2006 Summer Movie Preview: May
Never mind the fact that the summer movie season kicks off a good six weeks before it is even technically summer. This might be the first year where May actually has more tent pole movies than any other month. Two movies is more the norm for May, and last year there was only one bona fide blockbuster that month (“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”). Are our attention spans too short that they can’t even schedule summer movies in June anymore? Who the heck knows.
Oh, brother. Right off the bat, we have to deal with that wacko Mapother guy. Best to get him out of the way, we suppose.<<< BACK TO SUMMER PREVIEW HOME
Mission: Impossible III (Paramount, May 5)
Actors: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan, Ving Rhames, Laurence Fishburne, Keri Russell, Billy Crudup
Director: J.J. Abrams
Read our review
The Pitch: We wish we knew. The trailer offers nothing in the way of a story.
The Buzz: Despite Tom Cruise’s best efforts of late to ruin his career, a palpable buzz exists for this film solely because of its director, J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Alias”). At least we won’t have to worry about any slo-mo doves or covers of the theme song by Limp Bizkit. Still, Cruise’s rep has taken a HUGE hit in the last year, and to date they have not made a good “M:I” movie. Good thing they stocked this movie with some top-tier talent; casting Hoffman as a baddie was a stroke of genius.
Trailer Highlight: Easily Hoffman’s speech to Cruise about the love of his life. “I’m gonna find her. I’m gonna hurt her. And I’m gonna kill you right in front of her.”
Bottom Line: Hey, it has to be better than the second one…right?
Official Web Site: http://www.missionimpossible.com/
An American Haunting (Freestyle Releasing, May 5)
Actors: Donald Sutherland, Sissy Spacek, Rachel Hurd-Wood, James D’Arcy
Director: Courtney Solomon
The Pitch: Based on the true story of the only documented case where a spirit caused someone’s death, the movie jumps between the date of the death (1818) and the present. The Bell Witch, it appears, is back for more.
The Buzz: We have to assume that this was already in production before the receipts for “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” came in. Otherwise, um, maybe they would have thought twice about this?
Trailer Highlight: The first shot of the Bell Witch, followed by the rapidly melting candles.
Bottom Line: We’re not sure the world needs a True Horror subgenre. They barely get the fictional ones right half the time.
Official Web Site: http://www.anamericanhauntingonline.com/
Actors: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Emmy Rossum, Richard Dreyfus, Mike Vogel, Kevin Dillon, Andre Braugher
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Read our review
The Pitch: A rogue wave capsizes a luxury liner, and the surviving passengers fight for their lives.
The Buzz: We were saying something about remakes? You would think that, after the mess that was “The Perfect Storm,” the last thing director Petersen (don’t even talk to us about “Air Force One”) would do is get back in the water with a remake of this ‘70s disaster “classic.” Was Roland Emmerich unavailable? Having said that, there’s a decent cast here of seasoned vets (Russell, Dreyfus, Braugher) and stars on the rise (Lucas, Rossum). Let’s just hope they don’t have to say lines like, “That’s right in the center of hell,” and “You’re going right into the monster!” Poor Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio.
Trailer Highlight: Two bits: the wave nearly eclipsing the moon, and the lights all going out once the ship is completely upside down
Bottom Line: Petersen hasn’t made a good movie since “In the Line of Fire.” That was 13 years ago. That streak doesn’t end here, though we bet this still makes big bank.
Official Web Site: http://www2.warnerbros.com/poseidon/
Just My Luck (20th Century Fox, May 12)
Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Chris Pine, Samaire Armstrong
Director: Donald Petrie
Read our review
The Pitch: A girl blessed with incredible luck (Lohan) meets cute with the unluckiest guy in the world (Pine), and with one kiss, their fortunes change dramatically.
The Buzz: “Freaky Date Movie,” anyone? All kidding aside, this actually looks pretty cute, and anything with our “O.C.” sweetheart Anna (Armstrong) gives us reasons to be cheerful.
Trailer Highlight: When she’s in prison, and some bully cellmate pulls the “That’s my seat” line. “Is the floor yours, too?” Pow.
Bottom Line: This is a smart move for Lohan. Now let’s see if that serious-actress talk from the Altman movie sticks once and for all.
