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April 21, 2006

Summer Popcorn Movie Preview

This article notes the coming releases. I've de-queerbait-ified it by taking out all the movies that 15 year olds wouldn't want to see.

I've eliminated these sorts of movies:

Anything with Angela Basset. Or the black chick who isn't Angela Basset. Alfre Woodard or whatever.

Any movie which would probably feature a promotional voice-over says "Paramount Pictures invites you on a journey of self-discovery." Any time a movie "invites" me to see it is just goddamned needy and I want nothing to do with it. And I don't want to know about "self-discovery" unless its lesbian porn. Many of these movies feature Angela Basset or the black chick who isn't Angela Basset, so they're double-secret eliminated.

Any movie with "Water" in the title, because any movie with "Water" in the title sucks. Like Water For Chocolate, Waterworld, etc. Also, any movie with a water-ish word in the title, like "Tides." If you're naming a movie after Tides or Water, that's a pretty good tip-off you have no friggin idea what the hell the movie is supposed to be about. There is a coming release named just-plain "Water," but I'm not mentioning it further.

Any movie named after a place. Any movie named after a place doesn't know what the hell it's about, either. Like, what's Kansas City about? Ummm, Kansas City, I guess, but that's not a plot, that's a setting. When your movie is too "subtle" or "quirky" for a real title, you name it something queer like "Happy, Texas" or "Kalifornia." (Yeah, I know, Miller's Crossing; but the rule doesn't apply with full force to places that are completely fictitious. Like Narnia. And, okay, Chinatown. Whatever. It's an exception that proves the rule.)

Those "inviting," watery kind of pussy movies out of the way, there's some okay ones coming:


APRIL 28

"United 93" Dramatization of Sept. 11, 2001, plane hijacking by terrorists, by "Bloody Sunday" director Paul Greengrass.

Must see.

MAY 5

"Mission: Impossible III" The first blockbuster of summer, with Tom Cruise. Directed by "Alias" creator J.J. Abrams.

Here's the real thing: Tom Cruise set out to create his own James Bond franchise, and he succeeded.

And when I say that, I mean he has created a series of films that offer absolutely no hope of genuine entertainment whatsoever and yet I am compelled to see them in theaters anyway.

I go to James Bond movies just for the James Bond theme, I've decided. Same thing with Mission: Impossible. What is there to these movies except the music that promises excitement that's never actually delivered?

MAY 12

"Art School Confidential" Comedy about misfits attending art school, by "Bad Santa" director Terry Zwigoff and "Ghost World" screenwriter Daniel Clowes.

Eh, could be funny.

"Poseidon" It's sink or swim when a cruise ship turns upside down. Disaster film remake by Wolfgang Petersen stars Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Andre Braugher.

I am so there, despite the annoying presences of Richard Dreyfuss and Andre Braugher. I'm hoping they die instead of Russell.

MAY 19

"The Da Vinci Code" Based on the controversial bestseller, with Tom Hanks.

I'm not going to see it, but I guess other people will.

"Water"

Okay, I swear, I've had this Water rule for ten years. And I said I wouldn't mention this movie, but I have to, just to prove my point. Here's what the movie is about:

Deepa Mehta film about a Hindu girl in an arranged marriage who is widowed and fated to spend the rest of her life in an ashram for widows.

You see what I mean? Any kind of boring-ass multi-culti chick flick has "Water" in the title, and they're all dreary and dreadful.

No f'n' way, Water. No f'n' way.

MAY 26

"X-Men: The Last Stand" Third in superhero series is about a war between humans and mutants. With Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry. By "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner.

And Frasier Krane as Beast. Seriously. I think it's the "Dark Phoenix" saga.

JUNE 2

"The Break-Up" When a couple breaks up, both of them refuse to move out of their condo. Sparks flew between Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn during filming; let's see if they show up on screen.

Um, I could care less if sparks fly. I want to see Vince Vaughan playing a character who is, basically, an arrogant, snide overconfident dick.

What are the odds he's playing that sort of character here? Pretty good, so I'll see it.

"Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School" A dance school changes a widower's life. With Robert Carlyle, Marisa Tomei, Mary Steenburgen, Danny DeVito.

Named after a place, you'll note. I think it should have been called "Marilyn Hotchkiss' Water & Tides School.""

"Peaceful Warrior" Based on Dan Millman's semi-autobiographical book "Way of the Peaceful Warrior," about a gymnast and a mysterious stranger who helps him focus his talent in new ways. With Nick Nolte, Scott Mechlowitz.
"The Sketches of Frank Gehry" Sydney Pollack documentary on the architect.

