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Steven Lebowitz and the 2014 summer movie preview part 1

Is it already mid-April? It seems like only yesterday we were all suffering through those awful January movies. Summer does not officially start until June 21, but the summer movie season is literally right around the corner. While Memorial Day Weekend used to be considered the summer movie kickoff, thanks to Marvel Studios, the very first weekend of May is now considered the launching point when studios release huge tent pole movies, one after another.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie poster
Columbia Pictures

Living here in Florida, almost everyday feels like summer. This will be my fifth edition of putting together a summer movie preview article. I always break it up into three parts and I break the movies down according to genre. I decided to leave off documentary films this year; however, I saw "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" at the Miami International Film Festival earlier this year, and that is certainly worth seeing. Okay, with that being said (or in this care, written), let's get this started!


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - It only makes sense to begin with the movie that is going to kick this summer movie season off. "Spider-Man 2" was considered the best of the three Spider-Man movies done by Sam Raimi and right now it looks like "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is going to pack quite a wallop. This time around he will be facing off against The Green Goblin (who looks much better than he did in the Sam Raimi version), The Rhino and Electro. He is certainly to have his hands full and fans are already beginning to wonder if Emma's Stone Gwen Stacey will share the same fate as her comic book counterpart.

X-Men: Days of Future Past - Like "The Amazing Spider-Man" the last X-Men movie, "First Class" was considered a reboot to the Marvel mutant franchise as fans got to see the humble beginnings of the group. The new movie combines the cast of the original X-Men movies with members of the First Class one. Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men movies also returns to the franchise. Early indications show that this will be one action packed movie as the X-Men must face off against one of their classic threats, the Sentinel robots and their creator, Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).

Sylvester Stallone is back in "The Expendables 3" and this time he's brought along Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford along for the ride. Scarlett Johansson's star has certainly been on the rise lately and now she will carry her own action film in "Lucy." Shia LaBeouf is out and Mark Wahlberg is now the new star of "Transformers: Age of Extinction." Michael Bay returns to direct. That is not all Michael Bay is involved with this summer as he is the producer of the reboot of everyone's heroes in a half shell, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."


A Million Ways to Die in the West - Seth MacFarlane really hit it big a couple of years ago with "Ted." He wrote and directed the comedy hit, but was not seen on camera as he only provided the voice to that foul mouthed teddy bear. This time around he will be seen in the flesh along with Charlize Theron, Sarah Silverman, Giovanni Ribisi and Liam Neeson. The early trailers (including the one up top) show that this will be another comedy triumph for MacFarlane.

Neighbors - No, this is not a remake of the Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi movie from the early 1980s. This new comedy is about a married couple (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) who has recently had a baby and who must contend with a college fraternity, led by Zac Efron, that has moved next door to them. The two houses declare war on one another. Rogen and Efron really mix it up in this movie, but it is rumored that Byrne is the one to watch out for as she supposedly gets really raunchy and steals all the scenes.

22 Jump Street - Who knew a movie based on an old TV show would go on to become such a comedy hit. It helped that Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill has such fantastic chemistry together. The new movie has the two moving across the street and going deep undercover at a local college. The studio feels so confident in this new movie that they gave them a bigger budget and a summer slot.

Jenny Slate's stint on "Saturday Night Live" was short lived, but that may not matter anymore after audiences get a look at her in "Obvious Child" based on the short film she starred in with the same name. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore reteam once again in the romantic comedy "Blended." Can the two find success once again? There are not too many comedy sequels this summer with the exception of "Think Like a Man Too." Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon hit the road together in "Tammy." The screenplay was written by McCarthy and her husband. Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel make a "Sex Tape." The two re-team with their "Bad Teacher" director, Jake Kasdan. Damon Wayans Jr. appears ready to follow in his father's comedy footsteps in "Let's Be Cops." Jake Johnson and Rob Riggle co-star. Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler look to paint a Rom Com by the numbers in "They Came Together." This summer will also see Elizabeth Banks take the "Walk of Shame" while Sarah Drew and friends try to have a "Mom's Night Out." Zack Braff returns to the director's chair with his Kickstarter funded "Wish I was Here" and Woody Alan gets back to his comedy roots with "Magic in the Moonlight."

That's it for now. Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part 2 of my summer movie preview where I will take a look at this summer's Family, Musicals and Science Fiction/Adventure movies. Click HERE to subscribe to this column so you can get full reviews of these movies, plus local movie event converges and celebrity interviews.

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