The summer movie season starts with The Avengers on May 4th.  In anticipation, we’re counting down the movies we’re most looking forward to.  We agreed to do top 12s, but I got a little overexcited.  Actually, turns out, a lot overexcited.  Here’s the second part of the preliminary movies.

19. Magic Mike – Channing Tatum stars in this film loosely based on his life as a stripper.  Plus Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, and Matt Bomer, so I think the film has cornered the market on actors typecast as bland pretty boys.  You gotta admire director Steven Soderbergh’s stubborn refusal to stick to any one genre.

18. Battleship – Sometimes you just want a big dumb popcorn movie, you know?  Plus, it was written by the guys who did the script to Red and is directed by Peter Berg, who was kind enough to feature two Friday Night Lights alums.  And, you know, Liam Neeson.

17. Sparkle – The film is about a (fictional) Motown girl group.  I love Motown girl groups.  A lot.  And Jordin Sparks can certainly sing well.  The movie, of course, has taken on a different hue after co-star Whitney Houston’s untimely passing, featuring her in a role that some had been calling a comeback for the singer/actress.

16. Dark Shadows – You may want to sit down for this revelation: this Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration looks bizarre.  The cast is appropriately Burtonian (Chloe Grace Moretz’s career made this team up inevitable, for example), and Pfeiffer and Eva Green are inspired choices.  Sure, the movie may be based on a mostly-forgotten TV show, but boasts a story from John August and a script from Seth Grahame-Smith, the creator of The Hard Times of RJ Berger (a fact that only interests me), and writer of a film still to come on my list.

15. Premium Rush – I don’t exactly know what a bike messenger action movie is, but if Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon are in it, then I’m coming along from the ride.  Also, I won’t bother to list them all out, but director/co-writer David Koepp has written at least a half-dozen action movies that you’ve seen.

14. Take This Waltz – A decade ago, Michelle Williams was on Dawson’s Creek, Seth Rogen was on Undeclared, and Sarah Polley was in a bit of wilderness after The Sweet Hereafter.  Things have changed a little.  With Away From Her, Polley showed a deft touch and surprising ability to craft a compelling movie about relationships.  Which is relevant to this film about a happily married women drawn to another man.

13. Ted – One of those movies where even knowing a bunch about it, I essentially have no clue what I’ll think of it.  The movie is Seth MacFarlane’s baby, and he voices the titular foul-mouthed teddy bear who is apparently alive or something and living with Mark Wahlberg.  The trailer has some funny bits and may well be a live-action Family Guy.  Mila Kunis also co-stars.

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