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Witches, zombies and Martians… My movie going dreams are fulfilled.

By Bert Ehrmann

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Fort Wayne Reader

2005-06-13


The summer movie season is in full swing with bonafide hits such as Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and misses like xXx: State of the Union stinking up movie screens nationwide. (Yeah, they both stunk up the screens, but Revenge of the Sith made a lot more money stinking up the screen than xXx did.)

On Wednesday, June 15 Batman Begins is released in attempt to take the Batman franchise from simple "franchise" status to "money-making franchise" status. This new movie supposedly takes Batman back to his roots. Here, millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne is introduced, as he trains around the world to one day become the "Caped Crusader." Upon his return home to Gotham City, he must do battle with Ra's Al Ghul, a villain bent on world domination, and The Scarecrow, an ex-psychologist who attacks with drugs that induce fear in his victims. (Bert excitement factor - 9/10)

On June 24, Bewitched and Land of the Dead shamble their way into theaters. (And trust me, after seeing the movie trailer for Bewitched "shamble" is about the best thing I have to say about that movie.) Bewitched is the big-screen adaptation of the television series of the same name. Here, Nicole Kidman plays an actress in the role of Samantha Stevens on a television show called Bewitched who just happens to really be a witch. Will Ferrell stars as her onscreen husband who is unaware of his co-stars "real" powers. Confused? Me too. (Bert excitement factor - 3/10)

That same day George Romero's fourth zombie movie Land of the Dead opens, pushed up from its original release date this fall. Here, the zombies have totally taken over the planet, forcing the last vestiges of humanity into fortified city enclaves. (Bert excitement factor - 8/10)

The July 4th weekend features the movie I'm most excited about this summer. Supposedly, War of the Worlds is not a remake of the previous 1953 movie or the 1930s Orson Wells’ radio broadcast of the same name, but instead takes much of its story from the H.G. Wells novel, with the Martians in the guise of the original three-legged "tripods" scooping their victims up with long tentacled "arms". (Bert excitement factor - 10/10)

On July, 8 Dark Water and Fantastic Four are released. In Dark Water, Jennifer Connelly plays a mother dealing with the supernatural in a very wet looking city in the American northwest. To me, Dark Water sounds and looks a lot like The Ring (2002) and in fact each movie is based off of novels from the same Japanese writer. (Bert excitement factor - 4/10)

The Fantastic Four also comes out on July, 8 continuing the long line of Marvel comics to be turned into movies in the last five years. The "Fantastic Four" are a quartet of astronauts and scientists given extraordinary powers after a trip into space. Also on this trip, and wanting to do evil with his powers instead of good, is Victor Von Doom – the nemesis of The Fantastic Four.

I can't say that I'm all that excited about seeing the movie after watching the trailers released in the last few months. Some of the acting/characters/lines are cringe-worthy and the designs of the movie look as if they were lifted directly from an unused Spider-Man sequel. (Bert excitement factor - 5/10)

They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Does that mean that the parrot if the most flattering bird?

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