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2013 summer movie preview

by Matthew Price and Brandy McDonnell Published: May 3, 2013

More than any other time of the year, summer seems to be the season for legends, especially at the movies.

As usual, the Hollywood studios are rolling out their potential blockbusters as the year heats up. Building on popular movie myths is a big part of their plans, with sequels to “Iron Man,” “Star Trek” and “300” mixing it up with the Superman reboot “Man of Steel,” the “Monsters, Inc.” prequel “Monsters University” and a new incarnation of “The Lone Ranger.”

“Iron Man 3” already seems to have the summer off to a marvelous start: The superhero sequel starring Robert Downey Jr. got a jump on its domestic launch this Friday with a $195.3 million opening in 42 overseas markets last weekend.

That topped the $185.1 million start for Marvel's “The Avengers,” which opened in 39 markets over the same weekend last year a week ahead of its record-breaking domestic debut of $207.4 million.

To ensure there's a little something for all movie lovers — and perhaps to cut down on simulated explosions — the studios are even rolling out a few comedies, dramas and romances this season. Just remember to check your local listings, as release dates occasionally move around.


“Iron Man 3”

Robert Downey Jr. slips back into the heavy metal suit of Iron Man to play billionaire playboy Tony Stark for the fourth time (or fifth, counting an “Incredible Hulk” cameo). This time, Shane Black takes the director's seat to helm the superhero's battle against Marvel Comics baddie the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine also return. Jon Favreau, who directed the series' first two installments, will appear as Stark's driver, Happy Hogan.

May 4

“Aquí y allá (Here and There)”

After working in the United States for years, a family man (Pedro De los Santos) returns home to his small mountain village in Guerrero, Mexico, and finds his daughters and circumstances have changed. In Spanish and Nahuatl with English subtitles, the film plays Saturday and Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

May 9

“To the Wonder”

Filmed in and around Bartlesville, Pawhuska and Tulsa — and Mont Saint-Michel, Manche, France — by reclusive and enigmatic film director Terence Malick (“Days of Heaven,” “The Tree of Life”), this potential awards-grabber stars Olga Kurylenko as Marina and Ben Affleck as Neil, a couple who meet in France and move to Oklahoma to start a life together, but find complications when Neil renews a relationship with his childhood sweetheart Jane (Rachel McAdams). Javier Bardem co-stars as a priest struggling with his vocation. The film plays May 9-12 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

May 10

“The Great Gatsby”

The fifth attempt to adapt F. Scott Fitzgerald's most celebrated novel to film stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role of the enigmatic, nouveau riche playboy; Tobey Maguire as the Long Island neighbor, Nick Carraway, who is drawn into Gatsby's dangerously decadent world; and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Carraway's cousin and Gatsby's old flame. The 1920s-period drama is directed and cowritten for the screen by “Moulin Rouge!” helmer Baz Luhrmann.


In this comedy, an average guy (Chris Robinson, “Hot Tub Time Machine”) travels to the Hamptons to meet his girlfriend's (Kerry Washington, “Django Unchained”) preppy family and tries to impress her father, a federal judge (David Alan Grier, TV's “In Living Color”).

May 17

“Star Trek into Darkness”

J.J. Abrams (“Lost”) returns to direct the second post-reboot “Trek” film, featuring Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock. Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock”) is on board as a mysterious villain. In the film, the Enterprise is called back to Earth after a terrorist act, but Kirk strikes out on his own on a manhunt to capture a destructive force.


Spain's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for 2012 centers on a 1920s female bullfighter, puts a twist on the Snow White legend and pays homage to silent films. It screens May 17-19 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

May 22

“Wagner & Me”

To mark Richard Wagner's 200th birthday on May 22, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is showing this documentary, in which English actor and raconteur Stephen Fry delves into his passion for the music of history's most controversial composer.

May 23


Renowned Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet), in deteriorating health at age 74, and his son Jean (Vincent Rottiers), recovering from injuries suffered in World War I, both become enchanted with the free-spirited Andree (Christa Theret), a young beauty who becomes the artist's last model. The period family drama, set in 1915 on the French Riviera, will show May 23-May 26 and May 30-June 2 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

May 24

“Fast & Furious 6”

Agent Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) recruits Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) to help bring down a team of high-octane thieves led by former special ops soldier Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and director Justin Lin return for the latest souped-up sequel in the long-running action series.

“The Hangover Part III”

The “Wolf Pack” reunites to console Alan (Zach Galifianakis) over a death in the family, and the party reignites in Las Vegas and accelerates in Tijuana. Todd Phillips directs and cowrites again, and Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha are back in their cups, as well.


Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Christoph Waltz, Colin Farrell, Pitbull, Steven Tyler and Beyonce Knowles lend their voices to the animated fantasy tale from “Ice Age” co-director Chris Wedge.

“Before Midnight”

Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and director Richard Linklater reunite for the third film in their romantic drama trilogy, which picks up in Greece nine years after the events of “Before Sunset” and almost two decades after their first meeting in “Before Sunrise.”

“At Any Price”

Writer-director Ramin Bahrani's (“Goodbye Solo”) family drama is set in the high-stakes world of modern agriculture. Dennis Quaid stars as an ambitious Iowa farmer longing to expand his family empire with the help of his reluctant and rebellious son (Zac Efron), who wants to become a professional race car driver.

May 31

“Now You See Me”

A group of renegade magicians (played by Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Morgan Freeman, among others) are tracked by the FBI after they stage a series of bank heists and reward their audiences with the spoils. “Now You See Me” also stars Woody Harrelson, Melanie Laurent (“Inglourious Basterds”) and Dave Franco, and is directed by Louis Leterrier (“Clash of the Titans”).

“After Earth”

A father and son — Will Smith and his real-life progeny Jaden Smith — crash land on Earth 1,000 years after humanity has been forced to evacuate the planet in this sci-fi action-adventure from director/co-writer M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense”).

“The Purge”

In “The Purge,” America's future leadership comes up with this bright idea to reduce crime: designate one day a year in which all bets are off and everyone can commit the horrible act of their choosing — scot-free, no repercussions. Of course, that one day would throw off the crime stats big time, but logic doesn't get in the way when scary thrill-killing nihilists wearing spooky masks descend on a locked down family (Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder). That slow, creepy version of “America the Beautiful” in the trailer? Yeah, that's supposed to make viewers pine for a simpler, more carefree time in our nation's history when the producers of last year's “Sinister” weren't coming up with harebrained dystopias to freak out the easily freaked.

June 7

“The Internship”

“Wedding Crashers” co-stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite for this timely workplace comedy about two behind-the-times salesmen who score a coveted internship at Google, where they have to compete against a gaggle of tech-savvy whiz kids for a chance at employment.

“Much Ado About Nothing”

Joss Whedon takes a break from Avenging to create this modern update of William Shakespeare's comedy. It stars a who's who of previous Whedon projects, including Amy Acker as Beatrice; Nathan Fillion as Dogberry; Alexis Denisof as Benedick; and Clark Gregg as Leonato. Using the original text, the film was shot in 12 days in Whedon's house and backyard.

“Love Is All You Need”

Oscar-winning filmmaker Susanne Bier (“In a Better World”) directs and cowrites this romantic comedy about a Danish hairdresser (Trine Dyrholm) who is recovering from breast cancer when she discovers her husband is cheating on her. While traveling to Italy for her daughter's wedding, she literally runs into the groom's widowed father (Pierce Brosnan).

June 13

“On the Road”

Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart star in director Walter Salles' (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) adaptation of Jack Kerouac's celebrated novel. The film will screen June 13-16 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

June 14

“Man of Steel”

Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”) gets his chance to define Superman for a new generation. Henry Cavill (“The Tudors”) replaces Brandon Routh in the blue tights as the hero from Krypton who can leap tall buildings and bend steel, as well as his alter ego Clark Kent. Amy Adams is scheduled for Lois Lane; Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner play Superman's Kryptonian and Earthling fathers, respectively. The film was written by David Goyer (“Batman Begins”) and is produced by Christopher Nolan, whose success on the “Batman” franchise Warner Bros. would no doubt like to replicate.

“This Is the End”

“Superbad” writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg directed a huge cast of friends and colleagues — all playing slightly exaggerated versions of themselves — in this comedy about celebrities attending a party at James Franco's house on the night of a global apocalypse. “This is the End” features Rogen, Goldberg and Franco with Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Rihanna, Emma Watson, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera and almost everyone else.

June 20

“From Up on Poppy Hill”

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art will show the latest hand-drawn animated film from celebrated Studio Ghibli, creators of “Spirited Away,” “Ponyo” and “The Secret World of Arrietty,” on June 20-23. As Japan makes preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, a group of Yokohama teens tries to save its school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball.

June 21

“Monsters University”

Pixar's first prequel traces how future champion scarer James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (voice of John Goodman) and his wisecracking pal Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) became best friends back in college, years before the events of 2001's “Monsters, Inc.”

“World War Z”

Brad Pitt jumps on the overloaded zombie bandwagon as a United Nations employee struggling to stem the outbreak of a worldwide plague of undead nasties in this horror epic directed by Marc Forster (“Quantum of Solace,” “Finding Neverland”), based on Max Brooks' best-selling novel.

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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