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Summer Film Wars! 2004
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Reviewed on 2004-06-14
Big Budget movies duke it out in a box-office brawl. Film Studios jockey for position as summer film wars continue. Some big winners score, as Shrek 2 nears the $300 million mark, with Troy and Van Helsing topping $100 million in sales. There are more than two- dozen pictures this summer that cost over $100,000 to make. Some cost figures on early entries include $70 million for "Shrek 2", $125 million for "Day After Tomorrow", $170 million for "Van Helsing", and $175 million for "Troy".


June 11:

"The Chronicles of Riddick"
This sequel to the sci-fi/action film "Pitch Black" stars Vin Diesel, a futuristic criminal capable of superhuman strength in overcoming almost any obstacle. This time Riddick finds himself caught up in a holy war between warring planets with plenty of action happening here. Dame Judi Dench, Colm Feore and Linus Roache also star.

"The Stepford Wives"
Remember Ira Levin's novel that was the basis for the 30-year old original creepy film version? This remake introduces us to the strange community of beautiful but submissive women. Nicole Kidman, husband Mathew Broderick and children move to a community where all the wives look perfect and something looks rotten in the town of Stepford. Also starring are Bette Midler, Christopher Walken, Faith Hill and Jon Lovits. Frank Oz directs this black comedy.

"Garfield The Movie"
Audiences embraced the comedy Shrek 2; chances are they will go for this film that looks very funny from the previews. Bill Murray is the voice of the computer-generated Garfield with a cast of human players that includes Brekin Meyer as Jon and Jennifer Love Hewitt as the vet. The story involves Garfield searching for Odie the dog who is abducted.

JUNE 16:

"Around the World in 80 Days"
In this comedy adventure, Jules Verne meets Jackie Chan. Our martial artist hero is valet to adventurer and British gent Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan). The large cast includes: Jim Broadbent, Kathy Bates, Arnold Schwarznegger, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Rob Schneider, and more.

JUNE 18:

"Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story."
A corporate takeover threatens to close a community gym. A group of underdogs enters a dodgeball tournament in an attempt to save the gym. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, and Justin Long star in this action film

"The Terminal."
Steven Spielberg is back with a story about Tom Hanks trapped in a terminal. This film is based on a true story of a refugee who was forbidden to leave a terminal due to lack of proper papers. Catherine Zeta-Jones also stars in this unusual film.

JUNE 25:

"Spider-Man 2."
Hoping to repeat last years success, regulars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst returns to fight a new foe. This time it is Dr. Octipus played by Alfred Molina as the evil mastermind. Sam Raimi returns to direct the sequel.

"Two Brothers."
A family adventure about tiger cubs separated when they were young and later reunited in adulthood. Guy Pearce stars in this adventure.


"King Arthur"
Another epic adventure hits the big screen directed by Antoine Fuqua. Lose yourself in a world of Roman uniforms, huge fortresses and magic. Clive Owen is Arthur. Keira Knightly is Guinevere and Ioan Gruffudd is Lancelot with Stephen Dillane as Merlin.


The Legend of Ron Burgaundy." Comedian Will Ferrell follows up his big hit "Elf" with this take on a '70's TV newsman who goes nuts in this comedy. Join other stars Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Fred Willard, Chris Parness, Vince Vaughn and Maya Rudolph.

JULY 16:

"I, Robot."
Will Smith is back in another Sci/Fi offering about Robots gone wild. Based on Isaac Asimov's classic science fiction novel we find Will Smith investigating a murder that may have been committed by a robot. The film is directed by Alex Proyas and also stars Bridget Moyahan, Bruce Greenwood, Chi McBride and James Cromwell.

JULY 23rd

"The Bourne Supremacy."
After doing very well with "The Bourne Identity", Matt Damon returns as the amnesiac CIA killer. This time his character Jason Bourne is framed for the murder of a Chinese diplomat. Returning are Brian Cox, Julia Stiles and Franka Potente. Joan Allen is a welcome new addition.

Halle Barry stars as Patience Prince, a shy girl who is transformed into the nocturnal Catwoman. She walks a thin line between criminal activity and a being a true heroine. Sharon Stone, Benjamin Bratt and Lambert Wilson join in the fun.


"The Village"
This creepy story is set at the end of the 19th century in a small Pennsylvania village where mythical creatures may be hiding in the woods. The stellar cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver and Adrien Brody. M. Night Shyamalan (who brought us such hits as "Sixth Sense: and "Signs") directs this film.

"The Manchurian Candidate."
A remake of the original Cold War version of this film is back on the big screen. Director Jonathan Demme has updated this version to the Persian Gulf War and has made it partly into a black comedy that can be outlandish at times. Some big names star including Denzel Washington, Liv Schreiber and Meryl Streep.


Tom Cruise stars as a contract killer in a gray hairdo. He commandeers a taxi and its driver (Jamie Fox) to take him on his hit spree. Michael Mann directs this action thriller.

"Code 46"
Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton star in a futuristic love story with unusual restrictions. Travel is restricted to residents of cities who purchase special insurance. Outside the cities, the world is a burned out desert filled with run down towns and illegal immigrants.


"Princes Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement."
Anne Hathaway is back playing Mia, who was found to be royalty in her first film. Now she is being groomed for a marriage of convenience to English Nobility. Julie Andres, Hector Elizondo, Heather Matarazzo and Chris Pine star. Gary Marshall, of Pretty Woman fame, directs this family film.

"Alien vs. Predator."
The two violent alien creatures from two big films meet on the large screen. Archaeologists at the South Pole make a remarkable discovery. Looks good from the previews.


"A Sound of Thunder"
Based on a Ray Bradbury story, this one features a big game hunter who uses a time machine to hunt a dinosaur. He returns to find his actions in pre-history have made drastic changes to the present. Peter Hyams directs this film starring Edward Burns, Ben Kingsley and Catherine McCormack.

"Exorcist: The Beginning"
This film takes place in mid 20th century Africa starring Stellan Skarsgard, James D'Arcy, and Isabella Scorupco. Skarsgard plays the younger version of Max von Sydow's Father Merrin character, confronting the devil. Paul Schrader directs.


"Anaconda: Hunt for the Blood Orchid"
Nicholas Hope and Peter Curtin star in this story about scientists who run onto huge snakes while searching for a special orchid that can extend human life. In a sense, it could be looked at a sequel to the original Anaconda starring Jennifer Lopez.

"Shall We Dance"
Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon star in a remake of the Japanese film about a businessman who becomes interested in ballroom dancing.

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