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).
The beginning of June brings the romantic comedy, The Break Up, with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn as a couple who breaks up, but has to end up living together. I'm really hoping this movie makes a mark this summer; it looks really funny, and the supporting cast is terrific. It's the film that supposedly brought together Jen and Vince as real-life boyfriend and girlfriend; if it is, congratulations - but don't let that taint your image of going or not going (ie: Jersey Girl). Peyton Reed, who directed Bring It On, takes the helm on this one. The Break Up comes to theaters June 2nd.
Fox opens up the month with a rare Tuesday June 6th opening for the horror film, The Omen (06/06/06 - get it). In the remake of the Richard Donner 1976 cult classic, Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles adopt a son, Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), who possibly might be The Devil. Buzz on this film is high, and casting Mia Farrow as Damien's nanny is an awesome idea.
It could have been the last Disney/Pixar collaboration, but we now know Cars will only continue the tradition of great movies. Owen Wilson voices Lightening McQueen, a race car who gets lost in Radiator Springs; that's where he meets a whole new team of friends who help him return to the NASCAR stage. Also voicing cars is legendary actor, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt (who plays Owen's love interest in the movie), 'The King' Richard Petty, and Larry the Cable Guy, among others who have some awesome cameos. Cars, written and directed by John Lasseter, rides onto the big screen on June 9th.
If you want to see Jack Black in a wrestling unitard, check out Nacho Libre - ok, not exactly a unitard, but shouldn't red underwear, tights, and a cape count for something? In the comedy, from the same people who brought us Napoleon Dynamite, Jared and Jerusha Hess, Jack plays Nacho, a guy raised in Mexican monastery and becomes the church cook. When the orphanage is forced to close, he poses as a wrestler to raise money and help save it from financial ruin. I've spoken with Jack about this movie; he's really excited for the release. I'm pretty pumped as well. Nacho Libre romps into theaters June 16th.
Also racing into theaters on the 16th is the third installment of the series The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. This time, Universal completely switches gears and takes the franchise overseas to Japan to look at the world of drift racing; there's also a whole new cast, including Lucas Black, rapper Bow Wow, The O.C.'s Nikki Griffin. Lucas escapes the law by moving to Japan; when he's out of money, he's forced to compete in the Tokyo drift racing underground. A few weeks ago, I got a glimpse of what drift racing is all about. And I have to admit I'm pretty impressed with what I saw; you can check out the article - click here.
The official start of summer kicks off with a bang, or should I say a Click. Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, and Christopher Walken star in the comedy. Adam is a typical family man, works a lot and doesn't have time for his family; one day, when Adam goes to the store, he meets Christopher who gives him a magical remote control. At first, it works great, but unfortunately, the remote control starts taking over his life. At the junket for The Benchwarmers, Rob Schneider mentioned he makes a cameo in the flick - big surprise there, Rob appears in an Adam Sandler movie; but I'm super excited for this movie. Click hits theaters June 23rd.
On June 30th, Superman Returns; fairly newcomer Brandon Routh dons the cape and red and blue suit to fill the shoes of the late Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman. Bryan Singer wrote and directed the film, which also has Kevin Spacey as Lex Luther, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, and X-Men's James Marsden as Richard White (he's part of the love triangle between Clark and Lois). Here's another movie that if you're not excited for, there's something wrong with you; Superman Returns is rated PG-13.
Another blockbuster opens up the first weekend in July - Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley are all back in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. This time around, Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) owes a blood debt to the ghost of Davey Jones and Will Turner (Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Knightley) to help him pay it off. Director Gore Virbinski is also back, along with the same writers, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio; look for this film to kick ass during the summer months and compete with Superman Returns for the summer box office champ. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest sails into theaters July 7th.
Keanu Reeves will be competing with himself this summer, first in The Lake House and then in A Scanner Darkly. Based on true events and the novel by Phillip K. Dick, the film looks at the future war on drugs; also starring in the film are Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Rory Cochrane. A Scanner Darkly opens in theaters July 7th.
Coming to the big screen two days earlier (July 5th) is the newest comedy from the Wayans clan, Little Man. Keenen directs and wrote the script with his two brothers Shawn and Marlon about a guy (Shawn) who mistakenly thinks he adopted a child, but it turns out it's just a short man (Marlon). Coming from these guys, this will be funny.
