Summer 2012 is Here at the Movies! But Which Flicks Will Soar, and Which Will Suck?

Summer is upon us! And as usual, Hollywood is throwing its best and brightest blockbusters at the world, hoping to break box office records, or at the very least, break even. So what’s in store for those looking to beat the heat at theaters this year? Here’s a breakdown of five flicks we think will be bona fide hits, and five that might be misses…

The Hits

The Hangover Part III (May 24) – While the sequel, Part II, left many fans a bit miffed that it was a joke-by-joke retelling of the hilarious Part I, those looking for a different journey in the concluding chapter should be appeased. Apparently the final film gets a bit dark as the wolf pack try to bring Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to a mental institution, but as always with this group, things don’t go exactly as planned. With some familiar faces appearing in addition to a few new ones, people will most likely flock to this party one more time.

Man of Steel (June 14) – We’ve covered the trailer, and if you’re a superhero fan, there’s no way you can pass on DC Comics’ newest reboot. By attaching Batman guru Christopher Nolan on as guardian of the franchise and proceeding with what looks to be a grimmer, more introspective take on Superman, failure is not an option for this one.

This is the End (June 14) – Obviously going up against “Man of Steel” opening weekend is a pretty steep cliff to climb, but judging by the trailer, anyone seeking a good laugh will get it, if only to see Hermione herself kicking butt during the apocalypse with the likes of Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Jonah Hill.

Pacific Rim (July 12) – Aliens and giant robots fighting. Directed by anyone other than Guillermo del Toro and most people would probably be laughing in their popcorn, but del Toro has some serious street cred and a cult following from his “Hellboy” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” history. This one could surprise us all.

The Conjuring (July 19) – We’ve been chatting about this one as well and if it’s as scary as predicted, it should wind up being the runaway horror hit of the summer. With all the “Paranormal Activity” found-footage style out there, it’s good to know there are still some good, old-fashioned haunts to be had.

The Misses:

After Earth (May 31) – It’s not exactly a twisty surprise to say that M. Night Shyamalan has become a bit of a laughing stock in the years since his career skyrocketed with “The Sixth Sense.” Some say he peaked too soon, and that may be true, but Hollywood loves a good comeback. I hope he does have one, but this flick might not be it. Haven’t we already seen this tale of an abandoned planet Earth when it starred Tom Cruise and it was called “Oblivion”?

World War Z (June 21) – As a fan of the Max Brooks novel upon which it is based, I SO want this to be good. But I’m left with doubt considering the multitude of setbacks this film has faced (reshoots, rewrites, fighting on set) and the fact that the only thing it seems to have in common with the book is…well, zombies.

The Lone Ranger (July 5) – Johnny Depp struck gold with director Gore Verbinski before when they teamed up for “Pirates of the Caribbean” and forever emblazoned Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in our minds. That might be the problem though. Are audiences that eager to see Depp dress up as an entirely new, possible-franchise launching character? Time will tell.

Only God Forgives (July 19) – Another case of lightning having difficulty striking the same place twice, reviews from Cannes for this reteaming of Ryan Gosling and his “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn have been less than kind. When words like “preposterous” and “repulsive” are being used to describe a movie, it’s probably a good bet to wait for rental.

The Wolverine (July 26) – The odds that this will be better than the 2009 “Origins” movie are very high, and the fact that it is set in Japan is a nice change of pace. But perhaps we have to admit that as awesome as Hugh Jackman is, Wolverine may be best in small doses in an ensemble feature (Viva “X-Men: Days of Future Past”, summer ’14!)

Of course all or some of these predictions may end up being way off base, but to the movie-loving public, I say go forth and conquer and I’ll see you at the cineplex!

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