Hot tickets at the box office

Hot tickets at the box office

Apes, cowboys and aliens, pandas with kung fu skills, penguins and Smurfs offer an eclectic mix of summer movies

The only thing as hot as the scorching summer sun are the blockbuster films out at this time of year. So here's the Sunday Young Post guide to these box office contenders.

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon (opens June 29) Much of the plot is shrouded in secrecy. Astronauts respond to a mysterious event in space. What they uncover is nothing they, nor anyone, had ever expected. With a week until its release, that's all producer Steven Spielberg wants you to know ... That, and how he was the main force behind Megan Fox's unceremonious "release".

Tree of Life (July 7) A coming-of-age story about Jack (Hunter McCracken; older version Sean Penn), whose life is pulled in all different directions. His mother (Jessica Chastain) teaches him about love, while his father (Brad Pitt) takes a hard-knock's life approach to instilling values.

Mr Popper's Penguins (July 7) Based on the classic children's book of the same name, real estate shark Mr Popper (Jim Carrey) receives six penguins from his late explorer father, whose last wish is for him to learn to treasure family. His home is a 24/7 winter wonderland and, with the help of his new friends, Popper begins to rekindle the relationship with his family.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (July 14) Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and friends look to defend Hogwarts from Lord Voldemort, who's now in possession of the powerful Elder Wand. The final showdown between good and evil will be an explosive climax to one of the most beloved series in history. A most fitting farewell.

Kung Fu Panda 2 (July 21) Po (voiced by Jack Black) and the Furious Five return in a battle for kung fu supremacy. The crew take on an old foe with a lethal weapon; has good finally met its match?

The Beaver (July 28) Walter (Mel Gibson) becomes depressed and adopts a beaver hand puppet as his only means of communicating. Soon his new persona revitalises his bond with his wife Meredith (Jodie Foster, who also directs) and family.

The Smurfs 3D (August 4) Our tiny blue friends invade the Big Apple in this live-action/animation mash-up. A magical portal transports the Smurfs from their village in the Middle Ages to present-day New York. Meanwhile, the evil Gargamel (Hank Azaria) plans to turn lead into gold. The missing ingredient: Smurfs ...

Captain America: The First Avenger (August 4) No list would be complete without a Marvel character, and here is the most anticipated one to get a cinema makeover. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) joins an army experiment to develop super soldiers. With his combat suit and shield, he takes on the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).

Cars 2 (August 11) Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and his tow truck buddy Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) are set to compete in the first World Grand Prix. Soon Mater finds himself on a top-secret spy mission, leaving him torn between helping his friend or saving the world.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (August 11) The film gets a reboot when apes begin to threaten man's claim as Earth's dominant species. Scientist Will Rodman (James Franco) sets off a chain of events by creating Caesar, the first ape with human intelligence, who in turn leads a revolution to reclaim the planet.

Cowboys & Aliens (August 18) Conceived in a Spielberg brain-storming session, Cowboys & Aliens pits cowboys versus, er, aliens. Gunslinger (Daniel Craig) arrives in the town of Absolution, and when aliens attack, he and his band of outlaws offer the only hope of survival.



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