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By Wilson Morales
Just like last summer, when the season was totally dominated by the amount of sequels that came out, this summer is no different. There won't be sequels coming out every week, but there's enough to stop any new film looking build a fan base. The sequels to Shrek, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, Pitch Black, The Bourne Identity, and The Princess Diaries should bring in fans back to the theatre. If sequels are not in this year, then it's remakes. There's a growing trend these days to remake foreign and classic films. Foreign films can be redone to lure a new audience to the story, but when you remake a classic film like "The Manchurian Candidate", you better have the right cast and the right director. Well, the teaming of Jonathan Demme and Denzel Washington should hopefully put those who loved the original at ease. What would the summer be without the use of CGI, and we'll have plenty of those with "Van Helsing", "The Day After Tomorrow", and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", just to name a few. Repeat viewings usually come from the kids, and every studio hopes that their family film will do that. Family films include Harry Potter, Garfield, Shrek 2, and Thunderbirds. Legendary figures will be displayed on the screen as the story of Achilles is told in "Troy" as well as a new version of "King Arthur". Marvel Comics should be increase in sales as "Spider-Man 2" comes out as well as "Catwoman", starring Oscar winner Halle Berry. And finally, if "Freddy Vs. Jason" can bring in fans of each film, then why not "Alien Vs. Predator". It will certainly be a battle at the box office for supremacy.
Set in the late 19th century, this action adventure finds Bram Stoker's fabled monster-hunter, Van Helsing, summond to a distant Eastern European land on a quest to vanquish evil (where Dracula, the Frankenstein monster and the Wolf Man "return to the screen as complex, multi-dimensional beings re-imagined by writer/ director Stephen Sommers").
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh, and Will Kemp
BREAKIN ALL THE RULES
Jamie Foxx stars as Quincy who, after being unceremoniously dumped by his fiancée, pens a "how to" book on breaking up and becomes a best-selling author on the subject. Not wanting his male friends to suffer the same fate, he gives them advice on dumping their mates. When Quincy's cousin enlists his help to break up with his girlfriend (Gabrielle Union) for him, Quincy ends up falling for her.What ensues is a hilarious comedy of errors.
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Moris Chestnut, Bianca Lawson, and Jennifer Esposito
COFFEE & CIGARETTES
Coffee and Cigarettes is a comic series of short vignettes that build on one another to create a cumulative effect as the characters discuss things as diverse as caffeine popsicles, Paris in the twenties, and the use of nicotine as an insecticide, all the while sitting around sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes. As Jarmusch delves into the normal pace of our world from an extraordinary angle, he shows just how absorbing the obsessions, joys, and addictions of life can be.
Cast: Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Joie Lee, Steve Buscemi, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Joe Rigano, Vinny Vella, Vinny Vella, Jr., Renee French, E.J. Rodriguez, Alex Descas, Isaach De Bankole, Cate Blanchett, Meg White, Jack White, Alfred Molina, Steve Coogan, GZA, RZA, Bill Murray, Bill Rice, Taylor Mead
Throughout time, men have waged war. Some for power, some for glory, some for honor and some for love. In ancient Greece, the passion of two of history's most legendary lovers, Paris, Prince of Troy (ORLANDO BLOOM) and Helen (DIANE KRUGER), Queen of Sparta, ignites a war that will devastate a civilization. When Paris steals Helen away from her husband, King Menelaus (BRENDAN GLEESON), it is an insult that cannot be suffered. Familial pride dictates that an affront to Menelaus is an affront to his brother Agamemnon (BRIAN COX), powerful King of the Myceneans, who soon unites all the massive tribes of Greece to steal Helen back from Troy in defense of his brother's honor. In truth, Agamemnon's pursuit of honor is corrupted by his overwhelming greed he needs control of Troy to ensure the supremacy of his already vast empire. The walled city, under the leadership of King Prium (PETER O'TOOLE) and defended by mighty Prince Hector (ERIC BANA), is a citadel that no army has been able to breach. One man alone stands as the key to victory or defeat over Troy Achilles (BRAD PITT), believed to be the greatest warrior alive. Arrogant, rebellious and seemingly invincible, Achilles has no allegiance to anyone or anything, save his own glory. It is his insatiable hunger for eternal renown that leads him to attack the gates of Troy under Agamemnon's banner but it will be love that ultimately decides his fate. Two worlds will go to war for honor and power. Thousands will fall in pursuit of glory. And for love, a nation will burn to the ground.
