Start planning your summer movie schedule

by Beacon Staff • April 25, 2007

staff

Camping, swimming, barbecuing and sunbathing are just a few of the enjoyable activities the summer season allows. And while the increase in climate quality should theoretically increase the desire to partake in these pastimes, people by and large choose to waste the summer in dark, stale, freezing cold theatres--watching cars explode and bras unsnapping. So instead of wasting even more time personally researching what cars you want to see blown up and what bras you want to see unsnapped, feel free to use this list, which promises to highlight the most (and least) engaging films of the summer.

Spiderman 3 (May 4)

Although it will be released before the summer months, Spiderman 3 largely represents the kickoff to the summer movie season. Spidey promises to be as agile as ever (the budget for the film ran to a record-setting $258 million) as he fights the Sandman, Venom and the New Goblin. Series director Sam Raimi, along with the rest of the Spiderman cast, has yet to sign on for another chapter, so savor this chapter as if it were the last. (Estimated Box Office: $400 million)

Shrek the Third (May 18)

Irrefutably the most successful animated franchise ever made, the third chapter in the Shrek franchise returns to the land of Far Far Away as Shrek (Mike Myers) and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) search for a reputable heir to the kingdom's throne. While any product sold underneath a Shrek label is certain to make superfluous amounts of money, the Shrek team faces the difficult task of keeping its "farcey"-tale vehicle fresh. It'll be a close race between Shrek and Spiderman to see who brings home the most cash this summer. (Estimated Box Office: $400 million)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (May 24)

The conclusion of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy finds Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) trapped in Davy Jones' Locker as Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly) and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) scour the seas to rescue him. If you somehow found the strength to sit through Dead Man's Chest, you owe it to yourself to see At World's End. Otherwise, is it really worth the 10 bucks to see Keith Richards in a cameo and bask in Depp's loveliness? Eh, maybe. (Estimated Box Office: $350 million)

Knocked Up (June 1)

After Alison (Katherine Heigl) and Ben (Seth Rogen) engage in a drunken one-night-stand, they quickly realize they cannot stand one another. Unfortunately, Alison soon finds out she's pregnant and Ben's the father. Writer/director Judd Apatow's highly anticipated comedy follow-up to The 40-Year-Old Virgin may end up being this summer's Little Miss Sunshine. However, while it's safe to say Knocked Up has a higher profile than LMS, it certainly will not earn a nod from the Academy. The quality level of (practically) everything Apatow has touched has been excellent and equally consistent in its somewhat perplexing tendency to deter prospective audiences. Hopefully his success with The 40-Year-Old-Virgin will bring newer fans to the theatre. (Estimated Box Office: $78,567,567.05)

Ocean's 13 (June 8)

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his band of merry men are back for the third (and hopefully last) installment of the Ocean's series. The story revolves around Willie Banks (Al Pacino), a ruthless businessman who gives Reuben (Elliott Gould) a heart attack after duping him out of their jointly owned casino. This time around, and with the help of arch nemesis Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), Danny and the boys seek revenge, not riches. The addition of Pacino is highly characteristic of the series' complete and uninhibited habit of going over the top. In other words, expect a summer movie standard, sure to put popcorn in your mouth and an abscess in your brain. (Estimated Box Office: A lot)

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (June 15)

Released in 2005, Fantastic Four is without question the worst comic-book adaptation ever produced. Of course, such standing beckons a sequel. Rise of the Silver Surfer reunites us with the fantastical foursome, who face off against a mysterious (and shiny) otherworldly being. The Fantastic Four franchise unabashedly embodies the summer movie genre: absurd dialogue, indifferent acting and gratuitous usage of special effects. Do yourself a favor and stick with Spiderman. (Estimated Box Office: $125 million)

Transformers (July 4)

The union of director Michael Bay and "Transformers," a cartoon about metallic aliens that possess the ability to turn into automobiles, will not beget inspiring cinematic art. However, it's sure to enable the director with the opportunity to do what he does best-make things explode. You'll see all your shape-shifting favorites: Megatron, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, even that jerk Scorponok makes an appearance. Need more incentive? Shia LaBeouf stars. Wait, where are you going? Come back! (Estimated Box Office: $150 million)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (July 13)

While the interminable battle against Lord Voldemort rages on, the cast of Harry Potter should find solace in the fact their war against puberty has finally ended. Case in point: star Daniel Radcliffe's role in a risqu