Navigating the minefield of summer movies

By Roger Moore

McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)

Published: Tuesday, May 1 2012 5:00 p.m. MDT

"Brave" puts Pixar in charge of Disney's latest princess, a bow-wielding redhead out to prove herself to her fellow ancient Scots. Teenage girls with bows and arrows? How very 2012. The trailers really sell this one, a film filled with funny Scots accents and girl power messages.

July 3

"The Amazing Spider-Man" gives us a new web slinger (Brit Andrew Garfield), a new girlfriend (Emma Stone), a new Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and a whole new, one-liner-laced action picture vibe, if the trailers are to be trusted. Rhys Ifans plays the villain.

July 20

"The Dark Knight Rises" is the finale to the Christopher Nolan/ Christian Bale/ Michael Caine version of Batman. This time, the Caped Crusader is up against Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy, among others, in what promises to be an epic send-off. Before you can say "I'll miss that Bruce Wayne," remember that Nolan has already signed on to participated in the NEXT Batman reboot.

Aug. 3

"The Bourne Legacy" is a continuation of the Bourne franchise, with Jeremy Renner as a guy named Aaron Cross, picking up where Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) left off.

"Total Recall" is a remake-new take on the Philip K. Dick story that became an Arnold Schwarzenegger/ Sharon Stone thriller. This time, Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston and Bokeem Woodbine serve director Len ("Underworld") Wiseman's version of Dick's tale "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale."

Aug. 17

"The Expendables 2" brings more aged action stars back from the dead (Sylvester Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris) for more derring do, a mission that goes wrong, leading to another quest — this time for revenge.

"ParaNorman" is a tale of a misunderstood lad who hears dead people, something that really comes in handy when he has to save his town from ghosts and zombies. Folks involved with "Coraline," "Corpse Bride" and "Flushed Away" made this one, which could be an animated sleeper in a summer sloppy with animated sequels.

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