Popcorn? Check. Melted butter? Check. Extra napkins? Big check.
Summer movie season arrives just in time for the summer weather. And moviegoers everywhere will be cooling themselves in the air-conditioned confines of the cineplex. Armed only with tubs of popcorn bigger than their heads and sodas large enough to drown a pony, these intrepid warriors will gird themselves for big stars, big action and big laughs. A look at this summer's best offerings. (Note: All release dates are subject to change.)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian -- Following the blockbuster success of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," this sequel finds the Pevensie children back in the magical world of Narnia, where all is not well. Good thing there is a Prince Caspian in shining armor to help save the day.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull -- Some old coot named Indy puts back on the fedora and dusts off his bullwhip to fight the Soviets for some crystal skulls. Geez, hasn't he heard of golf?
Sex and the City -- Barkeep, a round of cosmos for the ladies. The fabulous foursome of Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha is back for a very (Mr.) Big wedding. Will the women make it to the church on time? And, more importantly, do those shoes come in my size?
You Don't Mess with the Zohan -- Adam Sandler plays an Israeli superagent turned super hairstylist. Interestingly, it's a drama. (I kid, I kid.)
Kung Fu Panda -- Adorable pandas + kung fu = put the kids in the car, we're going to a movie. The animated feature stars the voices of Jack Black and Angelina Jolie. But who cares: Look, cute pandas!
The Incredible Hulk -- The not-so-jolly green giant is back. After a lackluster first live-action outing, the Hulk is back with a new Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) and a new nemesis, The Abomination. Can this Hulk be a smash?
The Happening -- M. Night Shyamalan. A natural disaster. Creepy happenings. You know the drill. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel and John Leguizamo.
Get Smart -- Bumbling Maxwell Smart (Steve Carrell) and the capable Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway) find bad guys and hilarity in this remake of the 1965-70 TV series. Remember to turn your shoe phones to silent once you enter the theater.
The Love Guru -- "Saturday Night Live" and "Austin Powers" alum Mike Myers stars as a Hindu-raised American guru who tries to break into the self-help business in his native land. If this were a Shyamalan film, I'd say, "I see silly accents." It also stars Justin Timberlake and Jessica Alba.
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl -- A movie for young girls based on a popular brand of dolls. Well, it's not a superhero, but at least it's something. Abigail Breslin stars.
WALL·E -- It's not "The Return of Short Circuit," I swear. In the animated feature, a trash-compacting robot goes on an adventure to discover the meaning of life. Number Five never was that ambitious.
Wanted -- Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman star as members of an elite secret society of assassins. I guess a movie about an elite secret society of butter churners wouldn't fill the seats.
Hancock -- Will Smith plays a down-on-his-luck superhero who tries to rehab his image. First starlets, now superheroes. Rehab really is the new black. It also stars Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman.
The Wackness (Limited release) -- This comedy set in the New York hip-hop scene during the summer of 1994 follows a drug dealer and his therapist. It's generated a lot of buzz among the hipster set, which thinks 1994 was long ago in a galaxy far, far away. Fine, the grown-ups at Sundance liked it, too. It stars Ben Kingsley and Mary-Kate Olsen.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army -- Big Red is back for a sequel in which it's the mythical world against the human world. Good thing demon hero Hellboy has a soft spot for us humans.
Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D -- The Jules Verne classic gets the 3-D treatment with Brendan Fraser as an intrepid geologist headed to you-know-where.
The Dark Knight -- The much-anticipated sequel to "Batman Begins" saw its production clouded by the death of Heath Ledger, who plays The Joker. In the new installment, Mr. Tall, Dark and Brooding (Christian Bale) battles the forces of evil in Gotham with the help of Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), new District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and his would-be leading lady, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal stepping in for Katie Holmes).
Mamma Mia! -- The antithesis to the brooding Bat, this movie musical based on the popular Broadway musical based on the popular ABBA song stars Meryl Streep and is set in the Greek islands.
The X-Files: I Want to Believe -- Break out the flashlights. FBI agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder are back to investigate more unexplained phenomena. The much-guarded plot is said to be a stand-alone story instead of part of the show's larger conspiracy myth. Still, expect the unexpected.
Step Brothers -- Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly star as spoiled only children whose single parents get married. Will Ferrell in a summer comedy? Unheard of.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor -- Guess Brendan Fraser made it back safe and sound from the center of the Earth because now he is back for his third installment of mummy fighting. This time, the undead are part of a 2,000-year-old Chinese curse. Maria Bello steps into Rachel Weisz's fighting shoes as Fraser's adventurous wife.
Pineapple Express -- Is there a comedy that writer/producer/director Judd Apatow is not involved in these days? So far this year, his fingerprints are on "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "Drillbit Taylor," "Don't Mess With Zohan," "Step Brothers" and now this. Perennial Apatow favorite Seth Rogen stars as a stoner who witnesses a murder and must run from the law along with his pot dealer (James Franco). It's been generating a lot of good buzz, if you know what I mean.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 -- Those magic jeans are back for the sequel to the popular 2005 film about four high school friends. The young women are now in college, and their friendship is as strong as ever.
Tropic Thunder -- Can a comedy without the Apatow stamp of approval make it this summer? Maybe, if it has the Ben Stiller stamp of approval with a cameo by Tom Cruise. Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. star as spoiled actors shooting a war movie who find themselves in a real war instead.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars -- Return to the real galaxy far, far away in this animated chapter of the "Star Wars" saga. Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala fight intergalactic evil in a story set between the live-action films "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith."
Bangkok Dangerous -- Why does Nicolas Cage keep getting cast in action thrillers? Have ("Next") we ("Ghost Rider") learned ("Wicker Man") nothing ("Lord of War")?
Hamlet 2 (limited) -- Now this is a sequel I actually can get excited about. This farce has a failed actor turned high school drama teacher lead his cast in a decidedly un-PC sequel to Shakespeare's classic play.