With finals season right around the corner, so is the summer movie season.
Yes, this summer, yet again, promises four months of action-packed super hero flicks, giant robots and monsters, space adventures and plenty of reboots, remakes and sequels to help us relax during the heat.
Here are a few films that movie-goers should likely see and avoid …
Watch: "Star Trek: Into Darkness"
Release Date: May 17
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch
While most students will probably still be studying for finals around this time, that shouldn't stop them from making time between cramming to go watch the latest sequel to the "Star Trek" series. J.J. Abrams helped bring life into the once dormant franchise back during his 2009 release of "Star Trek" and now his sequel promises to boldly take this series where no "Star Trek" film has gone before. Famous British actor Benedict Cumberbatch will be lending his talent to the franchise as the film's villain and it should turn out well. The cast from the first film will all be returning to reprise their roles aboard the starship Enterprise and all this should spell success for the twelfth film in the science fiction film franchise.
Others to watch: "Fast and Furious 6" (May 24,) "The Great Gatsby" (May 10)
Avoid: “After Earth”
Release: May 31
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Will Smith and Jaden Smith
On paper, “After Earth” looks like a solid science fiction film. It has reliable star Will Smith playing alongside his son Jaden, and based on the trailers it has a generally nice look to it, with impressive visuals and cinematography. But then you find out who the director is: M. Night Shyamalan. The once popular director hasn’t made anything good in nearly a decade, and his films since then have all been monstrously bad, filled with absurd plot holes or terrible writing. For that reason alone, movie goers should avoid this film.
Others to Avoid: “Now You See Me” (May 31,) “The Hangover Part III” (May 24)
Watch: “Man of Steel”
Release date: June 14
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon and Amy Adams
It’s been a while since Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns,” which bombed financially in 2006. With Christopher Nolan’s epic “Dark Knight” trilogy that concluded last summer, it’s only fitting that Superman would take its place in the DC comic book movie franchise. Initially I did not have high hopes for the pairing of Zach Synder with the famous hero of Krypton, but after viewing the trailers I’m getting cautiously optimistic about this film. Henry Cavill looks the part of Clark Kent aka Superman and Michael Shannon looks like a great General Zod. All in all this is a film fans of character should be lining up to see at midnight on June 14.
Others to see: “This is The End” (June 12,) “The Bling Ring” (June 14)
Avoid: “World War Z”
Release Date: June 21
Directed by: Marc Foster
Starring: Brad Pitt
Unlike “Man of Steel,” I initially had high hopes for this film and now find myself having no interest at all. Based off the famous zombie novel by Max Brooks, the film’s trailer looks comical with zombies acting more like a horde of Agent Smiths from “The Matrix” franchise than flesh eating undead walkers. Brad Pitt is normally a safe bet in a film but I don’t feel confident about this one. It might be worth a matinee viewing for hardcore zombie enthusiasts but I have a bad feeling about this one.
Others to Avoid: “White House Down” (June 28,) “The Purge” (June 7)
Watch: “Pacific Rim”
Release Date: July 12
Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman
This film will interest me probably more than most because I’m an old Godzilla fan and I love giant monster movies. Plus having giant robots battle those monsters makes it extra sweet. Everything I have seen so far of this film in the trailers tells me that monster movie fans will be in for a treat when this comes out as it seems to pay homage to the genre. Having “Sons of Anarchy” stars Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman helps too, plus Charlie Day from “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is a nice addition as well. This film looks like a dark horse for cult classic status and while I’m sure it won’t have an Oscar worthy storyline, I am certain it will be one hell of a fun ride.
Others to watch: “The Wolverine” (July 26,) “Red 2” (July 19)
Avoid: “Grown Ups 2”
Release Date: July 12
Directed by: Dennis Dugan
Starring: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and Kevin James
Releasing the same date as “Pacific Rim” is another ill-advised comedy by Adam Sandler, this time a sequel to his 2010 flop “Grown Ups.” Why there needed to be a sequel is beyond me but I can’t remember the last time Sandler and Happy Madison Productions made a “comedy” in the traditional sense of the word. The first film has a nine percent rating on rottentomatoes.com which pretty much says everything you need to know about what to expect in the sequel. I guess it can’t be much worse than the original but movie viewers should save their money here.
Others to avoid: “Smurfs 2” (July 31,) “R.I.P.D.” (July 19)
Release Date: August 9
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley and Jodie Foster
I was tempted to put “Kick-Ass 2” here but a new science fiction film from “District 9” director Neill Blomkamp is too good to pass on. “District 9” was one of my favorite films of 2009 when it came out, combining tremendous visuals, visceral settings and brilliant social commentary to make one of the better science fiction films of the past decade. “Elysium” looks to build on the social commentary presented in “District 9” in this new story where during the year 2154, the super wealthy live in a space station of the same name, while the poor live in the decimated remains of Earth. The new film appears to be working with the theme of class warfare and I’m interested in seeing how it all comes together. If nothing else the visuals look amazing in the trailer and fans of “District 9” should be very excited to see this film.
Others to watch: “Kick-Ass 2” (August 19,) “The World’s End” (August 23)
Avoid: “300: Rise of an Empire”
Release Date: August 2
Directed by: Noam Murro
Starring: Eva Green and Jaime Blackley
Generally speaking, I enjoyed the 2007 action film “300” but why on Earth are they making a prequel now? “300” was based off a graphic novel by Frank Miller which of course was based off the famous Battle of Thermopylae but this film has no graphic novel to be based off of, so why not just make a normal film about the events that led up to the last stand of King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans? It’s not even being directed by the film’s original director Zack Snyder, so I can’t even find a good reason to see this new film. It sounds like more of the same, so I would recommend avoiding it and saving your money.
Others to avoid: “Percy Jackson: Sea Monsters” (August 7,) “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” (August 23)