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Remember those Goosebumps novels you read as a kid where you could create your own ending? Instead of shouting at my Macbook (it can’t hear me, I recently discovered) or gouging out my eyeballs (hey there, Oedipus) in response to the silly summer 2010 movie trailers I suffered through in the name of Artsweek, I took those lemons and made bloody, vengeful lemonade in the form of not-so-happy denouements for our favorite superheroes, big-city columnists and talking dogs.
“Shrek Forever After” (May 28)
If you’ve seen the first “Shrek” films, you know exactly what the fourth (and, thankfully, final) installment, “Shrek Forever After,” has in store for you. You know, once upon a time, an ogre and a princess fell in love, except the princess was really an ogre, and then Rumpelstiltskin shows up and Eddie Murphy plays the donkey. Also, Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz star, unable to stay away from a major-league summer stinker, as usual.
WHAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER: The big bad wolf, a fiercer dragon and some ogre stew.
“Sex and the City, Part 2” (May 28)
The “Sex and the City” films make me embarrassed to be a fan of the show. Sure, the show was fluffy and the characters occasionally grating, but the excellent writing and parade of bizarre fashions made it consistently pleasurable. The films, on the other hand? All you need to see is the trailer for the new film, in which four ridiculously dressed women take a camel ride across the desert complaining about hot flashes.
WHAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER: I see a sandstorm coming. No survivors.
“Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” (May 28)
Much has been made of director Mike Newell’s absurd decision to cast Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular prince of this big-budget “historical” action flick (based, of course, on a videogame of the same name). Of course it’s produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and affiliated with Disney.
WHAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER: Maybe this one could work if it was part of the “Sex and the City” film. Imagine, the four NYC gals meet Jake Gyllenhaal in the desert and fight to the death over him. Again, no one survives.
“Marmaduke” (June 4)
Tom Dey (of the flawless “Failure to Launch” and impeccable “Shanghai Noon”) directs the film adaptation about a TALKING DOG nobody was asking for starring an actor nobody really cares about anymore. Did I mention George Lopez is in it?
WHAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER: Somebody call the dog catcher… or Michael Vick. (Just kidding. I cannot, off the top of my head, think of one living person that I detest more than Michael Vick.)
“Grown Ups” (June 25)
Well, aside from boasting Selma Hayek and her bodacious cleavage, there’s not much to love here. Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and that guy from “The King of Queens” (and “Mall Cop”) star as former high school basketball teammates who reunite to mourn their coach. Don’t hold your breath on seeing any actual grown-ups onscreen.
WHAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER: I, for one, would love to see Adam Sandler in another serious role, a la “Punch Drunk Love.” So I’d love to see Sandler and crew pull of a pretentiously dramatic film ruminating on mortality. Who knew Kevin James was such an impressive method actor?
“Knight and Day” (June 25)
I’m not really sure what happened to Cameron Diaz: A few years back, she was a fairly bankable actress who wouldn’t have had to star in a film as blasé and ridiculous as this one. And I don’t know how director James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) got roped into this “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” meets “Mission Impossible”-style thriller co-starring Tom Cruise, either. Blame Scientology.
WHAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER: For starters, re-casting.
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (July 2)
The tweens will be a-runnin’ to the multiplexes July 1 at midnight to catch the latest installment of the world’s most bloodless, least sexy film about bloodsuckers ever committed to screen. David Slade directs
WHAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER: How about some real vampire action? I’d love to see an X-rated gorefest in which that sparkly vampire guy finally gets to sink his teeth into Kristin Stewart.