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.’


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:

July 12

“Pacific Rim”

Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko



Director: Guillermo del Toro

Pitch: Giant robots battle

sea creatures.

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.

July 17



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.

July 19

“The Conjuring”


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,

Kevin Bacon

Director: Robert Schwentke

Pitch: Two undead cops go on patrol.

My take: Just odd enough to be a surprise



“RED 2”

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.

July 26

“The Wolverine”

Stars: Hugh Jackman, Will

Yun Lee


Director: James Mangold

Pitch: The comic book hero ends

up in Japan.

My take: Will claw its way to

good box office numbers.

July 31


“Smurfs 2”

Stars: Neil Patrick Harris,

Sofia Vergara

Director: Raja Gosnell

Pitch: Gargamel creates evil

Smurf-like creatures.


My take: Kids will keep the

studio from feeling blue.

Aug. 2

“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


“2 Guns”

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?

Aug. 9

“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.


Aug. 16

“Kick-Ass 2”

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.


Aug. 23

“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

angel warriors.


My take: Has built-in audience of fans of Cassandra Clare’s


“You’re Next”

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.


Aug. 30


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.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: