It's only been a week, but Spring is in full bloom (even if the weather is not). You know what that means - Major League Baseball is back!!! Oh, and it's time for the studios to start releasing film after film after film.
If you're still not sure what Spring or Summer films are coming out, or if you just want to spend your Spring Break or Summer vacation at the theaters, I'm here to help. After extensive research (ok, not too extensive), I've gone through and found all the movies you have to see, can't miss, bring your kids to, leave them at home - basically the whole gamut of the 2006 season. Someone told me, there's a new Superman movie and X-Men film coming out - not sure if those are just a rumors, or if it's actually true; but if it is true, I'll be sure to let you know all the details (haha).
When I started this search, I had to look at films opening at the beginning of Spring. Since the first weekend of the season is already over, let's start with this upcoming week. And with MLB's opening week, Sony is releasing The Benchwarmers starring Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Heder, and Jon Lovitz. It's about three un-athletic adult guys who decide to form their own baseball team for all the geek kids of their town. The Benchwarmers is produced by Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions, and written by Adam's friends, Allen Covert & Nick Swardson. A fun and funny comedy for all of us nerds of the world.
So you say, you're not in the mood for a comedy? Are you a dancing fan? What about Ballroom Dancing? Ok, I'll admit it - I watched Dancing with the Stars. And when I saw the new film Take the Lead, starring Antonio Banderas, I was actually thinking of going for dance lessons (no, not really - but I did really enjoy the film) and the music is just awesome. From New Line Cinema, Take the Lead is based on the true story of Pierre Dulaine; he's a man who has tried to change the face of the inner city by integrating ballroom dancing in elementary schools. America's Next Top Model fans - Yaya DeCosta co-stars as the troubled youth who just needs some direction in her life. Take the Lead opens April 7th.
You want mystery, suspense, drama - then you're in for a treat with Josh Hartnett in Lucky Number Slevin. Not only does this film have a star-studded cast, but the story is so intense, you'll be guessing and thinking till the very end. The cast includes Oscar winners Morgan Freeman and Sir Ben Kingsley, Lucy Liu, and Bruce Willis. Lucky Number Slevin is a story of mistaken identity, murder, hatred, and twists and turns throughout. This is one film I would recommend for everyone!
Believe me, there are more movies coming out then just this week, so now I'll leave it up to my crack staff to summarize the highlighted films. I happened to see one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time this past weekend - Scary Movie 4! I know you've seen previews, I know you've seen the trailers, this truly is a funny-ass movie! Anna Faris is back as Cindy Campbell in the spoof series; this time, the writers make fun of The Grudge, Saw, The Village, War of the Worlds (and Tom Cruise included), Brokeback Mountain - yes, Anthony Anderson and Kevin Hart are great! Scary Movie 4 is rated PG-13 (don't let that fool you, it's awesome!); it comes to theaters April 14th.
When you look at the movies coming out on April 21st, there's nothing by star power. Take Universal's American Dreamz, which is a spoof movie in some ways as well; it stars Dennis Quaid, Hugh Grant, Mandy Moore, Marcia Gay Harden, Willem Defoe, Chris Klein...the list goes on and on. Dennis is the president of the US; when he falls on hard times, his team of advisors showcase him on the American Idol-type show, American Dreamz. The comedy, written and directed by Paul Weitz, is rated PG-13.
Another presidential film coming out is 24's Kiefer Sutherland in The Sentinel, also starring Michael Douglas, Kim Basinger, and Desperate Housewives' Eva Longoria. Someone in the White House is murdered, Michael Douglas is framed for the crime; in his attempt to plead his innocence, he gets involved with Kiefer - his former protégé. The Sentinel hits theaters April 21st.
For some reason, I'm actually excited about Disney's Stick It, also being released that same weekend. I'm not sure why I'm looking forward to the teen flick, but something about it intrigues me. Missy Peregrym plays a former gymnast who must return to the sport after getting in trouble with the law. Jeff Bridges ('The Dude' from The Big Lebowski) is the girls coach. Surprisingly, Stick It is rated PG-13.
Do you like feel good movies? Do you like to route for the underdog? Well, Akeelah and the Bee is the movie for you! Keke Palmer stars as Akeelah Anderson, a whiz-kid speller living in the inner city of Los Angeles. Her goal is to make it to the National Spelling Bee in Washington DC, thanks to the help of Laurence Fishburne, who is her coach. Angela Bassett co-stars as her mother. Akeelah and the Bee opens in limited release on April 28th and then a wider release in the following weeks. This film reunites Laurence and Angela for the first time since 1993's What's Love Got To Do With It.
For the first time since the September 11th tragedy, a major motion picture based on that day will be released on the big screen. United 93 focuses on the passengers of the third plane to crash on that terrible day in Shanksville, Pennsylvania; they tried to take over the hijackers, but unfortunately failed. Director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy) takes the helm. United 93 is also an April 28th release; it's rated R.
