It’s that time of year again in Florida when walking out your front door feels like being licked across the face by a mastiff.
Yes, the cool comfort of a movie theater is the ideal place to spend a sweltering, Saturday afternoon for the next several months.
Here are the flicks I don’t want to miss.
“Bridesmaids” (in theaters): The trailer had me laughing out loud and that’s always a good sign. Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up,” “Super Bad.” “The 40 Year Old Virgin”) produced. “Saturday Night Live” faves Kristen Wiig (who co-wrote the script) and Maya Rudolph star. But I’m thinking Melissa McCarthy (“Mike & Molly”) might steal the show. And a cameo by Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) never hurts.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (in theaters): Johnny Depp is back as Jack Sparrow and that’s reason enough for some rum-drenched, swashbuckling thrills. Plus, he has a new sweetie, the sizzling Penelope Cruz as well as help from dear, ol’ dad (Keith Richards). And the great Geoffrey Rush returns as Barbossa. Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom were great in the first “Pirates” flick, but in the subsequent movies the writers struggled to fit them logically into the plot. They shouldn’t be missed.
“The Hangover Part II” (May 26): It’s doubtful the sequel can equal the laugh riot original, but I still have high hopes for some serious hilarity from Zach Galifianakis (wakes up with his head shaved), Ed Helms (wearing a Mike Tyson-style facial tattoo), Ken Jeong (the dude who went full frontal in the first “Hangover”) and the rest of the gang. Added plus, Paul Giamatti makes an appearance this go around.
“The Tree of Life” (May 27): When writer/director/cinematic poet Terrence Malick makes a movie -- he waited 20 years between “Days of Heaven” and “Thin Red Line” (1998) -- you go see it. Oh, and this one just happens to star Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.
“Beginners” (June 3): Ewan McGregor and Melanie Laurent (the sexy, Nazi-killing cinema owner of “Inglourious Basterds”) star in this movie about a gay man (Christopher Plummer) coming out of the closest late in life after the death of his wife. Saw it at the Sarasota Film Festival. It’s poignant, humorous and highly recommended. One of Plummer’s finest performances.
“Super 8”(June 10): Written and directed by J.J. Abrams (co-created “Lost;” directed the new and improved “Star Trek,”) and produced by Steven Spielberg, “Super 8” has been described as equal parts “E.T.,” “Goonies,” and “Stand By Me.” If “Super 8” is half as good as those three films -- favorites from my childhood that I could still watch about once a month -- it will be a worthwhile trip to the movie theater.
“Bad Teacher” (June 24): Cameron Diaz plays a boozing, gold-digging teacher with the hots for a sub with family money Justin Timberlake. Jason Segel (“How I Met Your Mother,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) is the wacky gym teacher who argues with students about the greatest basketball player of all time (Jordan, of course.) Secret weapon: Phyliss Smith, the great character actor who plays Phyllis Lapin-Vance on “The Office.”
“Winnie the Pooh” (July 15): I’ll being seeing this with my younger sisters, who used to watch the classic Disney cartoons and read the books with me when we were children. Love the fact that for this reboot Disney has stuck with wonderfully traditional animation. The trailer just about brought a manly, nostalgic tear to my eye. Voice-over master Jim Cummings offers a terrific, classic-sounding Pooh (and Tigger). John Cleese narrates and Craig Ferguson voices Owl. Indie-folk stars She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) are on the soundtrack.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” (July 15): I still haven’t gotten around to Netflixing “Part 1” but have enjoyed all the other Harry Potter movies and, like just about everyone else who doesn’t read the books, can’t wait to see how this fantastic, wildly popular film franchise concludes.
“Cowboys and Aliens” (July 29): Executive producer: Steven Spielberg. Director: Jon Favreau (both “Iron Man” movies, “Elf”). Starring: Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford; plus Olivia Wilde (“Tron Legacy,” “House”), Sam Rockwell (“Moon,” “Iron Man 2”) and Keith Carradine (“Nashville,” “Deadwood”). Watch out “Wild Wild West,” this could be the greatest sci-fi western -- ever!
“Our Idiot Brother” (August 26): Paul Rudd (“I love You Man,” “Knocked Up”) impressed the Sundance crowd as the title character in this family comedy with a heart. Elizabeth Banks (“30 Rock,” “The 40 Year Old Virgin”) and Zooey Deschanel (“(500) Days of Summer,” “Almost Famous”) costar.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at (941) 745-7057. Visit his blog at Bradenton.com./blogs.