1. Fast Five (Universal, 3,643 Theaters, 130 Minutes, Rated PG-13): I saw the first Fast and the Furious at a drive-in double feature with the first Tomb Raider film with a group of friends. We went to see the later and didn’t think much of the former. We ended up liking Fast and the Furious a lot more than Lara Croft.
I’ll be damned if I remember the plot of that movie, or even if I saw the sequel. But the franchise has gone through quite a few unique changes. It went from losing Vin Diesel to losing all of the original cast to having the original cast reunite once again to, now, the original cast being joined by Dwayne Johnson as a cop chasing the team down.
Not many franchise could survive that much upheaval. I certainly didn’t think this one would. But it stuck through. Good for it. Don’t know if I’d exactly call it the beginning of the summer movie season, but it sure could be.
2. Prom (Disney, 2,730 Theaters, 103 Minutes, Rated PG): So, it sure took Hollywood long enough. The Prom is a major part of a teen’s life, perhaps the most tangible event that signifies the passage from childhood to adulthood. Being that it has such sentimental value, you’d think some studio would build a film around it much earlier than this.
This film, naturally, revolves around a bunch of teens preparing for and then enjoying their prom. It is chocked full of unknown actors, so it probably only cost $1.50 to make. So it should make its money back.
However, since it is a Disney film, I’d have to imagine that some of the less magical aspects of the prom experience–the projectile vomiting, the loss of virginity, the drunk driving arrests–will probably not make it into this film.
3. Hoodwinked Too: Hood Vs Evil (The Weinstein Company, 2,505 Theaters, 85 Minutes, Rated PG): I didn’t see the first Hoodwinked! film, but I’ve heard it described as either a subversive, underrated gem to a abysmal piece of wasted celluloid. But whatever the opinion you might have, the fact that it made back three times its budget pretty much guarantees there will be a sequel.
Red ’s covert training is interrupted when she and the Wolf have to investigate the disappearance of Hansel and Gretel.
Anne Hathaway has bailed as the voice of Red, being replaced by Hayden Panettiere. I don’t know if I’d call that an improvement. But since Anne is of Oscar caliber now, I guess she’s out of the Weinsteins price range for voice work.
4. Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night (Omni Lab/Freestyle Releasing, 862 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated PG-13): The good part about the latest comic book film trend is that producers have started scouring the lesser known comic companies for properties to develop. This film comes from an Italian comic book which began way back in 1986 and is published in the U.S. by Dark Horse Comics.
This film is a quasi-remake/spin-off of a 1997 Italian Film Cemetery Man starring a then quasi-famous Rupert Everett. The film focuses on a private eye named Dylan Dog who tracks down supernatural creatures in the Louisiana Bayou. Brandon Routh takes off Superman’s cape to add another comic book adaptation to his resume.
Fans of the original comic book attack the film for its lack of faithfulness to the original source material. But since not that many people are familiar with the source material in America to begin with, this might not be a bad thing.