Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blockbuster season opens this weekend

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Be warned, if you have not caught the lead-in films Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, you have a couple days to do so. Technically, the films kind of take place in that chronological order. Reviews by critics so far have been very positive with the film having a 93 percent Fresh rating on

Ill be reviewing the film after checking it out at one of our local theaters on Saturday. Oh, and be sure to stay after the end credits for one of those typical comic-book movie teaser scenes.

On May 18, you can check out Battleship, a movie based off the Hasbro Inc., board game that looks to contain all the explosions and action you can handle. Other than that, it doesnt look to be exploring the depths of acting or writing skill.

Battleship is the story of a small fleet of Naval vessels that encounter an alien force off the coast of the Hawaiian islands. The aliens appear to trap the ships under an impenetrable dome, forcing them to fight the sinister ships rising from the deep.

At the same time, it appears the aliens are inflicting mass destruction on cities and military bases worldwide, for whatever reason. Seeing as how this is the latest film based off a Hasbro toy (the Transformers trilogy), when watching the trailer the aliens almost look to come from the same mold as the Transformers.

Liam Neeson (must be looking for a few bucks), Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker and Alexander Skarsgard will star in the big-budget release.

The summer season continues with a sure-fire money-maker, Men in Black 3 starring Will Smith as Agent Jay, Tommy Lee Jones as Agent Kay, and newcomer to the franchise, Josh Brolin, playing a younger Agent Kay.

This time, Jay must time travel to 1969 after Kay goes missing from the secretive Men in Black. Back in the 60s, Jay encounters his partners younger-self and must enlist his help to stop a pending alien invasion.

Honestly, if after this summer you arent tired of alien invasions, I commend you. Men in Black has been a hit since the first was released in 1997, thanks to Smith, who seems to attract moviegoers to theaters in droves.

While I didnt enjoy the second installment of Men in Black as much as the first, I became a huge fan of Brolin upon seeing No Country for Old Men in 2007. Im on board for a viewing and hope to see the mixture of comedy and the depth of character that Jones brought to the original.

Fast-forward to June 8 and you get Prometheus from director Ridley Scott, which is being billed as probably one of the most significant science fiction films in a long time.

Starring Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce and Charlize Theron, the film follows a group of explorers who travel to a distant planet seeking the origin of life on earth.

The crew is sent into the stars after archaeologists discover ancient civilizations all drew the same pictograph of a star map from ancient encounters with extraterrestrials.

I was no fan of James Camerons Avatar as it sacrificed originality of story, characters and great writing for a flashy show. Scott is known for his science fiction achievements such as Alien in 1979, and Blade Runner in 1982.

I am hoping Prometheus delivers equally compelling narratives and great characters as Scotts previous sci-fi masterpieces, instead of just trying to wow us with visual effects.

On July 3, Sony returns to the roots of Spider-Man with The Amazing Spider-Man, trying to erase the awful taste left from the final installment to Sam Raimis trilogy.

Starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Amazing is retelling the origin of the hero in what it promises is a different way. Emma Stone joins Garfield as Gwen Stacy, Parkers romantic interest, and Denis Leary plays New York City cop and Stacys father, George.

The film is bringing in some of Spider-Mans original elements, including Parker creating mechanical web shooters and having Stacy as his first love interest. While Raimis trilogy made billions, many fans are discouraged they started over, but thats not going to keep them from seeing this film.

Later that month, Christopher Nolan unleashes his final installment in his Batman trilogy on July 20. The Dark Knight Rises brings back Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gary Oldman as Commissioner Jim Gordan, Michael Cain as butler Alfred, along with new villain Bane (Tom Hardy) and anti-hero Catwoman (Anne Hathaway).

The film and Nolan promise to conclude his story of Batmans journey from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The latest trailer for the film was released on Tuesday and has the most ominous and foreboding tone of any comic book film Ive seen.

The film is set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and new villain Bane comes to Gotham to punish Batman and push the authorities and the hero to their very limits. What role Catwoman has to play is so far, unclear, as is Batman and Bruce Waynes final fate.

Also, coming Aug. 3 is Bourne Legacy starring Renner from Avengers as a CIA operative following in Jason Bournes footsteps. You can also catch the Total Recall remake starring Colin Farrell on the same day or weekend.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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