Once again summer's right around the corner, and it's almost time to trade in those pencils and books for some quality time by the pool and that dreaded summer job. But save those pennies, because you're gonna want to drop most of them at the movies. This summer is so chock full of blockbusters, you might not even get a tan.
Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
20th Century Fox
Well, the sequel (er, prequel) we've all been waiting for since grade school has finally arrived. Now, an even longer time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Jedi knights Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) are protecting their home planet of Naboo. And, Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. Darth Vader (Jake Lloyd), isn't a bad guy yet he's just a little kid. Heck, most of our favorites Luke, Princess Lea, Han Solo, Chewbacca haven't even been born, so we're not too sure what to expect. But if predictions are correct, the money this baby pulls in is going to make Titanic look like a dinghy.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Yeah, baby! Mike Myers is back as Austin Powers, that mod international man of mystery. And this time, he travels back in time to London during the swingin '60s to face off once again with his arch nemesis Dr. Evil, who is out to control the world. With the help of an American CIA hottie, Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham), Powers shags his way through this groovy romp. This is one shagadelic summer flick that's guaranteed to make you horny, baby.
Wild, Wild West
It's summer, so you had to know Will Smith would be saving the world. Only this time there aren't any aliens. In this film version of the late '60s TV show of the same name, Smith and Kevin Kline play two buddies trying to stop the evil Dr. Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) from killing President Ulysses S. Grant in the mid-1800s. Salma Hayek throws in a little spice as the love interest of both Smith and Kline. So saddle up and see if three times are a charm for our favorite summer superhero.
The Runaway Bride
We knew if we waited long enough, Julia Roberts and Richard Gere would do another movie together. And by golly, we were right. Roberts plays an indecisive woman who's left several grooms at the altar, and Gere plays the newspaper reporter who decides to write about her sad state of affairs. When he writes a scathing piece about her life, the two meet and sparks fly. Just what we'd expect from our favorite Pretty couple.
Adam Sandler has proven he can make just about anything funny. So don't be surprised if his take on fatherhood has you rolling in the aisles. He plays a thirtysomething guy trying to prove to his girlfriend that he's an actual adult. To do so, he decides to accept custody of a precocious five-year-old, and all the responsibilities that come along with it. Watching Sandler navigate the world of purple dinosaurs, sleep deprivation and bed-wetting will remind you once again how someone can turn juvenile bathroom humor into a multi-million-dollar commodity.
Eyes Wide Shut
If Far and Awayis any indication of the box office power behind a Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman big screen pairing, they might be in trouble. But there has been incredible build-up, secrecy, and the promise of more sex than you can shake a stick at surrounding this sexually-charged psychodrama about two psychiatrists who sleep with their patients. So we might have a box-office smash on our hands. If not, everybody's gonna be pretty pissed, since this film is about a zillion years in the making, and the stars tabled their lucrative careers to cater to director Stanley Kubrick's bizarre film-making whims. All eyes are on this one to see if it lives up to the hype.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Well, heidi-ho. Kenny, Kyle, Stan and Cartman are making their way to the big screen. Trey Parker and Matt Stone haven't been too successful thus far in scoring at the box office (think Baseketball and Orgasmo), but this is South Park, after all. And even the most hard-hearted among us can't help but chuckle at phrases like, "Your dog is a gay homosexual" or "Kyle's mom is a big fat bitch" and characters like the singing chef. Who knows, maybe this flick will solve the problem that's been plaguing us since the series' inception why doesn't Kenny ever stay dead?
Ben Stiller and Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) are in this one. Are you laughing yet? Well, both of them, along with a slew of our favorite comedians, including William H. Macy, Hank Azaria and Janeane Garofalo, play superhero wannabes who are called to save their city when the real superhero (Greg Kinnear) has been kidnapped. This comedy based on Bob Burden's Dark Horse comic is even funnier when you consider the villains names are Mr. Furious and Tony Pompadour, a talented but evil disco king. And this flick should be a pretty safe bet for Stiller superhero costumes usually don't have zippers.
20th Century Fox
Don't be fooled by the babe-factor in this dark drama. While Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are pretty easy on the eyes, this promises to be tumultuous on the stomach. David Fincher, the same director who brought us Seven, is back with a story set in the near future about two men who start an underground society where young men can relieve their frustrations by beating each other to a pulp. These clubs turn into a national phenomenon and the founder (Pitt) achieves cult status. We're guessing Seven's head-in-the-box scene is going to pale to some of the stuff you're gonna see here.
Three to Tango
Neve Campbell has proven her ability to carry a feature film. Matthew Perry has not. But perhaps together they can pull off a winner. In this film, Perry plays Oscar, a young architect who is pretending to be gay in order to be near his secret crush (Campbell). The problem is, she's his powerful boss' mistress, and if he wants to keep his job (as well as his health), he needs to keep up the charade. Dylan McDermott plays the powerful boyfriend, and we have a quick question for Neve: How could you possibly think of choosing Perry over McDermott? We'll just have to wait for summer to find out.
By Julie Keller, Assistant Editor
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