Summer movies set to roll

Summer is just around the corner and so are a bevy of movies (aka summer blockbusters) that will entice moviegoers into air-conditioned theaters to watch a variety of films aimed at a wide demographic. In other words, there will be something for just about everyone.

In fact, the summer season is already underway, launched by "Spider-Man 3," a movie that decimated first weekend records worldwide, causing the Hollywood crowd to crow with satisfaction, hopeful that the film's gross receipts portend great things for this summer season.

Close on the Spider's heels is the much anticipated third and final installment of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At the end of the World," which just opened May 25. This franchise has proved to be wildly successful and will bring back, of course, Johnny Depp as the quirky, ethically challenged Captain Jack Sparrow, along with Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Bill Nighy and Chow Yun Fat. Pulling out all the stops, Keith Richards will make an appearance; makeup won't be required. And there's the film "Paprika," which opens May 25 from one of Japan's masters of anime, Satoshi Kon. It's an adult science fiction tale, beautifully drawn, and not intended for kids.

June signals the launch of the summer season big time with multiple releases:

"Mr. Brooks" (June 1), starring Kevin Costner who harbors a dark secret. He's not a nice guy, word is.

"Oceans Thirteen" (June 8), another franchise flick starring the designer rat pack led by George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. They will, of course, rip off another slimy casino owner, played by Al Pacino.

"Surf's Up" (June 8) reminds us that penguins are once again the summer animal du jour. This one will be in 3-D animation and features a small penguin with big dreams of nailing the annual Penguin World Surfing Championship. No kidding.

"Hostel: Part II" (June 8) arrives for those who like their murder gratuitously graphic. This time three young women end up in a torture den in Slovakia.

"Nancy Drew" (June 15) is aimed at the tween-teen crowd who might think penguin movies are just a tad lame. Set in Los Angeles, sleuth Nancy investigates a spooky old house where a movie star was murdered.

"Evan Almighty," (June 22) stars Morgan Freeman as God who instructs Steve Carell to start building an ark in his Virginia backyard. He does.

"A Mighty Heart" (June 22) featuring Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl, wife of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan.

"Live Free or Die Hard" (June 27) brings back Bruce Willis after almost a decade as John McClane, one of New York's finest. Willis will hobble, limp, and bleed as he fights a group of generic terrorists who are about to shut down the Internet unless folks take down Youtube...okay, not really. But they are mad.

"Ratatouille" (June 29), animated, about a French rat who lives in a French restaurant and dreams of becoming a French chef.

In July and August the blockbuster season will be in full swing:

"License to Wed" (July 4) starring Mandy Moore and John Krasinski who must survive a marriage prep class given by pastor Robin Williams.

"Transformers" (July 4) is based on a line of toys, meaning robots, who come from outer space arrive to take over the earth. CGI rules.

"1408" (July 13) is taken from the Stephen King story of the same name. Hair-raising, creepy and starring John Cusack, a researcher of the supernatural. Did someone move the furniture?

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (July 13) is again set in the prep school for wizards, Hogwarts, and it's Harry's fifth year. Evil, nefarious Lord Voldemort, who has issues, is back threatening young Harry. Also releases one week before the seventh book in the popular series.

"Talk to Me" (July 13) stars Don Cheadle in the true story of Ralph Waldo Greene Jr., a Washington D.J. who became the voice of African-Americans.

"The Strangers" (July 13) has a young couple &

Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman &

settling into their new vacation home only to be the target of a home invasion. Bad things happen.

"Arctic Tale" (July 20) is about a walrus and a polar bear who grow up in the vast northern wilderness. A documentary from the makers of "March of the Penguins."

"Fierce People" (July 20) stars Diane Lane as a drug-addicted part-time masseuse who is scheming to get herself and her son out of the Lower East Side.

"Goya's Ghost" (July 20), a period drama starring Natalie Portman, who is the daughter of a prosperous merchant and the mistress of a haunted painter, Goya.

"I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" (July 20) stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James as a pair of firefighters who must pretend to be a happily married gay couple. Laughs to follow.

"I Know Who Killed Me" (July 27) features Lindsay Lohan, kidnapped and then found by police. She returns home with a drastically different personality, so different that her parents believe she is someone else. Who are you and what have you done with my daughter?

"No Reservations" (July 27) is the story of master chef Catherine Zeta Jones who reluctantly becomes the guardian of her young niece when her mother is killed in a car accident. A "no one said this would be easy" movie that you know will end well. There's a love interest, too, in the person of Aaron Eckhart.

"Skinwalkers" (July 27) is about a kid about to become a teenager at which point his werewolf genes kick in. Luckily, he's surrounded with supportive werewolves who help him through this hairy rite of passage.

"The Simpson Movie" (July 27) is, yes, about the Simpsons. Homer messes up and saves everyone from the consequences. Duh.

"The Bourne Ultimatum" (Aug. 3) brings back Jason Bourne, the former C.I.A. officer, with an identity crisis. Who am I? is his primal scream.

"The Ten" (Aug. 3), an episodic comedy that makes fun of the Ten Commandments. Let's see, where to begin?

"Underdog" (Aug. 3) is about a cute beagle that acquires superpowers. Lots of CGI effects.

"Daddy Day Camp" (Aug. 10) starring Cuba Gooding Jr., a sequel to "Daddy Day Care" which starred Eddie Murphy. All campers to the mess hall.

"Rush Hour 3" (Aug. 10) with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in Paris, battling a Chinese Triad. Check this: Roman Polanski and Max von Sydow also star.

"Stardust" (Aug. 10) is from the fantasy novel of Neil Gaiman. A heroic young man, in search of a fallen star, discovers an unimaginable world.

"The Invasion" (Aug. 17) is another adaptation of Jack Finney's book, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Aliens turn themselves into humans. Ultimately life is all about identity.

"The Comebacks" (Aug. 24) is about a college football coach who has the most game losses in history who assembles a team of misfits and hopes for the best. It's a comedy.

"The Last Legion" (Aug. 24) is set during the Roman Empire when Romulus Augustus goes in search of the last legion in England. Lots of English actors star.

"Bordertown" (Aug. 31) with Jennifer Lopez is about a plague of unsolved murders in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Ms. Lopez plays a Chicago reporter looking into the killings. Sonia Braga also stars.

"Halloween" (Aug. 31) is a straight remake of the 1978 John Carpenter classic. Just when you thought it was safe to baby sit and order some take-out. What a great way to end the summer.

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