Jackass: The Movie (July 12): More self-destructive stunts and stupid pranks, filmed in documentary fashion, from the morons who left MTV’s airwaves too soon. Featuring the Vasectomy Olympics and tranquilized mountain lions, it’s nice to hear that “Jackass” frontman Johnny Knoxville hasn’t left stupidity behind.
K-19: The Widowmaker (July 19): Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, Strange Days) and starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson, K-19 is based on the true-life story of the first Soviet nuclear sub to be launched, and the poor bastards aboard it. Early word is that everyone pulls their weight, but can’t escape the cliches of the submarine genre.
Serving Sara (August 16): A couple of “Spin City” writers and the director of The Ladies’ Man team up on this comedy that stars Matthew Perry. Playing a romantic lead to Elizabeth Hurley, she hires him to serve divorce papers to her uptight Republican husband (Army of Darkness’s Bruce Campbell). Unless you’re willing to see those actors in anything, probably better to give this one a miss. -MWC
About A Boy (May 17): Adapted from Nick Hornby’s novel, Hugh Grant plays Will, an irresponsible, charming, and thoughtless bachelor living off the accomplishments of his father. Realizing that at age 38, his best bet is to go after single mothers, he joins S.P.A.T (Single Parents Alone Together) and inadvertently befriends Marcus (Hoult), a troubled twelve year-old in need of a father figure. Much as he fights it, Will eventually takes Marcus under his wing and teaches the boy to be cool and learning a thing or two about relationships in the process. Directed by Paul and Chris Weitz, if these American Pie helmers can create a unique entry into the tired romantic comedy genre, they can prove that they have matured beyond teen comedy.
Undercover Brother (May 31): Starring Eddie Griffin, Dave Chapelle, Denise Richards and Chris Kattan in a very obvious takeoff of Shaft, this spoof features a number of departed Saturday Night Live alums that is unimpressive at best.
The Bourne Identity (June 14): Starring Matt Damon in the title role and co-starring Franka Potente (Run Lola Run), this movie is based on the first of Robert Ludlum’s three book series about Jason Bourne, the master spy. Begining with an amnesiatic Bourne, the movie follows the spy as begins to notice that he happens to have all these spy-like attributes (i.e. mastery of martial arts, linguistics, and espionage). Aided by Potente as the requisite female helpmate/love interest, he starts to figure out who he is. Just to make it interesting, everyone’s trying to kill him, so he has that to deal with too. Poor guy. -SNJ
Insomnia (May 24): Warner’s only really promising offering of the summer is this thriller from red-hot director Christopher Nolan. Fresh off of Memento, Nolan decided to tackle another twisty murder story. Al Pacino stars as a police detective sent to a small Alaska town to investigate the murder of a young girl. However, he accidentally shoots his partner while chasing a suspect, and becomes entangled in a deceitful mess with a local detective (Hilary Swank) and the killer himself (Robin Williams). Reports confirm that the story is not told backwards, or even in random order.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (June 7): Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, and Ashley Judd star in the feel-good, girls-rule movie of the summer. When Sidalee Walker (Bullock) is sent her mother’s diary, whom she has distanced from, she becomes increasingly drawn to her heritage—her mother’s exploits with her “Ya-Ya Sisters” in the 30’s South. What ensues is a flashback-filled romp through the land of womanhood, sisterly love, and the divine secrets of Sandra Bullock’s acting.
Scooby Doo (June 14)—Clearly the “high-profile” movie in Warner’s lineup, Scooby Doo is a rehashing of the cartoon classic that mixes live action with animation. Sarah Michelle Gellar, naturally, is Daphne, Freddie Prinze Jr. is Fred Jones, and the ever-typecasted (as moron) Matthew Lillard is Shaggy. Unfortunately for the world, Carmen Elektra or Cindy Crawford will NOT be playing Velma.
The Powerpuff Girls (July 3): Rumors are that the story has something to do with young girls kicking big amounts of evil booty. From the studio, the official report tells that the story is a Batman Year One-esque digression on the origins of the Powerpuff’s otherworldly girl-power.
Eight Legged Freaks (July 19): In this Dean Devlin/Roland Emmerich-produced camp-fest, spiders begin feeding from a toxic waste-infused lake, and as does happen now and then the spiders grow to about six feet in diameter. Ridiculous situations ensue. -CJF
Plus, Mike Meyers returns as Austin Powers in New Line’s Goldmember (July 26). Shagadelic, baby!