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This summer, it's not enough for heroes to have superpowers; they have to suffer existentially as well. The protagonists of films like The Amazing Spider-Man 3-D and The Dark Knight Rises remain outwardly indomitable as they battle millions of dollars of special effects, but inwardly they suffer, with guilt and angst plunging them deeper into flashbacks, backstories, and secret-identity crises. In short, lots of fun for those eager to indulge nagging anxieties and power fantasies, not to mention a taste for comic-book trivia.

And for those in the mood for something lighter on the special effects and explosions, there are alternatives. Such as a flaky indie outing by a French female filmmaker, Julie Delpy's 2 Days in New York. Or a ribald film in which the heroes have nothing to hide, Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike.

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  Topics: Features , Alex Pettyfer, Channing Tatum, The Dark Knight Rises,  More more >
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