First off, forgive us for not having the budget to upgrade this summer movie preview to 3-D. Rest assured, there are plenty of eye-popping (brain-numbing?) epics in the preview list that follows, but to our pleasure and surprise, there is a surplus of attention-worthy 2-D flicks too. Happy summer, movie fans. And this time we mean it. (As always, all dates are subject to change.)
Sex and the City 2
Manhattan columnist and shoe maven Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and friends (Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon) vacation in Abu Dhabi, land of cranky camels and hunky sheiks. Written and directed by Michael Patrick King.
In this new film from gifted Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar (The Others, The Sea Inside), Rachel Weisz portrays Hypatia, the fourth-century Greek philosopher/astronomer whose death at the hands of a Christian mob was not pretty. Max Minghella is the slave who loves her.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
A long-haired, muscled-up Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a Persian prince trying to find a magical dagger in this action megapic from director Mike Newell and Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who never makes a movie he can't sequelize.
George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead
In his sixth film about flesh-eaters, horrormeister George Romero (Night of the Living Dead) sends his disgruntled band o' zombies to an island off Delaware, where they shuffle into the gun sights of two feuding Irish families.
Get Him to the Greek
Jonah Hill plays a record-company intern whose career-making assignment could be considered a music-business rite of passage: Escorting a drug-addled rock star (British comic Russell Brand) to a big gig. From the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Nicholas Stoller.
Jen (Katherine Heigl) and Spencer (Ashton Kutcher) are blissful newlyweds until the day Jen discovers that her dream man was once a government assassin. The news does not thrill her. Catherine O'Hara costars in this action-comedy from Legally Blond director Robert Luketic.
The lovable Great Dane that's been a fixture of the comics page since 1954 finally makes it to the big screen. Owen Wilson provides Marmaduke's voice in this live-action family film.
Maybe she's a mermaid, maybe she's not, but either way, the mysterious beauty Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) is quickly stealing the heart of the Irish fisherman (Colin Farrell) who pulled her from the sea. Stephen Rea costars in the new drama from writer/director Neal Jordan (The Crying Game).
Adrian Brody and Sarah Polly are geneticists whose experiment in human cloning goes creepily awry in this thriller from director Vincenzo Natali and executive producer Guillermo del Toro.
Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, and UFC champ Quinton "Rampage" Jackson are a disgraced special-ops team out to clear their names in director Joe Carnahan's adaptation of the 1980s TV show [insert Mr. T joke here].
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Codirectors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg track the indefatigable comic over the course of a recent year in a documentary that festival audiences expected to disdain and ending up loving. At age 76, Joan has buzz.
The Karate Kid
This remake of the 1984 Ralph Macchio/Pat Morita flick about a teenaged boy who gains personal wisdom as well as mad skills from a kung-fu master stars Jaden Smith (son of Will) as the pupil and Jackie Chan as his teacher.
Marisa Tomei and John C. Reilly are newly, blissfully in love in this drama from the brotherly filmmaking duo of Jay and Mark Duplass (The Puffy Chair). Jonah Hill costars as Tomei's clinging, interfering son.
Based on a long-running DC Comics character, this supernaturally tinged comedy-Western features Josh Brolin as a badly scarred post-Civil War bounty hunter in search of a mad-dog killer, played, of course, by John Malkovich.
The Killer Inside Me
Casey Affleck is Lou Ford, a 1950s-era West Texas deputy sheriff who also happens to be a psychopathic killer. Directed by Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart) and based on Jim Thompson's brilliant and brutal 1952 novel. Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba costar.
Toy Story 3
Where do toys go when their kid grows up and moves away? After they survive one of their patented Pixar adventures, be prepared to well up as Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the toys of Andy's room see their favorite human off to college. Written by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) and directed by Lee Unkrich. (We hear Mr. Potatohead steals the movie.)
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider star as childhood buddies reuniting for the first time in 30 years. We're thinking it's a comedy. Directed by Dennis Dugan (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry).