Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2001

Hollywood promises summer blockbusters

Movies with Julia Roberts, apes and Pearl Harbor lead the pack

April 29, 2001


— It's same-old, same-old time in Hollywood. Predictably, summer blockbuster season is bursting with sequels, remakes, the odd adaptation of a video game and the latest Julia Roberts romantic comedy.

Yet somehow, the same-old, same-old has a fresher feel this year, offering a solid mix of the tried-and-true and some interesting newcomers.

Actor Tim Roth, top center, portrays Thade, the militaristic leader
of the apes who battle against rebellious humans in a scene from
the 20th Century Fox remake of "Planet of the Apes." The film,
scheduled for release in summer 2001, promises to be a dramatically
different treatment from the original.

Actor Tim Roth, top center, portrays Thade, the militaristic leader of the apes who battle against rebellious humans in a scene from the 20th Century Fox remake of "Planet of the Apes." The film, scheduled for release in summer 2001, promises to be a dramatically different treatment from the original.

"There's big films straight through," said Bruce Snyder, head of distribution for 20th Century Fox, whose summer lineup includes "Planet of the Apes." "Trying to find a place to put a movie is impossible. This summer is loaded."

And though studios may have long-term trouble with potential dual strikes by writers and actors unions, the industry's short-term health looks great.

"This will be the biggest summer in history, no doubt," said Joe Roth, former Disney studio chief who recently formed Revolution Studios and is directing Roberts' romance "America's Sweethearts." "I can identify at least 10 movies off the top of my head that will gross over $100 million."

Among those, "Pearl Harbor," which blows into theaters over Memorial Day weekend. Directed by Michael Bay and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer whose explosive collaborations include "Armageddon" and "The Rock" "Pearl Harbor" could well be the war spectacle to end all war spectacles.

Highlights of Hollywood's summer film lineup (release times may change, and some films play in limited release):


"About Adam": A mysterious stranger (Stuart Townsend) in Dublin tempts and titillates his new girlfriend's family. Kate Hudson co-stars.

"Angel Eyes": Jennifer Lopez is a cop who falls for a lost soul (Jim Caviezel) who has an unusual connection to her past.

"Ed Gein": Steve Railsback stars as the Wisconsin serial killer, supposedly an inspiration for such murder tales as "Psycho" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Characters Princess Fiona, voiced by Cameron Diaz, and the ogre
Shrek, voiced by Mike Myers, appear in a scene from DreamWorks
Pictures comedy "Shrek."

Characters Princess Fiona, voiced by Cameron Diaz, and the ogre Shrek, voiced by Mike Myers, appear in a scene from DreamWorks Pictures comedy "Shrek."

"A Knight's Tale": Heath Ledger masquerades as a knight at jousting tourneys in a Middle Ages romance fueled by modern rock tunes.

"The Man Who Cried": A Jewish singer (Christina Ricci) must choose between love or life as World War II breaks out. Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett and John Turturro co-star.

"Moulin Rouge": Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor star in Baz Luhrmann's musical set in a garish Paris nightclub in 1900.

"The Mummy Returns": Imhotep and the gang are back, doing battle with the evil Scorpion King. Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz star.

"Pavilion of Women": Luo Yan and Willem Dafoe star in a romantic drama of clashing cultures. Adapted from Pearl S. Buck's novel.

"Shrek": A loner ogre's swamp is overrun by fairy-tale creatures in this animated comedy featuring the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy.

"The Trumpet of the Swan": Animated musical based on E.B. White's tale features the voices of Jason Alexander, Mary Steenburgen and Reese Witherspoon.


"A.I. Artificial Intelligence": Steven Spielberg tells a tale of a boy robot who's out of place among humans and machines. Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law and Frances O'Connor star.

"The Animal": An animal-organ transplant turns a file clerk (Rob Schneider) into a supercop but leaves him battling new basic instincts.

"The Anniversary Party": Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming write, direct and star in this ensemble drama about a Hollywood marriage on the skids. Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Kline co-star.

"Atlantis: The Lost Empire": Disney's animated epic features a ragtag band of explorers burrowing for the lost city. Michael J. Fox heads the voice cast.

"Baby Boy": John Singleton ("Boyz N the Hood") revisits inner-city Los Angeles with this street tale of a misguided young man (Tyrese Gibson).

"Bride of the Wind": Director Bruce Beresford spins the tale of a Vienna composer (Sarah Wynter) whose paramours include Gustav Mahler (Jonathan Pryce).