Cast: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Diane Kruger, Peter O'Toole, and Brian Cox.
The natural order of fairy tales is interrupted in the sequel to the Academy Award®-winning blockbuster "Shrek." "Shrek 2" sends Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona on a whirlwind of new adventures with more fairy-tale favorites to lampoon along the way. After battling a fire-breathing dragon and the evil Lord Farquaad to win the hand of Princess Fiona, Shrek now faces his greatest challenge: the in-laws. Shrek and Princess Fiona return from their honeymoon to find an invitation to visit Fiona's parents, the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Far, Far Away. With Donkey along for the ride, the newlyweds set off. All of the citizens of Far, Far Away turn out to greet their returning Princess, and her parents happily anticipate the homecoming of their daughter and her new Prince. But no one could have prepared them for the sight of their new son-in-law, not to mention how much their little girl had well changed. Little did Shrek and Fiona know that their marriage had foiled all of her father's plans for her future and his own. Now the King must enlist the help of a powerful Fairy Godmother, the handsome Prince Charming and that famed ogre killer Puss In Boots to put right his version of "happily ever after."
Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Cleese, John Lithgow, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, and Jennifer Saunders
After his comedy WATERMELON MAN, Melvin Van Peebles was determined to push the Hollywood boundaries with the even more controversial, SWEET SWEETBACKS BAADASSSSS SONG. Turned down by every major studio, Melvin was forced to self-finance. Risking everything he had, Melvin delivered to the world the first Black Ghetto hero on the big screen. Despite the fact that initially two theatres in the whole United States would play his film, SWEETBACK became the top grossing independent hit of 1971 Melvin had brought the hood to Hollywood. More than 30 years later, Mario Van Peebles, Melvins son, directs a revealing portrait of his pioneering father. Following in his dads footsteps, and documenting his exceptional journey towards political defiance through cinema, Mario directs and stars as Melvin in BAADASSSSS based on his fathers best selling book Sweet Sweetbacks Baadasssss Song, a current standard in University film classes internationally.
Cast: Mario Van Peebles, Joy Bryant, Nia Long, Ossie Davis, and Khleo Thomas
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW
This is a big-budget, high-concept sci-fi film is about a climatological disruption of inconceivable proportions that ravages the world, sending millions of terrified survivors surging South. Surging in the other direction, however, is Professor Adrian Hall, a brilliant paleoclimatologist whose own son Sam may still be alive in New York City, now a frozen wasteland.
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sela Ward and Emmy Rossum.
In this heartwarming comedy from director Garry Marshall ("Runaway Bride," "The Princess Diaries"), Helen Harris (Academy Award® nominee Kate Hudson) is living the life she always dreamed of. Her career at a top Manhattan modeling agency is on the rise; she spends her days at fashion shows and her nights at the city's hottest clubs. But her carefree lifestyle comes to a screeching halt when one phone call changes everything. Helen soon finds herself responsible for her sister's children 15-year-old Audrey (Hayden Panettiere), 10-year-old Henry (Spencer Breslin), and 5-year-old Sarah (Abigail Breslin). No one doubts that Helen is the coolest aunt in New York, but what does this glamour girl know about raising kids? The fun begins as Helen goes through the transformation from super hip to super mom, but she quickly finds that dancing at 3 a.m. doesn't mix with getting kids to school on time advice that Helen's older sister, Jenny (Joan Cusack), is only too quick to dish out. Along the way, Helen finds support in the most unusual place with Dan Parker (John Corbett), the handsome young pastor and principal of the kids' new school and realizes the choice she has to make is between the life she's always loved and the new loves of her life.
Cast: Kate Hudson, John Corbett, Joan Cusack, Hayden Panettiere, Spencer Breslin, Abigail Breslin, and Helen Mirren
Good girl Mary (Jena Malone) can't believe it when she gets pregnant by her newly-gay boyfriend. She also can't believe the actions of her popular, relentlessly devout best friend, Hilary Faye [Mandy Moore], who's looking after her wheelchair-bound brother Roland (Macaulay Culkin), attempting to convert adamantly Jewis Cassandra (Eva Amurri), and trying to snag cute newcomer Partick (Patrick Fugit), a hip skateboarding missionary. By the time Mary's secret is revealed, Hilary Faye has gone to extremes to get the outsiders expelled from school, with spctacular results, and Mary is forced to decide what's worth believing in the first place. In this dark comedy, a young, talented cast comes together to get saved.
Cast: Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit, Heather Matarazzo, Eva Amurri, Martin Donovan, Mary Louise Parker
Why just fly when you can soar with soul? After a humiliating experience on an airplane, Nashawn Wade sues the airline and is awarded a huge settlement. Determined to make good with the money, Nashawn creates the full service airline of his dreams, complete with sexy stewardesses, funky music, a hot onboard dance clud, and a bathroom attendant. Departing from all-new Terminal X in Los Angeles, Soul Plane gives "fly" a whole new meaning taking it's passengers on a maiden voyage full of comedy.
Cast: Kevin Hart, Tom Arnold, K.D. Aubert, Missi Pyle, Mo'Nique, Loni Love, D.L. Hughley, Sommore, Brian Hooks, Sofía Vergara, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, John Witherspoon, Ryan Pinkston, Arielle Kebbell, Angell Conwell, Godfrey C Danchimah and Gary Anthony Williams.
HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) return for their third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the teenagers are forced to face their darkest fears as they confront a dangerous escaped prisoner (Gary Oldman) and the equally foreboding Dementors, who are sent there to protect them.
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Peter Best, David Bradley, Julie Christie, Robbie Coltrane, Alfie Enoch, Tom Felton, Pam Ferris, Dawn French, Michael Gambon, Jimmy Gardner, Richard Griffiths, Joshua Herdman, Matt Lewis, Hugh Mitchell, Devon Murray, Katharine Nicholson, Chris Rankin, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, Jim Tavare, Julie Walters, Jamie Waylett, Paul Whitehouse, Emma Thompson
The Mindhunters, FBI psychological profilers, train their newest members on a remote island. The crew discover there is a killer among them and must find him before he kills.
Cast: Val Kilmer, LL Cool J, Christian Slater, Eion Bailey, Will Kemp, & Kathryn Morris
THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
In this sequel to "Pitch Black", Riddick has spent the last five years on the move among the forgotten worlds on the outskirts of the galaxy, eluding mercenaries bent on collecting the price on his head. Now, the fugitive finds himself on planet Helion, home to a progressive multicultural society, which has been invaded by the Lord Marshal (Colm Feore), a zealot who targets humans for subjugation with his army of warriors known as Necromongers. Exiled to a subterranean prison where extremes of temperature range from arctic nights to volcanic days, Riddick encounters Kyra (Alexa Davalos), the lone survivor from an earlier chapter in his life. His efforts to free himself and Kyra lead him to the Necromonger command ship, where he is pitted against the Lord Marshal in an apocalyptic battle with possibly the fate of all beingsboth living and deadhanging in the balance.
Cast: Vin Diesel, Thandie Newton, Karl Urban, Dame Judi Dench, Colm Feore, Alexa Davalos
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