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Summer Movie Preview
By Bert Ehrmann
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Fort Wayne Reader
Each summer film season seems to have some sort of theme, be it a summer with a few films about asteroids about to smash into the planet or one chock full of films about future civilizations. Unfortunately, the last few years the theme has consistently been "remakes, comic books and TV adaptations" and this summer seems no different in that respect.
Out May 7 is the film I'm looking forward most to this summer, Iron Man 2. I greatly enjoyed the first Iron Man (2008) and found it to be the perfect antithesis to the grim-and-gritty comic book films that seem to dominate the multiplexes as of late. In Iron Man 2, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) must do battle with evil Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) and Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) out to steal the Iron Man technology.
May 14 Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe team up for the fourth time since Gladiator (2000) in another epic from the past; Robin Hood. Shrek is back for a fourth time May 21st with Shrek Forever After.
Trying to cash in on the "sword and sandals" crowd comes the video game adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on May 28. I can't say that I'm a fan of that particular video game, but my interest in this film piqued when I learned that John August, writer of films like Go (1999) and Big Fish (2003), was acting as one of the executive producers on this film.
The movie I'm looking forward to second most this summer is the big-screen adaptation of TV series The A-Team out June 11. The idea of an A-Team movie has been bouncing around Hollywood for, at this point, decades. And even though I was a big fan of the original as an eight-year-old, I can't say that I was looking forward to this film as an adult. That was until Joe Carnahan, who wrote and directed one of the most underrated films of all-time Narc (2002), stepped in to direct. Carnahan's name alone was enough to sell me on this film. This time, the action is updated to modern times but still follows ex-military soldiers acting as soldiers of fortune after escaping prison "for a crime they didn't commit." This new A-Team stars Liam Neeson as "Hannibal" Smith and Bradley Cooper as Templeton "Faceman" Peck.
Also out June 11 is the remake of another 1980s hit The Karate Kid. The one big update in Kid is that the film takes place in China with Jackie Chan in as the sage teacher role actor Pat Morita defined in the original films.
The weekend of June 18 looks busy with the release of the comic book adaptation of Jonah Hex and the third Toy Story film. Jonah Hex isn't the typical comic book film in that it follows Hex (Josh Brolin), a Civil War vet with one SERIOUS facial scar fighting occult forces in the Wild West. Toy Story 3, or the one film GUARANTEED to turn a profit this summer, revisits Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the toys from Andy's room.
I've been a fan of the Predator franchise since I was a kid and was excited when I heard about the third film in the series, Predators, was due out July 9. That was until I saw Predators stars relatively meek Topher Grace (That '70s Show) and Adrien Brody (The Pianist) neither of which looks to be in the shape to do battle with monstrous aliens Predators. We've gone from musclebound Arnold Schwarzenegger spouting lines in the like, "If it bleeds, we can kill it" to this?
Probably the most interesting looking film due out this summer, July 16, is Christopher Nolan's (director of the recent Batman films) Inception. There's not too much that's been released about this film other than one of the strangest movie trailers I've ever seen. The Inception trailer has trains crashing down city streets and a Matrix-esque fight scene that takes place in a elevator lobby. Strange or not, it's one of the wholly original films this summer and that's got to count for something.
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