Summer on the big screen
With dozens already in theaters and more coming, the 2010 movie lineup can be called the year of the remakes.
And it’s especially true for the expected summer blockbusters. All but a handful of them are based on books or games or are sequels from old classics.
While there may be little originality left, these films are sure to entertain. The Oracle previews some of the predicted hits.
Iron Man 2 – May 7
One of the many sequels this summer, fans of the comic – or anyone who stayed after the credits for “Iron Man” – knew this movie was unavoidable.
Now that the world knows the identity of the man behind the mask, everyone – including the government – wants Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to give up his life as the superhero and turn over the Iron Man suit.
Stark refuses, having to form alliances with others, which introduces new characters and furthers his developing romance with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).
With more than one enemy and a new set of allies, “Iron Man 2” is sure to pass the prequel in sales and entertainment.
– Issa Luckett
Robin Hood – May 14
From multiple award-winning director Ridley Scott, this remake casts Russell Crowe, a Scott favorite, as Robin Hood.
For any Crowe fan, this isn’t anything surprising, as he’s known for excellence in his action-filled roles. The remake is a consolidation of book folklore and previous movies, but it should be updated with intense action and CGI effects.
– Issa Luckett
The Karate Kid – June 11
More of a rehashing than a remake of the 1984 film of the same name, this movie brings a new story, setting and characters to enhance the classic.
Director Harald Zwart sets the movie in China after Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mom (Taraji P. Henson) move from Detroit for work.
Immediately, Dre gets picked on and has no real self-defense. Jackie Chan, who plays the maintenance man Mr. Han, takes Dre under his wing to discipline him in real kung fu.
The movie will have you inspired by the beautiful scenes in China but littered with engaging humor, just like the original.
– Aubrey Clark
Toy Story 3 – June 18
Pixar returns to its first film property with the summer release of “Toy Story 3.” As the toys’ owner, Andy, prepares to go to college, his favorite toys get thrown away and accidentally end up at Sunnyside Day Care.
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and other voice actors reprise their roles for the first time in more than a decade. Disney is also offering this new installment in 3D.
Although the trailer’s jokes are all fairly obvious, the finished movie should hopefully drift closer to the emotional cores and comedy of “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2.”
– James Geurts
Grown Ups – June 25
When five friends reunite 30 years later to relive childhood days, they learn that things aren’t the same now that they’re all grown up.
“Grown Ups” yields a cast of funny classic men, including Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider. The film should pack in some decent comedy.
It may be challenging to reap the success of a big-budget summer blockbuster, but if you’re looking for a remake of “The Hangover” – just with annoying kids instead of tigers and drinking games – add “Grown Ups” to your queue.
– Nicholas Trobiano
Twilight Saga: Eclipse – June 30
In the third installment of the “Twilight” series, the fight for Bella between the werewolf, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), and the vampire, Edward (Robert Pattinson), continues.
Bella struggles to choose between the two, and a series of strange killings start to occur.
Sure to be one of the biggest sellers of the season because of the series’ massive following, it may also attract others with more hints of violence and romance than the previous installments.
– Issa Luckett
The Last Airbender – July 2
Based on the Nickelodeon cartoon that has become popular with many, “The Last Airbender” is the first adaption by director M. Night Shyamalan, who also directed films like “Signs” and “The Sixth Sense.”
The story follows Aang, a young boy who can control elements like water and air, and a world of people who can do the same. Aang focuses on his ability to “bend” water in order to defend the world from an evil fire nation.
Darker than it’s cartoon inspiration, the film may hold surprises for fans of the show and should reach out to viewers who are being introduced to the characters for the first time.
– Emily Handy
Inception – July 16
Even as “Inception” nears its July release date, information about the film remains scarce beyond two mysterious trailers.
The film has been described as an action film “set within the architecture of the mind.” The story involves a team led by Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) who can enter people’s minds through their dreams. This premise allows for the transforming cityscapes and gravity-defying hallways glimpsed within the trailers – and the film’s visuals can be seen in IMAX.
The movie’s high-prestige cast also includes Ken Watanabe, Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight”) directing, writing and producing.
– James Geurts
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – August 13
“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” promises a different kind of comic-book movie – one with bass-playing hipsters, video game visuals and explosively cartoon-like showdowns.
Michael Cera continues his awkward character trend by playing a nebbish boy who falls for an indie-rock girl (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But to date her, he must defeat her seven evil exes that control her love life.
The film will play close to the original comic book series, and preview screenings have already won accolades from fans and directors like Kevin Smith.
Even better, the film is in the capable hands of genre filmmaker Edgar Wright, who previously directed “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.”
– James Geurts