If the Dispatch's top 10 summer movies aren't enough for you, here are 13 more to keep on your radar, starting with six picks by Dispatch entertainment editor John Hansen:
"Son of Rambow" (Friday) - Usually, critics don't rave about little indie pictures if they stink, so the much-buzzed-about "Rambow" should live up to the hype. I've always been a "First Blood" apologist (it tends to get lumped in with the later, sillier "Rambo" entries), so I'm up for this tale of best buds who make "Rambo"-esque home movies after seeing that classic film in the '80s.
"The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" (May 16) - The first "Chronicles" (2005's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe") was a visual and technical marvel, complete with a cuddly family of talking badgers and a pontificating lion. The human characters weren't as memorable, but the action moved at a brisk clip that held your attention. As such, the latest "Chronicle" deserves a look, too.
"The Foot Fist Way" (May 30) - According to Entertainment Weekly, fans of this indie comedy include Judd Apatow and "Superbad" duo Michael Cera and Jonah Hill. I'm imagining that scene with the ridiculous martial arts teacher in "Napoleon Dynamite" stretched into a movie, and it makes me giggle.
"Hancock" (July 2) - As a superhero invented just for this movie, Hancock (Will Smith) doesn't have baggage like silly costumes and secret identities that comic-book adapters have to be faithful to. Rather, he's an everyday superhero who struggles with everyday issues. Just as "Unbreakable" was a superhero mystery, "Hancock" looks like a superhero character piece with a touch of comedy.
"Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D" (July 11) - I need my fix of Spielbergian Tyrannosaurus rexes, and since the "Jurassic Park" franchise has stalled, I'll settle for the realistic dinos of "King Kong" and this flick. It follows a group of adventurers, led by Brendan Fraser, who uses Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth" as if it's a legitimate field guide. If you insert "I just want to be entertained" into all conversations about cinema, this is your movie.
"The Rocker" (Aug. 1) - Dwight Schrute's shtick on "The Office" sometimes gets old, but there's no doubt Rainn Wilson has great comic timing, so it'll be refreshing to see him in another role. Here, he plays a drummer who missed out on being a rock star by departing, Pete Best-style, from a band on the verge. Decades later, he gets another shot when he joins an emo band.
Morris News Service movie writer Steven Uhles profiles seven more summer movies:
"Iron Man" (Friday) - One of the more popular characters in the Marvel universe, Iron Man has been a comic mainstay since the early 1960s. A regular, if rich, guy given superhero skills by a suit of high-tech armor, he battles baddies and his own demons. Robert Downey Jr. plays the man of literal steel in this adaptation.
"Speed Racer" (May 9) - Based on one of the original Japanese animation imports, "Speed Racer," directed by the Brothers Wachowski ("The Matrix"), appears to be the candy-coated equivalent of a live-action cartoon. The story is "Speed Racer" standard - the improbably named Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) must hold off lead-footed enemies while winning the big race. Go, Speed Racer, go.
"The Incredible Hulk" (June 13) - Despite a disappointing attempt to bring one of the great comic characters to the screen a few years ago, studios still clearly see green in this franchise. This complete reboot stars Edward Norton as the mild-mannered scientist you don't want to get angry and Tim Roth is his nemesis.
"Wall-E" (June 27) - How is it that the masterminds at Pixar ("Toy Story," "The Incredibles") haven't applied their genius to the time-honored genre of robotic space-opera romance? Better late than never, I suppose. The title refers to a little robot left on Earth as a one-machine cleaning crew.
"Hellboy II: The Golden Army" (July 11) - Part comic book adaptation and part ode to pulp-fiction forefather H.P. Lovecraft, this sequel has the demon hero fiercely battling invading hordes from the usually unseen world of myths and monsters.
"The Dark Knight" (July 18) - Only Superman has ever really been able to give Batman a run for his money in terms of comic-book popularity and importance. Although much has been made of the late Heath Ledger's Joker in this film, it should be pointed out that the guy in the cape and cowl also returns.
"The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" (Aug. 1) - Wow. Brendan Fraser, who also appears in "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D," has been really busy. He reprises his "Mummy" role as a reluctant hero, this time taking the undead action to China. Michelle Yeoh, Jet Li and Maria Bello co-star.
JOHN HANSEN may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5863.
STEVEN UHLES may be reached at email@example.com or (706) 823-3626.
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