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June movies, June films
Bullz-Eye Summer Movie Preview: June
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JUNE: Bats, ‘boards, boxers and…Lindsay Lohan. (If you think hard enough, you’ll find a ‘B’ word that fits her, too.)

While the summer movie season has only really begun in June, 80% of the good stuff is stacked in the front half. In fact, it’s amusing how similar June seems to be year after year. Every “Batman” movie has opened in that third weekend slot, and Disney’s tent pole movie (formerly their once-great animated features) has opened the week after “Batman.” The first week is usually Jerry Bruckheimer’s, but this year we have skateboarders and rock star wannabes. Oh, and four, count’ em, FOUR big time remakes. You know how they joke about there being no more good ideas left in Hollywood? They’re not joking. Read on. (Go to April/May preview.)

Lords of Dogtown (Columbia TriStar)
Actors: Heath Ledger, Victor Rasuk, Emile Hirsch, John Robinson, Michael Angarano
Director: Catherine Harwicke
Rating: PG-13
Opens: June 3

The Pitch: Based on the legendary Venice Beach Z-Boys skateboarders (and written by one of the main players), “Lords” tells the story of a group of broken-home kids who turn their ‘board prowess into a cottage industry, and the complications their newfound success causes them.
The Buzz: Writer Stacy Peralta already struck gold with his documentary on the subject, “Dogtown and Z-Boys” (which he also directed). His presence here is a very good sign. Another smart move is getting unknowns (Ledger and Rebecca De Mornay aside) to play the skaters. It shows that they were more interested in getting the right feel rather than overloading the movie with stunt casting. Plus, David Fincher was once considering directing this. That means there’s something good here.
Trailer Highlight: The surfer hitting the pier. That’s gotta hurt.
Bottom Line: Major sleeper potential here. For any skateboarder who came of age in the late ‘70s, this is a must-see.
Official Web Site: SonyPictures.com

Rock School (Newmarket)
Actors: Documentary
Director: Don Argott
Rating: R
Opens: June 3

The Pitch: A behind-the-scenes look at Philadelphia-based Paul Green School of Rock, an after-school institute where Green, a highly dedicated and slightly mad “uberlord,” molds his kids into rock gods.
The Buzz: A big festival favorite, and the success of the similarly named Jack Black movie from a couple years ago certainly doesn’t hurt.
Trailer Highlight: Green: “What do you think of your songs?” Student: “They’re great.” Green: “No, they’re not!” Honorable mention to the students who said, “Before we came here, we were listening to Bush….” “And 311….”
Bottom Line: Not sure if it’s something that has to be seen on the big screen, but it looks like a lot of fun.
Official Web Site: www.rockschoolthemovie.com

Hollywood loves boxing movies. So who's going to do the Mike Tyson story first?
Cinderella Man (Miramax/Universal)
Actors: Russell Crowe, Renée Zellweger, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, Bruce McGill
Director: Ron Howard
Rating: PG-13
Opens: June 3

The Pitch: Another Crowe/Howard biopic, “Cinderella” is based on the life of boxer Jim Braddock, a Depression-era fighter who was bounced out of the circuit after a string of losses, only to stun the world by taking out the #2-ranked boxer in the world.
The Buzz: Surprisingly quiet, given the star power involved here.
Trailer Highlight: While competently assembled, the trailer is about as highlight-free as they come.
Bottom Line: It’s probably great. It’s a pity we just don’t care.
Official Web Site: www.cinderellamanmovie.com

The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D (Dimension)
Actors: David Arquette, Kristin Davis, George Lopez, Taylor Lautne, Taylor Dooley
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Rating: PG
Opens: June 10

The Pitch: A boy spending summer by himself goes on adventures with his two imaginary superhero friends (the title characters).
The Buzz: Even quieter than “Cinderella Man,” if that’s at all possible, and the main reason is because…
Trailer Highlight: …at press time, there was no trailer available on the web.
Bottom Line: We usually give Rodriguez the benefit of the doubt, but this is his toughest sell yet.
Official Web Site: If you can find one, let us know.

Howl’s Moving Castle (Disney)
Voices: Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Emily Mortimer
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Rating: PG
Opens: June 10

The Pitch: The Cliffs notes version: girl meets boy, woman turns girl into 90 year old, girl/woman hide in mysterious castle while finding a way to lift the curse.
The Buzz: This thing is just oozing with animation street cred. Director Miyazaki (“Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke”) is universally adored, while the American overdub cast was directed by Pixar’s Pete Docter. And as complicated as that plot may have sounded, it’s child’s play compared to the head trip that was “Spirited Away.”
Trailer Highlight: The castle. The drugs, the drugs!
Bottom Line: It’s gotta be better for your kids than “Madagascar.”
Official Web Site: www.howl-movie.com. Better brush up on your Japanese first.

