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- Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios
Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22)
The gist: During World War II, puny Steve Rogers (Chris Evans as a CGI skinny guy) takes a "super-soldier serum" to become both a physically enhanced commando and a symbol of American resolve.
Fresh factor: Captain America first appeared in comics 70 years ago (before Pearl Harbor, even), but has never been in a decent movie. If director Joe Johnston emulates his 1991 comic book adaptation The Rocketeer, another cliff-hanging period piece, it could be a fun popcorn movie.
How's it look: So far, the trailers convey little beyond the first act of the movie — but it looks like a good first act. But will it feel merely like a prologue to next year's The Avengers?
- Timothy White/Universal Studios
Cowboys & Aliens (July 29)
The gist: In the Wild West, an amnesiac loner (Daniel Craig) wearing a high-tech bracelet must battle both a powerful landowner (a villainous Harrison Ford) and flying saucers.
Fresh factor: It's based on a relatively obscure graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, although the title kind of speaks for itself.
How's it look: Very entertaining, like director Jon Favreau got his mojo back after Iron Man 2.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Aug. 5)
The gist: Geneticist James Franco (is there anything he can't do?) tests an Alzheimer cure on primates, only to create a super-intelligent breed of rebellious apes.
Fresh factor: It's the seventh feature film in the franchise and follows in the narrative paw-prints of 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, but the premise and special effects seem drastically different.
How's it look: Like it has a chance at proving to be the sleeper hit of the summer. Thanks to CGI, the apes have these human expressions that'll give you the willies.
- Richard Cartwright/Universal Studios
The Change-Up (Aug. 5)
The gist: Jason Bateman's family man and Ryan Reynolds' single Lothario switch bodies and discover than neither has the wonderful life the other thought.
Fresh factor: It's Hollywood's umpteenth body-transfer comedy, although admittedly the characters in Freaky Friday didn't swap minds by peeing in the same fountain.
How's it look: Like yet another Judd Apatow wannabe comedy, but it was filmed locally so you can check out the Atlanta landmarks if it gets boring.
- Dale Robinette/DreamWorks II Distribution Co.
The Help (Aug. 12)
The gist: In 1960s Mississippi, the lives of two African-American maids (Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer) intersect with a white college graduate (Emma Stone).
Fresh factor: It's based on the hit novel by Atlanta's Kathryn Stockett.
How's it look: The trailer seems to overemphasize Stone's character's involvement with the Civil Rights Movement (you expect someone to say, "Save us from racism, nice white lady!"). But also looks like a viable Oscar contender.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (Aug. 26)
The gist: A young girl (Bailee Madison) moves in with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in a creepy old house that may have tiny monsters living in the walls. Produced and co-written by Guillermo del Toro.
Fresh factor: The original 1973 made-for-TV horror film is exactly the kind of inventive, half-forgotten project that Hollywood should be remaking.
How's it look: The teaser trailer will scare the crap out of you.