Summer Guide » Film

CL's 2009 Summer Movie Preview

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Yeah, we know, we know: With X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Trek (among others) already in theaters, the summer movie season has already begun in earnest. But geez, it's not like there aren't plenty more reasons to check out our checklist of upcoming summer flicks -- 50 reasons, to be exact.

Three things to keep in mind. First, this list includes titles that are scheduled to open in Charlotte during the summer but aren't necessarily summer movies (e.g. Sugar has been playing in limited released elsewhere for several weeks now). Second, this compilation only includes pictures that have been assigned release dates by their respective studios -- there will be a handful of other films opening in the next few months (including the latest from Woody Allen), but as no Charlotte release dates have been given to them yet, they're not cited here. And third (and most important), release dates are always subject to change. So if you show up at your local multiplex expecting to see Pixar's Up on May 29, you're safe, but the same can't be said for some of the smaller titles opening later during the hot-weather months. And now, on with the show.

MAY 21

TERMINATOR SALVATION. The fourth film in the Terminator series (and the first without Gov'nor Schwarzenegger) shifts all the attention to "savior of humanity" John Connor (Christian Bale), who here has his hands full trying to figure out if a helpful stranger (Sam Worthington) is really a friend or foe.

MAY 22

DANCE FLICK. Years after spoofing slasher flicks in Scary Movie, the Wayans are back with a comedy that sticks it to such hip-shaking titles like Save the Last Dance, You Got Served and, of course, Flashdance.

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN. Security guard Ben Stiller again contends with dinosaurs and the like.

MAY 29

DRAG ME TO HELL. After reaping a fortune from three Spider-Man flicks, director Sam Raimi returns to his Evil Dead roots by helming this horror yarn about a bank loan officer (Alison Lohman) who's cursed after she signs off on a foreclosure that leaves a strange old woman homeless.

SUGAR. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at last year's Sundance Film Festival, this indie effort centers on a Dominican baseball pitcher (Algenis Perez Soto) whose life changes after he moves to Iowa to play for an American minor-league team.

UP. Fresh off back-to-back Oscar wins for Ratatouille and WALL-E, Disney-Pixar now presents this toon tale about a 78-year-old man who ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies up, up and away ... only to learn that he has an unwelcome passenger in the form of an annoying 8-year-old boy.

JUNE 5

AWAY WE GO. Director Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road) tackles this road movie about an expectant young couple (John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph) who travel around the country searching for the right place to start a new life.

THE HANGOVER. Following a wild party in a Las Vegas hotel room, three groomsmen (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis) wake up only to realize that they don't have much time to find the now-missing husband-to-be.

LAND OF THE LOST. Based on the kitschy kids' TV show from the 1970s, this update finds a scientist (Will Ferrell) and two companions (Danny McBride and Anna Friel) transported to a prehistoric land filled with dinosaurs and strange creatures. Sleestaks, anyone?

JUNE 9

UNDER THE SEA 3D. The IMAX Dome at Discovery Place will serve as home for this documentary (narrated by Jim Carrey) that examines the life teeming beneath the surface of the world's oceans.

JUNE 12

IMAGINE THAT. After his successful career takes a turn for the worse, a businessman (Eddie Murphy) discovers that (shades of Bedtime Stories) whatever his daughter (Yara Shahidi) dreams up in her imaginary world becomes a reality in his, thereby giving him ideas on how to save his job.

THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3. A remake of 1974's terrific The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (starring Walter Matthau), this action yarn finds a New York subway dispatcher (Denzel Washington) forced to negotiate with criminals (led by John Travolta) demanding a sizable ransom in exchange for the hostages they're holding on a subway car.

JUNE 19

ADORATION. The latest from writer-director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) centers on a high school student (Devon Bostick) who uses a class assignment to merge his family history with a news item involving a terrorist; he then posts the fraudulent story on the Internet, where it stirs up controversy.

THE PROPOSAL. In this romantic comedy, a Canadian book editor (Sandra Bullock) who faces deportation decides that the only way she can remain in the United States is to command her harried assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her.

YEAR ONE. The world's first slackers, cavemen Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera) are banished from their tribe for habitual laziness, only to embark on a series of adventures that finds them crossing paths with (among other Biblical figures) Cain and Abel (Paul Rudd and David Cross).

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