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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR # 372  (Vol. 8, No. 19)  This edition is for the week of May 7--13, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
Summer Movie Preview '07

Commentary by:
Michael A. Smith

theater seats

The Tampa Giant Comic Con and Indie Fest for May  by Nolan B. Canova
The Fabulous Architecture of the Tampa Bay Region -- Part Three  by William Moriaty
"Georgia Rule"  by Mike Smith
Summer 2007 Movie Preview  by Mike Smith
Maybe They Should Ban Fried Foods, Too....Do You Hear What I Hear....Movie News....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 19: Judge Reinhold  by Mike Smith
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Once again the warming sun signals the end of the school year and the beginning of the summer movie season. Kicking off the box office battle with a bang was the third adventure of everyone's favorite web slinger, Spider-Man 3 (opened May 4th). Here is a list of the movies to watch for between now and the end of August. Please remember that stated opening dates are scheduled to change at the whims of the studios. Some synopsis information courtesy of the Internet Movie Data base.

MAY 18

SHREK THE THIRD. Starring: the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy. Directed by: Chris Miller. The burly ogre (Myers) and his bride Fiona (Diaz) are asked to rule as king and queen of Far, Far Away, much to their chagrin. Antonio Banderas returns to voice Puss in Boots and Justin Timberlake joins the cast as the voice of Artie.

EVEN MONEY. Starring: Kim Basinger, Danny Devito and Forest Whitaker. Directed by: Mark Rydell. Nine compulsive gamblers find themselves dealing with the problems their addiction brings, some with horrific consequences.

THE WENDELL BAKER STORY. Starring: Luke Wilson, Eva Mendes and Owen Wilson. Directed by: Luke and Andrew Wilson. A tribute to the comedies of the 1970s, Luke Wilson stars as an ex-con who gets a job in a retirement hotel where he then helps the residents fight the owner's corrupt policies. For his writing/directing debut, Luke surrounded himself with family including fellow writing brother, Owen ("Bottle Rocket," "Rushmore").

MAY 25

BUG. Starring: Harry Connick, Jr., Michel Shannon and Ashley Judd. Directed by: William Friedkin. Adapted from the 2004 off-Broadway play, the film tells the story of a waitress (Judd) avoiding her husband (Connick), a former convict, in a motel room with a Gulf War veteran (Shannon), who thinks the room is infested with bugs. Oscar winner Friedkin also did a scary little film three decades ago. It was called "The Exorcist."

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END. Starring: Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom and Chow Yun-Fat. Directed by: Gore Verbinski. Last anyone saw of Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) he was being pulled under the waves by the monstrous Kracken. But not to fear, you can't have a "Pirates" movie without him. This adventure finds Jack's friends Elizabeth (Knightly) and Will (Bloom) teaming up with the long dead Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to rescue him. Several new pirates make their appearance, among them the Pirate Lord of Singapore, Captain Sao Feng (Fat) and Captain Teague, who not only may be Jack Sparrow's father but bears an uncanny resemblance to Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards.


KNOCKED UP. Starring: Seth Rogan and Katherine Heigl. Directed by: Judd Apatow. A one night stand turns into much more in this comedy from the director of "The 40 Year Old Virgin." Rogan has slowly built a following and could be this summer's Jack Black.

MR. BROOKS. Starring: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore and William Hurt. Direct by: Bruce A. Evans. A well respected businessman (Costner) spends his time off as Portland, Oregon's Thumbprint Killer. Moore plays the cop assigned to catch him. I'm sure I could come up with a witty anti-Kevin Costner line but now that Martin Scorsese has an Oscar all is right again between Kev and I.

GRACIE. Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Andrew Shue, Dermot Mulroney and Carly Schroeder. Directed by: Davis Guggenheim. When her soccer star brother dies, Gracie (Schroeder) aims to take his place. Based in part on Elisabeth Shue's high school experiences, this is also a family affair. Elizabeth Shue plays Gracies' mother while her brother Andrew, who "Melrose Place" fans can attest plays a mean game of soccer, plays an opposing coach. Keeping in line with the family theme, Elizabeth's husband, Guggenheim, who just won an Oscar for "An Inconvenient Truth," directs.


HOSTEL: PART II. Starring: Heather Matarazzo and Bijou Phillips. Directed by: Eli Roth. More naive Americans head to the middle of Europe only to be killed in nasty ways. The twist: the horny Americans are girls this time.

OCEANS THIRTEEN. Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Al Pacino. Directed by: Steven Soderbergh. After being burned twice by Danny Ocean and his gang, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) joins forces with them to take down an even bigger baddie, Willy Bank (Pacino). Ellen Barkin also stars.

SURF'S UP. Starring the voices of Shia LaBeouf, Jon Heder and Jeff Bridges. Directed by: Ash Brannon and Chris Buck. I know you didn't think Hollywood would pass up a movie featuring penguins! This animated story takes a look at the annual Penguin World Surfing Championship and it's newest participant, Cody Maverick (LaBeouf).


