Summer Movie Preview, Part II

Okay, are we all rested and ready for Part 2? The summer can go by fast, and before you know it these films will be out. And some of them will be gone just as quickly, judging from the previews and such…

Transformers (July 6): I never got into the changing robot craze of the 80s; it was a little after my time. But lots of kids have, and it’s easy to see why – the toys were very well marketed. You could take pretty much any kind of machine and have it transform into a robot of some sort. Who doesn’t love robots? Anyway, unlike myriad fanboys I wasn’t gleefully anticipating this particular Movie Event of the Summer, especially since it’s directed by Michael Bay, which means it’ll be loud, confusing, and chaotic. But then I saw the preview, prior to watching Shrek the Third, and it is So Good. I mean, it might well be loud and obnoxious, but it might still be very entertaining. The plot concerns two races of robots (races of robots??) that crash land on Earth and must fight over some power source. Apparently, if I understood the trailer correctly, they don’t speak Earth. (You know, English.) But somehow they explain their dilemma to a young man, played by Shia LeBeouf. I saw clips of robots turning into trucks and such, and it looked good, plus the iconic “transforming” sound effect is there.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (July 13): Now this is more my cup of butterbeer, if you will, the fifth Harry Potter movie. As the movies (and books) have progressed, the tone has darkened quite a bit. People die in these things, and it’s not always the bad guy. This time, Harry’s discovered (at the end of the fourth movie) that the evil Voldemort is back, but naturally no one, save his headmaster Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) and his friends Hermione and Ron, believes him; they even blame him for the death of a student. Now there’s a lot of speculation in the wizarding world about whether You Know Who is back, if Harry is balmy, if dementors are coming to kill everyone when they sleep, and so on; the atmosphere is quite a bit like that in the United States following September 11, 2001. Soon Hogwarts must do battle with a new sadistic teacher, played by Imelda Staunton, and Harry and his fellow students find they must rely more on each other than on adults than they have in the past. If you’ve not seen any of the first four films, you’ll be a bit lost. My suggestion: Read the books. No, seriously, right now. I’ll wait until you come back. Or watch the first four movies, which kick greater amounts of ass as they progress.

The Simpsons Movie (July 27): Finally, the yellow people (ahem, they ARE) get a movie. This probably would have made more sense ten years ago, but still – more Homer! Woohoo! The plot isn’t really know, but the trailer I saw with Shrek 3 looked very funny indeed. Everyone’s in it, of course, thus spotlighting a huge problem with big casts on TV shows. (Not enough face time for ’em all.) As with other franchise-type movies, I hope this one doesn’t suck. I mean, what’ll they do if it does? Oh, right, nothing, because the show will continue in perpetuity. Woohoo! Other than it not sucking, the one thing to hope for is some kind of envelope pushing; the movie’s not on TV (a-duh), so maybe there’s something we’ll see that’s too strong for TV but not strong enough for an R rating.

Underdog (August 3): I never watched the cartoon series. I probably won’t watch this one, either; it’s not even a cartoon, just a CGI movie. It looks awful. Underdog, voiced by Jason Lee, is a superhero who loves Polly Purebred (Amy Adams of Junebug) and must fight the evil Simon Barsinister. I can’t imagine this movie being any good – it’s a CGI movie based on a comic book that most haven’t read. Even if the special effects are wonderful, it still will lose a lot of money. Wake me when the Jabberjaw movie comes out.

Whew. Only three movies and I’m pooped. More to come.

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