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5 movies to look forward to this summer

There are tons of things that come to mind when Alaskans think of summer: sunlight, hiking, fishing — and of course, gigantic summer blockbusters.
Almost everyone has been stoked for the big movies of the summer, and while it’ll be hard to top last year’s “The Avengers,” it’s worth remaining hopeful.
Here are five films to definitely keep an eye on as the summer begins.

“Man of Steel”
A reboot of the “Superman” mythos, this film comes from Zack Snyder, who is known for directing such films as “300,” “Watchmen” and “Sucker Punch.”
Whether or not Snyder is the right director for the job very much depends on who you ask.
Some say he’d make a great new superhero film, while some would rather see him keep to his niche of highly stylized action.
However the film will turn out, it will be a very unique take on the story of Kal-El and his journey to and on the planet Earth.
Those interested to see Snyder’s unique angle on the “Superman” legend should definitely take a look.

“This is the End”
The latest film from the crew behind “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express” and “The Watch,” “This is the End” follows fictionalized versions of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco and others as they try to survive the apocalypse and its aftermath.
Those who enjoyed the crew’s previous efforts will probably find a lot of things to like out of these actors as they try desperately to cling to life.
Expect a lot of crude jokes and surprise cameos.

“After Earth”
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, “After Earth” follows two men (played by Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith) as they crash land on Earth a millenium after it was last abandoned by humanity. Viewers who were scarred by Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender” catastrophe may want to consider giving “After Earth” a chance.
It looks to evoke works as varied as “Titan A.E.” and even “The Pursuit of Happiness,” all with a shade or two of Pandora from “Avatar.”
And that’s not even mentioning the cerebral plot that is Shyamalan’s trademark style from films like “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs.”

“Pacific Rim”
“Pacific Rim” is Guillermo Del Toro’s self-proclaimed love letter to Japanese-style monster movies, telling the charmingly ridiculous story of giant robots fighting off giant monsters who have mysteriously risen from beneath the ocean.
The trailer tells of interdimensional portals and kung fu and other dumb cliches, but that just adds to the goofy charm that makes “Pacific Rim” so appealing.
It features several actors and actresses from both America and Japan, including Ellen McLain as a lovable artificial intelligence, a casting move that caused many a squee in the theaters showing the trailers.

“R.I.P.D.”
Robert Schwentke, who directed the underrated secret agent gem “RED,” brings us “R.I.P.D.,” standing for “Rest in Peace Department.” Starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, the film depicts the department as a ghost and demon hunting agency, similar to a cross between “Ghostbusters” and “Men in Black.”
It’s up to two undead agents to unravel a conspiracy that could spell the end for the world for the living.
It’s nice to see a fresh, comedic take on the gothic horror-action genre.
Just imagining what “RED” would be like if the characters were demon slayers instead of agents is simultaneously hilarious and awesome.
Those who want a more humorous approach to this usually dark genre should get a kick out of this flick.

Written by George Hyde

I'm George, the local sci-fi and RPG fanatic. Complaints are welcome.