"Doctor Dolittle 2": Eddie Murphy can still talk to the animals as he teams with critters to protect a forest from developers.

"Evolution": Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters") directs David Duchovny and Julianne Moore in a comic battle against rapidly evolving aliens.

"Sexy Beast": Violence and deception ensue when an ex-thief (Ray Winstone) is pressured to sign on for a heist. Ben Kingsley co-stars.

"Songcatcher": Janet McTeer plays a music scholar who travels to Appalachia in 1907 to record ancient ballads.

"Swordfish": A CIA agent (John Travolta) masterminds the theft of billions in government cash. Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman co-star.

"Tomb Raider": Angelina Jolie is action hero Lara Croft on a global quest to stop power-mad conspirators. Jolie's father, Jon Voight, co-stars.

"What's the Worst That Could Happen?": Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito as a thief and a tycoon in a comic tug-of-war over a good-luck ring.


"America's Sweethearts": Julia Roberts is personal assistant to a superstar (Catherine Zeta-Jones) in a romantic comedy co-starring John Cusack and Billy Crystal.

"Crazy/Beautiful": Kirsten Dunst is a congressman's daughter who defiantly becomes involved with a Hispanic honors student (Jay Hernandez).

"Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within": The video-game comes alive with semi-realistic human characters created by computer animation. Featuring the voices of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin and Ving Rhames.

"Higher Ed": Fugees singer Pras stars in a comedy about an inner-city athlete's misadventures when he earns a college track scholarship.

"Jurassic Park 3": Soup's on again for T-Rex and other prehistoric reptiles when Sam Neill, William H. Macy and Tea Leoni get trapped on dinosuar island.

"Kiss of the Dragon": Jet Li plays an agent framed for murder in this action thriller co-starring Bridget Fonda.

"Legally Blonde": A natural blonde (Reese Witherspoon) battles Ivy League snobbery to win back her blueblood beau.

"Made": Jon Favreau writes, directs and stars in a crime comedy about a boxing wannabe. Vince Vaughn, Famke Janssen and Peter Falk co-star.

"O": Julia Stiles and Mekhi Phifer star in a violent retelling of "Othello" set at a private school.

"Planet of the Apes": Humans are the lower primates in Tim Burton's new take on the sci-fi classic. Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter star.

"Scary Movie 2": You knew they were lying when the posters promised "no sequel." The Wayans brothers spoof the horror genre once more.

"The Score": Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando conspire on an intricate theft job. Angela Bassett co-stars.

"Sidewalks of New York": Edward Burns ("The Brothers McMullen") tells his latest tale of Manhattan heartache. Heather Graham and Stanley Tucci co-star.


"All That Glitters": Pop star Mariah Carey stars as a singer trying to overcome a tough childhood and the pressures of fame.

"American Outlaws": The James gang rides again in this Western that stars Colin Farrell, Scott Caan, Timothy Dalton and Kathy Bates.

"American Pie 2": Jason Biggs, Shannon Elizabeth, Mena Suvari and Chris Klein offer up seconds on 1999's gross-out hit.

"Captain Corelli's Mandolin": Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz in the World War II romance of an Italian officer and a Greek belle. John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") directs.

"The Curse of Jade Scorpion": In his latest comedy, Woody Allen is a 1940s insurance investigator who falls victim to an artifact's hypnotic powers. Helen Hunt co-stars.

"Happy Accidents": A woman (Marisa Tomei) falls for a guy (Vincent D'Onofrio) who thinks he's a time traveler from the year 2470.

"John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars": Red planet colonists unearth ancient Martians who co-opt human bodies. Natasha Henstridge and Ice Cube star.

"Knockaround Guys": Mobsters try to find a bag of cash lost in Montana in this drama starring John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper and Barry Pepper.

"The Monkey's Mask": Kelly McGillis and Susie Porter star in a lesbian detective thriller about a young poet's murder.

"Original Sin": Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie in a racy thriller about a 19th-century Cuban coffee dealer who takes a mail-order bride.

"Osmosis Jones": Live action and animation tell the story of a man (Bill Murray) whose body is host to a duel between a white blood cell and a lethal virus. Features the voices of Chris Rock and Laurence Fishburne.

"Rollerball": Chris Klein, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and LL Cool J have a go at the blood sport in John McTiernan's update of the sci-fi flick.

"Rush Hour 2": Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker do the mismatched-cop thing again as they travel the globe on the trail of a gangster.

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