Preview Approved: Common Wanted! Drunken Will Smith? Debo Rolls With The Dark Knight!

The Summer movie season is now

underway! Iron Man got things off

to a very strong start by being arguably the best superhero adaptation since Spider-man 2.

The successful release of Iron Man is reminiscent of grand

reception that the first Spider-man

film got back in May of 2002 - one of those rare instances in summer movie-going

where everyone (film critics, fanboys and the general public) seems pleased

with the final product.

The same cannot be said for Speed

Racer, which is a much harder

sell than something like Iron Man. This opening weekend’s box office returns

suggest that Speed Racer may have to

wait until its DVD release in order to find an audience.

That is a real shame, because

it’s probably the most visually unique blockbuster we’ll be getting this summer

(at least until Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy

II opens in July). More importantly,

it’s lots of fun to watch. I urge anybody reading this to pay no attention to

the bad reviews and even worse box office. Do yourself a favor and catch and

catch Speed Racer in Imax while you

still have the chance.

Indiana Jones and The Castle of

the Crystal Skull has been suffering from some bad buzz as of late. Word

of mouth emanating from early screenings has been

somewhat less than encouraging, but I’m not worried.

Every Summer movie season has at

least one highly-anticipated blockbuster that ends up paying the price for

overblown expectations. I’m sure Indiana

Jones 4 will be just fine, as long as we all keep our expectations in


We have a couple of updates from

our first Preview Approved column in February. Righteous Killstarring Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and 50 Cent

was originally slated to come out in April, but was moved to a September

release. LL Cool J’s appearance in The

Deal will be delayed further, as its overseas debut will be in August

now. Still no word on a U.S. release date.

All that said, it’s been an

interesting ride so far this year, and there’s still more to come. We still

have a few more superhero films coming our way before August - The

Hulk on June 13, Wanted on June 27, Hancock

on July 2, Hellboy II: The Golden Army on July 11 and The Dark Knight on July


Here are three movies we'd like to highlight this time around:


Based on the comic book series

by award winning comic writer Mark Millar, Wanted

tells the story of office drone Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy). Gibson’s

mundane existence takes a turn toward the fantastic when he is recruited into

an organization of super assassins and is given the chance to avenge the murder

of his father, who was also an assassin. 

The mysterious organization is

led by a man named Sloan (Morgan

Freeman), who was Gibson’s father’s partner. Under the tutelage of Sloan second-in-command

Fox (Angelina Jolie), Gibson becomes

an efficient killer.

Keep an eye out for everyone’s

favorite bohemian Common in his role

as the Gunsmith, a character who trains others in the use of firearms. Judging

by his filmography, Common seems to like to flex his creative muscles by

playing characters who are the polar opposite of his rap image. This is

different from most rapper-turned-actors, who usually take the safe route by

choosing roles which fall in line with whatever image they’ve already

established within Hip-Hop.

Look for Wanted in theaters everywhere on June 27.

Wanted movie trailer


It just wouldn’t feel like Summer

movie season without an Independence Day weekend offering from the last real

movie star alive, Will Smith. Hancock looks to continue

that tradition while simultaneously cashing in on the superhero craze.

Hancock is not merely a cash-in, though, as it offers a comedic

twist on the genre. Will Smith plays John Hancock, a drunken vagrant who just

happens to possess powers. However, his feats of superhuman ability have not

exactly endeared him to the public. His alcoholism causes him to have a certain

disregard for public safety and property. 

Jason Bateman plays a publicist who attempts to help Hancock clean

up his act and become a true hero.

Hancock repays him by carrying on a love affair with his wife played by Charlize Theron.

The concept sounds promising,

and the trailers so far have been entertaining, though I have heard rumblings

that test screenings haven’t been going so well. The latest trailer made an

uneasy transition from comedy to serious drama, leaving one a little uncertain

about what to expect from the film. This might be indicative of the problems

that test audiences are having with it. The fact that it had to be trimmed

twice to avoid an R-rating suggests that it may not be as family-friendly as

the marketing wants us to believe.

Regardless of quality, I expect Hancock to do relatively well at the box

office once it opens on July 2. Will Smith is a pretty sure bet as far

blockbusters go as he is probably the most likable and charismatic actor

working today.

Hancock movie trailer

The Dark Knight

One of the most anticipated

films of the Summer, I fear this one will be a bittersweet affair as we gear up

for the July 18 release date. On the one

hand, I expect this to be the movie that we have all been waiting for -

the one that will make all aspects of Batman

fandom happy.

No easy feat, considering that

no film in the series as of yet has been able to achieve that level of

universal acceptance from batfans, not even

Batman Begins. Each one has its champions and its detractors, which is probably

fitting, seeing as how Batman comics

have offered many different versions and interpretations of the character over

the years. I’m really hoping that The Dark Knight breaks this trend by

giving us the ultimate Batman film.

On the other hand one cannot

ignore the melancholy vibes hanging over the proceedings, as the sting and

shock of Heath Ledger’s death is

still with us. I fear that if his turn as comics’ greatest villain is as great

as expected (and by all accounts it will be), it will make the film that much

harder to enjoy on the level intended.

Perhaps it would help to see the

film as a monument to an enormous talent - one of the finest actors of our

generation, giving us the definitive interpretation of The Joker (all due

respect to Jack Nicholson)

Christian Bale stars as Batman, and Morgan Freeman reprises his role as Lucius Fox from Batman Begins. There will

also be an appearance by Debo himself, Tiny Lister.

The Dark Knight movie trailer

Just for good measure, here is the trailer for The Incredible Hulk. As confirmed last month, Robert Downey Jr. will make a cameo as Tony Stark in the movie!