Thursday, June 11, 2009

Everything I Know, I Learned From Movie Trailers

This summer's movies stretch as far down the block as the local multiplex. You've got the fun family flicks (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs); blockbuster action movies (Transformers 2 and GI Joe); and lots of comedy (Easy Virtue and The Invention of Lying). Here's a look at a few of our choices.

Pixar's latest, Up, was one of the first children's movies released this summer. It hasn't lived up to the reputation of its predecessors, but it promises eye-popping graphics and child-friendly humor. Based loosely on the children's book, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs promises even better graphics and, as seen in the title, an attractive whimsy. The latest in the Harry Potter franchise is released this week. The hype is amazing - almost makes me want to see the movie. But after seeing the first one and most of the second, I couldn't figure it out. Why is this so popular? You can tell me about the Half-Blood Prince.

Transformers 2, continuing last summer's surprise success, has raked in lots of dough. I hope this one is as good as the last one. A simple, yet compelling story, excellent casting, and those Michael Bay-trademark special effects are a must. But little things mean a lot. Small touches, such as patriotism, devoted parents, and smart girls, bring the brainless action movie into the area of great movie, memorable movie. The newest Star Trek, for example, fell short of this. It seems hard to believe that another movie starring a favorite toy is also out this summer. GI Joe looks quite fantastic, according to the trailer, but it doesn't seem quite faithful to the old ideal. This new GI Joe becomes government issue with a super-soldier suit. Does this sound like fun to you?

Easy Virtue, set in the roaring 1920's, is based on an Oscar Wilde play. Jessica Biel plays a glamorous, reckless American who impetuously marries into British nobility. Kristen Scott Thomas and Colin Firth, as her in-laws, show her the error of her ways. Looks like a great cast, but I am a sucker for witty costume dramas. What would life be like if everyone told the truth right to your face? The Invention of Lying will let us in on that world. The Office co-creator Ricky Gervais wrote and starred in this comedy. With Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey, and Rob Lowe in the mix, looks like Gervais is finally getting somewhere. His brand of comedy, while hysterical, is tough for some to see.

Hope this short look at what's coming up helps you sort out your entertainment. Have a great summer going to the movies!