Every year, the biggest and best films inevitably come out during the summer, probably because people don’t have anything better to do than to haul their lazy asses to the theater. The talking point about this summer’s films is that there are an unprecedented number of sequels in the works: 27. Unfortunately, the Leader won’t be here to guide you through this summer’s blockbusters. Just to be nice, I’ll provide a cheat sheet to the four biggest films you have to see this summer.
1. Thor. Release date: May 6. “Thor” is the first of many superhero flicks to hit the theaters this summer. Featuring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and the timeless Anthony Hopkins—as Odin, of all characters—“Thor” should be an interesting foray into the world of the comic character inspired by the Norse myth. Assuming the ridiculous race controversy involving Idris Elba as Heimdall clears up first.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Release date: May 20. Once again, Disney cashes in on its existing franchises, hoping to make a quick buck off rabid Johnny Depp fangirls. It might work. Director Rob Marshall somehow got Depp back into the mix, along with Geoffrey Rush and Penelope Cruz. The film circles around the legendary Blackbeard, played by Ian McShane. It’s doubtful if this fourth “Pirates” will attain the heights achieved by the first film—the second and third were dreadful—but it could be worth a look anyway.
3. X-Men: First Class. Release date: June 3. The second sequel on the list, “First Class” focuses on the relationship between Professor X and Magneto. It takes place in 1962, long before the events of the other “X-Men” movies, which means that most of the beloved characters and the actors who played them will be absent. Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart, easily the best part of the previous three films, are replaced by Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, respectively. Only a few notable names will pop out to casual X-Men fans, including Beast, Emma Frost, Mystique and Azazel. Still, I remain hopeful that it could still be an interesting departure from the established line of “X-Men” movies.
4. Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World. Release date: August 19. Just kidding.
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Release date: July 15. Here’s the big one. The film picks up right where Part 1 left off, leaving the scene in Gringotts and the massive Battle of Hogwarts yet to be seen. In contrast to other movies with sequels, the “Harry Potter” films keep getting better every time. Since this is the last chance for Harry to be on the big screen—assuming J.K. Rowling doesn’t go George Lucas on us and start writing prequels—expect the filmmakers to go all-out to make this the biggest, most exciting “Potter” yet. Absolutely do not miss this one.