Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Suffering from Sequelitis? Our 10 Summer Movie Alternatives!

I picked up the Summer Movie Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly recently, one of my guilty pleasures that I devour cover to cover. Sure, Spider-Man 3 was on the cover--no surprise--but I was looking forward to finding out what exciting new movies would be coming out this summer. But page after page I found myself flashing back to 2005, 2003, 2001... flashing back to TV shows, to movies that sounded eerily familiar because they HAD ALREADY BEEN MADE! For example, this is just a sampling of what Summer 2007 has to offer:

Pirates of the Caribbean 3
Spider-Man 3
Shrek 3
Rush Hour 3
28 Days Later 2
Harry Potter XXXIII
Fantastic Four 2
Oceans 13
Evan Almighty
(offshoot of Bruce Almighty)
Die Hard 4 (who asked for this?)
The Simpsons Movie (TV to big screen... OK, I'll actually see this one)
Hairspray (remake of a musical that remade a movie!)
The Transformers (fer cryin' out loud!)
No Reservations (remake of German film Mostly Martha)
Invasion (Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake)
Halloween (a, uh, Halloween remake by Rob Zombie)

... and on and on and on.

So, I decided to look at the summer schedule very very closely. I knew there had to be some gems for the rest of us... those of us who don't demand the same movies and characters over and over.

After careful note-taking, here I offer 10 OTHER movies that I'm looking forward to... 10 movies that I hold high hopes for, based on their descriptions or credentials. 10 movies that I encourage everyone to seek out... (that is if there are any more screens available after the sequels have belched forth!). So, in no particular order:

1) Waitress - Enthusiastically received at Sundance after the untimely murder of writer/director/costar Adrienne Shelly, Waitress stars adorable Keri Russell (Felicity), Nathan Fillon (Firefly/Serenity), and pie. Yes, PIE! I say you can't go wrong with a romantic comedy co-starring PIE! (already playing -

2) Knocked Up - I'm sure this comedy will get people riled up, as it is about two mis-matched young adults deciding to have a baby conceived from a one-night stand. But it stars my latest comedic crush Seth Rogan (Undeclared, Freaks and Geeks), Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy), and it was made by the folks who gave us The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Frankly, I have high hope that it's gonna be AWESOME! (opens June 1 -

3) Evening - Vanessa Redgrave lies bedridden and dying, and tells her daughters (Toni Collete and Natasha Richardson) of a closely held dark secret from the days when she was a young woman in love. It co-stars Claire Danes, Patrick Wilson, Glenn Close, and... wait for it... Meryl Streep. Adapted by Michael Cunningham (The Hours), it is a much appreciated adult weepie in a season where we otherwise get to choose from watching spider super-powers and fat cartoon ogres. The freakin' trailer for this film makes me feel like sobbing! (opens June 29 -

4) Severance - The press release calls this movie "The Office meets Deliverance". A corporate team-building event in the mountains goes horribly, bloodily awry. As someone who has been laid-off four times, I was sold on the title alone. (opens limited May 18th -

5) Ratatouille - The new movie from Pixar. 'Nuff said! (Let's just hope the name doesn't confuse people into thinking it might be something dreadful and French. It's bad enough that there is a pronunciation guide under the title on the official website. Not a good sign for a movie whose target audience revers one-syllable movies like Shrek.) (opens June 29 -

6) 1408 - Why not a Stephen King adaptation to break up the summer cheeriness? Why not cast it with the fabulously under-appreciated John Cusack? Why not take the claustrophic horror of The Shining and cram it into one room, instead of a whole hotel? Heck, sign me up! (opens June 22 -

7) Talk to Me - In this 1960s period piece based on a true story, Don Cheadle plays an ex-con named Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene Jr. who gets a radio talk show. It co-stars the lovely and excellent Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things, Kinky Boots) as his producer. I would watch those two read a phone book. Plus, according to the film stills, there is bound to be some excellent hair and walrus moustaches! (opens July 13 -

8) A Mighty Heart - Angeline Jolie aims to regain her acting cred with this true-story drama. Remember Daniel Pearl, the journalist who was beheaded by terrorists? This is the story of Pearl's wife, Marianne, one tough lady who gave birth to their child after her husband's grisly and public death. Apparently it is a story about rising above bitterness and hatred, a lesson that we all could use. Directed by Michael Winterbottom (Road to Guantanamo, Welcome to Sarajevo), it is bound to be interesting. (opens June 22 -

9) Fido - This blurb says it all: "Timmy Robinson's best friend in the whole wide world is a six-foot tall rotting zombie named Fido. But when FIDO eats the next-door neighbor, Mom and Dad hit the roof, and Timmy has to go to the ends of the earth to keep Fido a part of the family." The film stars creepy Dylan Baker, hee-larious Billy Connolly, and smokin-hot Carrie-Anne Moss. (opens June 15 -

10) Superbad - What is summer without a teen sex comedy? Co-written by Seth Rogen (see Knocked Up) the trailer for this dorks-try-to-get-laid quest made a roomful of jaded movie critics chortle. (opens August 17 -

Tell me that I'm not the only one who is tired of sequels. Let me know what you are looking forward to seeing this summer!


Vickie said...

I saw Fido at TIFF and thought it was cute. Linda, your C-AM crush will only intensify with this one.

I, too, was looking forward to Knocked Up, but having been reading some rather un-glowing reviews lately.

Jennifer said...

Oh dear, is it wrong that I'm super-excited for Pirates 3, Shrek 3, and Ocean's 13 (but only because of Hot Al)? Hopefully the fact that I LOVED Waitress saves my credibility a little.

Aw, who am I kidding? Everybody knows I'm a sucker for glossy, over-produced boy movies.