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2010 summer movie preview

We look at 60 new movies rolling to theaters during the hot months

Chris Garcia
Angelina Jolie stars as 'Evelyn Salt' in Columbia Pictures' contemporary action thriller 'Salt.'

Summertime is Christmastime for Hollywood: a feast of films rolled out with hyperbolized importance and maximized marketing. There's a lot of them too many and we've selected exactly 60 coming your way now through August.

The dam bursts Friday with ‘Iron Man 2,' followed by a flock of sequels, from ‘Sex and the City 2' to ‘Toy Story 3.' There are remakes (‘The Karate Kid'), spoofs (‘MacGruber'), book adaptations (‘Eat Pray Love'), family fluff (‘Marmaduke'), muscular thrillers (‘Salt') and frat-pack comedies (‘Grown Ups').

In a neat alignment of whatever, a trio of movies with Austin ties are set to open on the same day, July 9: Robert Rodriguez's ‘Predators,' Jay and Mark Duplass' ‘Cyrus' and the documentary ‘Great Directors,' which names Richard Linklater one for the pantheon.

So many movies, so little space. In honor of summer 2010, we've kept our descriptions of each movie to precisely 10 words. This lends them a haiku tang, and also makes for easy reading, micro-impressions that don't reveal too much. (Spoiler alert: There are no spoilers below.)

Studios love to juggle release dates, so all listed dates are subject to change. Remember: Austin frequently gets independent, foreign and documentary films later than larger markets do. We've included movie ratings where available.

May

Iron Man 2(Friday) — Mickey Rourke, nasty, takes on Downey's armored superhero. Whoosh! Smash! (Rated PG-13)

Babies(Friday) — Goo-goo to poo-poo, documentary follows four infants' lives. (PG)

Robin Hood(May 14) — Russell Crowe (brawn), Ridley Scott (bang), Sherwood, chivalry, 10,000 arrows. (PG-13)

Looking for Eric' (May 14) — A comedy from social-realism master Ken Loach? Who'da thunk? (Not rated)

Shrek Forever After(May 14) — Rumpelstiltskin joins the fairy tale gang. Sounds ogre-the-top. (PG)

Just Wright(May 14) — Queen Latifah and Common canoodle in rom-com. (Erase that image.) (PG)

The Secret in Their Eyes(May 14) — Argentine thriller was surprise winner of best foreign language Oscar. (R)

Letters to Juliet(May 14) — A gauzy rom-com with debts to Shakespeare, set in Verona. (PG)

MacGruber(May 21) — Here's a novelty: an ‘SNL' skit stretched to movie size. (R)

Solitary Man(May 21) — Michael Douglas' life falls apart in wise, funny, caddish ways. (R)

Sex and the City 2(May 27) — Fans are just that into you. This'll be (Mr.) BIG. (R)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time(May 28) — A dagger has magical powers. So do Jake Gyllenhaal's abs. (PG-13)

June

Get Him to the Greek(June 4) — Jonah Hill escorts Russell Brand's rocker through mazes of debauchery. (R)

Marmaduke(June 4) — After ‘Marley and Me,' Owen Wilson plays the misbehaving dog. (PG)

Killers(June 4) — Katherine Heigl. Ashton Kutcher. A romantic crime comedy. Kill ME.

Splice(June 4) — Splicing human and animal DNA — a terrible idea, ew, gross. (R)

Mother and Child(June 4) — Three women, including Naomi Watts, struggle direly with momma dramas. (R)

Please Give(June 11) — Another understated life-slice, real and true, from Nicole Holofcener. (R)

The A-Team(June 11) — Mr. T's cameo is not confirmed. Pity the fools — us.

The Karate Kid(June 11) — Jackie Chan trains Will Smith's son Jaden. Ralph Macchio, forgotten. (PG)

Winter's Bone(June 11) — Girl seeks father's whereabouts in Ozarks in dark festival smash. (R)

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work(June 11) — The doyenne of dish, honking voice, plastic visage, turns 75. (R)

Toy Story 3(June 18) — Has the boy outgrown Buzz and Woody? We sure haven't.

