The Self-Made Critic Makes A Fool of Himself By Predicting the Summer Movie Season
Summer! Good movies are here! Movies to indulge in and frolic in and just
love, love, love! Summer is a time for forgetting that movies are supposed
to be art and remember that they're also entertainment, and this summer is
shaping up to be exactly that, sheer entertainment. Most of these flicks
won't be remembered come Oscar time, aside from the usual effects categories,
but then again, Gladiator was a summer pic, and look what it did.
So here, in order, are my picks for the top 20 movies of the summer, in final
box office gross. I've had mixed results on this in the past. For example,
last year I correctly predicted that Mission: Impossible 2 would be the
biggest film of the summer, I also said Battlefield Earth would end up in the
top 10. I was wrong. So, for better or worse, here we go.
1. Pearl Harbor
It's Titanic without the boat. A huge period romance that also includes a
huge chunk of some of the most amazing action footage ever seen. It's epic,
it's historic, it was really, really expensive to make and you're gonna root
for America all over again. It's the one moment in history which everyone
can agree that big, bad America was totally and utterly the good guys. And
directed by Michael Bay, which means all kinds of stuff will blow up!
It's directed by Steven Spielberg. It's sci-fi. It's a touching story of
humanity and robots. As long as no one mentions Bicentennial Man, it should
rake in the dough. Plus, the movie gives ammunition for everyone who ever
said that Haley Joel Osment's acting was robotic.
3. Jurassic Park 3
No books, no expectations, and according to sources, no script. Who cares?
The Dinosaurs are back and they're pissed off. As long as we keep going to
these movies, they'll keep cranking them out, but you gotta wonder why anyone
in their right mind would keep visiting that island! "Hmmm.. OK. JP4 starts
when Gilligan accidentally breaks the compass and the Minnow finds it's way
to the shores of this former Dino amusement parkā^Ą¦"
4. America's Sweethearts
Summer Movie Truth #37: One movie always takes advantage of the fact that
there are people out there who actually prefer movies that don't star special
effects. Summer Movie Truth #37.5: Julia Roberts could star in an athlete's
foot spray infomercial and it would make $100 million. I have no idea what
this movie is about, something about married movie stars and the woman who
comes between them, but they say Julia smiles in the flick, so it's good
enough for me.
5. Planet of the Apes
I wasn't going to put this so high, but have you seen the trailer? It looks
SO COOL! Tim Burton "revisits" (don't call it a remake) everyone's favorite
simian world and all heck breaks loose. Word is the ending's all new.
Instead of the Statue of Liberty, we get Epcot Center and a gaggle of singing
Disney characters. Chilling, no?
6. The Mummy Returns
This movie has competing trends going for it. On one hand, it's opening the
summer, and that always means big bucks (Gladiator and The Mummy both ended
up top 5 when they were in this spot). On the other hand, it's a sequel, and
they almost never make as much money as the original. On the other hand,
every WWF fan in the world will see it catch The Rock in action, and that
might put this baby over the top. Whatever, more mummies, more cgi beasties,
should be fine. Although they added a kid to the story, and that is NEVER a
7. Tomb Raider
This will go down in history as the best video game turned movie ever. You
watch. It'll kick Super Mario's ass. Actually Angelina Jolie could probably
single-handedly kick Super Mario's ass, and his brother Luigi, too. Besides,
the teaser poster of Angelina is already the number one poster on the walls
of dorm rooms across America.
It's summer, so Disney needs a cartoon in the top 10, and they picked a
dandy. I don't know why more Atlantis movies aren't made, as the subject is
ripe for some exploitation. Atlantis is all things every 8 year old in the
world likes, and their parents can probably be dragged to it as well.
Mysterious legend, magical people, and Spock (lending a voice) make for a
heck of a show! Now if they'd only come out with a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
9. Cats and Dogs
OK, this may be one where I eat my shirt, but I think a film about how cats
and dogs are actually outer space aliens who have been warring over Earth in
secret throughout time is just too good a concept to pass up. Have you seen
the trailer? They've got ninja kitties! Ninja kitties!!! Pass the popcorn.
10. Scary Movie 2
Last year Scary Movie made gobs and gobs of money. This year, Scary Movie 2
will only make gobs of money. But I'll take gobs of money any day. There
are so many bad horror movies to make fun of, here's hoping Pinhead shows up
somewhere and traps Carmen Electra in a puzzle box. Wouldn't that be cool?
I want this movie to be Ghostbusters. I worry that it'll be Wild Wild West.
