Get ready for a sequelicious summer

Movie season’s full of reel reunions

By James Verniere
Boston Herald
May 7, 2010

What summer-movie season is this, anyway? We’ve got an “Iron Man” movie, a “Twilight” (June 30), a “Robin Hood,” a “Shrek,” a “Sex and the City,” another “Karate Kid,” another “Toy Story” (June 18), a George Romero zombie movie (May 28) and, for crying out loud, “The A-Team.” Can you say: I pity the fools?

Clearly, it’s deja vu 24/7 as the film industry sells only what has been sold before, even if it was only on television. No wonder indies sweep the awards. Here is the cinematic buffet that is summer at the movies:


The season kicks off today with the return of Robert Downey Jr., fresh from a turn as Sherlock Holmes, in the title role of “Iron Man 2” and the character’s alter ego Tony Stark.

Also back with him is Gwyneth Paltrow as Stark’s sexy assistant Pepper Potts. Taking over from Terrence Howard is Don Cheadle as Iron Man’s buddy and fellow metal warrior Lt. Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes. Also in the cast are Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and the resurgent Mickey Rourke.
A heavy-metal juggernaut, no doubt.

“Shrek Forever After” (at least it seems like forever) hits the big screen on May 21. This promises to be the final installment in the series, which means smack-talking Donkey, Princess Fiona, Shrek and a now-portly Puss in Boots will have to keep their enchanted adventures to themselves.

On May 27, we’ll get to enjoy the further chick-flick adventures of those aging, ab-fab, romantically challenged “Sex and the City 2” gals. In this installment, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda ride camels! And talk about clothes, men, sex, men, sex and the meaning of life.

“Nanny McPhee Returns” (Aug. 20) again with Emma Thompson. This time she … does it really matter?


A mere week after “Iron Man 2,” Russell Crowe will try to wrest the box-office crown out of Downey’s iron-clad hands in Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” (May 14).

Dubbed “Hood-iator” by me, if no one else, the film looks to return a newly refurbished Crowe to the sort of “unleash-hell” genre the public likes him in after he stumbled with interchangably titled “Body of Lies” and “State of Play” (which was which?).

Will Crowe, whose Maid Marion is Cate Blanchett, stand head and shoulders with previous screen Robins Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, Sean Connery, Richard Greene and Kevin Costner?

How lucky are we that “The A-Team” and the new “Karate Kid” with Will Smith’s kid in the Ralph Macchio role both arrive June 11? In the former, Liam Neeson leads a team of angry Iraq war vets (Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Sharlto Copley, Patrick Wilson and Ultimate Fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson) on shoot-’em-up, blow-’em-up, beat-’em-up adventure.


“MacGruber” a big-screen version of a mediocre “Saturday Night Live” takeoff of a lame 1980s TV series, arrives on May 21. If the trailers are anything to go by, poop jokes make up most of the plot.

Richard Dreyfuss stars in “Piranha 3D” (Aug. 27). “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”… and a younger leading man.

My favorite 2010 summer title? “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead” (June 11).

“Step Up 3D” (Aug. 6). Street dancers – in 3-D. That toe shoe looked like it was coming right at me!


This year’s hopeful, raucous comedy breakout a la “The Hangover,” “Get Him to the Greek” (June 4) unites Jonah Hill (“Superbad”) and Russell Brand in a “My Favorite Year”-like tale of an intern trying to get a Brit rock star to a concert.

Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups” (June 25) teams Chris Rock, Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider and David Spade. OK, who doesn’t belong in this list?


On June 25, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz co-star in the Boston-shot “Knight and Day,” an action-comedy about a fugitive couple on a glamorous and sometimes deadly adventure. If you have any questions, watch “Bird on a Wire.”

M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender” (July 2) takes on the Nickelodeon cartoon legend of the boy with the ink mohawk. The kid is known as the Avatar, but I guess that title was taken.

Leo DiCaprio stars in Chris Nolan’s sci-fi psychological thriller “Inception” ((July 16).

Angelina Jolie returns as another superspy (surprise!) in “Salt” (July 23), Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Mickey Rourke (again?) muscle into “The Expendables” (Aug. 13). Mercenaries. South America. Overthrowing a dictator. Insert snort here.

If “Robin Hood” doesn’t ring your bell, wait two weeks for “The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (May 28). Featuring notably non-Persian Jake Gyllenhaal as a scimitar-wielding hero out of “The Arabian Nights” by way of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the live-action Disney film version of a videogame stars Gemma Arteron and Ben Kingsley.

Snap, cackle, pop: Summer preview
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