Spider-Man, Shrek and Sparrow, oh my!
Ah, summer: It’s that special time of year when the sun stays out for long hours and we all take advantage by tackling singletrack, hiking new trails or generally soaking in all the lovely sunshine. Of course, some of use would prefer nothing more than sitting in a cool, darkened theater, basking in the glow of Hollywood’s latest big-budget spectacles. For those of you who choose the latter on at least a few weekends, we humbly present to you the Vail Daily Summer Movie Preview. Keep in mind that all dates are subject to change, and our schedule might not match the national, so keep an eye on the Now Showing box right here in the Vail Daily.Spider-Man 3 (May 4)The web-slinger returns in perhaps the darkest installment yet to face off with classic villains Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), Venom (Topher Grace) and a reconstituted Goblin (James Franco) while wearing a black, alien suit. His trusty paramour Mary-Jane (Kirsten Dunst) and new love interest Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) can be counted on to get caught up in the fray, so expect tons of high-flying action mixed with relationship distress. Poor Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) just can’t catch a break. Rumored to be the most expensive movie ever budgeted, it also might be the last with the original cast and director Sam Raimi. Look for our review on Saturday.Lucky You (May 4)Depending on which trailer you see, this film starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore is either a romantic comedy, a father-son pic, a high-stakes poker flick, or some combination of all three. Robert Duvall shows up as the grizzled pro-poker player dad, and though this film has been delayed multiple times, director Curtis Hanson (“8 Mile,” L.A. Confidential”) is no slouch at mixing genres.Georgia Rule (May 11)Lindsay Lohan received a public spanking from film studio heads after showing up late one too many times on the set of this coming-of-age drama. Now we can see if the hoo-ha was worth it: Lohan plays a troubled teen sent by her mother (Felicity Huffman) to shape up in Idaho with her grandmother (Jane Fonda). 28 Weeks Later (May 11)”28 Days Later” kickstarted the recent zombie craze by making its flesh-eating psychopaths run fast; in this sequel, we’ll find out what’s happened to a zombie-ravaged England a few weeks (duh) after the original film’s events. In-demand star Cillian Murphy couldn’t make the sequel, so Robert Carlyle (“Trainspotting”) takes the reins as a man reunited with his children after the zombie plague. Shrek the Third (May 18)Another year, another “Shrek:” About all that’s changed is that Donkey (Eddie Murphy) got an Oscar nom in the interim. The lovalble ogre is asked to be king of Far Far Away, and when he refuses, Princess Fiona’s (Cameron Diaz) cousin Artie (Justin Timberlake) steps in as reluctant ruler. Wait…Artie? Could that be short for King Arthur? Oh, right.
Pirates of the Caribbean: at World’s End (May 25)The first “Pirates” was a spirited romp that expanded on the deep mythos and history behind the Disneyland ride. The second was sloppy mess with rollercoaster contraptions and some claptrap about finding a key, or a compass, or both. Let’s hope the third film gets back on track with the high-seas hijinks. Bonus look for Keith Richard’s arrrr-rated performance as Captain Jack Sparrow’s (Johnny Depp) father.Mr. Brooks (June 1)Kevin Costner as a serial killer? Believe it: In his boldest attempt yet at career resurrection, Costner stars as a mild-mannered Portland, Ore., businessman who kills people in his spare time on the orders of his wayward conscience (William Hurt). Demi Moore plays the cop trying to take him down.Knocked Up (June 1)Some of us already got a taste of this uproarious comedy during the Vail Film Festival – those who missed out will not want to miss this follow-up film from the director of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” Seth Rogen stars as an amiable stoner who impregnates a woman (Katherine Heigl) who’s way out of his pay grade. The film manages to be disgusting, sweet and, above all, hilarious all at the same time. Ocean’s Thirteen (June 8)Steven Soderbergh and his crew of merry thieves reunite yet again to hopefully erase the memory of the annoying and self-indulgent “Ocean’s Twelve.” Joining the all-star cast of George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon are Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin in another tale of casino robbery and revenge.Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (June 15)The last “Fantastic Four” hardly stands out as a comic-book-adaptation gem, but cult favorite Silver Surfer (Doug Jones, voiced by Laurence Fishburne) should add some much-needed heft to the saga. Also look out for fire, invisibility, some lifting and lots of stretching.Nancy Drew (June 15)Ah, Nancy Drew: A show of hands, ladies, if you remember reading her captivating mysteries as a youngster. Emma Roberts (Julia’s niece and Eric’s daughter) now embodies the young sleuth, who’ll head to Hollywood with her father (Tate Donovan) to – what else – solve a mystery or two.A Mighty Heart (June – July TBA)In a change of pace, Angelina Jolie stars in the true-life story of Mariane Pearl, wife of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, whose kidnapping and execution by terrorists in Pakistan was videotaped and uploaded to the Internet. Based on Mariane Pearl’s acclaimed 2003 book.
