Summer movie previews: outlook is sunny

Thor, May 6

Admittedly, a couple of movies could have taken Thor's recommendation. Goodness knows it's not the only Marvel movie this year. A nice trailer and a director, however, whose primary credits are film adaptations of Shakespeare inspire enough intrigue in this project to propel Thor onto the list.

Bridesmaids, May 13

"Saturday Night Live" standout and Rochester native Kristen Wiig co-wrote and stars in this new comedy. It's about time that funny ladies get a movie of their own, as it's apparent that audiences have been getting tired of all the guy-centric buddy comedies that keep getting released.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, May 20

The plot line in the last Pirates film was so obscure that you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who could accurately describe it. This new movie, however, seems to have made some serious changes. A new director and the sexy Penelope Cruz might be exactly what this aging franchise needs. It's also a good sign that the film is premiering at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

The Hangover Part II, May 26

In 2009, The Hangover became an unlikely hit. It even managed to win the Golden Globe for Best Comedy. While sequels often fail to reach the greatness of their originals, many still manage to be very entertaining. Not only is the entire principal cast returning, but the sequel is set in Bangkok. What more could you ask for?

X-Men: First Class, June 3

This film has been a long time in development, but if the riveting trailers are anything to go by, the wait will be well worth it. Part action romp and part character study, this prequel promises to answer some large, long-standing questions – What happened between Magneto and Professor X? How did the X-Men begin? Why is James McAvoy so freaking cute? – in a satisfying, well-crafted way.

Super 8, June 10

Director J.J. Abrams has been associated with some of the most popular sci-fi projects of the last decade, like "Alias," "Lost," Cloverfield and "Fringe." He is also known for keeping his projects top-secret, so little is known about this new movie. Still, the trailer looks quite intriguing.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, July 15

While this movie strays away from the string of comic book movies coming out, it's better to include this than Green Lantern. As much as I love peacekeeping space corporations and Ryan Reynolds, the final Harry Potter movie marks an era's closing, and if the first part is anything to go by, it'll be a fitting end at that.

Cowboys and Aliens, July 29

Starring the ever-talented Daniel Craig, this movie may have one of the most bizarrely hokey premises ever seen in an action flick (and that's saying something). But that's one of the things that makes this comic adaptation stand out: Cowboys and aliens together? It'll either be so bad it's hilarious or one of the best films this summer.