The summer movie season has been dominated so far by superheroes. "The Avengers" broke records to kick it all off, and last weekend "The Amazing Spider-Man" showed that audiences still love the Webslinger, even with a new actor behind the mask. But with fanboys assembled down in San Diego for Comic-Con, and another week left before Batman swoops back into cinemas in "The Dark Knight Rises," we've got a short break from the spandex-clad heroes this weekend.
Instead, Friday sees the return of some familiar and furry faces. "Ice Age: Continental Drift" is the fourth chapter in the series of prehistoric animated comedies, and it brings together the original voice cast along with a boatload of new stars. And if a family-friendly flick isn't what you're after, there are some acclaimed independent films rolling out in limited release as well.
Rated PG for mild rude humor and action/peril
What's the Story?
Manny the mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), Diego the sabre-toothed tiger (voiced by Denis Leary) and Sid the sloth (voiced by Jon Leguizamo) are off on another adventure together. This time, that hungry little furball Scrat accidentally broke apart the continents, sending the three pals adrift on an iceberg. As they are tossed around the ocean, they face off against a sinister orangutan pirate, Captain Gutt (voiced by "Game of Thrones" star Peter Dinklage). And Diego encounters another type of danger, an alluring female tiger name Shira (voiced by Jennifer Lopez). They will all have to brave some turbulent seas if they are going to get Manny back to his loving family.
Who Will Dig It?
3D animated films have been big draws so far this summer, with "Madagascar 3" and Disney/Pixar's "Brave" bringing scores of families into theaters. So anyone with young fans of the first three movies will surely want to check this out. What better way to beat the heat than to settling into an air-conditioned theater and watch a movie about ice? Plus, older kids who are into hip-hop might like hearing stars Drake and Nicki Minaj provide the voices for a pair of teenage wooly mammoths.
In limited release this week, Robert de Niro and Sigourney Weaver star in "Red Lights," a scary tale about paranormal investigators trying to unravel the secrets behind a famous psychic. Also, Freida Pinto ("Slumdog Millionaire") stars in "Trishna," a retelling of Thomas Hardy's classic novel "Tess of d'Urbervilles" set in modern-day India. Documentary fans will appreciate "The Imposter," the true story of a Texas teen who went missing for three years and then mysteriously returned. And if you like TV's "The Killing," check out its star Joel Kinnaman in a crime drama from his native Sweden, "Easy Money."