Owen Wilson is back for another go-round for summer comedies; last year it was Wedding Crashers, this year it's "You, Me and Dupree". Owen plays Randy Dupree, who after falling on hard times, must move in with his best friend (Matt Dillon) and his new wife (Kate Hudson). The premise looks great, and in the trailers, you get to see Kate in her undies - so I'm guessing more to come in the movie! The film is directed by the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, who also did a couple episodes of Arrested Development. "You, Me and Dupree" opens in theaters July 14th.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if your internet connection wasn't going through the portals you thought it was? What if they were going to a whole new world? That's what Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell finds out as she enters the horror realm in the new Demension film, Pulse. It's the remake of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 2001 Japanese movie of the same name. The film follows a group of friends who mistakenly stumble on a wireless signal that allowed an evil to come into the world. Pulse enters theaters July 14th; it's rated R.
If the previous four M. Night Shyamalan ghost movies made your heart race, then his latest, Lady in the Water, should be right up your ally. The modern master of deception is up to his old tricks again in this movie starring Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeffrey Wright, and Freddy Rodriguez. An original idea M. Night used to tell his children, Paul falls in love with Bryce, who is a mythical creature; he brings her back to his village. That's when they discover they're all lost in the middle of a bedtime story and must protect Bryce from the evil monsters trying to take her back to their world. Sounds like another awesome adventure from M. Night; Lady in the Water drops into theaters July 21st.
Also coming out that weekend, from Sony Pictures Animation, along with Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg, is Monster House. The voices in this film start with Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kevin James, Jason Lee, Catherine O'Hara, Kathleen Turner, and Fred Willard. The computer-animated feature focuses on three kids (newcomers Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, and Spencer Locke) who find a real haunted house; it's up to them to overcome their fears and do battle with the demons inside. The buzz on this film is tremendous; I actually know a few people who have been working on this film and they tell me it's going to blow your mind! Monster House will scare up theaters July 21st.
Have you ever had that ex that just won't let it go? Then you'll appreciate My Super Ex-Girlfriend with Luke Wilson, Uma Thurman, and Anna Faris. After Luke and Uma break up, he starts going out with Anna; unfortunately, Uma's a superhero and does everything in her super-power repertoire to break the two of them up. I spoke with Anna about her role in this film, who told me she had an absolute blast working on this movie, and really got a work out. The action comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend, directed by Ivan Reitman, also lands on the big screen July 21st.
The end of July heats up with the return of Tubbs and Crockett in Miami Vice; this time, it's Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell in the lead roles in the adaptation of the 1980's hit television show. Set in modern-day Miami, the two vice cops battle the Florida drug scene. Memoirs of a Geisha's Li Gong co-stars as the love interest of Crockett (Farrell). Miami Vice cruises into theaters July 28th.
Another film very close to me is Fox Searchlight's Little Miss Sunshine; when I first moved out to California, from Baltimore, I got a part in this film (as an extra) in this movie. The film stars Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Greg Kinnear, and 10-year-old Abigail Breslin; when Abigail gets selected to appear in a girl's beauty pageant, the family takes a road trip to support her. That trip lands them in trouble with the law, and in the hospital (don't worry, I won't give away anything else about the plot). This was originally an independent film and was picked up at the Sundance Film Festival by Fox Searchlight. Little Miss Sunshine will open in theaters July 28th; it's rated R.
Mel Gibson's Apocalypto headlines the month of August; the much-kept secret film tells the story of the end of the Mayan empire. If you remember from the teaser-trailer, Mel put himself in one of the frames - I guess he's having fun with this epic movie. The key point I'd like to mention about this film is Mel did not hire any stars; all the actors are first-timers. However, Mel did snag legendary composer, Grammy-winner, and three-time Academy Award-nominated James Horner (Titanic, "An American Tale") to conduct the score - only good things can happen from that. Apocalypto lands in theaters August 4th.
Apparently working enough with Charlie Kaufman will give you crazy ideas; director of two of Kaufman's best works, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Human Nature, Michel Gondry penned his own script and will direct The Science of Sleep. Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a man who believes his dreams have become reality. From what I've seen in the past from Michel Gondry, this should be another fantastic film. The fantasy drama The Science of Sleep opens limited August 4th and nationwide in the following weeks.
The comedy of Will Farrell cannot be stopped - even on the NASCAR circuit! Will stars as the title character in the Judd Apatow-produced Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. He plays a 'balls-to-the-wall' race car driver who gets challenged on the track by a rival Formula One driver (Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Ali G). Written by Will and Adam McKay, who also directs, Talladega Nights runs wild in theaters August 4th.
