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Batman, Hellboy, Mulder bring blockbusters

Batman is poised to challenge Indiana Jones for that coveted spot as the highest grossing film of the summer. Can he do it?
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Blockbuster season isn’t over yet. In fact, Batman is poised to challenge Indiana Jones for that coveted spot as the highest grossing film of the summer. And the Caped Crusader is not alone. Hellboy, Agent Mulder, and even Yoda return to theaters for the hot months of July and August. But the real star to look out for this summer is Will Smith, who’s back on the big screen, this time playing the most unorthodox superhero around.

The Dark Knight

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”
Samuel L. Jackson, Grey DeLisle, Anthony Daniels, Matt Lanter, Tom Kane, Corey Burton, Ian Abercrombie, Ashley Eckstein, Matthew WoodDirector: David FiloniStory: During the period of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker (Lanter) and Obi-Wan Kenobi set out to investigate the kidnapping of Jabba the Hutt’s son. Yoda (Kane) sends Ahsoka Tano (Eckstein) along as Anakin’s padawan learner. Anakin eventually must face off with the evil Count Dooku (Burton). One to watch? No. This film will be the kick-off to the new Cartoon Network series. So why not just save your $10 and wait for that? George Lucas told , “You know, (the “Clone Wars” movie) was almost an afterthought — we were doing the TV series and looked at some of the episodes on the big screen and said, ‘This is so beautiful, why don’t we just go and use the crew and make a feature?’” Web site: Release date: Aug. 15

Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman, Eddie MarsanDirector: Peter BergStory: Hancock (Smith) is the most reluctant superhero around. He drinks and then flies under the influence, and his heart just isn’t in saving people. The public isn’t too fond of him and his wanton destruction of public property either. But public-relations specialist Ray Embrey (Bateman) is determined to revamp his image. One to watch? Yes. Only an actor as innately likable as Smith could pull off the role of an unlikable character that you still root for. “He's an alcoholic superhero. He can fly, but he’s flying drunk. So he kind of bangs into buildings and things like that,” Smith told . He went on to say that the character was inspired by the Greek gods, who had regular human-sized problems. “He don't want to wear no damn suit,” Smith said. Smith praised director Berg’s (“The Kingdom”) unrehearsed way of working. “There's a really free-form improvisation feel to the way we shot this film.” Smith should conquer July 4 with this flick.Web site: Release date: July 2

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Luke Goss, Seth MacFarlaneDirector: Guillermo del ToroStory: When an ancient truce between humans and the invisible realm of the fantastic is broken, a ruthless elf prince (Goss) awakens an army of evil creatures. It’s up to Hellboy’s Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense to travel between the surface world and the magical one to defeat the prince. Blair co-stars as Hellboy’s pyrokinetic girlfriend, Liz Sherman, while Seth McFarlane and James Dodd play the protoplasmic mystic Johann Krauss (McFarlane does the voice).One to watch? Yes. A funny thing happened on the way from “Hellboy” to “Hellboy II”: Director del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) became a sought-after, high-profile auteur who is now helming Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit.”  Del Toro told that he’s not toning down the weirdness of the story. “This one is, if anything, more idiosyncratic than the first one,” he said. Co-star Blair told , “(Del Toro) has more confidence. I mean, this is the most demanding set I’ve ever been on, and that’s because Guillermo has the vision and he’s so specific. Each time he wants to tell a better story than the last and keep going and he has a lot — I imagine — to live up to in a lot of people’s eyes.” Web site: Release date:  July 11