Superheros and sorcerers light up summer screens

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April 30, 2010

1:36 AM

Summer is a time of innumerable memories involving beach balls, swimming pools, barbeques, firefly hunts and—with luck— the possibility of an internship or a job. But while many associate this sunny season with time spent outdoors, everyone from film buffs to the occasional movie watcher can always enjoy at least one type of film — even if it’s just for the air conditioning.

“Summer traditionally has been the perfect time for movie-going, first because back before [domestic air conditioning] people just wanted to get out of the heat,” Christina Trimarco ’13, secretary of the Classic Movies Club, said. “With the free time allotted during these months, it makes sense that families would want to escape [from the heat] even further.”

As such, between May and August this year, 35 mainstream films will premier. The plethora of sequels, remakes and action-packed films will surely please anyone who seeks to enjoy Hollywood movie magic.
Trimarco, who works at a movie theater in Richmond, agreed.

“There is something that movies provide that the sun and pool cannot — I suppose it’s being able to live through others [in a film] which is an appeal that lasts year round,” she said.

So put away that sunscreen and stock up on your popcorn. Just in time for Blowout and finals, here is a preview of some of this summer’s films.

“Iron Man 2”
Robert Downey Jr. returns as the billionaire Tony Stark in this action-packed sequel. With his alter ego, Iron Man, now revealed to the world, Stark is targeted by the public and the U.S. government to give up his superpower abilities to the military. In trying to keep his technology private, Stark faces new enemies who may outdo his power. Anticipate more special effects and a rock soundtrack similar to the original.

“Robin Hood”
Set in 13th-century England, “Robin Hood” details the legend of the skilled archer and his quest to eliminate injustice under the reign of King John. In the tradition of “Gladiator,” Oscar-winner Russell Crowe returns as the epic hero who vies for the heart of Lady Marian (Cate Blanchett), and fights against Nordic invaders under his philosophy of courage.

“Shrek Forever After”
The last installment of this Dreamworks film franchise, “Shrek Forever After” stars familiar protagonists Shrek (Mike Meyers), Fiona (Cameron Diaz), Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and other fair ytale characters from the land of Far, Far Away. After living in a nuclear-family style household, Shrek misses the solitary life of an ogre and signs a contract with Rumpelstiltskin. But the life he returns to is one that he does not expect — a crumbled kingdom ruled by Rumpelstiltskin and a world in which his true love does not know who he is.

“Sex and the City 2”
As mothers and wives, the four women of the popular television show still find time to meet with each other. But when offered a trip to Abu Dhabi, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) delight in the break from their busy lives in New York City to ride camels, drink champagne in clubs and walk the streets of this Arabic city. Liza Minnelli and Miley Cyrus appear in cameo roles.

“Toy Story 3”
The third installment of the widely acclaimed Pixar film series, “Toy Story 3” premiers 15 years after adults and children alike fell in love with Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of Andy’s toys. Now Andy is all grown up and about to leave for college. His toys are donated to the Sunnyside Day Care Center where Woody and the gang meet new toys — Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear, Mr. Pricklepants and Ken, to name a few. But when the newcomers realize that Sunnyside is not the home for them, they have to plan their escape.

“Inception”
From Christopher Nolan, director of “The Dark Knight,” “Inception” combines the geoscience fiction, thriller and action genres into a film seeking to explore the power of ideas. With special effects depicting the upturning of city landscapes and explosions of various shattering cafe windows, the film follows protagonist, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) in his search for the idea that can perhaps reshape the planet. The film alludes to the classic struggle to obtain power through a means of violence, power and force.

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”
In this modern-day version of Disney’s Fantasia story, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” stars Nicolas Cage as Balthazar Blake, a sorcerer who seeks to protect New York City from the evil Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). After years of searching, he finds Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a physics student who will one day protect the world from the forces of evil, and makes him his apprentice. In the style of “Harry Potter,” Stutler learns from his mentor and encounters challenges including facing dragons, using magic and learning to control a plasma bolt. But as this film debuts on the same day as the much-anticipated “Inception,” will audiences be tempted by Cage’s Willy Wonka haircut and eccentric spirit over DiCaprio’s classic suavity?

“Eat, Pray, Love”
Based on the best-selling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat, Pray, Love” chronicles one woman’s journey to find meaning in her life. In her travels to Italy, India and Bali, this newly divorced woman leaves behind the stable life she has always known — being in a relationship, trying to be a good wife — in order to seek her true identity. Along the way, she meets men, eats pizza and prays with gurus. Although the plot slightly resembles the search for self-worth seen in “Julie and Julia,” one cannot help but wonder if this movie will mark an important breakthrough role in Julia Roberts’s career.

This summer, take a break and catch a movie. Whether you prefer Carrie Bradshaw, Buzz Lightyear or Iron Man, Hollywood has cooked up something to delight all moviegovers.

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