Welcome to MovieWeb's Summer Preview: June - By Brian Gallagher
It’s coming up on that time of the year again. The sun is shining, adults are skipping work to play golf and students are skipping class to do, well, whatever it is they do when they’re not in class. It was a case of Budweiser and a porterhouse for me on days too nice to go to class, but I digress. The best part about spring time, is that summer time is just around the corner. And summer time brings us the most extravagant blockbuster movies of the year. Last summer, Johnny Depp gained mainstream popularity (finally!), Bennifer faltered, and we saw more sequels than I can remember seeing over a summer. What’s in store for this summer? Let’s take a look at what’s coming, as they say, to a theater near you, this summer. All release dates are subject to change.
Click on a date to find more releases surrounding the date. For more information on any of the films, click the title or the poster for the film!
|Movie Picture||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Ruppert Grint|
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
It looks like Mr. Potter and Co. have this weekend all to themselves now, after the recent release-date shift of Renny Harlin’s Mindhunters. This is probably a good thing for everyone involved, because now, after the first two Potter books were smash successes, it’s pretty clear that nothing will stop any of the Potter movies from being blockbusters. I’ll admit that I haven’t read any of J.K. Rowling’s insanely successful books, but I hear that this is probably the best one. And from what I’ve seen of the movie, Azkaban looks like the best movie of the series so far. It looks a lot darker than the first two, with some great additions to the cast with Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson, and Michael Gambon replacing the late Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore. And with the artful Alfonso Cuaron (Great Expectations, Y tu Mama Tambien) at the helm, it will be especially intriguing to see how the third chapter in this wonderful series turns out.
|Movie Picture||The Chronicles of Riddick: Starring Vin Diesel, Judy Dench, Colm Feore|
Directed by David Twohy
It might seem like a long time since we’ve seen the bald bad boy Vin Diesel on the silver screen. He was in last year’s A Man Apart, but about 8 people saw it… After that flop, and him turning down 2 Fast 2 Furious and xXx 2, Mr. Diesel is finally coming back. And he’s coming back to his roots, fittingly enough, in the role that made him a star: the nefarious, silver-eyed Riddick, from the indie hit Pitch Black. The sequel takes place 5 years after the first, with Riddick, still on the lam, getting caught in the middle of an inter-galactic battle. Seeing Dame Judy Dench listed alongside Vin Diesel might seem a tad odd, but it will be nice to see her in this sort of movie. I am definitely looking forward to how they flesh out this wonderful character, and where they take this potential franchise from here.
|Movie Picture||The Stepford Wives: Starring Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick|
Directed by Frank Oz
You’ve heard of mail-order brides, right? Well, with The Stepford Wives, they bring us made-to-order brides. Nicole Kidman moves to the quaint town of Stepford Connecticut, and slowly realizes that the wives in the town are just too perfect. She ultimately realizes, along with her new pal Bette Midler, that the husbands are replacing their wives with identical, subservient robotic clones. The premise sounds very interesting, and I’m sure Kidman will be great, as well as Broderick. But Bette Midler is just too good at being annoying (See: Drowning Mona, Get Shorty), and I’m sure she will annoy me here as well.
|Movie Picture||Garfield The Movie: Starring Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Bill Murray|
Directed by Peter Hewitt
Well, the one good thing about this movie is they didn’t call it Garfield’s Big Movie, like Piglet, or Garfield’s Really Big Movie, like Clifford. What I find funny about the Big Movie and Really Big Movie titles, is that the movies were both about 75 minutes long. Is their Humongous Movie a whopping 90 minutes? Anyway, I cringed when I saw Garfield do the Risky Business dance in the trailer, and I cringed even more when I saw the dopey Breckin Meyer play Jon, and the somehow dopier Jennifer Love Hewitt play his “love interest” veterinarian. Sure, Bill Murray might be funny as Garfield’s voice, but this movie just looks dreadful, and a sure lock for the Razzies.
