Here’s a look at some of the summer flicks for 2007. All release dates are subject to change, of course.
After hitting the mark with Ocean’s 11, director Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney and the sprawling cast more or less spent Ocean’s 12 just dicking around. With Ocean’s 13, they promise to get the caper movie franchise back on track. Al Pacino joins this installment, so no one should have any trouble hearing the dialogue. Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Elliott Gould, Bernie Mac and Ellen Barkin also star.
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
The 2005 adaptation of the long-running Marvel comic book superhero series took most of the elements that made the Fantastic Four enjoyable and screwed them up. But it was a big hit anyway, so here comes the sequel, which incorporates the Silver Surfer, another iconic Marvel character. Cross your fingers.
When Jim Carrey said no to a Bruce Almighty sequel, the powers-that-be behind the smash comedy turned to one of the supporting cast members, Steve Carell — you know, the Steve Carell who starred in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and heads up a little NBC comedy called The Office. Sounds like a smart move to me. Morgan Freeman returns as God, who wants Carell to build an ark. Uh-oh.
A MIGHTY HEART
A dramatic break from escapist summer fare. Angelina Jolie stars as Mariane Pearl, widow of Daniel Pearl, the reporter with Indianapolis ties who was kidnapped and beheaded by terrorists in 2002 Pakistan. The film is based on Mariane’s best-selling book about the nightmare. Dan Futterman appears in flashbacks as Daniel Pearl.
LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD
Twelve years after the last installment of the Die Hard franchise, Bruce Willis returns as scrappy ex-New York cop John McClane, paired this time with Justin Long, the younger of the two men in those tiresome Mac ads. Look for Deadwood’s Timothy Olyphant, the bad guy, to growl and smirk a lot, unaware or unwilling to believe that John McClane will eventually kick his ass seven ways to Sunday.
The latest computer-animated comedy from Pixar (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, etc.) is written and directed by Brad Bird, the man behind The Incredibles and The Iron Giant. The story, about a French rodent that longs to be a chef and a human chef who longs to get the rat out of his restaurant, features voice work by Brad Garrett and Peter O’Toole.
Based-on-fact drama about a harrowing escape from a P.O.W. camp during the early days of the Vietnam War. Christian Bale stars as U.S. Navy pilot Dieter Dengler, with Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies co-starring.
LICENSE TO WED
Mandy Moore convinces her easygoing fiancé to attend marriage-prep classes taught by her loopy minister, Robin Williams. Why did I include what sounds like a disposable comedy in this list? Because John Krasinski from The Office plays the groom-to-be and I really like The Office.
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
Really don’t need to say much here. The fifth installment in J.K. Rowling’s seven-book series about a young wizard’s coming-of-age will likely be dark, mysterious, funny, touching, thrilling and wildly successful. Imelda Stauton from Vera Drake joins the cast as the villainous Dolores Umbridge.
John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson star in an adaptation of a Stephen King short story about a hotel room that does horrible things to its occupants.
The 1988 John Waters comedy that became a hit Broadway musical now gets turned back into a movie, with John Travolta (in drag) playing the role originated by Divine in the original film. Did you get all that? Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken and Queen Latifah co-star.
I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY
Adam Sandler and Kevin James play heterosexual firefighters who pretend to be a gay married couple in order to get domestic partner benefits. Could be funny. Could be cringe-inducing. Probably will be a bit of both.
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
Why pay good money to watch a big-screen version of a long-running TV cartoon series that many believe saw its best days long ago? Because it’s The Simpsons, man, one of the best TV series of all time! The show’s creative team knows they have a lot to prove and I think they will. Maybe not a home run, but a double or a triple for sure.
I KNOW WHO KILLED ME
Lindsay Lohan claims to be a different person after escaping from a serial killer. Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if the serial killer was the Kevin Costner character from Mr. Brooks?
Catherine Zeta-Jones is a well-known chef who becomes guardian of her 9-year-old niece, Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine. Aaron Eckhart from Thank You for Smoking is the love interest in this remake of Mostly Martha.
Jennifer Lopez co-stars with her honey-bunny Marc Anthony in a biography of the late Puerto Rican salsa legend Hector Lavoe.
THE BOURNE ULTIMATIUM
Matt Damon returns for the third installment in the smart, gritty, action-packed spy series. United 93 director Paul Greengrass is in charge this time. Count this one as the summer blockbuster most likely to deliver everything it promises.
RUSH HOUR 3
Welcome to the eighth sequel on this list. The eighth! Stunning, eh? Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan return for this long-delayed installment in the mismatched buddy-cop franchise. These guys will do most of their arguing and battling in Paris this time around.
A young man tries to win the heart of a young woman by retrieving a fallen star, which turns into a girl. I know that sounds confusing, so I’ll just say this — it’s a quest movie based on a Neil Gaiman novel with Robert De Niro appearing as a gay cross-dressing pirate named Captain Shakespeare. Claire Danes, Charlie Cox and Michelle Pfeiffer star.
Coming-of-age teen sex comedy co-starring Michael Cera from Arrested Development and co-written by Seth Rogan, who also co-stars. I list this only because the talent is impressive.
Updated version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. The sci-fi thriller sat on the shelf for 13 months before re-shoots were done. Not a good sign.
Spoof of inspirational sports movies, with David Koechner, Carl Weathers, Matthew Lawrence and Andy Dick. The talent is not quite as impressive in this listing.
THE BROTHERS SOLOMON
Will Arnett from Arrested Development and Will Forte from SNL star in a comedy about a pair of brothers who hire a surrogate to produce a grandchild for their dying father. The plot sounds more weird than funny, but Arnett and Forte are engaging comic actors.
Rob Zombie revisits John Carpenter’s 1978 horror film about homicidal (not to mention damned hard to kill) nutcase Michael Myers. This one is kind of a prequel, so I didn’t count it as one of the eight sequels listed in this article. If you disagree, feel free to complain that there are nine, count them, nine sequels coming out this summer. Shocking! n