For movie fans, this summer will be an unprecedented show of force by Hollywood. Spiders, pirates and giant robots will all do battle along with many other great franchise names. Many have claimed this will be highest grossing summer in box office history and I’m a firm believer, as the next four months will be filled with more potentially great movies than ever before.
“Spider-Man 3” opens May 4 and marks the beginning of a summer of sequels. The entire cast returns, as does the director of the first two in what may be the biggest movie of the summer. “Spider-Man” opened to unheard of numbers years ago and with an even better sequel of “Spider-Man 2,” “Spider-Man 3” is money in the bank. This time Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) will square off against two of his most infamous enemies: Venom (Topher Grace) and the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church). I was inspired by the first “Spider-Man” because I saw what a comic book movie could finally achieve when the right people were behind it. I was even more excited when the second one came out because it raised the bar again. “Spider-Man 3” has a chance to re-invent the genre once again and I will definitely be waiting to find out what the web-slinger brings to the table.
Next up in the summer sequels marathon is “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” opening on June 15. Once again, the original cast returns to superhero action in what I actually consider the first movie in the series. I doubted the original “Fantastic Four” and only saw it because I was tired of everyone telling me how good it was. I was entertained but it felt like the entire movie was a set up for a sequel. In my mind I heard the writers saying, “Let’s make a movie and if it makes a little money, we’ll make the sequel better.” However, they do seem to have made great strides and it will be interesting to see how they play out the character of the “Silver Surfer,” as true comic books fans will be scrutinizing every move he makes.
July 4th is the summer movie day. Everyone remembers “Independence Day” and “Armageddon” and the hype that followed them. There is no exception this year as one the most highly anticipated movies in recent memory storms into theatres: “Transformers.” As an 80 year old in a 25-year-old man’s body this is the realization of a great dream for me. “Transformers” was quite possibly the most inventive and greatest toy lines the 80’s had to offer. The television show only added to the coolness and the 1986 animated movie made me a fan for life. The idea of a live action movie has been floated around for years and it finally the took the producing power of Steven Spielberg (“Jaws,” “Jurassic Park” and “War of the Worlds”) and director Michael Bay (“The Rock,” “Bad Boys 1 and 2,” “Armageddon”) to pull together a quality script and cast. Shia LaBeouf stars as “Sam” and the main human ally to “Optimus Prime” and his band of “Autobots” who will engage in a global war against “Megatron” and the evil “Decepticons.” This is the summer movie I will be standing in line to see as I have followed this movie for years and watched it grow from silly idea to full fledged blockbuster. Hopefully, this July showcases the creation of the next great film franchise because I could watch a new “Transformers” movie every two years for the rest of my life.
Rounding out this year’s sequel festival are sure fire hits “Shrek the Third” (May 18) and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (July 13). The animated ogre and broom riding hero return in an action packed summer and will no doubt have children talking nonstop for the entire summer.
Two surprising sequels this summer are “28 Weeks Later” (May 11) and “Live Free or Die Hard” (June 27). British zombie mayhem continues in the sequel to 2003’s “28 Days Later.” The inhabitants of London have finally resumed normal life when once again all hell breaks loose and the living dead seek out human flesh for your enjoyment. Bruce Willis’ return to the smart mouthed character of super cop “John McClane” in the fourth installment of the “Die Hard” series is a welcome reunion to me after a twelve year hiatus. A whole new audience will get the experience of a lifetime when Willis returns to his roots and kills a new batch of terrorists.
This summer offers a movie for every audience and will unquestionably be the most lucrative of all time. As my school career ends its nice to know the summer will bring a break to endless job searching and the un
known future of a real life. Go see movies this summer, not because I said to, but because it’s fun as anything to pretend you’re a super hero or a pirate, and besides, it’s Texas and hotter than hell.
One last note: If you’re bored, go see “Kickin’ It Old Skool.” You’ll laugh. I promise.