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Summer Viewing (2 of 4)

May 21, 2008 - Evan Bevins

I know many of you regular readers of my blog (I know you're out there... hello?) have been anxiously awaiting the next installment of my recommendations for summer movie viewing.

Or maybe you just stumbled onto here by accident and have no idea what I'm talking about.

But, hey, don't be so quick to click that Back button.

Since the studios churn out so many big-budget event movies for the summer, I'm offering you a guide on what to see each weekend. I can't promise they'll actually be good, but “Iron Man” worked out pretty well, and there are worse movies to see than “What Happens in Vegas.”

I'm trying to highlight mainly the wide release films we'll be sure to get around here. You might have to catch the smaller, artsier summer releases on DVD.

Now, on to June...

• June 6—“Kung Fu Panda”

The title's intriguing, though it lacks that certain indescribable wacky synergy of “Shaolin Soccer.” Still, this computer-animated tale of a lazy panda who must defend a peaceful valley boasts a great vocal cast, including Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Dustin Hoffman. It looks more fun—and less crude—than the...

Alternative: Adam Sandler's latest, “You Don't Mess with the Zohan.”

• June 13—Toss up.

Wow, I didn't realize “The Incredible Hulk” and M. Night Shyamalan's latest, “The Happening,” were coming out on the same weekend.

If you like your sci-fi with loads of action, tanks getting tossed and large green creatures pummeling each other, go with the “Hulk,” a more mainstream approach to the classic comic and TV show than Ang Lee's more cerebral but widely panned 2003 film (I still liked it).

If you like your sci-fi with loads of suspenseful atmosphere and, in all likelihood, a brain-scrambling twist, go with Shyamalan's new film, which hopefully will be an improvement over “Lady in the Water” (I still liked it).

Or go see both.

Alternative: What, do you not like awesome?

• June 20—“Get Smart”

Notwithstanding my excitement over the previously mentioned “Hulk” movie, I'm growing weary of the remake trend. Sure, you get a “3:10 to Yuma” every now and then, but can't we come up with something that hasn't already been in the theater or on TV (or both)?

That being said, Steve Carell is perfectly cast as agent Maxwell Smart, bringing the Don Adams character to the big screen.

Alternative: “The Love Guru” (tell me how it is; after seeing the previews, I think I'll skip it on video too)

• June 27—“Wall•E”

I know this is the second computer-animated flick I've recommended this month, but it is from Pixar, the guys who brought you “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo,” etc. The concept of having little dialogue (except for the robots' beeps or whatever) could be intriguing—or annoying. But I'm curious.

Alternative: “Wanted.” Great cast, but looks like another noble assassin revenge story. Blah.

To be continued...


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