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Summer Movie Preview

By Bert Ehrmann

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Fort Wayne Reader


The 2009 summer movie season kicks off May 1 with the X-Men spin-off movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I liked X-Men (2000), loved X2 (2003) but thought that X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) was lacking just about everything a movie can lack. Though I’d agree that spinning off Wolverine, arguably the most popular character in the franchise is probably a good idea, I’d say that if the Wolverine tanks at the box office, he’ll probably take down the entire rest of the X-Men franchise and any other character’s chances of their own spin-off movies down with him.

On May 8 Star Trek returns from a seven-year theatrical hiatus with a reboot of the original series in the simply titled Star Trek. I’ve been fan of Star Trek since middle school and couldn’t be happier that director J.J Abrams is helming this project. But still, do they really have to reboot the original series? Couldn’t they just make up some new storyline with a new crew that takes place someplace else in the massive Star Trek galaxy?

A fourth Terminator movie, Terminator: Salvation, blasts into theaters May 22. Much like the X-Men series, the first Terminator (1984) was great and the second T2 (1992) was even better but the third was a letdown at best. Hopefully this fourth “Future War” installment starring Christian Bale will reverse this downward trend.

Coming off the heels of their most critically acclaimed movie to date, Wall•E, Pixar will release Up on May 29. Described by the director of Wall•E as a “senior citizen action adventure,” Up is about a guy who attaches balloons to his house and floats up to adventure.

Will Ferrell is set to bring the 1970s Saturday morning classic Land of the Lost and all the Sleestak goodness you can handle to the big-screen June 5. On June 26 a second Transformers movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, assembles in theaters. I disliked the first Transformers (2007) with a passion and can’t imagine that the second will be any better.

Christian Bale and Johnny Depp are set to square off as 1930s lawman and mobster bad guy John Dillenger respectively in Public Enemies. Enemies is due out July 1 and is directed by Michael Mann who also helmed Collateral (2004) and Miami Vice (2006).

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is due out July 17 and the less said about that the better. The remake The Taking of Pelham 123 is out July 31. I’ve always been a fan of the 1974 original starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw and have very high hopes for this remake even if it’s directed by “razzle dazzle” director Tony Scott.

Quentin Tarantino’s next movie Inglorious Bastards is set to invade theaters on August 21. Bastards is a remake of an Italian movie that itself was a take on The Dirty Dozen so much so that the original movie’s tag-line was “Whatever the Dirty Dozen did, they do it dirtier!” Bastards stars a cast as diverse as Brad Pitt, B.J. Novak of The Office and Mr. Austin Powers himself Mike Myers. I’m sold!

When I was growing up, some of my friends were into He-Man, others ThunderCats but I was always a GI Joe kid. I liked that all the Joes had their own look and personality while doing battle with Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world. So, I was a bit concerned to learn that a big screen version of GI Joe entitled GI Joe: Rise of Cobra is set to be released in theaters August 21, nearly 20 years after the franchise was at its height of popularity.

This time, a uniformly black clad GI Joe team is set to be led by the likes of Channing Tatum (Step Up) as Duke and Marlon Wayans (Norbit) as Ripcord who face off against Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Lookout) who’s about as threatening as a bag of rags as the devious Cobra Commander. Did I mention that Stephen Sommers who also directed such lambasted movies like The Mummy (1999) and Van Helsing (2004) is writing and directing? Oh well, childhood memories are overrated anyway. E-mail me at words@dangerousuniverse.com.

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