Monday, May 11, 2009

Summer movies simplify cinema

Posted By on Mon, May 11, 2009 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge HANG TIME: Russell (left) and Carl Fredricksen from Up
  • HANG TIME: Russell (left) and Carl Fredricksen from Up

The stereotypical summer movie aspires to be a simple pleasure, and usually gets it half right. Simplicity is the stock-in-trade of Hollywood tentpole films. Even a full sentence may be too long to sum up a summer blockbuster's premise: Ideally, it fits into a tagline, a Tweet or an icon.

Regardless of which movie you see, where you see a film offers its own delights. Several of the summer biggies will be in 3-D (including Pixar's Up), a few will have IMAX versions, and many will play at the summertime's quintessential venue, the Starlight Six Drive-In. Doubtless a few of the season's hits will screen at the Fox Theatre Summer Film Festival, the titles of which are to be announced.

Screen on the Green continues this year at Centennial Olympic Park, and with the exception of Oscar-nominated Dreamgirls (June 4), it's devoted to 1980s flashbacks, including Back to the Future (May 28); Field of Dreams (June 11) and Home Alone (June 18) — which, granted, came out in 1990 but was made in the 1980s. For June 25, audiences can vote for one of three 1980s films: Big, Ghostbusters and The Princess Bride. (I'd vote for Ghostbusters, but would bet on The Princess Bride.)

The summer movies of '09 may make the Screen on the Green lineup two decades from now. Apart from the already released X-Men Origins: Wolverine, this summer's light on the joy of superheroes. Here's a guide to the most-hyped releases to come, along with the simple pleasures they're shooting for.

Angels & Demons (May 15)

THE JOY OF: sleek, empty eurothrillers; saying naughty things about the Catholic Church

IN OTHER WORDS: Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard reunite for the follow-up to The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown published the novel Angels & Demons first, but the new film still follows Hanks as globe-trotting, conspiracy-unraveling symbologist Robert Langdon, who journeys to Rome to uncover a mystery involving the Vatican, the Illuminati and, uh, antimatter. (Note to self: Google the word "symbologist.")

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(Photo ©Disney/Pixar)

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