The season of theater-filling blockbusters is upon us. “Spider-Man 3” is already shoveling in the money, and many other sequels will follow suit this season. Below are some of the more notable members of the summer movie line-up:
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”: In the third installment of the “Pirates” franchise, Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Keira Knightly) team up with the thought-to-be-dead Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to save Jack (Johnny Depp). The trio sail to the Far East in an attempt to save their friend and sometimes enemy from Davy Jones’ Locker. Regardless of the actual quality of the film, this will be a fun one to see. This series of films wasn’t supposed to do spectacularly well, but “Dead Man’s Chest” is expected to be one of the top five highest grossing movies ever.
“Mr. Brooks”: Kevin Costner stars as a “potential” serial killer being tracked by a detective (Demi Moore). It co-stars William Hurt and Dane Cooke, the latter of which will be the obligatory comic relief. I personally haven’t actually liked Costner’s performances in any of his recent “comeback” films, and I doubt that what could very well be a generic film will bring out the best in him. Theoretically this could be a great comeback film for both Costner and Moore, but I doubt it.
“Knocked Up”: Another film from the genius of director Judd Apatow. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl (of “Grey’s Anatomy”) star as a couple who has a one night stand with the dreaded result – she’s knocked up. Judging by the previews, they decide to keep the baby, and hilarity ensues. This could be a big flop, but I think it will be worth checking out. Sometimes all you really need is a good laugh.
“Ocean’s 13”: I cannot wait for this one. I know that “Ocean’s 12” was a bit blah, but in this one the entire team returns, with the addition of Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. Apparently Reuben (Elliott Gould) has been ripped off by Pacino, and the twelve join with former foe Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) to get revenge. The “Ocean’s” series are always so much fun to watch. Other than the obvious man candy buffet, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves immensely.
“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”: I did not see the original “Fantastic Four,” but the title alone on this one makes me want to opt out. This team rejoins as well, and must fend off the Silver Surfer/Norrin Radd. I’d rather have another “X-Men.”
“Nancy Drew”: This confirms my thought that the film industry is trying to convince kids that actually reading stories is a bad idea. Why did they need to make a movie out of this? It stars precious Emma Roberts as Nancy, who solves a movie star’s death while on vacation with her father in Los Angeles. I guarantee that actually sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and reading “The Mystery at Magnolia Mansion” will be infinitely better.
“Evan Almighty”: Former newsanchor Evan Baxter (from “Bruce Almighty”) is now a congressman. He is told by God (Morgan Freeman back again) that their will be a great flood and that he must build an ark. Steve Carrell is always fun, if a bit over the top and hammy a lot of the time. Hopefully this will be as humorous and successful as its predecessor, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
“A Mighty Heart”: Based on the book by Mariane Pearl, Mariane (Angelina Jolie) leads a frantic search for her kidnapped journalist husband, Daniel (Dan Futterman). This will be a hugely affecting movie regardless of how good it actually is, since we all know that the tragic outcome really was. Rumor has it that Pearl loves the way the film came out, so hopefully it will do her story and her late husband’s story justice.
“Live Free or Die Hard”: I am a huge fan of the “Die Hard” trilogy, but I didn’t really feel like a fourth one had to be made. This time John McClane takes on an Internet-based terrorist organization. Apparently the organization is systematically shutting down the United States. Not for long! I hope that this film is a good one. Bruce Willis needs a successful one, and I hope they do the series justice.
“Transformers”: Everybody I know has been talking about this one ever since it was in its early stages of development, so it will be interesting to watch just to see what all of the buzz has been about. Dueling alien robot races (I’m trying to suspend by disbelief) crash on Earth and battle for control over the power source that has kept their feud going for so long. “Transformers” is a Michael Bay film, so there will be explosions and special effects galore. Make sure you sit a few rows back from the screen.
“I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry”: Adam Sandler and Kevin James star as heterosexual firefighters who pretend to be gay in order to receive domestic partner benefits. This will either be hilarious or awful. It’s not usually the premise, but what you do with it. Hopefully we can see some of Sandler’s comedic talents without it lapsing into fart jokes.
“The Simpsons Movie”: There is no way that this will be bad. Even though no one knows what the plot is, I’m sure all of the beloved Simpsons characters will make appearances. If this doesn’t explode at the box office, I don’t know what will.
“The Bourne Ultimatum”: Matt Damon returns as spy Jason Bourne. This time he puts together the final pieces of his identity, as well as the mysterious Treadstone project. Joan Allen costars. The previous two films were fun and well-received, and hopefully the closure provided by the tying up of loose ends of the plot will satisfy.
“Rush Hour 3”: Despite infinite delays, detective buddies Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan re-team to face off Chinese gangsters in Paris. The concept isn’t exactly original, but the two actors are always fun to watch and original director Brett Ratner returns.
“Mr. Bean’s Holiday”: While I do love a good bit of British humor, Mr. Bean doesn’t really float my proverbial boat. However, the original the “Mr. Bean” is one of the highest grossing UK films ever, so fans will flock to this one. Bumbling, socially awkward Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) travels to the south of France on Holiday, and his video diary somehow ends up as a world premiere at Cannes.
Who needs to pay $10 to park at the beach when you can spend the same amount for some quality entertainment in airconditioning? Enjoy!