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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    ‘Troy,’ ‘Potter’ look promising; ‘Garfield’ not so much

    Ah, summer! That glorious time of year in the South when the greatest place to be on a too-muggy afternoon is lounging comfortably in the air-conditioned middle rows of your neighborhood movie theater. So let’s you and I fast-forward a few weeks into the future and take a look at what this summer holds in store for everyone escaping the heat at his or her local megaplex.
    Slurp on a soda, buy a family-sized popcorn and check your brain at the door. Let the blockbusting begin!
    First off, let’s commit to memory the bottom 10 list of titles this critic will be avoiding like the plague in the months ahead:
    10. “King Arthur” (July 7): Despite a good cast headed by Clive Owen and Keira Knightly, this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Camelot saga looks like a stinker to me.
    9. “Around the World in 80 Days” (June 16): With Steve Coogan and Jackie Chan in the leads, this could be fun. But don’t bet on it.
    8. “Alien Vs. Predator” (Aug. 13): Destined to be even less fun than “Freddy Vs. Jason.”
    7. “New York Minute” (May 6): The Olsen Twins. In a movie. You’ve been warned.
    6. “White Chicks” (June 25): The Wayans Brothers go white-face as bubbly WASP girls. Hilarity seems unlikely to ensue.
    5. “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” (Aug. 27): A sequel to the now seven-years-old schlockfest “Anaconda.” The subtitle here should say it all.
    4. “Garfield” (June 11): Bill Murray as the voice of the famous fat cat was a good start, but the feline’s CGI incarnation interacting with Breckin Meyer and a live-action Odie seems like a turn for the worse.
    3. “Raising Helen” (May 26): Garry Marshall directing Kate Hudson in an ooey-gooey piece of family fluff. Expect the screen to drip with sentimental sap.
    2. “Exorcist: The Beginning” (Aug. 20): This decades-too-late prequel is half-directed by the great Paul Schraeder and half-directed by the infamously un-great Renny Harlin. The Power of Common Sense compels you to stay away from this one.
    1. “Catwoman” (July 23): Halle Berry as the DC comics super-vixen. Advance word is so bad that this film may escape the summer box office with none of its nine lives intact.
    However, for every one film this critic will stay away from this summer, there are at least two that he plans to embrace with open arms and open wallet. Here’s the top 15 I can’t wait to see from May to August:
    15. “The Day After Tomorrow” (May 28): It’s been a while since the masses rallied behind a great disaster movie. This nightmare vision of the world consumed by natural calamities could change that.
    14. “Anchorman” (July 9): Will Ferrell and the ’70s. What more do you need to know?
    13. “Garden State” (July 30): An indie from Zach Braff (“Scrubs”) that looks funny, touching, and eccentric in spades.
    12. “The Door in the Floor” (June 23): Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger star in what will probably be the summer’s best heavy drama.
    11. “Saved!” (May 28): Teens, angst, sex, Jesus, Macauley Culkin in a wheelchair. All the things I look for in a good movie.
    10. “Collateral” (Aug. 6): Michael Mann is a great director, and this critic can’t wait to see what he does with Tom Cruise in his most villainous role since the early ’90s.
    9. “Van Helsing” (May 6): Stephen Sommers (“The Mummy Returns”) offers up a silly all-action tale of the famous monster-hunter (Hugh Jackman) doing battle with Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Wolf-Man. It may be terrible, but I can’t wait to find out.
    8. “The Manchurian Candidate” (July 30): An unnecessary remake that nonetheless looks like a winner. Jonathan Demme directs Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, and Jon Voight in this update of John Frankenheimer’s 1962 classic.
    7. “The Village” (July 30): M. Night Shyamalan returns. Will his latest supernatural thriller be a winner (“Signs”) or a dud (“Unbreakable”)? With a cast including Adrien Brody and Sigourney Weaver, this critic is destined to find out for himself.
    6. “Troy” (May 14): Brad Pitt as Achilles! Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom as the princes of Troy! Brian Cox and Peter O’Toole in supporting roles! Sun, swords, sandals and an epic running time! Gabe Smith in line to buy a ticket!
    5. “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” (June 25): This big-budget nostalgia trip has Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie looking their sexiest as they save the WWII-era world from giant robots. If this one’s bad, it’ll make me cry.
    4. “Coffee and Cigarettes” (May 14): Independent film icon Jim Jarmusch’s new ensemble comedy boasts talents as diverse as Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Steve Buscemi, and Iggy Pop. If it’s anything like “Mystery Train,” I’m there!
    3. “Spider-Man 2” (June 30): Who doesn’t want to see this?
    2. “The Terminal” (June 18): Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones in a feel-good romance about a homeless immigrant living in an airport and the flight attendant who steals his heart. I wish I was watching this right now.
    And finally, the movie I’m most looking forward to this summer: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (June 4): I really liked the first “Potter” film and I thought that “Chamber of Secrets” was one of the best films of its respective year.
    All the principals (save for the late Richard Harris) are back for more magic and menace, and they’re joined by new cast members like Emma Thompson and Gary Oldman.
    Under the direction of Alfonso Cuaron (“Y Tu Mama Tambien”), this sleeker, darker “Potter” looks to be even better than its predecessors.
    Just remember to choose your blockbusters carefully. Whether you’re in the mood for the sublime or the sub-par, you’ll find something to sate your appetite at this summer’s busy box office. See you at the ticket counter.

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    ‘Troy,’ ‘Potter’ look promising; ‘Garfield’ not so much