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Jun 08

Summer movie season is in full swing this month

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June brings a bevy of new blockbusters, including “Brave,” “Prometheus” and “Rock of Ages”

Between “Battleship,” “The Dictator” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” May was a pretty abysmal month for movies.

Sure, that was the same month that brought filmgoers Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers” and Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” (Well, some filmgoers. “Moonrise Kingdom” has yet to reach San Luis Obispo.) Unfortunately, the rest of May’s offerings, including “Dark Shadows” and “Men in Black III,” weren’t exactly surefire hits.

Here’s what moviegoers can expect in June.

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“Snow White and the Huntsman” (Now playing)

Response to this fantasy-flavored adventure epic has been mixed, with some reviewers praising the film’s superb special effects and sumptuous costumes and others dissing the uneven acting, confusing plot and hair-brained script. Depending on who you ask, Charlize Theron is either electrifying or irritatingly over-the-top as the beauty-obsessed queen who wants to kill Kristin Stewart’s lackluster Snow White.

“For Greater Glory” (Now playing)

This heavy-handed historical drama, which centers on Mexico’s Cristeros War in the 1920s, stars Andy Garcia as Mexican revolutionary hero General Gorostieta, Eva Longoria as his devout wife, Ruben Blades as President Calles and Peter O’Toole as a martyred priest.

“Prometheus” (Opens today)

Ridley Scott’s hotly anticipated prequel to the “Alien” movies follows the crew of the spaceship Prometheus (Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba and so forth) as they travel to a distant world in search of the origins of humanity — only to discover extraterrestrial terror. Spooky.

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” (Today)

After escaping from New York City’s Central Park Zoo and the wilds of Africa, lion Alex (Ben Stiller), zebra Marty (Chris Rock), giraffe Melman (David Schwimmer) and hippopotamus Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) find themselves stranded in Monte Carlo in the third installment of the “Madgascar” series. This computer-animated flick is packed to the gills with silly jokes and 3D gimmicks, making it perfect for kids, if not their parents.

“Rock of Ages” (June 15)

This tribute to big hair and big hits is the latest jukebox musical to make the leap from Broadway to the big screen. The story centers on the rockin’ romance between small-town girl Sherrie (Julianne Hough, “Footloose”) and city boy Drew (Diego Boneta, “90210″), who meet on the Sunset Strip in 1987. Tom Cruise co-stars as rocker Stacee Jaxx, while Catherine Zeta-Jones plays his Tipper Gore-esque nemesis. Although the story lacks much substance, the soundtrack features songs by the likes of Def Leppard, Twisted Sister, Poison and Whitesnake.

“That’s My Boy” (June 15)

When will Adam Sandler grow up? More than 15 years after “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore,” the former “Saturday Night Live” funnyman has yet to live up to his full “Punch Drunk Love” potential — instead choosing to churn out excruciating “comedies” like “Grownups,” “Just Go With It” and (shudder) “Jack and Jill.” His latest movie, “That’s My Boy” finds Sandler sticking true to type as the estranged, irresponsible father of soon-to-be-married Todd (standout Andy Samberg of “Saturday Night Live” fame).

“Brave” (June 22)

Pixar’s latest animated tale follows a headstrong Scottish princess (voiced by Kelly McDonald) who’s determined to change her fate. Defying her parents (Emma Thompson and Kevin McKidd), she seeks to end a beastly curse armed only with her bravery, her brains and her bow. With its gorgeous scenery, enchanting story and winning cast, “Brave” could be one of the best films of 2012.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” (June 22)

Although the title makes me cringe, I have to admit I’m curious to see how “Night Watch” director Timur Bekmambetov handles this twisted version of American history. When his mother is murdered, a pre-presidency Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) launches a one-man war on vampires and their slave-owning allies. Two words: Axe gun.

“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” (June 22)

Despite its lengthy title, the premise behind this quirky end-of-the-world comedy is actually pretty straightforward. When his wife leaves him, Dodge (Steve Carell) decides to track down his high school sweetheart with the help of neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley). Will they find what they’re searching for before an asteroid crushes Earth?

“Madea’s Witness Protection”(June 29)

When a beleagured Wall Street banker (Eugene Levy) is forced to enter a witness protection program, he and his family take shelter at the last place anyone would look for them: the Southern home owned by sassy, foul-mouthed matriarch Madea (Tyler Perry). If you like Madea movies, you’ll like this one. If the thought of writer-director Perry dishing out cornpone wisdom in a dress makes you shudder, stay away.

“Magic Mike” (June 29)

Channing Tatum as a male stripper? Based on the “21 Jump Street” star’s own experiences, Steven Soderbergh’s latest dramedy finds experienced stripper Mike Martingano (Tatum) teaching a younger man (Alex Pettyfer, “I Am Number Four”) the finer points of partying and picking up women. The parade of toned, tanned bodies includes Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer (“White Collar”) and Joe Manganiello (“True Blood”).

“Ted” (June 29)

“Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane makes his big screen debut in this raunchy comedy as the voice of Ted, a walking, talking teddy bear with a dirty mind and an equally dirty mouth. Ted and John (Mark Wahlberg) have been rude, crude best friends since childhood, but their friendship may be holding the two back as adults.

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Note: “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”, originally scheduled to open June 29, has been delayed until March 2013. Not a good sign.

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