Summer Flicks Picks 2012

The month of May has arrived, which means the time has come once again for me to take a peak at all the upcoming potential blockbusters during the summer movie season. Aside from going to the beach or having a picnic or barbecue, is there anything that captures the feel of summertime more than sitting in an airconditioned theater with a tub of popcorn escaping into the cinematic stories projected on a giant screen before us?

Here are some of the films that grabbed my attention (in alphabetical order), coming to a theater near you.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Witness the untold story of how our legendary 16th President saved the Union by slaying the undead. Come on, you know it sounds like a potential guilty pleasure.

The Amazing Spider-man - While everyone is talking about Marvel's The Avengers and the return of Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, here is another superhero flick that I'm curious to see -- a reboot of our friendly neighborhood webcrawling crimefighter.

The Avengers - This is the comicbook movie that almost everybody said couldn't be made, yet it's getting rave advance reviews and fans are chomping on the bit in anticipation of seeing it. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Nick Fury all in one action-packed adventure together -- it's every fanboy-and-girl's dream come true.

Battleship - A science fiction alien invasion movie based on the Hasbro strategic boardgame? Seems farfetched, and the movie trailers make it look like a Transformers-wannabe, but the director Peter Berg has impressed me in the past, so I'm holding out hope that this might surprise me.

The Bourne Legacy - Here's a risky reboot of a franchise based on the Robert Ludlum espionage action series. The fourth book, written by Eric Van Lustbader, was a bestseller, even though it didn't star Jason Bourne, but will the movie version succeed without Matt Damon?

Brave - Pixar hasn't failed us yet. Will this animated fairy tale continue the trend or finally end the winning streak?

Chernobyl Diaries - From the maker of Paranormal Activity, here's a motion picture that looks pretty scary, following a group of tourists in the abandoned city near Russia's infamous nuclear disaster.

The Dark Knight Rises - Can director Chris Nolan live up to expectations and complete his Caped Crusader trilogy on a high note? Or will the villainous Bane finally break the Bat, both figuratively and literally?

Dark Shadows - The commercials for this Tim Burton remake look funny, but will it do justice to the original gothic soap opera or tarnish its memory? One thing is for sure, Johnny Depp seems to be having fun again in another romp as a zany character to add to his lengthy resume.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - The little kids' book series that could continued to churn out big screen live-action adaptations, slipping under the radar while making enough money to keep the series going.

The Dictator - This might be Sacha Baron Cohen's return to Borat greatness. We shall see.

The Expendables 2 - Sylvester Stallone teams up again with a who's who list of action stars for another roller coaster ride of fights, chases, explosions, and mayhem. Is Jean Claude Van Damme in this one?

G.I. Joe: Retaliation - The original made more money than expected so this sequel is bigger and allegedly better.

Hysteria - A movie about the invention of the vibrator. That's all I'm going to say about that one.

Ice Age: Continental Drift - I hate to say I haven't seen the other films in this blockbuster series, but here is the fourth (yes, the fourth) chapter in the cartoon saga.

Katy Perry: Part of Me - I am not afraid to say that I am a fan of singer Katy Perry, so I fearlessly add this concert film to my list.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - Here's another animated franchise that I haven't seen the previous movies. Those of you who enjoyed the first two will likely get more of the same here.

Men in Black 3 - The long-awaited third part in the Men in Black series is finally here. Were audiences really waiting for it? Time will tell.

Neighborhood Watch - The premise of this unassuming little science fiction flick reminds me of a story I wrote as a kid. That alone is reason enough to make me want to check it out.

ParaNorman - It has a cool title and it's a stop-motion animated zombie comedy. For what more could you ask?

Piranha 3DD - Exploitation cinema at its, er, finest?

Prometheus - High hopes for this one as Ridley Scott hopefully gives us another sci-fi masterpiece. Will it have any connection to the Alien franchise as fans have speculated?

Red Lights - I don't know much about this Spanish-American thriller, except that the cast sparks my interest -- Robert DeNiro, Sigourney Weaver, and Cillian Murphy.

Rock of Ages - Tom Cruise stars in this adaptation of the Broadway jukebox musical.

Safety Not Guaranteed - The premise seems excellent, about a classified ad offering a time travel adventure, now let's see if the execution can deliver.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - This could be a charming little tale about finding love right before the apocalypse, or it could be a sleep-inducing bore.

Snow White and the Huntsman - Tarsem Singh's Snow White film Mirror Mirror was a dud in my opinion, but this action-adventure version of the fairy tale looks much better. Will Kristen Stewart be a better heroine than Lily Collins and will Charlize Theron be a better evil stepmom queen than Julia Roberts? I'm betting "yes."

Sparkle - Whitney Houston's final celluloid performance.

Ted - This story about a crude teddy bear seems really stupid, but creator Seth MacFarlane has made stupid work before.

That's My Boy - Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg together as father and son.

Total Recall - Will this remake be closer in tone to the Arnold Schwarzenegger film on which it's based or the Philip K. Dick short story that inspired it? Or will it be something surprisingly bold and original?

You think that's a lot?  I haven't even scratched the surface.  Which sleeper hits will emerge out of nowhere to take the box-office by storm?