Excess Hollywood

Some interesting horror flicks, a couple of relationship movies, and plenty of action save summer from sequels

Directed by:John Schultz (Like Mike)

Written by:Danny Jacobson, Saladin Patterson, Barry W. Blaustein, David Sheffield, and Don Rhymer

What it's about:Hollywood's latest raid on vintage TV: Cedric puts a new ethnic spin on Jackie Gleason's beloved loudmouth Ralph Kramden.

Johnny Depp should make a great Willie Wonka, but 
can't someone stomp 
on Steve Martin for arrogantly bogarting Peter Sellers? 
Same goes for 
Stacy Peralta's tired, dirty skater dudes and anything 
with Tom Cruise 
and Dakota Fanning -- blecchh!
Johnny Depp should make a great Willie Wonka, but can't someone stomp on Steve Martin for arrogantly bogarting Peter Sellers? Same goes for Stacy Peralta's tired, dirty skater dudes and anything with Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning -- blecchh!
Didn't you hear? Flat Duo Jets broke up. Vince Vaughn 
and Owen Wilson 
are the dream team. For a Southern fella, Johnny 
Knoxville is suh-mokin' 
hot. You knew krumping was going to break big, and it 
did. What's more 
boring than professional basketball? High school 
basketball
Didn't you hear? Flat Duo Jets broke up. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are the dream team. For a Southern fella, Johnny Knoxville is suh-mokin' hot. You knew krumping was going to break big, and it did. What's more boring than professional basketball? High school basketball

Why it'll be fabulous:Cedric's ability to play blue-collar could send this one to the moon.

Why it'll be dreadful:Nobody can channel the spirit of The Great One. Do you get the feeling you'll pine for the murky black-and-white images and canned laughs that once emanated from your old Philco?

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Starring:Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Directed by:Doug Limon (The Bourne Identity)

Written by:Simon Kinberg

What it's about:An unhappy married couple who earn their paychecks as assassins learn they've been hired to kill each other.

Why it'll be fabulous:The Pitt-Jolie twosome should be fun to watch under Limon's fast-action framing.

Why it'll be dreadful:This promises to be a plot-heavy romp that could easily fire blanks.

Batman Begins Starring: Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Written by: David Goyer (Blade)

What it's about: This relaunching of the moribund franchise tells how Bruce Wayne (Bale) became the Dark Knight after seeing his parents executed in a Gotham City alley. In this version Bruce heads to the Himalayas to train (with Neeson, shades of The Phantom Menace) and returns to Gotham to find a bad city run by a good cop, Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), and overrun with creepy villains, chief among them The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy).

Why it'll be fabulous: No Joel Schumacher, no Alicia Silverstone, no Batnipples. Did I mention no Joel Schumacher?

Why it'll be dreadful: Because origin stories are boring, and because the idea of sitting through one more Liam Neeson "training session" is about as appealing as sliding down the Batpole naked.

My Summer of Love

Starring:Nathalie Press, Emily Blunt, and Paddy Considine

Written and directed by: Paul Pavlikovsky (Last Resort), from the novel by Helen Cross

What it's about: A working-class Yorkshire girl (Press) befriends a rich girl (Blunt). Lesbian high jinks ensue. Considine is a born-again ex-con who comes between them.

Why it'll be fabulous:That one shot in the trailer of the two leads in wet underwear. Yeow!

Why it'll be dreadful: It's called My Summer of Love.

Land of the Dead Starring: Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento, and ZOMBIES!

Written and directed by: George Romero

What it's about: The creator of Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Deadfinally gets to make a new big-budget zombie movie, after the mediocre Dawnremake made a pretty penny. Continuing the Romero Dead saga, the film envisions a postapocalyptic world in which humans live in fortified cities while trying to ignore the fact that every place outside their walls is inhabited by flesh-hungry zombies.

Why it'll be fabulous: It's a sequel that's been requested for twenty years -- almost as long as Revenge of the Sith. And Romero is not the kind of director who will go soft.

Why it'll be dreadful: John Leguizamo? Why?

March of the Penguins Directed by: Luc Jacquet

Written by:Jacquet and Michel Fessler

What it's about: Documentary that follows a year in the life of a flock of emperor penguins at the North Pole.

Why it'll be fabulous: Penguins are well-liked birds, and some of the footage looks amazing.

Why it'll be dreadful: Giving them French voices sounds like a bad idea. Let's hope it's done sparingly and tastefully.

Rize

Starring:Tommy the Clown, Tight Eyez, Swoop, and Big X

Directed by: David LaChappelle

What it's about: Documentary about an up-and-coming style of street dancing called "krumping."

Why it'll be fabulous: Sooner or later, everyone's gonna be doing it, so you might as well get the skinny first.

Why it'll be dreadful: Just to be clear -- David LaChappelle is a fashion photographer, not the comedian who says, "I'm Rick James, bitch!"

War of the Worlds Starring:Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, and Tim Robbins

Directed by:Steven Spielberg

Written by: David Koepp and Josh Friedman, based on the novel by H. G. Wells

What it's about:A family fights for survival amid an invasion of "alien tripod fighting machines."

Why it'll be fabulous:Expect lots of special-effects dazzle in the Close Encounters/Jurassic Park style and more of Spielberg's characteristic empathy for the little guy.

Why it'll be dreadful:Tom Cruise.


July

Rebound Starring: Martin Lawrence, Horatio Sanz, Megan Mullally, and Breckin Meyer

Directed by: Steve Carr (Daddy Day Care)

Written by: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore

What it's about: A misbehaving college basketball coach (Lawrence) is fired and winds up having to coach a losing middle school team.

Why it'll be fabulous: It could do for Martin Lawrence what School of Rock did for Jack Black. That's clearly the intent anyway.

Why it'll be dreadful: Gee, um, Martin Lawrence?

Undead Starring: Mungo McKay, Felicity Mason, and Rob Jenkins

Written and directed by:Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig

What it's about: The small town of Berkeley, Australia, gets infected with Zombie Plague from Outer Space!

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