Hollywoodâ€™s rolling out the cash cows in herds this summer in hopes of inflating box office profits and covering up the widening gap in original thinking that permeates throughout an industry that struggles to make money without ever questioning its own lack of creativity. While the spiders play, ogres roam with pirates, the Ark is resurrected, and superheroes never die hard, will Hollywood survive a summer that is drowned in nothing more than a glut of overused ideas?
There are a few new concepts, but most of these have been dredged from comic books, old dime store paperbacks, over used icons and Saturday morning cartoons. While I am personally looking forward to seeing a lot of these films, I must also question the lack of anything new under the sun that is gripping all of our creative outlets. Never before has there been a decade in contemporary times that is so unoriginal, so uninspiring, that most of our music, fashion, and movies are dredged up from the past fifty years. We are becoming creatively dead, and the reasons lie at the heads of corporate offices who value money over creative need. But enough of my rant, for itâ€™s summer, itâ€™s sun and fun, a time not to care about such weighty issues, so onward with the movie previews!
Caution: This is no way a complete list of summer movies, just what I have been able to find and the most noteworthy. So donâ€™t hate me if this summer movies suck!
The summer always begins in May, and the first blockbuster out the box is Spiderman 3 on May 4th. The third installment is directed by Sam Raimi and still holds the original cast. Spiderman 3 shows a lot of promise for keeping to its high box office revenues, but the danger in the third release is that it is overloaded with plots and sub plots with three villains, a new love interest, and the symbiotic relationship that develops between Parker (Tobey Maguire) and the alien suit. Rumor around Hollywood is that Raimi threw Venom into this film, just to end his relationship with this series. But I believe this franchise is bulletproof and expect another big win at the box office.
May 11th brings another sequel, this time it is 28 Weeks Later, the follow up to Danny Boyleâ€™s zombie horror film 28 Days Later. Taking place six months after the original, with a different director and no known talent, donâ€™t expect much from this sequel.
On May 18th Shrek the Third arrives in theaters. Another huge box office success, but with the glut of digital animation movies that have hit theaters lately and bombed, it will be interesting to see if Shrek can keep his animation crown.
Another movie coming out that weekend is Captivity about a fashion model (Elisha Cuthbert) and a chauffer (Pruitt Taylor-Vince) who are kidnapped and terrorized and then they fall in love.
On May 28th, Pirates of the Caribbean 3 sails into cinemas. So far, this series has remained critic proof, the unsinkable franchise, and it will be interesting to see how this film holds up against such heavy competition as Shrek and Spiderman. The month of May just might go down as a month that sets box office records with receipts over 600 million from this month alone.
Coming in somewhere between the pirates and cartoons, is John Rambo (title still undecided), another attempt by Sylvester Stallone to rake in cash on the two trick ponies that defined his career.
With May firing such heavy guns, you would think there would be nothing left for the summer, but June continues the procession of sure fire sequels. On June 8, Oceans Thirteen continues to define the new millennium Rat Pack. Returning with the ever widening cast of Hollywoodâ€™s cool cats, it will be interesting to see if moviegoers are still interested in this overused idea.
June 15th brings us Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer. While not in the heavyweight caliber as Spiderman, the first Fantastic Four did well at the box office, but left fans disappointed. This second film is the test for longevity for this franchise that hits the screen in era of Hollywoodâ€™s strip mining of comic books. Could the end of this trend be coming, and will Fantastic Four 2 be the benchmark?
June 22nd brings us another sequel, Evan Almighty. While the only thing remaining from the first one, Bruce Almighty, is God (Morgan Freeman), it interesting that this film goes in a completely different direction than the first and has Steve Carell instead of Jim Carrey. Carell plays a Congressman contracted by God to rebuild the Ark. This might be a saving factor for this movie, which is in all sense a sequel, but it is also completely different comedy.
On June 29th, Live Free or Die Hard blows into theatres. John McClane (Bruce Willis) returns eighteen years later to bring the iconic terroristâ€™s worst nightmare to the screen once again. It will be interesting to see if America is still in love with the action film, and Die Hard has always represented the best of this genre.
Also on the 29th, Pixar releases its own animation feature called Ratatouille, about a mouse with a finicky appetite who lives in the sewers of Paris. So whatâ€™s left for July?
Independence Day has always been a day for original blockbusters. This yearâ€™s heavy hitter is the live action movie Transformers. Directed by Michael Bay and produced by Stephen Spielberg, this movie has been overseen closely by the fan boyâ€™s union and it will be interesting to see if this movie lives up to the hype and if it becomes the next big franchise.
In limited release July 11th comes the sequel Daywatch, the second in a trilogy of horror movies filmed in Russia that have been gaining a cult following in America.
July 13th brings us Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. With the ever expanding size of these books, it almost seems impossible to turn them into movies without losing a lot of the story. With the release of the last book, this movie should do well in the box office, but it now seems like a tired plodding franchise that has over lived its novelty.
Also on July 13th is 1408, a Stephen King horror movie starring John Cusak as a ghost hunter dared to spend the night in a haunted hotel room.
On the 20th, Adam Sandler has a new comedy called I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry about two firefighters who must pretend to be gay to scam an insurance company.
July 27th brings us The Simpsonâ€™s Movie. I think everybody feels that this movie is a little too much, a little too late.
Go see Stardust that weekend, a fantasy based on Neil Gaimanâ€™s popular novel, about a young man who goes on a quest to win the heart of the woman he loves. Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Peter Oâ€™Toole, and Claire Danes star in this science fiction/fantasy feature.
Winding down in August, the studios continue with the sequels as Rush Hour 3 drops in on August 10th and on August 31st we have the return of a horror icon re-imagined by the twisted mind of rob Zombie. Halloween ,the retelling of the legend of Michael Meyers, ends a summer that might prove to be the highest grossing in history while at the same time being the most unoriginal.
But look on the bright side, the rest of 2007/2008 is already to continue the sequel invasion with a new Star trek movie, Hostel 2, Resident Evil3, Saw 4, another Batman and Superman release, and the possibility of even more superheroes to invade the screen like Iron Man and The Green Hornet.
If anyone has an original idea, can you please give it to Hollywood?
WORLD - CULTURE
Copyright © 2010 Crowbar
Summer Movie Preview 2007: The Rise of the Sequels
Copyright © 2010 Crowbar
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