This Is the End (June 12)
This Cloverdale-like mockumentary features co-director Seth Rogen, along with James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson as themselves, waking up to the apocalypse after a wild party. My bet is that bong and fart jokes will survive.
The World’s End (Aug. 23)
Director Edgar Wright reunites with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead fame for this story of five friends, including Martin Freeman, repeating a legendary pub crawl that may save the world. Think The Hangover meets The Lord of the Rings.
The Heat (June 28)
Bridesmaids’s Paul Feig directs this cop buddy movie, starring Sandra Bullock as an uptight FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy as a rule-breaking Boston cop. Identity Thief meets Miss Congeniality? Or, preferably, something better.
Grown Ups 2: Adam Sandler’s Adam Sandler's first sequel continues the high jinks with Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade. (July 12)
Much Ado About Nothing: Joss Whedon’s Shakespearean romp (June 7)
The To Do List (Aug. 16): Aubrey Plaza in a bawdy teen comedy from a girl with a sexual must-do list.
FOR THE KIDS
Monsters University (June 21)
A 3-D prequel to 2001’s Monsters, Inc. sees Billy Crystal (Mike) as a 17-year-old freshman majoring in scaring, and his initial rivalry with the boisterous Sulley (John Goodman), who is in his fraternity. A decade of monstrous DVD exposure assures this will be one of the summer’s biggest hits.
Despicable Me 2 (July 3)
A surprise 2010 hit, Despicable Me turned the nattering, lemon-coloured Minions into instant kids’ favourites. This time, supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) is recruited to stop another villain, while tending to his three adopted daughters.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Aug. 7)
Based on the second of Rick Riordan’s best-selling fantasy books about a New York adolescent who discovers he’s a Greek demigod, this follows a 2010 debut that rang up a quarter-billion in sales. What are kids into today? Turns out it’s all about golden fleeces, hippocampi and satyrs.
Epic (May 24)
This lush-looking animated adaptation of children’s author William Joyce’s The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, is an eco-fable directed by Chris Wedge, the man behind Scrat and the first Ice Age movie. The story follows the teenaged daughter of a naturalist who is shrunken and finds herself in a war between the Leafmen and the evil Boggans.
Turbo (July 17): A garden snail aspires to race in the Indy 500.
Planes (Aug. 9): a cropduster aspires to fly in a prestigious air race.
THE ALT.SUMMER MOVIE LIST
Frances Ha (May 17)
Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) and star Greta Gerwig collaborated on this low-budget portrait of a misfit New York apprentice dancer, all shot in black and white. Last year’s festival reviews made comparisons to everything from Woody Allen’s Manhattan to the fleet, early-sixties shooting style of Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut.
The Great Gatsby (May 10)
Aussie director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) promises to turn F. Scott Fitzgerald’s syllabus fave into a gaudy 3-D bauble, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire in the principal roles and the music of Jay-Z celebrating the corrupt glory of the Roaring Twenties. It might be ridiculous, but bring it on.
Blue Jasmine (July 26)
Woody Allen’s latest comes with typically little information, beyond the statement that a fashionable New York woman faces a crisis. The cast includes Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins and Bobby Cannavale.
The Way, Way Back (July 5)
“Sleeper hit” is the phrase being bandied around for this Sundance comedy, about 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother Pam (Toni Collette) and her obnoxious boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell), in which Sam Rockwell gets a nice-guy turn as the manager of the local Water Wizz park in a Meatballs-meets-Adventureland coming-of-age tale.
Before Midnight (May 24)
In Richard Linklater’s third film in the cross-Atlantic romance series, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) meet again in Greece, nine years since their previous encounter and two decades after their first meeting.
Now You See Me (May 31): Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson star in this caper flick as magical Robin Hoods who steal from the rich and give to the audience.
Lovelace (Aug. 9): Amanda Seyfried plays Linda Lovelace, the erotic star of Deep Throat and subsequent author of Ordeal.
Fruitvale Station (July 26): A Sundance prize-winning drama about a 22-year-old African-American man on the last day of his life.
The Bling Ring (June 14): Celebrity-obsessed robbers, as envisioned by Sofia Coppola.