Were you ever the new kid in town, no friends, nobody to play with but yourself? That's what Lucas Nickle faces in the new Warner Brothers animated film, The Ant Bully. One day when Lucas, voiced by Zach Tyler Eisen, takes out his frustration on a colony of ants, he's shrunk down to the size of his 8-legged foes and learns the true lesson of friendship. Other voices in the film include Nicolas Cage, Bruce Campbell, Paul Giamatti, Regina King, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and Lily Tomlin. The producing team of Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (The Polar Express) get together for The Ant Bully, which opens on the big screen the first weekend of August.
It's going to be one of those questions now - where were you on September 11, 2001? That will be a day we will never forget; in the second of two motion pictures coming out this summer, Oliver Stone and Paramount Pictures take us inside the World Trade Center. The story centers around a group of Port Authority officers who made that sacrifice to save someone else before saving themselves and get trapped in the rubble. Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maria Bello, and Maggie Gyllenhaal headline the cast; World Trade Center comes to theaters August 11th.
Fresh off playing The Shaggy Dog and in between making three Christmas/Santa Claus movies, Tim Allen made Zoom. It's a family comedy, kind of on the same lines as The Incredibles, but live-action; Tim plays an out-of-shape former super hero who has lost his powers. He's asked to turn a group of kids into new generation of superheroes and help save the world. Zoom boasts a pretty good cast with Courtney Cox Arquette, Chevy Chase, Spencer Breslin, and Rip Torn. Zoom blasts onto the big screen August 11th.
Did you have a hard time getting into college? Those rejection letters getting you down? Justin Long has the answer in the comedy, Accepted - just fake it; The Herbie: Fully Loaded star plays Bartleby Gaines as a kid who can't get accepted to a college, so his friends make up a fake college. But when other reject kids start hearing about it, trouble ensues. Accepted hits theaters August 11th.
See a new side of Hillary Swank; the two-time Oscar winner is starring in the new horror thriller, The Reaping. When her family is killed, Hillary starts to look closer at religion; but when she travels to a small town in Louisiana, dark forces start to take over. She must regain her sense of religion and fight the evil spirits. The Reaping creeps onto the big screen August 11th.
In what might be the best ever title for a film, Samuel Jackson stars in the thriller, Snakes on a Plane. It really doesn't get much more simple than that - the name alone tells you what the movie is about. Sam plays an FBI agent transferring a prisoner across the Pacific Ocean; when he escapes, he releases a crate full of poisonous snakes onto the plane. It's up to Sam to help save the plane from crashing and the passengers from getting killed. Snakes on a Plane flies into theaters August 18th; originally rated PG-13, after some re-shoots ordered by New Line, it's now rated R.
12 years in the making - it's the return of Clerks! And they still don't like you! Genius writer and director Kevin Smith finally brings us a sequel to his first big break film with all the returning cast of Brian O'Halloran (Dante) and Jeff Anderson (Randall). Plus, you know Kev has thrown in favorites Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin), and William Black (Scott Mosier, also a producer on the film). Clerks II picks up where the 1994 version left off, except Dante and Randall are working at a McDonalds-style restaurant. Ok, seriously, who cannot wait for this movie! Clerks II hits the big screen August 18th.
The end of August starts off with a Beerfest; the Broken Lizard group, headed by Jay Chandrasekhar, brings us this comedy about two brothers who travel to Germany for Oktoberfest. They discover an ancient tradition of beer games, kind of like an alcohol-typed Fight Club. Jay, along with the other Broken Lizard actors Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme star in the comedy. If you're a fan of the other films from these guys, then you'll like Beerfest; it hits theaters August 25th.
One more August release should spark your interest; video game adaptation DOA Dead or Alive hits theaters August 25th from Demension Films. My Name is Earl's Jamie Pressly and 2Fast 2Furious' Devon Aoki star in the film that will be as sexy and as hardcore as sitting down and playing the Dead or Alive game in your very own living room. DOA Dead or Alive opens August 25th.
A few September releases to be of mention, starting with the British thriller Stormbreaker from The Weinstein Company; Ewan McGregor, Mickey Rourke, and Alex Pettyfer star. Based on the best-selling novel series by Anthony Horowitz, a teenage Alex is forced to join the MI6 special agent program after his uncle (Ewan) dies. Stormbreaker opens in theaters September 1st.
Finally, "L.A. Confidential" director Curtis Hanson will take the helm on the Warner drama Lucky You, starring Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Debra Messing, and Robert Duvall. Eric Roth (Munich, Ali, The Insider) is writing the script that will focus on the world of professional poker in Las Vegas; Eric will play a card champion who is attempting to win a world championship and get over his own demons. Lucky You has a tentative September release.
So there you have it - the 2006 Spring and Summer preview, all the movies you have to see and need to check out. If you have any time left, go outside and enjoy the weather!