SICKO. Directed by Michael Moore. After taking on gun control in the Oscar winning "Bowling for Columbine" and the Iraq War in "Fahrenheit 9/11," director Moore turns his cameras on the health care industry. Love him or hate him, Michael Moore will make you think, and that is the sign of a master film maker.

FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER. Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis. Directed by: Tim Story. Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Girl, The Thing and the Human Torch meet up with the almost invincible Silver Surfer, much to the chagrin of the evil Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon).

NANCY DREW. Starring: Emma Roberts, Rachael Leigh Cook and Tate Donovan. Directed by: Andrew Fleming. The young teenage sleuth (Roberts, daughter of Eric and niece of Julia) visits Los Angeles with her father and soon begins investigating the murder of a Hollywood star.


A MIGHTY HEART. Starring: Angelina Jolie, Dan Futterman and Will Patton. Directed by: Michael Winterbottom. Based on the novel by Mariane Pearl, the story centers on the kidnapping and murder of her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was beheaded by his captors. Jolie stars as Mariane with Futterman ("The Bird Cage") as Daniel.

BLACK SHEEP. Starring: Nathan Meister and Peter Feeney. Directed by: Jonathan King. A genetic experiment turns the gentle wool bearers into blood thirsty killers. Need I go on?

EVAN ALMIGHTY. Starring: Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman and Lauren Graham. Directed by: Tom Shadyac. In 2003's "Bruce Almighty," Steve Carell's character, Evan Baxter, was a minor, yet hilarious character. Now Carell is a star, so this time God (Freeman) visits him, instructing him to build an ark.


LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. Starring: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant and Justin Long. Directed by: Len Wiseman. The fourth time around finds John McClane (Willis) doing battle with a cyber terrorist ("Deadwood's" Olyphant). Tagging along with McClane is Long as a computer whiz, which makes sense since he stars in all of those "mac/pc" commercials. Yippie ki yay!


RATATOUILLE. Starring the voices of: Brad Garrett, Patton Oswalt and Peter O'Toole. Directed by: Brad Bird. A gourmet rat named Remy (Oswalt) sets up shop in a high class Parisian restaurant run by a famous chef (Garrett). Director Bird has given us two animated classics in "The Iron Giant" and "The Incredibles."

MARTIAN CHILD. Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet and Joan Cusack. Directed by: Menno Meyjes. Cusack stars as David, a recently widowed science fiction writer who adopts a young boy named Dennis, who claims he's from another planet.


RESCUE DAWN. Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies. Directed by: Werner Herzog. The true story of US Navy Pilot Dieter Dengler (Bale), who was imprisoned and tortured in a Laotian POW camp for six months after his plane was shot down during the early days of the Vietnam War. Zahn, who lost forty pounds for the role, is one of his fellow soldiers.

LICENSE TO WED. Starring: Robin Williams, Mandy Moore and John Krasinski. Directed by Ken Kwapis. A young man (Krasinski) and his fiance (Moore) are forced to enroll in a hilariously bad marriage class taught by the family minister (Williams).

TRANSFORMERS. Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and Jon Voight. Directed by: Michael Bay. OK, like me you never thought you would hear the names MICHAEL BAY and STEVEN SPIELBERG in the same sentence, unless that sentence was "Michael Bay is no Steven Spielberg." Yet the great master (Spielberg) is the executive producer of this updated version of the popular kids show directed by the master of slow-mo (Bay). Optimus Prime and the whole gang are here, though I've yet to discover why Beetlebot went from being a Volkswagen to a Camaro.


1408. Starring: John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Directed by: Mikael Hafstrom. Cusack plays Mike Enslin, an author who has become fixated on the supernatural since the death of his daughter. In order to discover more about the subject, Enslin checks into the Dolphin Hotel, where he is warned by the hotel manager (Jackson) that pretty much every one who ever checked in never checked out.

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Gary Oldman. Directed by: David Yates. The fifth chapter in the saga of the young wizard, the film follows Harry (Radcliffe) and his friends as they continue to battle He Who Must Not Be Named. Readers of the book know that one of the series best loved characters passes on, but there are new characters about, including Vera Drake as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher Dolores Umbridge.

TALK TO ME. Starring: Don Cheadle and Mike Epps. Directed by Kasi Lemmons. Cheadle stars in the true story of Washington D.C. disc jockey "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became an icon on radio during the 1960s.


I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY. Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Dan Aykroyd. Directed by: Dennis Dugan. Sandler and James star as two New York City firemen who pretend to be gay so that they can qualify for health benefits.

HAIRSPRAY. Starring: John Travolta, Nikki Blonsky, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken. Directed by: Adam Shankman. THE FOLLOWING IS NOT A TYPO: Travolta stars as Baltimore housewife Edna Turnblad, whose chubby daughter Tracy (Blonsky) works to integrate a local "Bandstand" type television show. Like "The Producers," this is the film of the Broadway musical that was based on a film. The big news here is Travolta singing and dancing on screen for the first time since "Grease" 30 years ago. Adding to the "Grease" association is "Grease 2" star Pffeiffer as the strongly anti-integration mother Velma Von Tussle.


