Summer 2012 will be jam-packed with exciting movie releases, beginning with “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” on July 22. It looks so shameless that it just might be awesome.

Next comes the highly anticipated “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” starring Keira Knightley and Steve Carell. The tale begins when an asteroid strikes the earth, and a man finds himself alone after his wife left in a panic. He decides to embark on a journey to reunite with his high school sweetheart, and as could be expected, chaos ensues.

Personally, I’m most excited for “To Rome With Love,” Woody Allen’s follow up to 2011’s “Midnight in Paris.” It is said to be a modern day take on Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” though Allen has denied any correlation. It is presented as four vignettes and features an ensemble cast including Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page.

Pixar fans are rejoicing over the release of “Brave,” due June 22, though critics have not given it the expected rave reviews thus far.

Other notable summer releases include “Ted,” “People Like Us,” “Take This Waltz,” “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and of course, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Notable album releases include Linkin Park’s “Living Things,” Maroon 5’s “Overexposed,” Chris Brown’s “Fortune,” Passion Pit’s “Gossamer,” Aerosmith’s “Music From Another Dimension!” Muse’s “The 2nd Law” and the Gaslight Anthem’s “Handwritten.”

For those willing to make the trek up to San Francisco, the Outside Lands music festival promises to be as mind-blowing as ever. This year’s fest, Aug. 10-12, features Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Jack White, the Foo Fighters, Sigur Ros, The Kills, Regina Spektor, Andrew Bird, Franz Ferdinand and Die Antwoord.

If you aren’t wanting to travel too far, FYF Fest in Los Angeles’ State Historic Park is always a great event, and this year it boasts its best lineup to date. This year’s headliners are Refused, M83, Beirut, James Blake, Quicksand, Yeasayer and Sleigh Bells.

At the UC Riverside California Museum of Photography, “Roots Against the Sky” will be featured through July 14. The exhibit features David Whitmire Hearst Jr.’s recent explorations of the natural world through photography. The prints shed a new light to the colors and patterns found within the natural world, including nature’s imposition on the manmade.

At the Culver Center for the Arts, “Matters of Decay” will be on display through July 28. The exhibit, by Constance Mallinson, showcases the traditional genre of landscape painting while suggest a new way of looking at the world. It also grapples with many of today’s complex environmental issues and complex meditations on the human condition.

For trips outside the Riverside area, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is featuring a great summer package: buy a regular admission ticket before June 30 and receive a summer pass for free. Many summer exhibitions are attention grabbing this year, especially the James Bond feature, which pays homage to the opening credits of 22 Bond films. It will will be on display till Sept. 9.