Summer has arrived in the form of a certain webslinging box-office record breaker, and it looks like the onslaught of can-you-top-this moneymakers won't stop there.
Never has a summer movie season been so chock-full of sequels. Really. In the next couple of months, our great American megaplexes will be graced with the razzle-dazzle of fourteen (14!) sequels. That's 14 movies featuring the same characters, recycling the same magic tricks, the same jokes, and the same CGI wizardry contrived to Blow. Our. Freaking. Minds.
And never have I been this apathetic about a summer movie season. Really. Spider-Man 3? As I type this, I still haven't seen it. Pirates 3? I'll go only to see my writing partner's name scroll by in the end credits. Shrek 3? I'll wait until all of the kiddies have cleared the theaters - Come on, how many times can Dreamworks bash Disney and make questionably witty pop-culture references (which is sooo 2002, no?).
All three of these films are being released within one month, and all three will debut with the hopes of topping each other in ticket sales. It's not hard to imagine studio suits getting revved up to compete like playground bullies ("My movie's bigger than yours!" "Oh yeah? My movie has a bigger opening weekend!")
So, rather than bestow upon you the summer movie recap/review I usually hand out at the end of August, I shall share my thoughts on what this summer will be like for the popcorn-inhaling public of America:
1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (a.k.a. Harry Potter 5) - Possibly the only franchise installment I am anticipating this season. Harry grows up. Harry gets horny. Harry learns how to kick some serious ass.
2. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Hopefully FF2 follows the rule of X-Men, which dictates that audiences shall be treated to a far more superior sequel than the original (remember that lameass piece of 2005 celluloid?). Here's hoping.
3. Ocean's Thirteen - Another Part 3 to digest this summer. George will be slick. Brad will be sexy in that subtle/smoldering way. Ellen Barkin fills in for Julia. And the rest of those schmos will fall into the background as Vegas braces for another grand scheme.
4. The Bourne Ultimatum - True, Matt Damon stars in the previously listed film, but this is his real summer movie. Hard, organic action = Tasty.
5. 28 Weeks Later - British horror. Spanish director. Sign me up.
6. Knocked Up - Chubby Nerdy Guy has one night stand with Hot Blonde. Just like in real life.
7. Live Free or Die Hard (a.k.a. Die Hard 4) - John McClaine finds out someone has been stealing Metamucil from his AARP friends and proceeds to blow shit up. Justin Long (a.k.a. That Mac Kid) overstays his welcome as Young Comic Sidekick, written into the script to draw audience members who were born after the first Die Hard.
8. Georgia Rule - The movie during which Jane Fonda bitchslaps Lindsay Lohan into submission while Felicity Huffman looks on in disinterest. From the man who brought us Pretty Woman no less.
9. Transformers - A feel-good, Save-the-Environment film. Young Indiana Jones (I mean, Shia LeBeouf) and his incredibly hot girlfriend race against time to prevent Xerox machines from destroying our planet. Meanwhile, Josh Duhamel frolicks in the desert with his troops and goes head-to-head with a testy George Foreman Grill.
10. Rush Hour 3 - Anything with the words Brett and Ratner attached to it I throw in the garbage.
11. Hairspray - John Travolta. As a singing fat woman. Who goes up against Queen Latifah...who is a...[fill in the blank].
12. The Invasion - Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig try to tell us body snatchers have taken over the world. The leader of the alien attack? Last name: Cruise. First name: Tom.
13. No Reservations - Catherine Zeta-Jones is a hot chef who inherits her precocious niece (Abigail Breslin) and falls in love with her cooking rival (Aaron Eckhart), who teaches her that "it's okay to let people in sometimes." Chick-lit readers across America let out a collective "Aw!"
14. Stardust - A Princess Bride for the new millennium? Claire Danes dons a peasant dress and a British accent. Michelle Pfeiffer plays a wicked witch. And Robert DeNiro steers a magical, flying pirate ship. Somewhere William Goldman is spinning in his grave...in the plot of land he just purchased.
15. Halloween - Rob Zombie takes the reins of what is possibly the ultimate in horror remakes. And the riskiest. Once again, fanboys bite their nails as another classic is "reimagined".
So, break out the sunscreen. Turn on the AC. Slip into those flip-flops.
The box-office is waiting for you.