MOVIE PREVIEWS: The biggest month for movies

Hercules ANL-140625-104548001
Hercules ANL-140625-104548001
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LOWDOWN ON THE BIGGEST FILMS HITTING THE CINEMA IN JULY – THE BIGGEST MONTH ON THE MOVIE CALENDAR.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

Released: July 5

Second trilogies usually struggle to match the first set – but this is all of a sudden tracking to potentially be the biggest film of the summer.

Mark Wahlberg replaces Shia LeBeouf as the male lead, starring as a mechanic who discovers a deactivated Optimus Prime – whose technology is being sought by shady outside agencies – in Michael Bay’s fourth instalment, which is set four years after Dark of the Moon.

Bates Motel’s Nicola Peltz and Irish heartthrob Jack Reynor are the young stars, with Dinobots – including fan-favourite Grimlock – being introduced to the mix.

THE DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Released: July 17

Caesar and his growing nation of genetically evolved apes are back – and threatening to be the planet’s most dominant species.

Set ten years after the first film – when a devastating virus has wiped out a lot of the world’s population – a small band of human survivors try to make peace with the apes, but that proves to be short-lived, and both sides are brought to the brink of war.

Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke takes over male lead duties, with Gary Oldman and Brit star Toby Kebbell (who will soon play Dr Doom in the Fantastic Four reboot) co-starring.

HERCULES

Released: July 25

This big-budget re-telling of the legendary Greek demi-god is going to be a tough sell – but with the popular Dwayne Johnson headlining it always has a chance.

After surviving the infamous twelve labours, his life as a sword-for-hire is tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.

But there’s already been a movie based on the powerhouse out earlier this year – the mega-flop Legend of Hercules – and it’s directed by the much-maligned X-Men: The Last Stand helmer Brett Ratner, so in blockbuster terms this is an unknown quantity.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Released: July 31

Marvel continues to expand its cinematic universe beyond the Avengers and into the cosmos – with this group of relatively unknown second tier comic-book characters.

This rag-tag band of space bandits, led by Chris Pratt’s Peter ‘Star-Lord’ Quill – which includes deadly assassin Gamora (Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana), maniacal revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer (former WWE champ Dave Bautista), powerful tree-like humanoid Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) and gun-toting racoon Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) – team up to keep a powerful artefact out of the grasp of the villainous Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).