Excitement builds for summer blockbusters

When warmer temperatures hit, people usually like outdoor activities – whether they be days at the beach, backyard barbecues or outdoor concerts – but making trips to the movie theater for big-budget blockbusters is one indoor tradition that’s had people’s summer seal of approval for years.

APB’s carnival Springtopia event, held on Tuesday, was a natural place for Gannon students to discuss upcoming films as they munched on cotton candy and soft pretzels.

Jonathan Sacco, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said his top picks for summer 2011 are “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and “The Hangover: Part II.”

Sacco said that although he is no wand-waving, die-hard Potter fan, he is excited to see the conclusion of the long series and predicts it will be good, as long as it matches the books. He said his favorite movie so far is “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” because it  included important plot points.

Unlike Sacco, senior English major Annlyn Harvey is very much of the Potter-persuasion. “I’ll go see it at midnight,” she said. “It’s the highlight of my summer.”

Sacco’s highlight – in the movie world, at least – might be “The Hangover: Part II” because it’s the summer flick he said he’s most excited to see. “When it [“The Hangover”] came out, it was the best movie of the year,” he said. He said he is interested to see what crazy plot they will come up with for round two. 

Sophomore mechanical engineering major Jason Ramus said he also wants to see “The Hangover: Part II.” He said he is especially excited for the return of Alan, played by Zach Galifianakis, because he said he has friends who remind him of the bizarre, wolf-pack-loving character.

However, Ramus said he worries that “Part II” has one built-in disadvantage – it can’t be as shocking as the first. “I was in awe,” he said.

Possibly as funny – albeit in a cheesy, unintentional way – will be “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Ramus said he liked the action of the first two films but isn’t as excited for the third installment because it’s missing a key, appealing element. “I like the old ones because Megan Fox is in them,” he said. “I don’t know much about [her replacement, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley].”

 But Ramus said he still will see the foxy-momma-less third part because the first two were put together well and had good storylines.

Sophomore mathematics and secondary education major Joe Karmazin said he wants to see “Transformers” as well because he grew up playing with the versatile action figures. He said he respects the direction Michael Bay has taken with his childhood buddies. “It’s nice to see someone else’s vision,” he said.

Karmazin said he looks forward to movies featuring Thor, Captain America and the Green Lantern,  but said he most looks forward to seeing Captain America in “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

“He is the bigger superhero as far as comic books go,” he said. “Captain America will use more money and have a bigger production.”

One well-funded film that is sure to pay back its expenditures this year is “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” Dani Wagner, a junior liberal arts major, said she is excited to see the fourth installment of the Johnny Depp-helmed cash-cow because she has followed the series since its inception.

“It was just a big thing with my friends in high school,” she said. “We were all obsessed with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.”

Wagner, who dressed up as a pirate to see the third movie, said she thinks computer graphics have improved for the swashbuckling series over time, but the filmakers are running out of original material for storylines. “I think eventually they are going to kill the franchise,” she said. “Other actors will drop out like Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley did.”

Wagner said she is also excited to take some of her younger cousins to see “Cars 2: World Grand Prix,” and admits she looks forward to the outing. “I’m still a kid at heart, so I like the kids’ movies,” she said.

One Gannon student less enthusiastic about summer blockbuster films is senior accounting major Everett Wensel. “I have not paid close attention,” he said, when asked what movies he is looking forward to this summer.

However, Wensel said he understands why people rush out to the movies in the summer.  “It’s an escape from oppressive heat,” he said. “Some places get into triple digits, so being outside in heat is not a real attractive option.”

Summer Movie Guide

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”

Release Date: May 20

Johnny Depp and Captain Barbossa race Blackbeard, and his daughter Angelica on a hunt to find the mythical fountain of youth.

“The Hangover: Part II”

Release Date: May 26

The sequel to the bachelor party surprise hit of 2009 takes Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug to Bangkok for Stu’s bachelor party.

“Green Lantern”

Release Date: June 17

Ryan Reynolds is Hal Jordan, who becomes the Green Lantern after he receives a green ring that gives him super powers.

“Cars 2: World Grand Prix”

Release Date: June 24

Lighting McQueen is joined by best-bud Mater for an international journey that will feature them racing against the world’s fastest cars.  

“Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon”

Release Date: July 1

The third installment follows the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons to reach a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”

Release Date: July 15

Highlights from the film should include the epic Hogwarts battle and the spell-binding final showdown between Harry and Voldemort.  

“Captain America: The First Avenger”

Release Date: July 11

Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, volunteers for a top secret project, and then turns into Captain America.

“Thor”

Release Date: May 6

Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, is a cocky warrior who is sent out of Asgard to live on Earth. 

TESSY PAWLOWSKI

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