend of May 20 is the fourth installment of Johnny Depp’s “Pirates Of The Caribbean” called “On Stranger Tides” which stars Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush and is directed by Rob Marshall (“Chicago” and “Nine”).

Also opening is the Woody Allen comedy “Midnight in Paris” starring Owen Wilson, Rachael McAdams, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody. Allen has steadily put out a film every year since the early 90’s, though most haven’t seen a wide release since his Academy Award nominated “Vicki Cristina Barcelona” in 2008.

Opening Memorial Day Weekend are two sequels, “The Hangover Part II” and “Kung Fu Panda 2″. Neither film needs an explanation, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years.

The weekend of June 3 opens with the next installment in the “X-Men” series entitled “First Class”. The film has a brand new, fresh-faced cast who will give us some insight into how Professor X and Magneto came to be. James McAvoy plays Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X), Michael Fassbender plays Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), and Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Shaw, rumored to be one of the greatest villains in the X-Men series.

The “Green Lantern” starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Tim Robbins, Angela Bassett, Peter Sarsgaard and Jon Tenney, opens June 17. The previews look pretty good for this film, though don’t trust a film’s greatness based on previews alone.

Apparently the month to beat is July. Four blockbuster films open on the weekends, starting with the new “Transformers” film entitled “Dark of the Moon”. This installment promises to be what was missing from the second “Transformers” which left most moviegoers not wanting a third.

The last “Harry Potter” opens July 15, and could be the film to beat this summer. Most fans of the books and the films will come out in droves to see this film, so get your tickets early and get to the theatre on time, or you’ll be dealing with a lot of “sold-out” signs, or bad front row seating.

The following weekend premieres “Captain America: The First Avenger”, starring Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving and Tommy Lee Jones. “America” is about a military serviceman (Evans) who volunteers for a top secret research project turning him into a superhero who is dedicated to defending America’s ideals.

And finally the last weekend of July will bring us “Cowboys & Aliens” starring Harrison Ford, Olivia Wild, Daniel Craig, Sam Rockwell and Paul Dano and directed by Jon Favreau. With a rock solid cast and director, this film should not be missed.

August will round out the summer with a few blockbusters and maybe a few box office surprises. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” opens on the 5th, starring James Franco and Andy Serkis. A fifth “Final Destination” film will be opening on the 12th.

The remake of “Conan the Barbarian” opens on August 19, and stars Rose McGowan, Ron Perlman and newcomer Jason Momoa, in the role that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name.

Sleeper hits this summer could be “Larry Crowne” starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, “Horrible Bosses” starring Jason Bateman, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey (both July openings); “30 Minutes or Less” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, and Nick Swardson; “Fright Night,” a remake of the 1985 cult classic, starring Colin Farrell as vampire Jerry Dandrige and Anton Yelchin as Charlie Brewster and the Katie Holmes horror vehicle “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” all opening in August.

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