Evan Almighty (June 22)”The Office”‘s Steve Carell stars in this quasi-sequel to Jim Carrey’s “Bruce Almighty.” This time, Carell’s egotistical reporter Evan has to wrangle two of every animal in a modern retelling of Noah’s Ark. Sounds hackneyed, but Carell is about as funny as comedians get. Live Free Or Die Hard (June 27)Say it with me: Yippie-ky-ay, motherf—er! John McLane (Bruce Willis) returns to save us from another batch of terrorists, this time headed by computer-whiz bad guy Timothy Olyphant. Good thing Luddite McLane has Justin Long (Mr. Mac) as his secret-weapon hacker pal. Nobody was really asking for another “Die Hard,” but we’ll take it over Speed 3.Ratatouille (June 29)Brad Bird, the genius behind “The Incredibles,” teams with Pixar once again for this tale of a misfit rat in Paris who wants to follow his passion for cooking into the kitchen – which is where everyone wants a rat dead. Expect a humorous and touching tale from Pixar yet again. Featuring the voices of PAtton Oswalt, Brad Garrett and Peter O’Toole.Transformers (July 4)What’s next, G.I. Joe? These gigantic robots in disguise make their big-screen debut this July in a blockbuster feature produced by Steven Spielberg (good) and directed by Michael Bay (bad). Still, with crushing metal and the promise of an Optimus Prime/Megatron showdown, I’ll be there.License to Wed (July 4)John Krasinski (“The Office”) and Mandy Moore star as a couple enrolled in a pre-marriage class in a “Meet the Parents”-style embarrasment comedy. Robin Williams pops up as a zany minister, the better to do his Robin Williams thing.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (July 13)Harry Potter gets even darker in the film adaptation of this juggernaut saga, with Imelda Staunton joining the vaunted British cast as the unctuous Dolores Umbridge. I Know Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (July 20)
Chuckleheads Kevin James and Adam Sandler star as two straight firefighters who pose as domestic partners for the health benefits. “Chuck and Larry” will probably feature a typically Sandlerian stable of poop jokes, but maybe it’ll provide a lesson or two about sexual sensitivity. And some fart jokes. Hairspray (July 20)Didn’t you hear? Musicals are the new WWII movies. “Hairspray” has an especially convoluted history, as it went from screen to stage and back to screen for this newest incarnation. This remake of the John Waters comedy features Nikki Blonsky, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken and John travolta in a ladies’ fatsuit groovin’ in a pre-integration Baltimore in the 60s.The Simpsons Movie (July 27)This is it, people – the one we’ve been waiting for. If you’ve memorized even one line of dialogue or uttered just one “d’oh!” from the show, you know exactly where you need to be July 27. Best. Movie. Ever.The Bourne Ultimatum (August 3)Bond finally got slicker, but Jason Bourne did it first in these taught adaptations of Robert Ludlum’s superspy books. “Bourne Supremacy” director Paul Greengrass, fresh of an Oscar nom for “United 93,” returns to round out the trilogy. In “Ultimatum,” Bourne (Matt Damon) finally learns who he is and sets out to get revenge in the most badass way possible – and mostly without the assistance of CGI-trickery. While most theaters will be gunked up with ostentatious special effects, “Bourne” will provide old-fashioned thrills rooted in reality…or, at least as real as you can get with a super-spy as your main character.Rush Hour 3 (August 10)Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker return, six years later, as mismatched partners in this kung-fu-spritzed buddy comedy sequel. This time, they track down Chinese gangsters in Paris. The Invasion (August TBA)A retelling of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” this time with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) as doctors fighting against the alien menace. The long-delayed movie, shot back in 2005, had rumors of problems, but directors James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) and the Wachowski brothers (“The Matrix” trilogy) popped in to punch things up. Halloween (August 31)Rob Zombie remakes the John Carpenter horror classic, making this the ninth visit from creepy, Shatner-masked killer Michael Meyers.