Summer movie guide: Bring on the blockbusters

The summer of 2012 is here, noisily ushered in with the record-breaking bow of “The Avengers,” Joss Whedon’s loopy superhero summit meeting.

We’re talking about the summer season in film, of course. Although “film” is an outmoded term; we will be experiencing this summer digitally, as we will experience most movies in the future — in case you hadn’t heard, actually seeing a picture on film has grown increasingly rare, and digitally shot and projected movies will be completely dominant a year from now.

Many of the movies of summer ‘12 appear not merely digital in process but digital in spirit: fantasies, superheroes, action flicks, computer-generated cartoons. It’s a season of bright, shiny objects perfectly calibrated for digital gloss.

There are a few stray exceptions. Something tells me they will be overshadowed by caped crusaders (yes, Batman and Spider-Man are back for their periodic turns), but we’ll keep an eye out for the offbeat items as we sift through the titles of summer.

As usual, these dates and titles could change. So here it comes: blockbuster season. Adjust your 3-D glasses, suspend disbelief, and get pixilated, people.

Click here for photos, capsules and premiere dates of all the movies coming to theaters this summer.

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