Jonah Hex(June 18) — Scar-faced Josh Brolin avenges in this DC comics Western.

Knight and Day(June 25) — Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Uzis, boom-booms, love and laughs.

Micmacs(June 25) — Crime, comedy and visual confections from the director of ‘Amélie.' (R)

Grown Ups(June 25) — Rock, Sandler, Spade, Schneider — like a man-boy ‘SNL' reunion.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse(June 30) — Kristen Stewart kisses that lame werewolf kid. Hopefully he bites.

July

The Last Airbender 3-D(July 2) — Spiritual martial arts spectacle from M. Night Shyamalan. (Head scratch.)

Twelve(July 2) — Rich Manhattan kids awash in drugs, based on famous novel. (R)

Restrepo(July 2) — Unflinching and timely Afghanistan war documentary wowed them at Sundance.

The Girl Who Played with Fire(July 2) — Noirish sequel to so-so ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.' (R)

The Kids Are All Right(July 7) — A lesbian couple (Julianne Moore, Annette Bening) with family troubles. (R)

Predators(July 9) — Robert Rodriguez produced/co-wrote this grisly, creature-packed ‘Predator' reimagining. (R)

Cyrus(July 9) — A very awkward romance from ex-Austinites the Duplass brothers. (R)

Great Directors(July 9) — Richard Linklater's among 10 international auteurs celebrated in this doc. (Not rated)

Despicable Me(July 9) — Rotten villains be bad, very bad, in this 3-D cartoon. (PG)

Inception(July 16) — Christopher Nolan's dark, eerie sci-fi mind-tweaker's cloaked in mystery. (PG-13)

The Sorcerer's Apprentice(July 16) — Jay Baruchel's the apprentice, Nic Cage's the sorcerer. Magic ensues.

Salt(July 23) — Salt. Evelyn Salt. Angelina Jolie is a Bondian action spy.

Life During Wartime(July 23) — Todd Solondz's sequel to ‘Happiness' promises more darkly comic squirms.

Dinner for Schmucks(July 23) — Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Zach Galifianakis, Jemaine Clement. We're there.

Ramona and Beezus(July 23) — Classic kids' book adaptation follows naughty Ramona and sis Beezus. (G)

Get Low(July 30) — Robert Duvall throws his own funeral party, with Bill Murray. (PG-13)

Charlie St. Cloud(July 30) — Zac Efron sees, talks to his dead brother. Girl enters.

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore(July 30) — Domesticated critters team up for spy action in doggone 3-D. (PG)

August

The Other Guys(Aug. 6) — Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg rambunctiously subvert the buddy-cop formula.

Middle Men (Aug. 6) — Luke Wilson gets into sleazy Internet porn racket, gets rich. (R)

Centurion (Aug. 6) — Roman war epic from maker of boffo thriller ‘The Descent.' (R)

Step Up 3-D(Aug. 6) — Part three in dancing-youth franchise we didn't know existed.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World(Aug. 13) — Michael Cera makes a funny superhero/lover. Trailer creating buzz. (PG-13)

The Expendables(Aug. 13) —Stallone stars, directs '80s action throwback. Incredible action-hero cast.

Eat Pray Love(Aug. 14) — Julia Roberts eats, prays, loves. Enter Javier Bardem. Eat away.

Lottery Ticket(Aug. 20) — A winning ticket proves both a gain and a pain. (PG-13)

Takers(Aug. 20) — Matt Dillon's cop tries to thwart old-school bank robbers. (PG-13)

The Switch(Aug. 20) — Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, artificial insemination, a switcheroo, laughy hugs. (PG-13)

Nanny McPhee Returns(Aug. 20) — Emma Thompson's magical, hideously ugly nanny works wonders in sequel. (PG)

The Tillman Story(Aug. 20) — Acclaimed documentary explores Pat Tillman's controversially handled Iraq war death.

Going the Distance(Aug. 27) — Drew Barrymore's first R-rated comedy. Can that be right? (R)

Piranha 3-D(Aug. 27) — Created expressly to wipe out bad memories of ‘Jaws 3-D.' (R)