From 'Iron Man 3' to 'Star Trek,' sequels dominate summer movies

THE FRESNO BEEMay 3, 2013 

With so many remakes, sequels and familiar subjects hitting theaters between now and Labor Day, this year's summer movie season should be dubbed as "deja viewed."

There are sequels by the numbers: "Smurfs 2," "Red 2," "Kick-Ass 2," "Despicable Me 2," "The Hangover III" and "Fast and Furious 6." And there are sequels that try to slip by, such as "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Monsters University."

Movies like "Iron Man 3," "Man of Steel" and "The Wolverine" aren't just returns to big screen for the heroes; they all have a huge comic-book fan following. The same can be said of the "300" sequel: "300: Rise of an Empire," which is inspired by the Frank Miller graphic novel.

Then there are movies like "World War Z," "The Great Gatsby" and "Mortal Instruments," which are based on best-selling books.

And it doesn't help that Lena Headey stars in three movies set for the next three months: "300: Rise of an Empire," "The Purge" and "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones."

This list may sound familiar, but it stars some of most-anticipated new movies being released this summer:

MAY 3

Iron Man 3

Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle

Director: Shane Black

Pitch: Iron Man battles the Mandarin.

My take: Increased fire power will make it a blast.

MAY 10

The Great Gatsby

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Pitch: A would-be writer meets a millionaire with secrets.

My take: The summer's most glitzy offering.

We the Peeples

Stars: Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier

Director: Tina Chism

Pitch: Marriage proposal upsets family reunion.

My take: Tyler Perry movies draw a crowd.

MAY 17

Star Trek Into Darkness

Stars: Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg

Director: J.J. Abrams

Pitch: The Enterprise crew battles forces that threaten Starfleet.

My take: It will boldly go to huge box office numbers.

MAY 24

The Hangover III

Stars: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong

Director: Todd Phillips

Pitch: No bachelor party, but the same results.

My take: The second film in the franchise showed some life, but it's time to end this party.

Fast and Furious 6

Stars: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson

Director: Justin Lin

Pitch: Fancy cars are driven very fast.

My take: It's a franchise that keeps on driving.

Epic

Stars: Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried

Director: Chris Wedge

Pitch: Animated tale of the battle between good and evil in the woods.

My take: Won't be epic at the box office, but it will have a good showing.

MAY 31

The Purge

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey

Director: James DeMonaco

Pitch: Family faces crisis in a world with no laws.

My take: It will be the choice when other movies are sold out.

Now You See Me

Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Melanie Laurent

Director: Louis Leterrier

Pitch: Bank robbing illusionist makes money disappear.

My take: Needs real magic to draw a crowd.

JUNE 7

After Earth

Stars: Jaden Smith, Will Smith

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Pitch: Teen, his dad crash on devastated Earth.

My take: No faith Shyamalan can make a good movie.

The Internship

Stars: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson

Director: Shawn Levy

Pitch: Two men talk their way into an internship at Google.

My take: Should be called "The Job Crashers."

JUNE 12

This is the End

Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel

Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Pitch: Friends are trapped in a house after Los Angeles is wiped out.

My take: Will cause case of comedy cabin fever.

JUNE 14

Man of Steel

Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner

Director: Zack Snyder

Pitch: Superman becomes symbol of hope.

My take: Latest relaunch won't go up, up and away.

JUNE 21

Monsters University

Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman

Director: Dan Scanlon

Pitch: How Mike and Sulley became friends.

My take: Why did it take this long to make a sequel?

World War Z

Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Matthew Fox

Director: Marc Forster

Pitch: A look at the world after a zombie war.

My take: Should be monster hit.

JUNE 28

The Heat

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy

Director: Paul Feig

Pitch: Uptight FBI agent and unruly cop must work together.

My take: Feig will keep movie from misfiring.

White House Down

Stars: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx

Director: Roland Emmerich

Pitch: Only one man can save the White House.

My take: "Olympus Has Fallen" stole its thunder.

JULY 3

The Lone Ranger

Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer

Director: Gore Verbinski

Pitch: Tonto tells tale of the masked man.

My take: Has to be better than the last big-screen "Lone Ranger."

Despicable Me 2

Stars: Steve Carell, Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig

Director: Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin

Pitch: Gru, girls are back.

My take: You can't go wrong with these minions.

JULY 12

Pacific Rim

Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Pitch: Giant robots battle sea creatures.

My take: Bet on the robots.

Grown Ups 2

Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek

Director: Dennis Dugan

Pitch: Friends get together for more fun.

My take: Adam Sandler's track record stinks.

JULY 17

Turbo

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti

Director: David Soren

Pitch: A snail gets the power of super speed.

My take: On the fast track to be a hit.

JULY 19

The Conjuring

Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson

Director: James Wan

Pitch: Paranormal investigators face real terror.

My take: "Amityville" for the 21st century.

R.I.P.D.

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Bacon

Director: Robert Schwentke

Pitch: Two undead cops go on patrol.

My take: Just odd enough to be a surprise hit.

RED 2

Stars: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren

Director: Dean Parisot

Pitch: The old gang is back to fight more evil.

My take: Should be just as surprising as first film.

JULY 26

The Wolverine

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee

Director: James Mangold

Pitch: The comic book hero ends up in Japan.

My take: Will claw its way to good box office numbers.

JULY 31

Smurfs 2

Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Sofia Vergara

Director: Raja Gosnell

Pitch: Gargamel creates evil Smurf-like creatures.

My take: Kids will keep studio from feeling blue.

AUG. 2

300: Rise of an Empire

Stars: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson

Director: Noam Murro

Pitch: Greek general tries to rally the troops.

My take: Anything based on Frank Miller's work will be powerful.

2 Guns

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, James Marsden

Director: Baltasar Kormakur

Pitch: Competing operatives go on the run.

My take: Not enough firepower for the summer.

AUG. 7

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Stars: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel

Director: Thor Freudenthal

Pitch: Percy looks for the Golden Fleece.

My take: Does anyone remember the first movie?

AUG. 9

We're the Millers

Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Pitch: Small-time crook goes big time.

My take: Big-screen version of "Weeds."

Planes

Stars: Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Carlos Alazraqui

Director: Klay Hall

Pitch: One plane longs to be in an air race.

My take: It's "Cars" with wings.

Elysium

Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Pitch: Conflict brews between classes in 2154.

My take: Damon's a safe bet when it comes to action heroes.

AUG. 16

Kick-Ass 2

Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz

Director: Jeff Wadlow

Pitch: A new wave of costumed heroes emerges.

My take: New "Kick-Ass" won't.

AUG. 23

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Stars: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower

Director: Harald Zwart

Pitch: Teen learns she's descendant of secret group of half-angel warriors.

My take: Has built-in audience of fans of Cassandra Clare's novels.

You're Next

Stars: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, A.J. Bowen

Director: Adam Wingard

Pitch: Family attacked by mysterious killers.

My take: Will have trouble battling big summer releases.

AUG. 28

Closed Circuit

Stars: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Riz Ahmed

Director: John Crowley

Pitch: Ex-lovers find their loyalties tested during a trial.

My take: One of the more cerebral movies of the summer.

AUG. 30

Getaway

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight

Directors: Courtney Solomon, Yaron Levy

Pitch: Burned-out race car driver must save kidnapped wife.

My take: Summer movies coast to an end.

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