The Reel: Movies to look for this summer

Ben Conniff

“The Great Gatsby”

Baz Luhrmann’s update of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic book looks flashy and stylized, yet loyal to the author’s original vision.

A strong cast featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan should certainly propel “Gatsby” to critical and box office success. In theaters May 10.

“Star Trek Into Darkness”

I’m excited to see what J.J. Abrams has in store for Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew next.

“Into Darkness” looks darker and more action-packed than its 2009 predecessor, and Benedict Cumberbatch looks like a welcome addition to the franchise. In theaters May 17.

“The Hangover part III”

For those put off by the first sequel in 2011, I understand why you may be hesitant about a third rodeo with the “Wolfpack.”

But the initial previews look hilarious, and there’s a promise of no wedding and no bachelor party, so “Part III” won’t necessarily be a carbon copy of the original formula. In theaters May 24.

“Now You See Me”

This is one of the smaller films to get a wide release this summer. It’s about a team of magicians who pull off bank robberies during their performances with FBI agents tracking their every move.

It looks like a contemporary cross between Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can” and Nolan’s “The Prestige”. Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and Isla Fisher star. In theaters May 31.

“This is the End”

I just love when Hollywood decides not to take itself too seriously. In “This Is the End,” the stars essentially play themselves, which is a concept that immediately sparked my attention.

Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco and a bevy of other big names throw a party at James Franco’s house only to get caught in the middle of an Apocalypse. Previews have been hysterical so far. In theaters June 12.

“Man of Steel”

Following the success of “The Dark Knight” trilogy, Christopher Nolan signed on to produce the next big-screen saga in the DC comics universe with Zack Snyder (“300,” “Watchmen”) directing.

It looks like the filmmakers are trying to humanize Superman in a way similar to that of Nolan’s Batman, and based on the trailers I think they’re on the right track. In theaters June 14.

“Monsters University”

This highly-anticipated “prequel” to Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” sends Mike and Sully back to their college days; a time when they weren’t always the best of friends.

MU’s bright, vibrant campus seems like a fitting place for all of Mike and Sully’s colorful friends, and I can’t wait to see how Pixar fares here. In theaters June 21.

“World War Z”

Based on the bestselling book, “World War Z” stars Brad Pitt in what appears to be the next medium to bring riveting drama to zombie horror, a la “The Walking Dead.” In theaters June 21.

“Only God Forgives”

Ryan Gosling’s next movie looks like a spiritual sequel to “Drive,” a spectacular noir that also featured Gosling in the lead role.

He plays a man thriving in Bangkok’s criminal underworld whose life gets even more complicated when his mother tasks him with finding and killing the man responsible for his brother’s recent death. Find the trailer on YouTube. In theaters July 19.