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Summer Movie Preview

Observer Scene | Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It’s finally here, kids: the Summer Movie Train. All aboard for what will prove to be an action-packed escape from school, bad weather, and the recession (unless you’re paying, of course).

At the top of the list is this weekend’s big ticket, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” The first in what Fox Studios hopes to be a long chain of movies detailing the origins of the X-Men, this film reveals Wolverine’s dark past. Starring the ever-muscular Hugh Jackman, “Wolverine” is poised to come barreling through the weekend and officially declare the summer movie season open.

Another heavy-hitter on the list is “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.” Older, darker, and more sophisticated, the usual suspects are back to tell the tale of the sixth Harry Potter novel. Expect more of the usual Warner Bros. magic as the studio continues to tell the wizard’s tale.

The summer wouldn’t be complete without Pixar’s annual contribution, and that would be “Up,” the age-old tale of a grouchy old man in a house lifted into the air by millions of balloons, and the Boy Scout who gets trapped on his porch. As usual, Pixar takes a concept too contrived and unusual to be ignored and hopes to spin it into a heart-warming, thought-provoking tale of family values. No reason why this shouldn’t be the case once again.

If the women get Wolverine, who do the men get to drool over this summer? That would be Megan Fox, back in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” She joins Shia LeBeouf in the continuation of the film from 2007.

Johnny Depp returns to the screen in the gangster film “Public Enemies,” with Oscar-winning actress Marrion Cotillard, Christian Bale, and Channing Tatum, for good measure.

Geeks rejoice as “Star Trek” finally takes to the screen (again). From the mind of J.J. Abrams (creator of TV’s “Lost” and “Fringe”) comes the origin tale of many Star Trek heavy hitters, with a hint of time travel. The release date was pushed back from December in order to capitalize on the summer movie audience, which is poised to eat it right up. Downside: no William Shatner.

All you animated junkies will also find your fix: “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” has arrived. Same animation, same laughs, same Scrat.

Other notable openings include “Dance Flick,” a farce of any and all dance movies from yours truly the Wayan brothers. “Brothers Bloom” stars Adrian Brody, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel Weisz as con artists in this comedy. “Angels and Demons,” the prequel to “The DaVinci Code” opens this weekend, with the ever-trusty Tom Hanks. And who could forget “Bruno,” starring Sasha Baron Cohen (“Borat”) in a mockumentary of a flamboyant fashion designer who decides to take his work to America.

Choices abound this summer, and it’s so jam-packed with potential hits that you could easily find yourself haunting the local theatre every weekend. As long as that pay check holds up, that is.