Silver Chips Online

Summer movie preview

Bring on the sequels, the sillies and the superheroes

By David Zheng, Online Entertainment Editor and Monica Wei, Online Entertainment Editor
June 2, 2008
As the school year winds down in a last-minute rush of assignments and final exams, everyone's looking forward to a well-deserved summer break. With releases ranging from "The Dark Knight" to "Wall-E" to "Get Smart," this is certainly a season to suit anyone's tastes. Moviegoers may be overwhelmed by the selection of movies but, fortunately, Silver Chips Online is here with an epic preview to cover all your cinematic desires.

Hancock - July 2
Will Smith is "Hancock," a not-so-super, alcoholic superhero hated by the general public. He hires a publicist (Jason Bateman) to help him, but Hancock begins an affair with the publicist's wife (Charlize Theron). This premise doesn't seem too promising, but the movie does have redeeming scenes. Hancock, intent on saving a whale, picks it up and throws it back into the ocean, crushing a sailboat in the process. Hopefully, such action scenes and Smith's acting will save "Hancock" from its severely lacking plot.

Hell Boy 2: The Golden Army - July 11
The first "Hellboy" wasn't an average superhero movie, and the sequel likely won't be one either. Tough and headstrong, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is back again, this time to save the world from creatures from another plane of existence. The supernatural creatures have their ultimate weapon, and they want to take the world back from mankind. Written by director Guillermo del Toro, of "Pan's Labyrinth" fame, and the original comic book creator Mike Mignola, the sequel focuses more on folklore and fairy tales than the pulp aspects of the first movie. But del Toro pulled off an excellently creepy and touching "Pan's Labyrinth" and he'll likely work his magic on "Hellboy 2" as well.

The Dark Knight - July 18
After the events of 2005's "Batman Begins," Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) returns as vigilante Batman in perhaps the most anticipated film of the year, "The Dark Knight." In this thrilling sequel, Batman teams up with "two-faced" district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to square off with the psychotic and deadly Joker (Heath Ledger, in his final role). The movie will also focus on Wayne's personal struggles, including his growing love interest for assistant D.A. Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal). "Dark Knight" takes the "Batman" series on an even darker and exciting path, with the modern revamping of the Batman costume and Gotham City, as well as disturbing and sinister character designs for the Joker and Dent. Be sure to check out this epic superhero adventure when it races into theaters this summer.

Mamma Mia! - July 18
This adaption of the famous West End musical of the same name tells a story of the young English girl, Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) and her quest to discover her true father. To find out his true identity, she invites three of her mother Donna's (Meryl Streep) past suitors, Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan), Bill Austin (Stellan Skarsgard) and Harry Bright (Colin Firth), to her wedding on a Greek island where chaos ensues.

This quirky yet cute comedy musical features Oscar-winning Meryl Streep and songs from 1980's Swedish pop group ABBA. Although it faces heavy competition and will most likely be overshadowed by same-date-release "Dark Knight," "Mamma Mia!" is sure to win over audiences much like "Hairspray" did just a year ago.

X-Files: I Want to Believe - July 25
Following a television series that ended seven years ago and a dismal first movie, the second "X-Files" finally comes out in theaters this summer after being in development for six years. Agent Moulder (David Douchoveny) and Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson) return as investigators of the supernatural, six years after the events of the series. Thankfully, the producers recognized that the "mythology" arc wouldn't work after seven years and made the movie as a standalone supernatural investigation. But even so, the X-Files series lost momentum a long time ago, and chances are this movie will flop like the first.

Step Brothers - July 25
Will Ferrell as Brennan Huff and John C. Reilly as Dale Doback team up in the comedy "Step Brothers" - this time as middle-aged men living with their widowed parents. When their parents marry and move in together, the pair must live together as stepbrothers. Just as they are about to tear their parents' marriage apart, the pair hatches up a crazy plan to bring the family back together and make new bonds along the way. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly make for a formidable team, as shown in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." Although its premise is certainly overdone, crude comedy lovers might want to give "Step Brothers" a chance.