NO RESERVATIONS. Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Abigail Breslin and Aaron Eckhart. Directed by: Scott Hicks. A remake of the 2001 German film, "Mostly Martha," the film stars Zeta-Jones and Eckhart as rival chefs. Things get crazy when Zeta-Jones is made guardian of "Little Miss Sunshine's" Breslin.

THE SIMPSON'S MOVIE. Starring the voices of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith. Directed by: David Silverman. After almost 400 episodes on television, the Family Simpson is finally heading to the big screen. The plot is being kept under wraps but with a screenplay credited to no less then eleven of the show's best writers, there's no need to have a cow, man!

I KNOW WHO KILLED ME. Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Julia Ormond and Brian Geraghty. Directed by: Chris Sivertson. Lohan stars as Aubrey Fleming, a young woman who is rescued after being kidnapped and tortured. When she returns home, she claims to be someone else.


EL CANTANTE. Starring: Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. Directed by: Leon Ichaso. Real life married couple Anthony and Lopez real life couple Hector Lavoe and his wife, Puchi. Told in flashback from Puchi's perspective, the film follows the Hector Lavoe's rise to superstardom in the Latin Music world.

THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM. Starring: Matt Damon and Julia Stiles. Directed by: Paul Greengrass. Chapter three in the saga of amnesiac super spy Jason Bourne (Damon), who continues to search for his identity while avoiding a mysterious assassin.

THE TEN. Starring: Paul Rudd, Winona Ryder and Jessica Alba. Directed by: David Wein. An ensemble cast does their best to break the Ten Commandments. Kudos to whoever cast Ryder in the "Thou Shalt Not Steal" episode.

RESURRECTING THE CHAMP. Starring: Josh Hartnett, Samuel L. Jackson and Alan Alda. Directed by: Rod Lurie. A young sportswriter (Hartnett) believes he has found his ticket to the big time when he comes across a homeless man (Jackson) who claims to be an ex-champion boxer.

UNDERDOG. Starring the voices of Jason Lee and Amy Adams. Directed by: Frederik Du Chau. "The secret compartment of my ring I fill with an Underdog super energy pill." If you can pull that saying out of your brain without prodding like I just did, then you grew up in the 1960s. Shoeshine (voiced by Lee) is involved in an accident which gives him super powers. Adams voices his true love, Polly Purebred. This is a live action film with a real cute puppy playing Underdog. All together now......Awwwwwwwwww.


DADDY DAY CAMP. Starring: Cuba Gooding, Jr. Directed by: Fred Savage. Wow, and I thought Cuba had hit bottom when he starred in the gay cruising comedy "Boat Trip." Apparently a sequel to "Daddy Day Care" without head daddy Eddie Murphy. Directed by "The Wonder Years" own Kevin Arnold.

RUSH HOUR 3. Starring: Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Directed by: Brett Ratner. This time the action takes place in Paris as our mismatched heroes chase a gang of Chinese gangsters through the City of Lights.


FANBOYS. Starring: Sam Huntington, Dan Fogler and Kristen Bell. Directed by: Kyle Newman. Four Midwest boys drive cross country to George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch hoping to steal a print of "Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace" to show to their dying friend. Episode One? With friends like that...... Look for Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) among the cameos.

SUPERBAD. Starring: Johah Hill, Michael Cera and Seth Rogen. Directed by: Greg Mottola. Two high school seniors (Hill, Cera) scheme to get girls three weeks before graduation. Rogen also co-wrote the script.

THE INVASION. Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Jeffrey Wright. Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel. This film has been around so long that Daniel Craig hadn't even been considered for the role of James Bond when filming began. The film, the third remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," concerns an alien epidemic in our nation's capital.


THE COMEBACKS. Starring: David Koechner, Carl Weathers and Andy Dick. Directed by: Tom Brady. A comic spoof of the inspirational sports films of the past, with Koechner playing a small college coach looking to inspire his players.

GOOD LUCK CHUCK. Starring: Dane Cook, Dan Fogler and Jessica Alba. Directed by: Mark Helfrich. Cook stars as a dentist who slowly discovers that after a woman sleeps with him, they marry the next man they date. Once word gets out, he is besieged by hopeful ladies hoping for "good luck."


THE BROTHERS SOLOMON. Starring: Will Arnett, Will Forte and Kristen Wiig. Directed by: Bob Odenkirk. In this comedy written by SNL alum Forte, two brothers attempt to grant their dying fathers wish to give him a grandchild.

HALLOWEEN. Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton and Tyler Mane. Directed by: Rob Zombie. Rather then continue the Michael Myers story any further (though I don't know what could have been next...maybe "Michael Myers in Space"), Rob Zombie focuses on the events that took place between the first night Myers killed as a little boy and his escape from the mental hospital that formed the story for John Carpenter's original film. McDowell has huge shoes to fill replacing the late, great Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis.

This summer's movie preview is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.