Every summer I like to page through ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's Summer Movie Preview Issue and pick out and rank order the movies I am most excited to see (Ironically, I even have a letter written to ASK THE CRITIC Owen Gleiberman in the very same SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW issue in the Movies section under my real name of Greg - I ask Owen "with the upcoming summer release of HAIRSPRAY, SWEENEY TODD in production, and MAMMA MIA about to roll, which Broadway musical do you want to see get the Hollywood treatment? His answer: History Boys). But I digress: Here are my TOP 20 (and five smaller honorable mentions):
1. The movie I most want to see this summer is HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. (The trailer was awesome, and with Book Seven, DEATHLY HALLOWS, coming out a week later, July is going to be a very Harry month: I may even grow my butt hairs back out and do a scene in honor of the Potter).
2. I am expecting a satisfying conclusion to the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies with the release of AT EARTH'S END. After all, DEAD MAN'S CHEST was really just the commercial set-up for this final entry, right? So I can forgive Part 2's middling excitement level ONLY if Part 3 gives me a huge, satisfying payoff.
3. I am a NUT for musicals (ahem, just check out my letter to Entertainment Weekly this week for example), I love John Travolta in these things, and 'Good Morning Baltimore' gets me misty-eyed (in a good way). So I have HIGH hopes for HAIRSPRAY!
4. In any normal summer preview, SHREK THE THIRD would probably be number 1 or 2, but this summer is KICKING ASS in terms of Buzz Movies. So the only reason my beloved Shrek is at number 4 is because of an overpopulated pond. I have fond memories of the first SHREK: my boyfriend at the time ate my ass out in the back aisle during a midnight performance). Maybe this year he will give me a load up my ass during the first Puss sighting.
5. and 6. THE FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER just barely beats out SPIDER-MAN 3 in the super hero department on title alone. I may be one of the few who LOVED the first FOUR. I thought it's humor was spot-on with regard to the comics themselves. I hear that Part 2 is supposed to be heavier on the action, which is awesome: just so long as they don't fuck up with the dynamics of this family of four. Then there's the rumored final chapter in the Spider-Man film series: the trailer looked AWESOME! Just as the Silver Surfer looked awesome in the FF4 trailer. So I am totally pumped up on both: with again, the title for the FF movie giving in the super-edge.
7. NANCY DREW: Sure! Why not! I loved this girl in the books and then the Pamela Sue Martin tv series. And hearing that the cute Emma Roberts (Julia's niece) is in the title role seals the deal.
8. STARDUST has that curiosity thing going for me. It's a movie adapted from a book by Neil Gaiman and stars Clare Danes as a star fallen from out of the sky!!! I know, it sounds pretty strange, but with Michelle Pfeiffer also in the cast as someone evil, I can only get stoked thinking about how this original movie (in a summer of sequels) will play out.
9. RATATOUVILLE is that OTHER big animated movie (minus the green ogre or yellow donut loving father). It's all about a top chef, who just happens to be a rat (voiced by Oswalt Patten). Since it's backed by Pixar and directed by Brad Bird of THE INCREDIBLES, I am assuming it will be the best thing since, er, THE INCREDIBLES.
10. KNOCKED UP: No, it's the Hollywood version of Treasure Island Media's cum-filled classic. Instead, it's Apted's follow up to THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN and stars Freaks N Geeks' Scott Rogen and Grey's Anatomy's Katherine Heigl. Could be this year's Must See R Rated comedy.
Numbers 11 through 20 Coming Soon!