The Avengers ushered in a new era of epic movie-making that I hope runs long into the rest of 2012. Here are my Can’t Miss Movies of the Summer and Beyond in order of their release date:

Dark Shadows (May 11) Okay, so it’s not the moody darkener many of my generation or older were hoping it was going to be, but it looks like a helluva lot of fun. And with a cast that includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Moretz, and stunner Eva Green, this is a film that’s sure to become an instant Tim Burton classic, right up there with Beetlejuice, the Nightmare Before Christmas and Batman Returns (yeah, if you haven’t guessed, I’m a Michelle Pfeiffer fan from wayback).

Battleship (May 18) I may lose some of my sci-fi streetcred for putting this one on my list, but I gotta hand it to the gang at Hasbro for turning a nostalgic little strategy-memory game into a summer blockbuster. Sure, they had to bring in Transformers-like aliens to do it, but they couldn’t let a year go by without utilizing the million (billion?) dollar software they developed for the Michael Bay films, right? We don’t give the film industry enough kudos for their recycling efforts!

Chernobyl Diaries (May 25) If you’re a horror fan, and/or you caught the trailer when you went to see Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods (What? You haven’t seen it yet? Then what the eff are you doing here? Go see it and then come back and read this), then you are probably pretty jazzed to see this film about a group of young folks that venture into the rad-soaked Russian countryside to perhaps loot the hastily evacuated nuclear disaster site, but encounter vengeful spirits instead. Oren Peli of Paranormal Activity fame, Produced and co-wrote this supernatural horror thriller. (At least I think they’re vengeful. They could just be lonely. Horribly, stabby lonely.)

Snow White and the Huntsman (June 1) I’m watching this for Charlize Theron, goddammit. That is all. And my girlfriend will probably come for Chris Hemsworth. That is really all.

Prometheus (June 8) Speaking of Charlize Theron, she’s in this prequel(?) to Ridley Scott’s Alien. I don’t care if it’s a true prequel or not, it’s an effing Ridley Scott film, it has the space jockey in it and Michael Fassbender as David 8 the android. Wish him a happy birthday here.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22) Just watch the trailer.

Brave (June 22) The next big Pixar [computer] animated film. A medieval fantasy epic about a young Scottish red-headed girl named Merida who would rather hunt and adventure than play maiden or damsel in distress.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (June 22) I love comedies as much as the next guy, but I can’t say I’m as big a fan of them as I am of sci-fi, fantasy or horror, BUT, this particular comedy, starring Steve Carrell and Kiera Knightley, has a bit of a sci-fi twist. An asteroid is going to destroy the world.

The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3) See my post on why this re-boot is a good thing here.

The Dark Knight Rises (July 25) Another no-brainer.

List Bonus!

Ruby Sparks (July 25) A really cute looking fantasy along the lines of Stranger Than Fiction or Being John Malkovich, a struggling novelist (Being Flynn‘s Paul Dano) starts writing about a make-believe girl from his dreams, only to discover that very woman (It’s Complicated‘s Zoe Kazan) has become real and is living in his house.

Didn’t Quite Make My Top Ten:

And then there’s the Total Recall (August 3) remake with Colin Farrel, Red Lights (July 13) with Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy, and the sci-fi comedy Neighborhood Watch (July 27)! Check these out and more at the EW Summer Movies Calendar here!






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