With so many remakes, sequels and familiar subjects hitting theaters between now and Labor Day, this year’s summer movie season should be dubbed as ‘deja viewed.’
BY RICK BENTLEY
The Fresno Bee
There are sequels by the numbers: “Smurfs 2,” “Red 2,” “Kick-Ass 2,” and “Despicable Me 2.”
Movies like “The Wolverine” aren’t just returns to big screen for the heroes; they all have a huge comic-book fan following. The same can be said of the “300″ sequel: “300: Rise of an Empire,” which is inspired by the Frank Miller graphic novel.
Then there are movies like “Mortal Instruments,” which is based on a best-selling book.
And it doesn’t help that Lena Headey stars in three movies set for the next three months: “300: Rise of an Empire” and “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.”
This list may sound familiar, but it stars some of most-anticipated new movies being released:
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Pitch: Giant robots battle
My take: Bet on the robots.
“Grown Ups 2″
Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris
Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek
Director: Dennis Dugan
Pitch: Friends get together for more fun.
My take: Adam Sandler’s track record stinks.
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti
Director: David Soren
Pitch: A snail gets the power of super speed.
My take: On the fast track to be a hit.
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Director: James Wan
Pitch: Paranormal investigators face real
My take: “Amityville” for the 21st century.
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges,
Director: Robert Schwentke
Pitch: Two undead cops go on patrol.
My take: Just odd enough to be a surprise
Stars: Bruce Willis, Helen
Director: Dean Parisot
Pitch: The old gang is back
to fight more evil.
My take: Should be just as
surprising as first film.
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Will
Director: James Mangold
Pitch: The comic book hero ends
up in Japan.
My take: Will claw its way to
good box office numbers.
Stars: Neil Patrick Harris,
Director: Raja Gosnell
Pitch: Gargamel creates evil
My take: Kids will keep the
studio from feeling blue.
“300: Rise of an Empire”
Stars: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans
Director: Noam Murro
Pitch: Greek general tries to rally the troops.
My take: Anything based on Frank Miller’s work will be
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, James Marsden
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Pitch: Competing operatives go on the run.
My take: Not enough firepower for the summer.
Aug. 7: “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”
Stars: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Pitch: Percy looks for the Golden Fleece.
My take: Does anyone remember the first movie?
“We’re the Millers”
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Pitch: Small-time crook goes big time.
My take: Big-screen version of “Weeds.”
Stars: Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Carlos Alazraqui
Director: Klay Hall
Pitch: One plane longs to be in an air race.
My take: It’s “Cars” with wings.
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Pitch: Conflict brews between classes in 2154.
My take: Damon’s a safe bet when it comes to action heroes.
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Pitch: A new wave of costumed heroes emerges.
My take: New “Kick-Ass” won’t.
“Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”
Stars: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower
Director: Harald Zwart
Pitch: Teen learns she’s descendant of secret group of half
My take: Has built-in audience of fans of Cassandra Clare’s
Stars: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, A.J. Bowen
Director: Adam Wingard
Pitch: Family attacked by mysterious killers.
My take: Will have trouble battling big summer releases.
Aug. 28: “Closed Circuit”
Stars: Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Riz Ahmed
Director: John Crowley
Pitch: Ex-lovers find their loyalties tested during a trial.
My take: One of the more cerebral movies of the summer.
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight
Directors: Courtney Solomon, Yaron Levy
Pitch: Burned-out race car driver must save kidnapped wife.
My take: Summer movies coast to an end.