Now that the long-anticipated, much-hyped pop epic Watchmen has reached theaters, we can finally get on with our lives... by anticipating the soon-to-be-hyped pop epic summer movies! Several studios have recently released a batch of new, full-length trailers for the would-be biggest blockbusters of the hot months, including the latest from Pixar and several relaunches of science fiction's most lucrative franchises. Based on these clips, which do you most want to see?
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1)
Oscar host Hugh Jackman stars in this prequel to the X-Men trilogy that fills in the backstory of Wolverine and should answer questions like, "How old is he?" "Why does he have a metal skeleton?" and "Why is Liev Schreiber portraying Sabretooth, a bad guy played by huge wrestler Tyler Mane in the first film?" Director Gavin Hood previously made some heavy dramas, including South African Oscar nominee Tsotsi and the homeland security thriller Rendition, but hasn't helmed a huge Hollywood action franchise before. At any rate, it's the season's only big comic book movie.
Star Trek (May eighth)
Director J.J. Abrams follows the third (and best) of Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible films with the reboot of another TV franchise, the original 1960s "Star Trek." Abrams casts Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock on their first mission aboard the starship Enterprise. Frankly, I kinda wish Abrams had sent out Captain Picard's Enterprise with a big-screen bang, but his Star Trek looks exciting in the way the Star Wars films used to be.
Terminator: Salvation (May 21)
I'll skip the hilarious trailer for Tom Hanks' Da Vinci Code follow-up Angels and Demons -- anyone mind? -- to touch on the fourth Terminator film, with Charlie's Angels director McG setting up a potential trilogy. (Because no one can make just one film anymore -- it has to be the first of three.) The current trailer hints at the post-apocalytpic plot, with anti-robot resistance leader John Connor (Christian Bale) making an uneasy relationship with a man (Sam Worthington) whom I'll bet is an android without realizing it. The trailer looks promising, and Christian Bale seems to have intensity that befits humanity's savior, in sharp contrast to the other actors who've played John Connor on big or small screen.
Up (May 29)
The latest trailer for Pixar's 2009 comedy, from the director of Monsters Inc., offers some hints at the plot, which looks like it borrows elements from About Schmidt and Castle in the Sky. Ed Asner voices the elderly Carl Frederickson and I know nothing about it beyond what I've seen here, but I'll bet the Kirk Douglas-looking bad guy has some connection to the construction site that surrounds the old man's house. If it's good, maybe it has a better shot at a Best Picture Oscar, given that Pixar's previous films were about a rat and a robotic trash compactor, respectively.
Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen (June 24)
Technically, this probably counts as a "teaser" trailer to Michael Bay's Transformers sequel, since it has virtually no dialogue, few scenes with human actors and precious little plot information. But then, how much information do you really need besides "Mo' bigger robots?"
Public Enemies (July 1)
In his second starring role in a big summer movie, The Dark Knight's Christian Bale stars opposite Johnny Depp in Public Enemies, a 1930s tommygun drama about FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Bale) and his attempt to stop notorious bankrobber John Dillinger (Depp). It's from Michael Mann, creator of "Miami Vice" and director of such meticulous thrillers as The Insider and Heat, so this Untouchables-looking drama should feel like the most "grown-up" action movie among the summer spectacles.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 17)
David Yates, director of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, returns for the adaptation of the sixth book, which features flashbacks about the villainous Voldemort, teen romance at Hogwarts and the death of a major character. Phoenix was my favorite film in the Potter franchise to date, but despite the splendid creepiness of the trailer and the sure-to-be-downbeat ending, I've got a hunch that Prince will be mostly lighter fare, in preparation for the darkness of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, still supposedly to be broken up into two films.
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