|Movie Picture||The Terminal: Starring Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci|
Directed by Steven Speilberg
This is the one I’m really psyched for this summer. Tom Hanks stars in this movie, based on a nearly-unbelievable true story about a man left, basically, without a country to return home to, and was stuck living in an airport terminal for years. While he’s living in the terminal, he catches the eye of the always-lovely Catherine Zeta-Jones. If only I knew that was how to get Catherine Zeta-Jones’ attention… This movie has all the elements to be a huge hit. Speilberg did great with his last nearly-unbelievable true story, Catch Me If You Can, and he’s re-teaming with that movie’s screenwriter, Jeff Nathanson. And, on top of that, Hanks and Zeta-Jones have more than proved their diversity, so look for them to shine as well. This movie might be another summer surprise come Oscar season.
|Movie Picture||Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story: Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor|
Directed by Rawson Mitchell Thurber
This honestly looks pretty funny. I know Stiller hasn’t had the greatest track record of late (See: Along Came Polly, Envy), but he usually shines when he plays a character outside of his normal routine. And then there’s Vince Vaughn. When has he not been “money,” even when the movie sucked? I doubt that this movie is a “true” underdog story, and I’m not the biggest fan of Stiller’s wife, Christine Taylor… her acting, I mean. But I think Stiller and Vaughn can make it work. And it’s a movie about dodgeball, people! That’s just funny on its own.
|Movie Picture||The Door in the Floor: Starring Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, Jon Foster|
Directed by Tod Williams
This is probably one of the dumbest titles of the summer, maybe even the whole year, but it might not be too bad. The title just sounds too much like a bad horror movie…or an Adam Sandler rhyme sequence from Happy Gilmore. “Open the door in the floor, and you’ll be poor. Quoth the raven, nevermore…” But, title aside, this might be a winner, with a darkish plot about a couple mired by tragedy, who use a young boy to spark some changes in their lives. Bridges is an outstanding actor, Basinger is usually on point, and Jon Phillips looks to give a breakthrough performance here. It will be interesting to see if this drama can find a niche in the action/comedy-filled summer.
|Movie Picture||White Chicks: Starring Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Busy Phillips|
Directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans
After the Wayans brothers went absent from the third Scary Movie, I had to wonder/dread what they were going to take on next. After I saw the trailer, my instinct of dread was fully realized. Even if you take away the incredibly stupid concept of protecting hotel heiresses (hmmm, I wonder who that could be modeled after?), it’s the Wayans brothers dressing up as white girls! Have they been hanging around with Rob Schneider too much? I would like to hope that this movie will be the From Justin to Kelly, in terms of box-office success, but it will probably be a moderate hit, which is just sad.
The Notebook: Starring Gena Rowlands, James Garner, Rachel McAdams
Directed by Nick Cassavetes
What would a summer be without a schmaltzy date movie? The Notebook will probably be a big success, because it’s the first of the few romantic comedies this summer. The story cuts between the present and the past, as James Garner tells this story, via a notebook, to Gena Rowlands, in a nursing home, about a young couple. The cast here is pretty decent, with Joan Allen and Ryan Gosling also starring. Look for this movie to be used as leverage for many a girlfriend. “You dragged me to Chronicles of Riddick, so now we’re seeing this.” Good luck, guys...
|Movie Picture||Two Brothers: Starring Guy Pearce, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu|
Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud
This is the first non-Pixar aminated flick in quite awhile that I will go and see. Maybe that’s because it’s the first non-Pixar animated movie that tries to cater to ages over 10. And it looks like this movie has a decent plot here too, with Guy Pearce bringing together two bears, who have been separated since birth, and now must fight each other for Pearce. The animation just looks wonderful here, and, if this is in my neighborhood, I will most definitely check this out.
|Movie Picture||Spider-man 2: Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina|
Directed by Sam Raimi
While most of the principals remain the same from the first movie, the new screenwriters are very interesting, considering their background. Novelist Michael Chabon took the first stab at the script, but he only got a story credit. Same with Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. But the main screenwriter, Alvin Sargent, is primarily known for dramas (See: Unfaithful and 1980 Best Picture winner Ordinary People). I think this is definitely a good thing, and it will make this more of a serious movie. Some of the popcorn-flick elements still seem to be in place, with plenty of great action and web-slinging throughout The Big Apple. But this looks much darker than the first, and I think that is good for everyone involved. Maguire and Dunst look to be on their game here, and Alfred Molina is a perfect choice to play the villain Doc Ock. This will be a great way to close out the month of June.