The season of sequels, prequels, franchises, reboots, origin stories, "true" stories and coming-of-age dramedies is now upon us. Both wretched excess and shoestring-budgeted counterprogramming abound. Consider these offerings when plotting your refuge from the heat and humidity or — given the metro's recent propensity for Mike Thompson–defying meteorological phenomena — the occasional summer snowstorm.
M. Night Shyamalan directs Will Smith and Smith's sequel, Jaden, as a father and son shipwrecked and alone against the highly evolved elements. It's 1,000 years after the end of the world as we know it. (And they don't feel fine.)
At Any Price
Hard times down on the farm strain the relationship between a father and his rebellious son. Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron star.
A 20-something flibbertigibbet struggles with growing up and making her place in the world in this NYC-set indie comedy co-written by star Greta Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach.
Now You See Me
Four young magicians — well, three young magicians and Woody Harrelson — employ their Vegas act to rip off corrupt corporate fat cats, while playing cat and mouse with the law. Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Mark Ruffalo also star.
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's
A mash note to the legendary New York department store, featuring interviews with fashion icons whose careers weren't complete until their designs made their way to Bergdorf Goodman's legendary window displays.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reteam as washed-up salesmen competing for jobs at Google against younger, more tech-savvy interns. Co-written by Vaughn, who also penned Couples Retreat and The Break-Up, so how bad could it possibly be?
The writer of the Assault on Precinct 13 remake imagines a future in which there are no legal consequences for any crime committed one night every year. In other words, it's Assault on Precinct 13: Suburban Home Invasion Edition. With Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey.
This Is the End
No longer content to act like themselves (see: respective filmographies), Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson star as themselves in this apocalyptic comedy, the inevitable next step in an evolutionary trend we can blame on Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow.
Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and director Richard Linklater close out a romantic trilogy two decades in the making, catching up with Jesse and Celine in Greece, nine years after Jesse missed that plane.
The Bling Ring
Sofia Coppola directs Emma Watson's bid for post-Hermione legitimacy in this true tale of Gen-Y scenesters who covet the lifestyles of the rich and vacuous (Paris, Nicole, Lindsay, etc.) and plunder their swag. (limited; Kansas City TBD)
If corporations are people, my friend, then the East is those people's worst nightmare. It's Occupy Wall Street with saboteurs instead of drum circles. Brit Marling, Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgård star.
Man of Steel
With 300's Zack Snyder directing a script by Dark Knight scribe David S. Goyer, Henry Cavill wears the 'S' on his chest and leads a stellar cast in this origin story whose trailers are more epic than Bryan Singer's 2006 reboot. OK, we'll bite: Where's the Kryptonite?
The Kings of Summer
A hit at Sundance, this comedy follows three teenage friends who assert their independence by building a house in the woods and spending their summer living off the land.
Clark Kent isn't the only one with an origin story, you know. Pixar takes us back to the school days of James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski (voiced again by John Goodman and Billy Crystal), because great scarers aren't born — they matriculate.