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Top movie picks for the summer

By By Nicole Hefner/nhefner@vicad.com
April 30, 2014 at 4 p.m.
Updated April 29, 2014 at 11:30 p.m.

This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Michael Fassbender in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Alan Markfield)

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

Friday

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx

Why we’re excited for it: Garfield nailed the role the first time out, bringing to life a Peter Parker who is incredibly quick-witted, nerdy and awkward. Stone was charming as Gwen Stacy, and we’re eager to see them together again – and see if one of Spider-Man’s most tragically famous storylines plays out on the big screen.

‘Godzilla’

May 16

Cast: Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen

Why we’re excited for it: Monster mayhem returns with style on the 60th anniversary of Godzilla’s first appearance. The trailers promise plenty of mystery, suspense and carnage – all vital for good giant monster movie. Cranston and Watanabe aren’t typical action-movie actors, and they add weight to a cast that includes “Kick-Ass” star Taylor-Johnson.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

May 23

Cast: James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman

Why we’re excited for it: Two words: Michael Fassbender. His Magneto in “X-Men: First Class” was full of righteous rage and seeing him team up with McKellen – who first brought the character to life in the 2000s “X-Men” – to tackle the role is sure to be a treat.

‘Maleficent’

May 30

Cast: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning

Why we’re excited for it: Who doesn’t like rooting for the villain? The movie delves into what drove Maleficent to curse Princess Aurora, and the trailer suggests Maleficent isn’t the evil creature we think she is. Jolie looks wickedly entertaining, Copley (“The A-Team,” “District 9”) is consistently good, and Fanning was solid in “Super 8.” Plus, we’re always down for fire-breathing dragons.

‘22 Jump Street’

June 13

Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

Why we’re excited for it: Who expected the big-screen remake of “21 Jump Street” to be so laugh-out-loud funny? Tatum and Hill made the perfect pair of bumbling buddy cops. Now, the two are heading off to college, where the case may be similar, but all the rules have changed. We can’t wait to see what trouble they get into.

‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’

June 13

Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler

Why we’re excited for it: There’s nothing like the bond between a boy and his dragon. “How to Train Your Dragon” was heartwarming and wonderful, and the sequel promises to be just as exciting and funny while exploring Hiccup and Toothless’ bond, expanding on the world and introducing new heroes and villains.

‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

June 27

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci

Why we’re excited for it: While we can’t claim to be fans of all of the “Transformer” movies, “Age of Extinction” is changing things up with Wahlberg as the new lead. There’s bound to be lots of action, and Wahlberg’s snappy line in the trailer – “You know we’ve got a rule about messing with people from Texas?” – grabs our interest.

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

July 11

Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Judy Greer

Why we’re excited for it: Serkis (Gollum from “Lord of the Rings”) is a master of motion-capture performance, and he gave chimp leader Caesar a soul in the first movie. We can’t wait to see what Caesar does next and how the conflict between the virus-ravaged humans and the super-intelligent apes plays out.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Aug. 1

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Glenn Close, John C. Reilly

Why we’re excited for it: This space-faring flick is the next installment in the Marvel universe’s sprawling movie saga, and between Pratt, from “Parks and Recreation,” and the gun-toting Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Cooper), it promises to be tons of fun.

‘The Expendables 3’

Aug. 15

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford

Why we’re excited for it: “The Expendables” isn’t the most brilliant of movie franchises, but it is packed with over-the-top action and showcases some of the most well-known actors in the genre. This installment adds Gibson, Snipes and Ford – among others – to the star-studded cast.

Fans return to sequels, remakes during summer movie season

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