Five Sure-Fire Summer Blockbusters for 2011

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Summer is still six months away and the summer movie blockbuster season is already being talked about. With so many studios dishing out previews far in advance of film releases there are tons of comic books nerds, pirate fanatics and robot-loving geeks who are going ape over the newest batch of summer blockbusters.

With a recovering economy and hopefully better jobs news on the way, more Americans will want to see movies this summer. Here are my picks for the upcoming summer films who will take box office receipts to new heights.

“Green Lantern”

Ryan Reynolds, the former husband of Scarlett Johansson, will be showing off his superhero mettle in “Green Lantern,” the highly anticipated live action movie based upon the popular comic book hero. Reynolds plays Hal Jordan who is transformed into a galactic superhero thanks to the power of a green ring bestowed upon him by a dying alien.

Funny man Reynolds seems perfect for the role as he is both perplexed and awed by his new powers. In the first of what should be a series, Green Lantern takes on his arch-nemesis Sinestro played by Mark Strong. “Green Lantern” is due out in theaters June 17, 2011.

“Thor”

Chris Hemsworth plays the titular “Thor” in this first live action adaptation of the Marvel comic book series. The all-star cast includes Natalie Portman as Dr. Jane Foster and Anthony Hopkins as Thor’s father, Odin.

When Odin casts out his son Thor for bringing war to his seemingly peaceful kingdom, Thor lands on Earth and becomes its protector from the forces of evil who seek to destroy Odin’s world. “Thor” looks to be a fight-fest between his almighty hammer and the forces of darkness on May 6, 2011.

“Captain America: The First Avenger”

Yet another comic book set to a film is this summer’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Chris Evans stars as Steve Rogers AKA Captain America who undergoes military experiments to beef up his body and hone his skills. Hugo Weaving plays his arch-nemesis Johann Schmidt AKA The Red Skull. Other A-list cast include Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci.

“Captain America” is the second of the “Avengers” to hit the big screen this summer–“Thor” will also premiere this summer. “Iron Man” already has two huge hit movies in the franchise. “Captain America: The First Avenger” will arrive in theaters July 22, 2011.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

The fourth installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean” is entitled “On Stranger Tides.” The movie follows Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) on a new adventure as he tries to find the Fountain of Youth. This time, Blackbeard (played expertly by Ian McShane) is hot on his trail. Sparrow must team up with his fellow pirate Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and outwit Blackbeard’s daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz) to get his prize.

The first “Pirates of the Caribbean” was a fantastic romp followed by the commercially successful sequel. Critics panned the second film as not having as much swagger as the first even though the franchise reached meteoric levels of financial success. “On Stranger Tides” is out May 20, 2011.

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Michael Bay once again delves into the world of a top-secret cover up regarding super sophisticated and intelligent robots from Cyberton in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” This time, it’s revealed the fictional history of the original lunar landing included 21 minutes of secrecy when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin investigated a crashed Cybertronian ship on the moon. This time, Sam Witwicky and the Autobots must battle a new enemy called Shockwave who has been in charge of Cybertron in Megatron’s absence.

The second “Transformers” movie had the same problem with the “Pirates” sequel–the writers and director seemed to forget all about what made the first movie work and just went slam-bang into the action. Hopefully Michael Bay can get back on track with his third (and probably final) run into the world of “robots in disguise.” July 1, 2011 is the release date for “Dark of the Moon.”