North Shore Flick Chick: Battle of the Blockbusters

Local box offices will get a boost this month from four much-anticipated, big-budget releases (all of which require that you completely suspend disbelief).

Plus, there are four equally entertaining comedies (all of which require that you completely suspend disbelief), and one animated feature for the kiddos (which requires that…you know the drill). There’s even something specifically for you stay-at-home moms, so buy your ticket and book a sitter today!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PG-13)

“Captain America” has proven itself the blockbuster to beat this spring—will this superhero sequel be the one to take down “The Winter Solider”? (If special effects have anything to do with it, perhaps.) Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker, with Emma Stone as girlfriend Gwen Stacy and Sally Field as Aunt May in this addition to the latest Spider-Man franchise. Enter Campbell Scott as Pete’s dad, and Dane DeHaan and Jaime Foxx as his opposition, and things are about to get ugly for skinny Spidey, I sense. (Opens May 2)

Godzilla (PG-13)

This. Looks. Awesome. A world-famous monster takes on man-made creatures in a reboot of the classic film, this one featuring the great Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), silver-screen goddess Juliette Binoche, character actor David Strathairn and Elizabeth Olsen (über talented younger sister of the famed Olsen twins—and the next “it” girl, if you ask this reporter). (Opens May 16)

X-Men: Days of Future Past (PG-13)

Move over, Spidey. The X-Men stand poised to compete this month as they go back in time to change the future, led by an all-star cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Evan Peters, Halle Berry, Shawn Ashmore, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy and reigning leading man Hugh Jackman, plus “Game of Thrones” hero Peter Dinklage—bonus! (Opens May 23)

Maleficent (PG)

Disney brings us this dark “Sleeping Beauty”-inspired tale featuring the one-and-only Angelina Jolie. I’m no fan of Brad Pitt’s better/lesser half, but even I have to give it up for the powerful performance she looks to put in here as an evil sorceress who curses an innocent infant and then watches over her as years go by. The cinematography and soundtrack (featuring Lana Del Ray) appear equally impressive. Note for parents: While the rating implies otherwise, this film may not be suitable for many younger children, based on early reviews—too scary. (Opens May 30)

Walk of Shame (R)

Two words: Elizabeth Banks. Need two more? James Marsden. If that’s not enough, consider the plot: Opportunity knocks when a reporter/aspiring news anchor gets the call of a lifetime after a one-night stand. The only trouble is she has to get to work in time to be considered for the job. If only she hadn’t been forced to put on a slutty dress and do shots with girlfriends at a club all evening, gotten her car towed for an illegal park job and been misidentified as a hooker by police. Call this “Date Night” for singletons, with funny girl Banks as the heroine. (Opens May 2)

Chef (R)

Foodies will flock to this flick, which is set in the culinary world, as its title implies. But this is more than just another foodie flick. Writer/director Jon Favreau also plays the lead in this heartwarming story about a man in search of his niche who finds it with friends in a food truck business. He is joined by Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Oliver Platt, Amy Sedaris (sister of writer David Sedaris—if you haven’t read or listened to the audio version of his book “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim,” I implore you to do so), Bobby Cannavale and Scarlett Johansson (who is making a killing in theaters this year). (Opens May 9)

Moms’ Night Out (PG)

Call it “Adventures in Babysitting” meets “Three Men and a Baby.” The cast: Sarah Drew (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), country star Trace Adkins, Abbie Cobb (who could pass for Jennie Garth’s younger sister, I swear) and Sean Astin (whom we may see in a rumored sequel to “The Goonies”—fingers crossed!). It goes without saying that moms should schedule an evening out to see this flick. Leave the kids at home with dad so that life may further imitate art imitating life, if you catch my drift. (Opens May 9)

Neighbors (R) 

I am already laughing out loud at the prospect of this comedic release from the creators of “This Is the End.” (If you haven’t seen that one, by the way, Netflix it immediately.) Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are married with child and living in quiet suburbia…until fraternity brothers move in next door. (I just had an “Old School” flashback, and it was glorious.) Greek ringleader Zac Efron, normally regarded for his rock-hard abs and boyish charm, will crack you up as he creatively challenges his neighbors’ quest for peace. “Friends” alumna Lisa Kudrow makes an appearance here, as well—bonus! (Opens May 9)

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (PG)

“Wicked” taught us what happened before Dorothy landed in Oz. “Oz the Great and Powerful” showed us how the Wizard came to be. “Legends of Oz” tells us what happened after Dorothy returned to Kansas (but not for long). Some great actors—Lea Michele of “Glee” fame, Jim Belushi, Patrick Stewart, Martin Short, Kelsey Grammer and Dan Aykroyd—lend their voices to this animated sequel to one of the greatest stories of all time, made famous by one of the greatest voices of all time: Judy Garland. (Opens May 9)


Photo by Niko Tavernise. COPYRIGHT: © 2013 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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