"Quick, somebody save my career. Please."
The Honeymooners (Paramount)
Actors: Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, Regina King, Gabrielle Union, Eric Stoltz, John Leguizamo
Director: John Schultz
Rating: PG-13
Opens: June 10

The Pitch: Cedric is Ralph Kramden, a small time bus driver with a seemingly endless supply of schemes in order to provide a shortcut to his big payday.
The Buzz: Clearly a product of the old Paramount regime, this was their idea of an edgy comedy. Is it just us, or is Cedric starting to fade like Michael J. Fox’s siblings did in that photograph in “Back to the Future”?
Trailer Highlight: Well, there are a couple of shots of Union, and she’s quite the dish.
Bottom Line: That spinning sound you hear is Jackie Gleason in his grave.
Official Web Site: www.honeymoonersmovie.com

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (20th Century Fox)
Actors: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Angela Bassett, Adam Brody, Vince Vaughn, William Fichtner
Director: Doug Liman
Rating: PG-13
Opens: June 10

The Pitch: Pitt and Jolie are married and bored speechless. If they could only tell each other that they’re actually assassins. Oh, and that they’ve been hired to kill each other.
The Buzz: The fling that launched a thousand cover stories took place here. The most telling aspect is that while everyone talks about the tryst, no one is talking about the movie. Not good. But director Liman (“The Bourne Identity,” “Go,” “Swingers”) hasn’t made a bad movie yet, and no one thought he’d pull off “Bourne,” either.
Trailer Highlight: “Did you do something different with this?” “I put in peas.” “Ahhhh, peas.”
Bottom Line: We’re stoked. Here’s hoping it overcomes the “Proof of Life” Curse.
Official Web Site: www.mrandmrssmithmovie.com, but first, we recommend you hit JolieHomewrecker.com. (Warning: not safe for viewing at work)

Nobody wants to compete with the Caped Crusader this summer. And rightfully so.
Batman Begins (Warner Bros.)
Actors: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Ken Watanabe
Director: Christopher Nolan
Rating: PG-13
Opens: June 17

The Pitch: The title pretty much says it all. Knowing that they had made a terrible mistake in taking Joel Schumacher’s phone calls, Warners goes back to the beginning, and traces Bruce Wayne’s spiritual journey to vigilante superhero.
The Buzz: Warners knows it has something big here, and is being wisely stingy with the goods, thus whipping their fan base into a healthy froth. Getting Nolan to direct (“Memento,” “Insomnia”) was a brilliant move, though we’ll always wonder how it would have looked if Darren Aronofsky (“Requiem for a Dream,” “Pi”) had stayed on board.
Trailer Highlight: Balancing on the wooden stumps, barefoot, over water, while getting whipped.
Bottom Line: The only other movie of note opening that weekend stars Hilary Duff. That’s because everyone knows this is going to be huge, and they don’t want to get run over.
Official Web Site: www.batmanbegins.warnerbros.com/

Herbie: Fully Loaded (Disney)
Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Breckin Meyer, Matt Dillon, Michael Keaton, Cheryl Hines
Director: Angela Robinson
Rating: PG
Opens: June 24

The Pitch: omg, Lindsay is, like, soooo super awesome in this remake of some old story about a possessed car or something. She’s hott. (Guest writer: Paris Hilton)
The Buzz: Despite the flurry of on-set issues with Lohan (Herbie was not the only thing that was loaded, let’s put it that way), not to mention Disney’s reported decision to digitally de-emphasize Lohan’s rack, the trailer actually isn’t that bad. Michael Keaton should still fire his agent, but as questionable remakes of all things ‘70s go, this one may be tolerable, thanks in no small part to hiring “State” alums Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant to write the script.
Trailer Highlight: Lohan and Herbie taking the lead in a race by riding the fence.
Bottom Line: Admit it: you want to see Lohan in a racing suit. Take your niece.
Official Web Site: Disney.go.com, but first, we recommend you check out LohanFreestyle.com, from the makers of JolieHomewrecker.com. (Again, not safe for viewing at work)

Bewitched (Sony)
Actors: Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Shirley MacClaine, Michael Caine, Jason Schwartzman
Director: Nora Ephron
Rating: N/A (Probably PG-13)
Opens: June 24

The Pitch: Ferrell is Jack Wyatt, a narcissistic falling star who chooses a remake of “Bewitched” as his comeback vehicle. He casts unknown Isabel Bigelow (Kidman) as TV wife Samantha, unaware that she’s actually a witch.
The Buzz: One word: reshoots, namely Kidman and Caine. Two more words: Nora Ephron, who hasn’t done anything worth mentioning since “Sleepless in Seattle.” Ferrell hasn’t shown an ounce of discretion when picking scripts lately, and don’t get us started on the hoary show-within-a-show setup.
Trailer Highlight: Kidman, God love her, maintains her dignity throughout (her nose wiggle is perfect, too), while Ferrell comes up with new ways to flail.
Bottom Line: This has train wreck written all over it.
Official Web Site: www.sony.com/Bewitched

Tom Cruise always attracts big box-office bucks, but we're skeptical.
War of the Worlds (Paramount)
Actors: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins, Miranda Otto
Director: Steven Spielberg
Rating: PG-13
Opens: June 29

The Pitch: Earth is invaded by Mars, Dakota Fanning cries, Tom Cruise runs a lot.
The Buzz: The studio blew a load plugging this movie during the NCAA Big Dance, but the trailer didn’t offer anything as enticing as the exploding-White-House Super Bowl ad for “Independence Day.” Unlike the “Batman Begins” trailer, this leaves us thinking that the less they show, the more they have something to hide.
Trailer Highlight: The highway flipping semi trucks like they’re Tonka toys, but we may only be saying that because it’s the only money shot in the trailer.
Bottom Line: It’ll still make big bank, but recouping its reported $200 million budget is no sure thing.
Official Web Site: www.waroftheworlds.com  



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