Snow White And The Huntsman (June 1) I have to say that I find it hard to believe out of the two duelling cinematic takes on the Snow White the one that looked more visually compelling would not turn out to be Tarsem Singh’s Mirror, Mirror, but this film from new comer director Rupert Sanders. Thanks to Disney’s ultra-cuddly animated classic, people have forgotten that the story has some dark underpinnings but this definitely looks as if it aims to remind them of that. (In case they miss the PG-13 rating.) Drop in Chris Hemsworth, subbing out his Thor hammer for an ax, as the titular huntsman going after Kristen Stewart’s Snow White at the behest of evil queen Charlize Theron and add Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost and Toby Jones among the seven dwarves for spice and you have got the makings for a really good film. – Rich Drees
Prometheus (June 8) To say that most people were skeptical of Fox’s first announcement that they were developing a prequel to their classic Alien franchise may be an understatement. And considering how that franchise has puttered out with the fairly terrible duo of Alien Vs Predator films, it was hard not to blame them. But then something happened. The director of the original film Ridley Scott became involved and then the project slowly evolved from being a prequel to another story set in the same universe that would share some “DNA” with the original film. Now I’ve had friends who have criticized the trailers for looking too much like an Alien retread – Spaceship crew lands on mysterious planet, discover alien lifeform, much running and screaming ensue – but I have to believe that Scott has something far more deeper and smarter than that in store for us. -RD
Rock Of Ages (June 15) When Rock of Ages opened on Off-Broadway in 2008. I didn’t give it much of a chance to succeed. It’s well-worn star-crossed lovers plot set against the rock clubs of the Sunset Strip didn’t seem the type of show New Yorkers would go for, even if it didn’t feature a score provided by an iPod Shuffle full of 1980’s Hard Rock hits. But succeed it did, moving to Broadway in 2009 where it still resides, and it has made it to the big screen before many other high profile musicals–most notably Wicked.
The biggest thing about the film seems to be the curiousity surrounding Tom Cruise making his musical debut as washed up hair band singer Stacee Jaxx. But the original musical had less going for it and is still going strong. This film could be the surprise of the summer. – William Gatevackes
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22) I didn’t expect much out of this film other than it being a tounge in cheek piffle. However, the ads for the film look good. Really good. Granted, the film cannot be all that serious. I mean, it portrays our most iconic President as a male Buffy. But it appears to be slightly more than just one note. – WG
Brave (June 22) Cars 2 was a critical disappointment for Pixar. Not that Disney even noticed, the film was one of the Top Ten highest grossing films of 2011. But it showed a chink in the armor of the usually dependable output from Pixar and some might be worried that it was the first step in the downward spiral of diminishing quality. From what I’ve seen of this film, I think Cars 2 more an abberation than a warning sign. This film seems utterly charming and even the trailer evoked an emotional response from me. It appears to be a return to form for Pixar. – WG
Ted (June 29) – Judging by the red band trailer, this story about a grown man and his living teddy bear will be just as profane as one would expect from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Mark Wahlberg has made a few stabs at doing comedy before but this looks like it might actually be the film where he scores a hit. Also, in a summer full of big budget tentpole action pics an original high concept comedy could be just the cinematic sorbet we need in the middle of the summer movie season. – RD