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For summaries of current movies , see Kam's Kapsules.

Summer Movie Preview: Another Summer of Prequels, Sequels, Adaptations, and Remakes

By Kam Williams

Traditionally, Hollywood holds back its big-budget blockbusters for the summer season which, in the movie business, stretches from May to August. Because of the inherent risks associated with expensive, action-oriented flicks, the industry has become increasingly reluctant to invest in any unproven production. The result is that the studios regularly return to the tried and true adventures and recycle those ideas.|

Thus, nearly every offering in this summer of re-runs is either a spin-off (From Justin to Kelly), a sequel (The Matrix Reloaded), a prequel (Exorcist: The Beginning), a remake (The In-Laws), an extension of a neverending franchise (Pokemon 5), or an adaption of a hit TV show (Rugrats Go Wild), a best-seller (Prozac Nation) or an amusement park ride (Pirates of the Caribbean). The upshot is that every week for the next few months, the hottest new release is likely to be an old familiar favorite.


Dracula. Pages from a Virgin's Diary. Transylvania in tights. Ballet version of Bram Stoker's Gothic horror novel.

The Matrix Reloaded. Keanu and company are back for more slo-mo sci-fi hijinks, though the late Aaliyah has been replaced by Nona Gaye, the late Marvin's daughter.

Down with Love. Ewan McGregor and Renée Zellweger star in this retro homage to the classic Rock Hudson/Doris Day romantic comedies of the early Sixties.

Pokemon Heroes. Fifth installment in the indestructible, animated series based on the indestructible pocket monsters of the popular TV show from Japan.

Bruce Almighty. This latest Jim Carrey careening vehicle is about a bellyacher from Buffalo who becomes God for a Day. With Morgan Freeman as the deity who decides to take a break.

The In-Laws. Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks replace Alan Arkin and Peter Falk in remake of the 1979 comedy, updated as the nutty adventures of a foot doctor and a CIA agent whose kids are about to get hitched.

Finding Nemo. Disney undersea adventure about a frightened fish who must overcome his timidity and embark on an epic journey to rescue his stolen son.

The Italian Job. Remake of the 1969 crime caper of the same name which featured Michael Caine, Noel Coward and Benny Hill. This go-round it's Ed Norton, along with rappers-turned-actors Mark Wahlberg and Mos Def, involved in an elaborate gold heist.


2 Fast 2 Furious. John Singleton managed to direct this sequel to The Fast and the Furious even without original stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez.

Prozac Nation. Christina Ricci stars as Harvard coed in screen version of the Elizabeth Wurtzel best-selling memoir about her lifelong struggle with depression and suicidal tendencies.

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. Pre-quel to Dumb and Dumber (1994), but with Eric Olsen and Derek Richardson filling Jim Carrey's and Jeff Daniels' shoes, respectively. Special Ed theme means high school gags with scene-stealing Eugene Levy as the outraged principal.

From Justin to Kelly. Film-eating virus arrives in theaters as fictionalized spin-off of Fox reality-TV show, American Idol, with show winners singing and falling in love and singing s'more.

Rugrats Go Wild. Third adaptation of the animated TV series has the Rugrats encounter the Thornberrys, stars of their own Nickelodeon show.

The Hulk. Adaptation of the Marvel Comics strip about a mild-mannered geneticist who, after a lab accident, morphs into a green alter ego with "incredible" strength any time he gets angry.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Cameron, Drew, and Lucy Liu return for higher-octaned sequel but with Bernie Mac as Bosley, Demi Moore as a fallen angel and cameos by Jaclyn Smith and the Olsen Twins. Heavenly honeys must solve a string of witness protection program murders.


Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. Reese Witherspoon returns as Harvard Law-trained bimbo, with story set in D.C. where pink-attired attorney becomes an advocate for animal rights.

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. Animated adaptation of one of the 1001 Arabian Nights tales, this about the misadventures of a sailor who encounters an assortment of monsters while on a quest to clear his name.

Terminator 3. Arnold is back, as are androids and cyborgs, for an epic battle pitting human versus artificial intelligence.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Disney action adventure, based on its amusement park ride of the same name, stars Johnny Depp as a gentleman outlaw up against a band of rogue buccaneers.

Bad Boys II. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunite for more yucks as Miami cops, including going undercover as Ku Klux Klansmen. With Gabrielle Union as Martin's sister/Will's love interest.

Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. Angelina Jolie reprises title role in second adaptation of popular Sony Playstation game. Sequel sends Lara in search of the legendary Pandora's Box.

Spy Kids 3: Game Over. Final installment in franchise has our tiny heroes trapped inside a virtual reality game they must play to escape.


American Wedding. American Pie 3. Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan ready to marry, but not before a bachelor party and another awkward moment with father Eugene Levy.

Freaky Friday. Disney remake of 1977 Jodie Foster film about a tomboy and her widowed mom who end up in each others' bodies after getting a couple of freaky fortune cookies.

S.W.A.T. Samuel L. Jackson, in the wake of his success as Shaft, revives another 1970s cop, bringing the short-lived LAPD series to the big screen as an action-oriented crime thriller.

Freddy vs Jason. A Nightmare on Elm Street 8, or is it Friday the 13th 11? High body-count horror flick pits franchised slashers Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger against each other with woe to any teens who venture between them.

Marci X. Cross-cultural comedy with Lisa Kudrow in the title role as a nice Jewish girl/gangsta' rap impressario embarrassed by Damon Wayans as her controversial recording star.

Jeepers Creepers II. Screamer sequel picks up with the flesh-eating winged creature on another feeding frenzy, this courtesy of a marooned busload of cheerleaders and basketball players who have just won the state championship.

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