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Movies – May 2007

May, 2007
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Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver the Surfer

Even though the first one in this series didn’t make much of a splash, its sequel nonetheless still has Jessica Alba in it, and if the lithe beauty doesn’t stand for all things summery, we don’t know what does. Together with her three superhero chums, Alba (Susan Storm) sets to counter a coalition of the thrilling comprising the surprisingly powerful Silver Surfer and his partners Dr. Doom and the hyperbolic Galactus, who apprently has entire planets for his sun-washed alfresco brunches. There’s also some romance thrown in for good measure, which means everyone in the family’ll be able to relate.

Director: Tim Story
Starring: Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Doug Jones
Rating: likely PG-13



Once there was Bend it Like Beckham from the UK, and now the US gets its share of heroic soccer (sorry, "football") playing young ladies when Gracie lines up her shots. The story revolves around the efforts of a girl striving to prove that women can hack it in the sport just like the men, if not better. A huge cast with many new promising performers together with messages of hope, the strength of family ties and self discovery fuel Gracie’s efforts, all set in the heady 1970’s, before soccer moms in SUV’s made girl soccer the de facto mainstream standard that it is today.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Starring: Carly Schroeder, Andrew Shue, Dermot Mulroney
Rating: PG-13


Surf’s Up

While delayed Shrek the Third is finally coming out this summer and will fill the 800 pound gorilla animation hit role of the season, Surf’s Up sounds like a lot more topical fun to us. It’s got a cast of wacky animals and a strange, tongue-in-cheek angle that’s seldom seen in mass produced box office fare this time of year. The movie depicts a pseudo-documentary tracing the rise of a new surfing champ at the Penguin World Surfing finals, which pretty much says it all. This is like a natural follow up to the fun of Happy Feet and the dramatic March of the Penguins, so heed the call and hang six.

Director: Ash Brannon, Chris Buck
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Zoey Deschanel, James Woods
Rating: PG


Nancy Drew

Detective flicks used to be all the rage back in the day, but that day has come and gone and we don’t get nearly enough of them now. How’s this for a concept? Nancy Drew is a fashionable but timid teen detective unleashed on an unsuspecting Los Angeles in a classic whodunit setup when she comes to Tinseltown with her father and gets involved in a murder investigation. The story marries comedy, suspense and the power of movie stardom in a tight package, and so we say it’s not in finding out the culprit that the fun lies, but in getting there while looking good.

Director: Andrew Fleming
Starring: Emma Roberts, Rachel Leigh Cook, Tate Donovan
Rating: PG


Live Free of Die Hard

Now, for one this reviewer is very pleased. The Die Hard series of movies has helped define a generation of action addicts, and now it’s back, geared up, looking snazzy and ready to deliver the blockbuster goods. Our man Bruce Willis once more enters the persona of veteran cop John McClane, in this outing taking out a ring of hardcore cyber terrorists bent on destroying the land of the free via the internet. While the fourth excursion is the first in the Die Hard series to not have a Restricted rating, we are still pinning our hope on it and look forward to a rollicking good time.

Director: Len Wiseman
Starring: Bruce Willis, Maggie Q, Timothy Olyphant
Rating: likely PG-13



In the tradition of grand family movies like On Golden Pond, Evening features several generations of a family gethering to reminisce, live, love and figure out things in a touching communion. A dying mother recounts past romantic experiences to her two daughters, as the story moves back in time to explore many touching themes and the anectodes that define a person’s life. Although more than a tad heartfelt and even downright tearful, Evening is the kind of sobering panoply of emotions every family needs to wake up from the hedonism of summer. Plus it’s got enough female star power to conquer the world.

Director: Lajos Koltai
Starring: Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep, Glen Close
Rating: PG-13

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