The pick of summer's movie crop

Posted: April 29, 2007

Among the prospective blockbusters of summer, here's a baker's dozen of the choicest - or biggest, anyway - movies that are storming your way (as always, the dates are subject to change):

Spider-Man 3 In which Peter Parker crosses over to the Dark Side (or at least the narcissist side), Mary Jane Watson tries singing on Broadway, the Sandman and Venom team up to crush the Webslinger, and Sony Pictures tries to recoup what is rumored to be a $500 million production/marketing price tag. (Friday)

- S.R.

28 Weeks Later. . . The deadly virus that devastated Britain is under control, the U.S. Army has secured London, and a bloke from Trainspotting (Robert Carlyle) throws everything into a zombiefied panic zone in this fast, effective follow-up to the 2002 scare sleeper 28 Days Later. . . (May 11)

- S.R.

Shrek the Third King Harold, the ogre's father-in-law, has taken ill. His subjects expect the Green One to leave the swamp for the throne of Far Far Away. Might a dude named Artie (voice of Justin Timberlake) duke it out with Prince Charming for the scepter? And doesn't Princess Fiona want to rule the queendom? Voiced by Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas and many, many more. (May 18)

- C.R.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and the fetching Elizabeth Swann (known to us plebes as Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, respectively) take to the high seas in the third and promised final installment of the rollicking skull-and-crossbones spectacle. Walt Disney's Touchstone Pictures has made a treasure chest's worth of box-office receipts from its predecessors, and this should add more to the coffers. Shiver me timbers, mate. (May 25)

- S.R.

Ocean's Thirteen Danny Ocean and the crew rally around Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould) when casino owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino) double-crosses him. Among the many Godfather references in the film, both Pacino and Ocean's twelfth, Andy Garcia, played in The Godfather, Part III. (June 8)

- C.R.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Marvel Comics' dysfunctional foursome - Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm, a.k.a. The Thing - returns to do battle with the sleek, sulky, intergalactic Silver Surfer. And American audiences learn how to pronounce the name of Ioan Gruffudd (it's YO-an GRIFF-ith). (June 15)

- S.R.

Evan Almighty In Bruce Almighty, Evan (Steve Carell) spoke in tongues. Now, he speaks to the Lord. When the good people of Buffalo elect Evan to Congress, God (Morgan Freeman) summons him to build the Ark. Will Evan serve his congressional district or humanity? (June 22)

- C.R.

Live Free or Die Hard Bruce Willis' cocky Det. John McClane returns for the first Die Hard in 12 years - and the fourth in the series. This time, terrorists are tampering with the Internet, and McClane - who must be thinkin' about his pension, right? - teams up with a smart-aleck hacker kid to save the day. (June 27)

- S.R.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Entering his fifth year at Hogwarts, the boy wizard faces an unsympathetic headmaster and disbelieving schoolmates while he wrestles with escalating hormones and anxiety about aptitude tests. Directed by David Yates (The Girl in the Cafe). (July 13)

- C.R.

Hairspray Bringing new meaning to the term drag race, John Travolta plays the mother of the Baltimore teenager who in 1962 integrates an American Bandstand-style show. Based on the Broadway musical of John Waters' 1988 cult-movie classic. (July 20)

- C.R.

The Simpsons Movie The longest-running sitcom and cartoon series in TV history finally makes the jump to the multiplexes, with Homer, Bart, Marge and Lisa reportedly battling environmental woes that threaten all of Springfield, and maybe even the world. An inconvenient truth - Doh! (July 27)

- S.R

The Bourne Ultimatum Matt Damon remembers who he is - or who he's playing, C.I.A. operative Jason Bourne - and decides to exact revenge on the cloak-and-dagger bureaucrats who set him up and killed his gal. High-tech surveillance, high-speed chases, and glam globe-hopping ensues. (Aug. 3)

- S.R.

Rush Hour 3 Kung fu king Jackie Chan and kung foolish jester Chris Tucker, buddy cops, have kicked it in L.A. and H.K. (that'd be Hong Kong). In this third installment, they're in Paris when Chinese gangsters interrupt their holiday. The lovely Roselyn Sanchez returns. (Aug. 10)

- C.R.

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