Reality’s hot summer must list

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Reality’s hot summer must list

Posted on: May 31st, 2014 by tommyj

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Movies

While everyone gushes over wanting to see “The Fault In Our Stars” (June 6), I continue to harbor a quiet, somewhat childish and mostly shameful desire to see “How To Train Your Dragon 2” (June 13). I know, I’m a 16-year-old girl, and I should know better. But the sequels these days, especially for animated movies, have gotten better. And the dragons in the first one were just so cute! — Claire Conte

I want to go to Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theater in Allentown to see “How to Train Your Dragon 2” — Stacey Keba

22 Jump Street,” the sequel to the hit comedy “21 Jump Street,” comes out June 13. “21 Jump Street” is one of the most iconic comedies of the past decade, and the sequel promises to be as laugh-out-loud funny as the first. — Elizabeth Yardley

Hopefully now that I have a car and a job, I can see all the summer movies I want. “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which came out last week, looks really good. Both “22 Jump Street” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (July 11) are sequels I am excited for. But the movie I am anticipating the most is “Guardians of the Galaxy” (Aug. 1). Although I never read the comics it’s based on, the trailer is fantastic. Marvel’s recent superhero movies have been some of my favorites, so I am really looking forward to seeing what they can do with this. — Nick Troise

Like Nick, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is No. 1 on my summer hit list, featuring a sort of alternate universe in the Marvel franchise with five brand-new characters. These former criminals must band together to save the world in this space adventure. Marvel films have kicked some serious butt lately, especially with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” so “Guardians of the Galaxy” should be nothing short of awesome. I also can’t wait for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (Aug. 8). Do not let the title throw you off, nor the fact that Michael Bay (a man notorious for his emphasis on special effects at the expense of plot and character development) is producing. Judging from the trailer, there might possibly be some well-placed plot elements. I’m also excited because a lot of things in the trailer remind me of the old TV show, one of my favorites when I was younger. — David Walker

Retro movies

I want to go to Doylestown’s County Theater to watch film classics during Hollywood Summer Nights and After Dark, like “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Back to the Future” and “North by Northwest.” — Stacey Keba

Concerts

On June 27, two of my favorite bands, Fall Out Boy and Paramore, are performing together at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden. This show will be very exciting since Fall Out Boy recently got back together and released a new album. — Elizabeth Yardley

OneRepublic, American Authors and The Script are on tour together and perform at the Susquehanna Bank Center June 28. — Jeff Stone

I cannot imagine summer without good music, smiling friends and a crowded arena flooded with summer-loving people. Whether it’s the Zac Brown Band concert (June 19 and 20, Susquehanna Bank Center) or Miley Cyrus (Aug. 2, Wells Fargo Center), any summer concert is a fantastic one! The carefree attitude and genuine happiness that is linked with summer seems contagious during concerts. — Lenny Prosser

Everyone who has ever come in contact with me can probably tell you how stupidly in love with One Direction I am, so it’s only right that going to their concert is a definite summer must-do! Their globe-trotting stadium tour called Where We Are brings them to Lincoln Financial Field Aug. 13 and 14, and all the fans going on the 13th, including my best friend and I (we have floor seats!), are trying to do a #PurpleInvasion, where everyone wears purple to the concert and holds up a certain sign to show our appreciation for the five boys. I cannot even describe to you, dear readers, how excited I am to, once again, see them live with my best friend! — Sarah Cantymagli

On Sept. 5 in Columbus, Ohio, the Black Keys will begin the North American segment of their world tour for “Turn Blue,” a hypnotic and deeply emotional record that ranks as their best work yet in my mind. It’s certainly a change of pace from the catchy blues-rock on “Brothers” and “El Camino” that made the Akron duo famous, and hardcore fans of their early minimalist albums sound may be completely turned off by “Turn Blue’s” more experimental sound, but there’s no denying the fact this eighth album is both original and thoroughly fascinating. Be sure to catch them at the Wells Fargo Center on Sept. 20 (the last official weekend of summer), when they play alongside the unfailingly energetic Cage the Elephant. — Ben Aloi

Albums

The Black Keys’ “Turn Blue,” which came out May 13, is absolutely fantastic, and I think it’s shaping up to be an exciting summer for alternative rock overall. One album I’m particularly excited for is “Lazaretto,” a solo project by Jack White (of White Stripes fame) due out June 10. Also worth mentioning, although not in the alt rock genre, is La Roux’s “Trouble in Paradise,” which comes out July 7. — Claire Conte

Ghost Stories” by Coldplay came out May 16. Coldplay is a fantastic and unique band; all of its music brings something new to the forefront. — David Walker

As if being the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for one of the hottest bands in the world weren’t enough, Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach is also a prolific producer. This past winter, Auerbach partnered with the ridiculously talented Lana Del Rey on her upcoming album, “Ultraviolence” (June 13). Del Rey’s soulful, distinctive voice already makes her one of the best in pop music today, but Auerbach’s songwriting prowess should make “Ultraviolence” a marked improvement over her previous two albums. — Ben Aloi

I can’t wait for the self-titled debut by Australia’s 5 Seconds of Summer, due out June 27. These boys opened for One Direction last year and are the real deal. The group isn’t your stereotypical pop band, though; they’re influenced by pop-punk acts like Blink-182 and Green Day. — Kimberly Burton

There’s a lot, at least for me, to anticipate in music. U2, Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, Coldplay, Big K.R.I.T., Trey Songz and Jeremih are all expected to release albums this year, and we can still hold out hope for “Watch the Throne II” (from Jay Z and Kanye West) and the collaborative album from Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. — Jeff Stone

Songs

Rude” by Canadian reggae-fusion band MAGIC! is an alternative jam that is definitely going to be one of the songs of the summer. You’ll be singing to it over and over! — Kimberly Burton

