The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

‘Iron Man’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ look to heat up the summer box office

Well, fellow moviegoers, it’s that time of the year again. It’s the time when temperatures climb, public pools open for business and Hollywood movie studios treat us not as intelligent humans, but mindless wallets, willing to shell out for anything loud, sexy, adapted from a comic book or all of the above.

The sad thing is, I love it. I have an unusual weakness for summer blockbusters. For example, last summer, I was telling anyone who’d listen that “Transformers” was a life-changing event and the best film of the year. What can I say? I’m a sucker for action thrillers that combine comedy and heart with a lot of explosions.

That being said, here’s a rundown of the movies being released this summer that will undoubtedly have me glued to an awkwardly cushy theater seat, munching over-salted popcorn and Junior Mints.

Today, the comic-book movie franchise changes forever with the release of “Iron Man.” I don’t think I’m being too melodramatic in saying that, as “Iron Man” is the first release that Marvel’s production company has produced all on its own, without the “help” of a bigger studio making decisions. Directed with love by Jon Favreau, the film stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, a billionaire weapons designer who is kidnapped by terrorists and ordered to build a weapon for them. Instead, he uses his resources to build an armored suit in order to escape. Once he’s back in the States, Stark improves on the suit and becomes the superhero Iron Man.

On May 9, Japanese animation will come to life when “Speed Racer” hits theaters. From the looks of the seizure-inducing trailer, the Wachowski brothers have crafted a PG-rated digitized thrill ride. Based on the 1960s cartoon, “Speed Racer” stars Emile Hirsh (“The Girl Next Door,” “Into the Wild”) in the title role. The movie looks insane, but I haven’t yet decided if it’s in a good way or a bad way.

The Pevensie children’s adventures in Narnia continue on May 16, when “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” enters theaters. The sequel looks a lot more action-packed than the first film entry, “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.” The movie finds the four Pevensie kids returning to Narnia only to find that, while only a year has passed for them, thousands of years have passed in Narnia. The kingdom has fallen into corrupted hands and the only one who can help the children save it is Prince Caspian, whose accent in the trailer throws me for a loop every time.

Break out the whips and fedoras on May 22, because Indy’s back. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford have teamed up again to bring Indiana Jones back to the big screen after almost 20 years. The new film, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” looks like it evokes “Raiders of the Lost Ark” more than any of its other predecessors. I think I even saw the warehouse where the Ark of the Covenant is stored featured in the trailer. Either way, Shia LaBeouf of “Transformers” stars as Indy’s new greaser sidekick, so you know I’ll be there.

I guess it’s important to a lot of people that the “Sex and the City” movie is opening on May 30. But to be honest, I’m much more excited about the premiere of “The Foot Fist Way,” starring Danny McBride of “Hot Rod.” McBride is downright hilarious and I’m stoked about seeing him holding an entire movie on his capable shoulders.

June 6 might be a weak weekend for the summer. The only notable releases are Dreamworks’ animated “Kung Fu Panda,” starring Jack Black, and “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” starring Adam Sandler and written by Judd Apatow. I didn’t laugh once during either of these trailers. “Kung Fu Panda” looks like “Mulan” crossed with “Kill Bill,” and “Zohan” seems like a real step backward for Sandler, who has been moving up the ladder in sophistication since his SNL days.

M. Night Shyamalan’s new film “The Happening,” starring Mark Wahlberg, opens June 13. It’s hard to describe this one because, well, it’s an M. Night Shyamalan movie. If you liked his other films, you’ll probably like this one. As for me, I’ll be in line to see “The Incredible Hulk,” starring Edward Norton, also opening June 13. I’ve never been a big fan of the Hulk, but Edward Norton is an incredible presence on screen, so I’m in.

Another television classic hits the big screen on June 20, when “Get Smart” hits theaters. The movie stars “The Office’s” Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart, a bumbling special agent teamed up with Anne Hathaway (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Becoming Jane”) as Agent 99.

The highlight of my summer happens on June 27, when Pixar’s “Wall-E” opens. The movie explores what happens when humans trash our planet so badly that they must leave it behind, move to a space station and let robots stay on earth to clean up the mess. The title character, Wall-E, is the last lonely little robot left on Earth until a sleek robot named Eve arrives to check up on progress. Wall-E instantly falls for Eve and follows her back into space. There are so many things that have me jazzed about this movie. I love that there’s little to no dialogue – just a lot of beeps, whistles and mechanical sounds. I think the story is interesting, the characters are cute and the trailers have been beautiful.

Number two on my list of “must sees” is “The Dark Knight,” opening on July 18. “The Dark Knight” is the sequel to “Batman Begins.” Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne and the late Heath Ledger stars as the Joker. Many people might see the movie now simply because of Ledger’s unfortunate death. But many more knew that it was going to be an incredible movie anyway. Especially with the addition of Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, the man who eventually becomes Two Face.

On Aug. 1, Brendan Fraser and Jet Li star in the newest “Mummy” movie, “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.” Basically, it’ll probably be like all of the other “Mummy” movies, but in Asia.

Stoner comedy takes a non-Harold and Kumar turn when “The Pineapple Express” hits theaters on Aug. 8. Starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, the film follows Rogen’s character after he witnesses a murder while smoking marijuana. This trailer makes me laugh every single time, and I’m looking forward to seeing Franco as something other than the brooding guy from “Spider-Man.”

On Aug. 15, Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. storm into theaters with “Tropic Thunder.” The movie, directed by Stiller, follows a group of actors filming a Vietnam movie when the action starts to get a little too real.

And then, unfortunately, it’ll be time to return to Fondren Library and Dallas Hall for a new year of school. Enjoy these mindless summer movies while you can!

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