The Avengers will assemble for what may be the most overstuffed tent-pole ever, and Katy Perry will unleash the first movie that could actually give you cavities, but that doesn't mean this summer's cinema landscape is a wholly barren wasteland.
Between superhero orgies (The Avengers) and bubblegum 3D concerts (Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D), there's a rich array of warm-weather fare, from pint-sized love stories (Moonrise Kingdom) to sci-fi prequels (Prometheus) to breakout festival faves (Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Queen of Versailles). In addition to catching the final chapter of Christopher Nolan's Batman saga (The Dark Knight Rises), we're dying to see Joachim Trier's follow-up to Reprise (Oslo, August 31st), Hirokazu Kore-eda's latest sure-to-be humanistic triumph (I Wish), and a twisted revenge-horror flick that's already made waves in Australia (The Loved Ones).
If there's time after Channing Tatum's semi-autobigraphical strip show (Magic Mike), we might squeeze in a sit with The Avengers, but only if they promise to deactivate Katy's whipped-cream boob cannons for good.
The Dictator (Dir. Larry Charles, May 11). Sacha Baron Cohen's third partnership with Borat and Brüno director Larry Charles promises the duo's usual brand of politically-charged debauchery, inspired by everything from Saddam Hussein's novel Zabibah and the King, Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, and the recent events surrounding Muammar Gaddafi. Cohen's shift from mockumentary to traditional narrative (co-stars include Anna Faris and Ben Kingsley) opens the door for typical and tired Hollywood guffaws, but it's likely this provocateur will continue to deliver.