Official Web Site: http://www.justmyluckmovie.com/
Goal! The Dream Begins (May 12, Touchstone)
Starring: Kuno Becker, Stephen Dillane, Anna Friel
Director: Danny Cannon
Read our review
The Pitch: Santiago Munez (Becker), an underprivileged Mexican-American immigrant, is given the chance of a lifetime when a British talent scout (Dillane) scores him a tryout with one of England’s premiere soccer clubs, Newcastle United.
The Buzz: Previously released in Europe to critical acclaim, the cast and crew are already in production on a sequel, with talks of a third film in the works.
Trailer Highlight: Santiago getting owned on the muddy soccer pitch.
Bottom Line: The last soccer film to hail from England (“Bend It Like Beckham”) became an international hit and launched the career of Keira Knightley. This one looks to do the same for young Becker, and it’s being released in time for the 2006 World Cup.
Official Web Site: http://www.goalthemovie.com/flags.html
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone, Bruce Willis
Director: Nick Cassavetes
The Pitch: Based on the life of mid-level drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood (Hirsch), the youngest man to ever make the F.B.I.’s Most Wanted List.
The Buzz: Quiet, but it did debut earlier in the year as Sundance’s closing entry.
Trailer Highlight: “It’s okay. It’s, like, another story to tell my grandkids.”
Bottom Line: Stone and Willis were so intrigued by the casting of Timberlake that they personally chased down the director for a part in the film. Actually, we could really care less, but young talents like Hirsch and Foster are more than enough reason to drive us to the theater.
Official Web Site: http://www.alphadogmovie.com/
The Pitch: Based on the best-selling novel about a Harvard symbologist (Hanks) who is dragged into a century-long battle between the Catholic Church and an ancient secret society who possess the clues needed to unlock the real history of Jesus Christ.
The Buzz: With a new religious protest condemning the film every week, this baby’s got enough steam to cause a stir at the box office.
Trailer Highlight: The chilling soundtrack by Clint Mansell.
Bottom Line: Anybody who’s read the book will be curious to see how the story transfers to the big screen. That’s a lot of people.
Official Web Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thedavincicode/
Over the Hedge (DreamWorks, May 19)
Actors: voices of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, Steve Carell, Thomas Haden Church, Allison Janney, Avril Lavigne, Eugene Levy, William Shatner
Director: Tim Johnson, Karey Kirkpatrick
Read our review
The Pitch: When a group of forest animals discover that their home has been developed, they hatch a plan to cross into the humans’ world in search of food.
The Buzz: The only thing that Bruce Willis can open at this point is an envelope; the box office for “16 Blocks” has to concern DreamWorks some.
Trailer Highlight: “That is an SUV.” “Wow, it’s so big. How many humans does it hold?” “Usually, one.”
Bottom Line: It’ll make money, because all DreamWorks Animation movies make money. But from here, it looks like a dud.
Official Web Site: http://www.overthehedgemovie.com/
See No Evil (Lions Gate, May 19)
Actors: Glen Jacobs, Christina Vidal, Luke Pegler, Tiffany Lamb, Matthew Okine
Director: Gregory Dark
The Pitch: A group of kids are sent to clean an abandoned hotel, unaware that a killer (Jacobs) has taken up residence inside. Once he captures one of them, the others band together to take him down.
The Buzz: In real life, this movie would be five minutes long. The second we see a killer take one of our friends hostage, we’re calling 911 and letting 5-0 handle it from there. Could there possibly be a flimsier premise?
Trailer Highlight: Lots of pickaxes flying.
Bottom Line: This might be the comedy of the year.
Official Web Site: http://www.seenoevilthemovie.com/
Actors: Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammer, Rebecca Romijn, Ben Foster
Director: Brett Ratner
Read our review
The Pitch: With news of a possible cure on the brink of production, mutants are now faced with a choice: keep their amazing powers and remain social outcasts, or be “healed” and become human.
The Buzz: After Bryan Singer left the project to work on “Superman Returns,” and replacement director Matthew Vaughn bowed out due to “personal problems,” the fanboy reaction to Brett Ratner wasn’t good. In fact, it was downright insulting, but as soon as the first trailer hit the streets, the smack talk ceased.
Trailer Highlight: Angel (Foster) spreading his wings and soaring through the sky.
Bottom Line: The first two films got just as much flack as this one, so we’re banking on the third installment to be even better than its predecessors.
Official Web Site: http://www.x-menthelaststand.com/
ALSO: Don't miss our Superheroes Gone Hollywood feature, which takes a look at all of the superhero movies slated to be released in the next couple of years.