The List: 10 summer movies we can’t wait for

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From the April 26, 2012 edition

Ignore the calendar. Ignore the temperature. In Hollywood, summer starts at the beginning of May — if not sooner.

So with “The Avengers” officially kick-starting big-budget blockbuster season next weekend, I’m taking a look at 10 other movies on the summer slate I’m most excited about.

10. Ted (July 13)

“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane’s first feature film is suited to his sensibilities — he voices the foul-mouthed talking teddy bear of the title. I’m more excited for star Mark Wahlberg, who is underrated as a comedic actor.

9. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (June 22)

Will this genre-buster from the author of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” rise above its gimmick? Man, I hope so, because this sure sounds fun.

8. Total Recall (August 3)

I suppose you could file this under “why remake a perfectly good movie,” but it would be easy to make a darker take on the twisty Philip K. Dick book it’s based on. And Colin Farrell will not remind anyone of Arnold.

7. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (June 22)

A whimsical comedy about the end of the world? Count me in! Steve Carell and Keira Knightley play a mismatched pair on a road trip as an approaching asteroid threatens Earth.

6. Men in Black III (May 25)

Ten years after a sub-par sequel, it looks like they’ve actually got a fun idea here. A time-travel twist sets up the inspired casting of Josh Brolin as a young version of Tommy Lee Jones’ character.

5. The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3)

Here’s another bold reboot. I hope director Marc Webb (“(500) Days of Summer”) can find his own twist, but the casting of the amazing Andrew Garfield in the lead is a nice start. And everyone loves Emma Stone. Everyone.

4. The Dictator (May 16)

Sacha Baron Cohen — finally out of characters from “Da Ali G Show” — turns his attention to a thinly veiled parody of Saddam Hussein. If anyone can find humor here, it’s Baron Cohen.

3. Moonrise Kingdom (May 25)

Quirky auteur Wes Anderson looks like he’s back in his quirky wheelhouse with his latest film, a tale of runaway kids. The whole cast is amazing … but you had me at “Bill Murray.”

2. Prometheus (June 8)

Ridley Scott’s (hopefully) triumphant return to sci-fi has tantalized with great trailers for this (maybe sort of) prequel to “Alien.” I know that it looks amazing. I hope I don’t know anything else before I see it.

1. The Dark Knight Rises (July 20)

Christopher Nolan has set new standards for how smart and engaging a summer blockbuster can be. He wraps up his “Dark Knight” trilogy. Anything less than amazing will be disappointing.