Rundown of summer films

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Summer is here, and so are the summer blockbusters.

The summer has kicked off with a blockbuster, universe-expanding, sequel and spin-off machine “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Tomorrowland.”

Looking forward, there are several major releases on the horizon. Get the scoop on these summer releases.

“Jurassic World”

Dinosaurs have been bred for people’s amusement and greedy corporate gain once more. They will run rampant and terrorize helpless kids and gobble down a cadre of despicable characters, again. But filmgoers will flock with wonder to see what new blood and 22 years bring to the first true sequel to Spielberg’s adaptation. Reviews so far say the movie is a refreshingly original standalone movie but still relies on the nostalgia of the 1993 release of “Jurassic Park.”

“Inside Out”

Critics are saying this is the best Pixar movie since “Up.” In a movie that is literally about the feels, Pixar gets back to heart. This comes from the studio that made viewers fall in love with clean-up robots, toys going on adventures for their child and talking cars and fish.

“Terminator: Genisys”

When Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would be back, he meant it. The fourth installation of the “Terminator” franchise seeks to put a twist on the time-traveling, universe-altering killer robot. James Cameron, director of “Titanic” and “Avatar and the writer for the first two “Terminator” movies, has gotten behind the film, endorsing it as loyal to his original works.

“Minions”

When it came to “Despicable Me” and “Despicable Me 2,” viewers came for the heartwarming performance of Steve Carrell as Gru, the villain with heart, but stayed for the antics of the strangely androgynous, babbling Minions. Someone at Universal Pictures finally figured out that the Minions really are the most dynamic aspect of the films and are likely to bring in all ages to the theaters.

“Self/Less”

Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley double as a man named Damian, a brilliant, rich and successful man who seeks to dodge death by taking up the offer of a man who promises to transfer his consciousness into another man’s body, allowing him to regain his youth and live another life. It has potential as a thrilling sci-fi drama that delves into issues of death, the cost of immortality and scientific morality. But it also has the potential as a heavy-handed and glum flick that takes itself way too seriously.

“Ant-Man”

This is the wild card of the summer. August is typically a light month for films as the studios gear up for the winter season. But the self-depreciating and quirky story of a little-know Marvel character shares the same release slot of last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” As far as competition goes, “Ant-Man” has two weeks with little competition at the level of a Marvel action flick. Based on the trailers and comments made from filmmakers, this film will be more comedy infused, very much the opposite of “Self/Less.”

“Pixels”

Adam Sandler bands together with comedian aficionados Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Kevin James. It is looking like another movie that ultimately attempts to carry itself on star power alone, aka “Grown Ups.” The biggest upside here is Chris Columbus, the director of the first two “Harry Potter” and “Home Alone” movies. Dinklage and Gad represent the future of blockbusters and comedy. Hopefully, this couples with the veteran experience of James and Sandler.

“Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation”

Tom Cruise is at it again with the fifth installment of the franchise. Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin and Simon Pegg accompany Cruise in the film franchise that has audiences thrilled over international spy exploits.

“Fantastic Four”

Yet another reboot of the seemingly cursed franchise looks darker, grittier and refreshingly younger than the previous iterations. Miles Teller (“Whiplash” and the “Divergent” series)a young actor with critical acclaim, plays the lead. With the tag line “Change is coming,” the film will hopefully give Marvel fans a better experience than they had with the 2005 film release.

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