But even WWW made over $100 million (didn't know that, did you?) and so will
this. David Duchovny, tired of being type cast as the sci-fi guy, leaves
X-Files to star in this sci-fi movie about aliens from outer space who are
trying to take over the world. Great way to branch out, Dave. Oh but wait,
this baby's a COMEDY, which makes it different. Whatever, me, I just wanna
see Orlando Jones, that guy's funny.
12. American Pie 2
The teenage gross-out movies are dying, but there's still room for one more
trip to the well, and American Pie 2 is gonna squeeze out as much as it can
until the well's dry. Sex jokes. Sex with baking goods jokes. Men not
understanding women jokes. More sex jokes. What more do you need? I hear
there's an incredible bit with a strudel you have to see to believe.
13. Rush Hour 2
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker re-team for another go around. This time
they're in Hong Kong. Same movie, different culture. Jackie's the cool dude
on the home turf, Chris is the fish out of water. Rinse, repeat. Still,
Jackie continues to kick some serious ass, and any chance to see him do it in
English is much appreciated on this continent.
14. Dr. Dolittle 2
Notice that 4 of the last 5 movies on this list have the number 2 in their
title? Eddie Murphy is back, talking to the animals and once again trying
desperately to erase the memory of Eddie Murphy: Raw. See kids! Eddie's a
family guy! He's a loveable funny uncle! He talks to animals! He's not
dirty, never swears, and you just want to bring him home to mom! He's
already in production on Nutty Professor 3, with Dr. Dolittle 3 waiting in
the wings. Ten bucks says he just keeps jumping back and forth between these
two franchises until he dies.
15. A Knight's Tale
I would be so much more into this flick if the trailer did blare out "We Will
Rock You" at all decibels. Not exactly period, is it? But then, that's the
point. This ain't a period piece, it's a movie about people slamming long
shafts into each other over and over again. And you thought I'd only be able
to use that phrase when they made Boogie Nights 2.
John Travolta, still licking his wounds after the one-two punch of
Battlefield Earth and Lucky Numbers (do you ever remember Lucky Numbers? It
was out less than a year ago. No, really.), returns as a bad-ass master
criminal trying to steal the world's computer secrets. Or something like
that. I dunno, it's not like Hackers or Anti-Trust or anything has bowled
audiences over in the past year or so. In fact, there really hasn't been a
good computer movie since War Games. Unless you liked Short Circuit. I'm
guessing Swordfish won't have much in common with either of these movies.
17. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
The best computer animated effects ever seen on the big screen. In America,
at least. Fans say this is the next step in motion picture entertainment.
Others say it's just another Titan A.E. I say the truth lies somewhere in
18. The Animal
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo was a horrible movie. It made tons of money.
Which is really the only reason why The Animal is on this list. Rob
Schneider is really hoping he can become the next Adam Sandler, who's still
crying in the corner over Little Nicky. But there's more to this movie than
meets the eye. For one thing, it's got a cute and perky Survivor on it
(Colleen Haskell, not Elizabeth) and secondly.. well, have you seen the
trailer? Rob gets injured and a freaky doctor saves his life by replacing
bunches of his organs with parts from various animals. I groaned when the
trailer started, but by the time it was over, I was bowled over in laughter,
and so was everyone else in the theater. We weren't proud of this fact, but
we all kinda looked at each other and admitted that yes, we'd lust laughed
our collective tushies off at a Rob Schneider trailer. Worth a look.
This may well do much better. It's getting really, really good buzz. So I'm
ready to take my medicine when it passes $250 million and is the biggest
animated flick since Lion King. Dreamworks has done animation pretty well so
far (Chicken Run) so here's hoping they can keep their streak alive.
20. Angel Eyes
Something has to get the 20th spot, why not a movie starring J.Lo. No one
knows anything about this movie, it's supposed to have a secret ending that
makes it impossible to describe. They' compare it The Sixth Sense. I'm
guessing that means Jim Caviezel walks around muttering "I see almost-naked
people!" every time Lopez walks on screen.
There are, of course, other movies that aren't on this list. And undoubtedly
one or two of them will be huge hits while A.I. bombs. Take your pick.
Nicole Kidman sings and struts sexually in Moulin Rouge, DeNiro, Brando and
Ed Norton try to out-act each other in The Score, a bunch of young studs
drive Fast and Furious, Kirsten Dunst plays with punctuation and other things
in Crazy/Beautiful, the Swingers boys are back with Made, everybody and their
mother stars in the Vegas movie that isn't Ocean's 11 - Rat Race, and Martin
Lawrence and Danny DeVito piss each other off in What's the Worst That Could
So many movies, so little time. There's really only one thing we know for
sure this summer: Lord of Rings and Harry Potter won't be here 'til the