By Marty Doskins
If there were any doubt, July confirms that the summer movie season is
in full swing. Looking through this month's wide releases was a
difficult task. I think we're going to see quite a few of these films
in the middle of the pack. I'm only planning on one (maybe two) hit(s)
that break away from the pack. After that, it's all up in the air.
By the way, I was extremely disappointed with the film 28 Days Later.
Apparently the producers couldn't work out a deal to sign Sandra
Bullock to a second film. I thought the twist of throwing in some
zombies might have attracted her. I guess not.
On to the list.
1. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The long awaited third film in the hugely popular Terminator series has
finally arrived and Arnold is back in the starring role. They wanted
to have some kind of gimmick and they seem to have done it. There's a
female Terminator this time played by the lovely Kristanna Loken. It
also looks like the filmmakers have outdone themselves in the special
effects department. There's no question what's going to be the big
number one film this month.
2. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Another sequel that should do very well. Angelina Jolie returns as the
popular PC game character. It's incredible how they found just the
perfect person to cast for this role. She's got the right look (read:
body) and she pulls it off with such a commanding presence. Along with
Charlie's Angels, the movie going public is definitely drawn to the
strong female roles.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
The popular Disneyland amusement park ride comes to the big screen.
Johnny Depp has been cast in the main role as pirate Jack Sparrow. The
marketing push for this film has been very strong on TV and in the
theaters. I think viewers will be very curious about this film and it
should pay off at the box office for Disney. "YO HO! YO HO! A PIRATE'S
LIFE FOR ME!"
4. Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
Yes, there will be 3-D scenes where everyone will be wearing those
goofy glasses. Robert Rodriguez knew he wanted to make three films in
this series so he made sure to get them into production in quick
succession. He didn't want older teenagers playing the Spy Kids. He
wanted the faces to stay fresh. I am really impressed that Rodriguez
didn't let the quality of the sequel fall behind the first movie. This
one should get kids to drag their parents off the couch and into the
5. Bad Boys II
It's been eight long years, but Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are back
together as Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowery. I'm really surprised that
they actually got together both of these big stars to do this film
after such a long time. We usually see sequels come out much sooner
these days after the original film's release. But I don't think the
time away will hurt the box office numbers too much. There were some
scenes shown from this film a while ago to whet people's appetites.
Now we should see a big push to get them to show up on movie night.
6. Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde
Reese Witherspoon is back as Elle Woods - fashion maven and
Harvard-graduated lawyer. Now she's taking on the real world in
Washington, D.C. I know a lot of people dismissed the first film as
dopey. However, I think that Witherspoon has a pretty solid following.
The movie will finish quite a ways behind Terminator 3, which opens
the same day, but it won't be totally lost in the shuffle.
7. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
No matter which title you've seen in this film's previews, I think this
one is going to be a big disappointment. I hope I'm proven wrong
because I think they have a great cast and an interesting premise.
However, I don't know if the studio has really put together solid
enough commercials. You don't really get the idea of what this film is
about other than action. Maybe that will be enough, but I don't think
8. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
This film has been in the works off and on for quite a long time.
There have been commercials showing up lately, but I think this one's
going to be pushed to the side by the other strong films that are open.
There will probably be more repeat viewings of Finding Nemo than first
time for this one.
9. Johnny English
Fresh off his role in Scooby-Doo, Rowan Atkinson goes back to his wacky
antics by spoofing the James Bond spy series as "master spy" Johnny
English. Personally, I think this film looks hilarious. My kids think
so, too. However, Atkinson hasn't gained a strong following here in
the U.S. like he has overseas, where this film has done HUGE business.
This one will probably be out of U.S. theaters pretty quick and on to
the video shelves in short order.
10. How to Deal
Unfortunately, I think this teen flick will be lost among all these
other much larger films. Mandy Moore is back in another film that
plays well off her wholesome image. I don't think that's what that
many movie audiences are looking for.
Read Tim Briody's July forecast
Read John Hamann's July forecast
Read Stephanie DeGateo's July forecast
Read Dan Krovich's July forecast
Read David Mumpower's July forecast