I forgot to eliminate any movie directed by boring ass Sydnye Pollack.

JUNE 6

"The Omen" Remake of tale about Satan's spawn opens 06/06/06. Get it?

Eff yeah, I get it. I'm there. David Warner being decapitated by a sheet of glass was the first graphic violence I ever saw on TV. I watched that movie thirty times, just to see his blood-spurting head spinning through the air.

JUNE 9

"A Prairie Home Companion" Fictional backstage portrait of homespun public radio variety show, directed by Robert Altman. With Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, Virginia Madsen, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin.

Is there anyway I can pay to not see this movie?

JUNE 16

"The Lake House" Two people who occupied the same vacation home begin a correspondence, only to discover they are living two years apart. Remake of a Japanese film. By Argentine director Alejandro Agresti. With Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock.

Lake. Writing letters to each other. Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock. A sci-fi premise that's not about lasers or robots or anything fun, but about people not being able to connect with eachother.

Sounds like a BLOCKBUSTER.

The "Water" rule never lets you down.

"Nacho Libre" Jack Black as a Mexican wrestler trying to save an orphanage. By "Napoleon Dynamite" writer Jared Hess and "School of Rock" screenwriter Mike White.

Eh, sounds okay.

JUNE 23

"Click" A man discovers a mysterious universal device that allows him to speed up or rewind his life. With Adam Sandler.

Gimmicky.

JUNE 30

"Superman Returns" Another comic book franchise, the original, dusted off for a new generation. Newcomer Brandon Routh is the man of steel, Kevin Spacey is his nemesis Lex Luthor, and Kate Bosworth is Lois Lane. By "X-Men" director Bryan Singer.

Obviously.

JULY 5

"Little Man" A man mistakes a small person for his son. Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, with Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans.

Prediction: 99% of the audience that winds up seeing this film will also have the last name "Wayans."

JULY 7

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" Captain Jack Sparrow owes a debt to the undersea demon Davy Jones. Cast and crew of original hit - Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom and director Gore Verbinski - filmed this and a third sequel due next summer.

Definitely. NOT named after a place, and NOT really having "Water" in the title. It's a subtle rule.

He's up against a Cthulhu-junior type villain.

Movies borrow so much from Cthulhu. Why not just make that damn movie already?

"Wordplay" Documentary about Scrabble players.

Eh, your girlfriend will like it and you won't hate it. So I guess that's a good compromise.

JULY 14

"Pathfinder" A Norse warrior raised by American Indians helps his adopted tribe defend their land against marauding Vikings. With Karl Urban.

No Ninjas?

"You, Me and Dupree" A best man overstays his welcome in the home of newlyweds. With Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon.

Hmmm, will Owen Wilson play a character who is charming but in a very annoying way?

I guess we'll just have to see it to find out.

JULY 21

"Lady in the Water" M. Night Shyamalan fantasy about a building superintendent trying to help a fairy-tale character return home. With Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard.

"Water." I think Shyamalan has just crossed his movie Waterloo.

"My Super Ex-Girlfriend" When his superhero girlfriend turns out to be too possessive, a man discovers breaking up is hard and dangerous to do. With Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson. Directed by Ivan Reitman.

I heard of this movie somewhere else, but I thought it was a joke. Nope.

JULY 28

"Miami Vice" Michael Mann writes and directs updated film version of his 1980s TV series about hip cops, this time with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx.

And for the premiere, I'll be exactly where I was during the 80's every Friday night when Miami Vice was actually on the air -- at home, watching TV.

It will bring back memories.

AUG. 4

"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" NASCAR comedy with Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Looks so-so funny. Best line in the commercial: Will Ferrell, playing a lunkheaded hick who sounds a lot like his George Bush impression, introduces his twin boys as "Walker" and "Texas Ranger."

AUG. 9

"World Trade Center" Based on the true story of two survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Directed by Oliver Stone.

It's sad to have peaked with Conan the Barbarian.

"Zoom" Tim Allen trains kids at a superhero academy.

Umm, they just did it last year with Sky High. Skip this one, rent Sky High, which was great.

AUG. 18

"Clerks II" The further adventures of the slackers, now thirtysomethings, chronicled in Kevin Smith's 1994 debut film.

And the fat guy still can't act.

"Snakes on a Plane" Thriller has become a cult item even before its release. The title says it all: An assassin looses poisonous snakes on an airliner.

Oh yeah.


So, not bad... maybe a movie worth seeing every couple of weeks. And the summer popcorn movie season comes to a climax with Snakes on a Plane.


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posted by Ace at 05:34 PM

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