Summer Movie Preview: Pass the Popcorn

summer movie preview Iron man 2, Sex in the City 2, Toy Story 3 NewLine/Marvel/Disney

If the summer movie season has a familiar ring to it ... well, it's no accident, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone.

There are sequels ... and reboots. Even TV sketches turned into movies.

"Originality scares Hollywood," says Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan. "Originality is risky, especially in the summer, which is their traditional big-money period.

"This is not the time to take a risk, is the summer," said Turan.

So, Hollywood is betting that audiences will be back to suit up ... and blast off with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man a second time. His nemesis this time: buff, bad Mickey Rourke.

"Once 'Iron Man' made over $500 million worldwide, 'Iron Man 2' was like, you know, mandated," said Turan. "So there's a lot of anticipation for the sequel, and it seem to be on track for a big opening."

Disney has two big-budget summer offerings: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," with Nicolas Cage, and "Prince of Persia: Sands of Time," starring Jake Gyllenhaal . . . based on a videogame.

If big effects don't persuade you to step back in time . . . how about big stars? Russell Crowe as that mythic man of the people, Robin Hood and Cate Blanchett as Maid Marion, swashbuckle their way through medieval Sherwood Forest.

"This is a throwback to the old style Hollywood movies. And, hopefully, it'll be a good one," said Turan.

And speaking of star vehicles . . . Tom Cruise returns to the big screen this summer in "Knight and Day" as a secret agent in a romantic romp with Cameron Diaz.

"I'm kind of looking forward to 'Knight and Day," said Turan. "There's been a lot of kind of gloomy things said about Tom Cruise and his career over the past few years, but I think he really is still a major movie star. I think he still kind of holds the screen."

Spies are hot this summer … none hotter than Angelina Jolie, who pours it on in "Salt," in a role originally written for a man. Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl star in killers.

And Sylvester Stallone is back . . . and he's brought some old friends with him . . . in "The Expendables."

"We're accustomed to seeing lots of action, adventure and special effects at the movies in summer, much of it aimed at a young male audience. But this summer Hollywood wants to make sure they offer something for everyone.

"I think what the studios do is, if they see money, they go after it," said Turan. "And women have proved that they will support films geared specifically for them."

Films like "Sex and the City 2." This time Carrie and friends keep the sex but leave the city far behind and head for the desert.

Julia Roberts heads around the world on a journey of self-discovery, in "Eat, Pray, Love," based on the best-selling memoir.

And there's "Eclipse," the third film from the immensely popular series of "Twilight" books about vampires and werewolves and teenage angst.

"The 'Twilight Saga' is a phenomenon to end all phenomena," said Turan. "It's like a box office steamroller."

"Ramona and Beezus" is based on another popular book series, Beverly Cleary's children's tales of two sisters.

After the first three "Shrek" films grossed $2.2 billion worldwide, you might think they'd keep making them forever … but the studio says the fourth film, "Shrek Forever After," will be the last for the ogre.

And 11 years after "Toy Story 2," Pixar brings back Buzz and Woody for a third installment.

"The Pixar people do not make bad films," said Turan. "At least they haven't yet. If you can trust anyone with a sequel, it's the people at Pixar."

In the category "everything old is new again," there's "The A-Team," starring Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper in a remake of the '80s TV show about a renegade special forces unit.

Jaden Smith … Will's son … is the new "Karate Kid," learning from the master, Jackie Chan.

"The Last Airbender," in 3-D, is from director M. Night Shyamalan.

"It's a fantasy-action-adventure film," said Turan. "And it could be promising, because he's a director who when he hits has really proved that he really knows how to capture audiences."

On the lighter side, Adam Sandler and Kevin James relive their childhood in "Grown-Ups."

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are misfit cops in "The Other Guys."

And Steve Carell and Paul Rudd see who's the bigger fool in "Dinner for Schmucks."

"This is a remake of a very funny French film; it's about people who have a competition to bring the stupidest person they can to a dinner party," said Turan.

"The Kids Are All Right" was a big hit at the Sundance Film Festival. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are a lesbian couple whose kids go in search of their biological father.

Like many moviegoers, critic Turan has one film he's looking forward to most: "Inception," a new movie by Christopher Nolan, who Turan calls "really one of our best directors. He did the last two 'Batman' films. He did 'Memento.'"

"Inception" stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page in a science fiction film with a hush-hush plot about the world of dreams.

"That's the one film for the summer that every serious moviegoer's gonna have to see," he said.

So, something for the serious moviegoer this summer, and plenty of movies that are just for fun.
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