Robin Williams returns in the family comedy RV. When Robin convinces his family (Cheryl Hines, Josh Hutcherson, and JoJo) to go on a road trip, they run into an overly-exuberant clan headed by Jeff Daniels. The antics run wild as Robin and Jeff go back and forth with gags in the Barry Sonnenfeld-directed flick; it's rated PG. In supporting roles are Arrested Development's Tony Hale and Will Arnett. RV rolls into theaters April 28th.
There's a lot more Spring and Summer to come and it starts in May. Ethan Hunt is going to fill up a lot of that time; Tom Cruise is back in Mission: Impossible III, the third installment of the thriller series. Co-starring with Tom is Oscar-winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, and Keri Russell (in a pure coincidence, Michelle and Keri were both born on March 23, 1976). Ok, if you're not excited about this film, there's something wrong with you! Common, you know there's going to be great action, suspense, and drama. Written and directed by J.J. Abrams, "Mission Impossible III" hit's theaters May 5th.
Have you heard the story of Titanic - the boat sinks. Well, another big ship disaster movie is hitting theaters; Warner Brothers is releasing "Poseiden", with a beyond star-studded cast. Kurt Russell headlines, with Josh Lucas, Emmy Rossum, Richard Dreyfuss, and The Black Eyed Peas' Fergie (Stacy Ferguson) co-starring. The story of "Poseiden" is the re-make of the 1972 classic, The Poseiden Adventure. Wolfgang Peterson directs the epic film, and what Josh Lucas told me at the Glory Road junket, "Poseidon was physically insanely difficult. Basically his whole thing was, I do not want to have a movie that relies on CGI, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to have real situations. When you watch the movie you're going see the walls are imploding from the pressure of the water, and there are massive canons of water shooting at us, there are fires and all of it's real." I can only expect greatness from this film, and did I mention Emmy Rossum is in it! Poseidon takes sail in theaters May 12th.
A movie I'm extremely looking forward to is Keeping Up With the Steins, starring Jeremy Piven, Jami Gertz, and Spy Kids" kid actor, Daryl Sabara. In the Jewish religion, there's only one more thing more important than your Bar/Bat Mitzvah - having a party bigger than everyone else. Jeremy and Jami play parents who want to give their son (Daryl) the biggest Bar Mitzvah party in the neighborhood, and they won't stop until they have topped the Steins. Miramax will release Keeping Up With the Steins on May 12th.
A smaller film some people might not hear about is Warner Independent's The Promise, a Chinese fantasy epic. The film is a tale of passion, war, and mythology; a local princess becomes the affection of three different men, from three very different worlds. The Promise opens in limited theaters on May 5th.
In one of the most controversial movies to come out in a long time, Columbia Pictures is releasing The Da Vinci Code. The film stars Tom Hanks, Paul Bettany, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, and Jean Reno in the film adaptation of Dan Brown's New York Times Best Selling novel. Tom is Robert Langdon, he's on the hunt for who killed a curator at the Louvre in Paris; he thinks the clues to the murder are inside the famous Leonardo Da Vinci paintings including the Mona Lisa. What makes this film so controversial is people's feelings towards its Christian-based feel. Ron Howard is directing The Da Vinci Code which hits theaters May 19th.
One more animated feature for the month of May; DreamWorks Animation is taking over the streets with Over The Hedge. A street-smart raccoon, voiced by Bruce Willis, enters the suburban world of the Midwest; it's up to him to help the other forest animals overcome their fears and try and take over the neighborhood. Funny enough, Jim Carrey was originally going to play RJ, the raccoon, but due to a scheduling conflict with Lemony Snicket, he had to drop out. Other actors doing voices for this film are Steve Carell, Garry Shandling, Thomas Hayden Church, Alison Janney, Avril Lavigne, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Nick Nolte, Wanda Sykes, and William Shatner. Believe me, there are a lot more names to rattle off, but that's just a start. Over The Hedge opens in theaters May 19th; it's rated PG.
The end of the month will see the return of everyone's favorite mutants in X-Men: The Last Stand, the final film in the trilogy. Fox is pulling out all the characters for this film including veterans Halle Berry (Storm), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Sir Ian McKellen (Magneto), and Rebecca Romijn (Mystique). But who they're bringing in will top the other two films - Ellen Page (Shadowcat), Vinnie Jones (Juggernaut), Ben Foster (Angel), and Kelsey Grammer (Beast). Ok, I'll admit it - I'm psyched about Beast in this movie, and I think Kelsey Grammer is a perfect fit for the character. I've spoken to both Aaron Stanford (Pyro) and Vinnie Jones about this film; they tell me it's going to be big! Aaron says about his character, "It's bigger; he's become Magneto's right hand man. He's not sure where his allegiance lies; he's friends with Professor X but he also has this urge to spread his wings and find his power with the brotherhood. In X-3 he's definitely off the fence; he's decided where he wants to go. He's off the leash; there's a lot of explosions, a lot of things being set on fire." Directing is Brett Ratner, who takes over for Bryan Singer; X-Men: The Last Stand launches into theaters on May 26th.