TV

I’m looking forward to “Halt and Catch Fire,” premiering this Sunday on AMC. When I first heard of it, the idea of a series built around white-collar crime in the 1980s didn’t sound all that exciting. I must confess, though, that, as a computer nerd, hearing about this series’ premise really got me interested: A burned-out engineer with dreams, a ruthless businessman with ambition and a punk computer hacker with something to prove make it their mission to rip off technology from IBM and use it to seek their personal fortunes. After watching the first episode (which is available to watch as of this writing on AMC’s website prior to its official release), my apprehension over the bland white-collar crime aspect was replaced by joy over the idea this might just be the “Breaking Bad”-meets-"Pirates of Silicon Valley” mashup I’ve been waiting for. Assuming the series by creators Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers maintains the nice balance between technical references and dramatic material it has established so far, I see it as being something special. — Jeffrey Gilbert

Doctor WhoSeries 8: Coming this August, “Doctor Who” is back. Despite my initial dislike of the idea of Peter Capaldi as the 12th doctor, I’m still very excited to catch this next chapter of the best TV show in existence. — David Walker

I’ll probably be binge-watching a lot of “Dexter,” along with “Miami Vice,” because who doesn’t love Testarossas and Armani suits? As for some more up-to-date bingeing, asking me what one new show I’m excited for would be like asking parents which child is their favorite. From AMC’s new computer-industry drama “Halt and Catch Fire” to the final season of FX’s surreal talking-dog comedy “Wilfred” and Cinemax’s twisted 1900s medical drama “The Knick” starring Clive Owen, you can’t pick one! — Brendan Suszynski

I don’t really watch very much TV other than my beloved “Downton Abbey,” (which is not going to be on this summer, because life is hard, and I’ll have to wait in pain), but the entire first season of “Modern Family” is sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting patiently until after exam week. I know, it’s not a new show this summer, but it will be new to me, because I’ll be darned if I let another person go on and on about how funny it is! — Claire Conte

It’s time to finish watching the acclaimed “Breaking Bad” on Netflix. — Stacey Keba

Books

The Economist called “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty “the economics book taking the world by storm.” Every copy in the Bucks County library system is checked out, and bookstores can’t even order copies for customers because the book is back-ordered at warehouses. And in perhaps the best testimonials, Amazon users with usernames like “TexasPatriot” have given the book one-star reviews that are filled with scare words like “socialist” and “Marxist” (never mind the fact the book merely calls for reformist measures). “Capital” should make for some good reading this summer. — Adam Davis

Studying and homework usually leaves my mind like a dingy, overcrowded prison, but pretty soon, it’ll be like a seaside motel with some vacancy, and that means I’ll have the attention span and free time to read! I want to dust off the shoebox full of Stephen King door-stoppers I have in my bedroom, but I also want to check out some works by Nic Pizzolatto (“True Detective”), Jeff Lindsay (“Dexter”) and James Sallis (“Drive”), just to see if their crime fiction is as good on paper as it is on-screen. — Brendan Suszynski

As I soak in the warm sun rays of California, I’d like to read Nicholas Sparks’ New York Times best-seller, “The Longest Ride.” I also want to read the entire “Harry Potter” series for the first time. — Stacey Keba

Video games

A fourth “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” for Wii U and, more important, 3DS, is set for release sometime between July 1 (yeah!) and Sept. 30 (sob!). I’m very excited to transfer my accumulated skills at the Wii game to a handheld console. Basically, I can’t wait to defeat all of my friends this summer. — Claire Conte

Mario Kart 8”: Out this week, “Mario Kart” never fails to deliver fun, no matter how disappointing. I’m looking forward to this game’s release. And like Claire, I can’t wait for the 3DS version of “Super Smash Bros. 4.” “Smash Bros.” is probably even more fun than “Mario Kart” and really packs a punch (literally). — David Walker

Summer’s a slow season for video games, but expect me to spend hours hacking up Chicago in “Watch Dogs,” which came out Tuesday, and hacking through robotic Nazis in “Wolfenstein: The New Order,” released earlier this month. — Brendan Suszynski

Activities with family or friends

Although I have not participated in The Color Run in the past, I plan on checking it off my list this summer. Held in various cities throughout the country (Philadelphia’s event takes place July 19, near the stadium complex), the run is coined as “The Happiest 5K on the planet,” which certainly seems right up anyone’s alley. After each kilometer, runners are splattered with a different color of paint … making for a rainbow of runners by the finish line! The run is aimed at promoting healthiness and happiness, and bringing the community together. — Lenny Prosser

I suggest you take a weekend camping trip with your family or friends. My family and I have been going on camping trips for many years, and it’s something I look forward to every summer. There’s nothing better than sitting by the campfire at night and sleeping under the stars. Whether you enjoy physical activities (like fishing, hiking, swimming, etc.), or you just want some time for relaxation, there is no better way to experience all that summer weather has to offer. So turn off your electronic devices and head for the outdoors. — Brian Schoener

Fourth of July fireworks: This “summer must” might seem clichéd, but there are people who have never gone to see their local fireworks on the 4th! Fireworks are a great way to celebrate our nation’s birth and a fun activity for the entire family. — Elizabeth Yardley

Impromptu beach trips

What’s summer without the beach? My favorite must-visit beach is Spring Lake in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The beach has a lovely clientele and the perfect boardwalk area for grabbing another summer must-have … a Chipwich! The best beach trips are planned the evening before, or even the day of … just simply grab a swimsuit and a towel, then hop in the car! In my opinion, the perfect summer day includes having my toes in the ocean, with a good book (preferably a novel by John Green) in one hand and a Chipwich in the other with the vanilla ice cream slowly melting down my forearm. — Lenny Prosser

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