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Air-conditioned Summer

At WU, we feel it’s never too early to begin planning where you’re going to spend your 2007 moviegoing dollar. So many decisions. Do you wait until the film comes out on DVD, or do you bite the bullet, say goodbye to a $20 bill (factoring in snacks), and hit the theatre?

Fortunately MSN News has published [1] a list of some of the most anticipated movies of 2007.  Fantasy and action will rank high this year, as will superheroes.

Another unfortunate trend for risk-adverse Hollywood is the insistence on churning out sequels. Don’t get me wrong, sequel quality has been on the rise in the last few years. I’ll most certainly haul my butt to the theatre for Pirates of the Carribbean 3 [2], Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [2], and possibly Shrek the Third [3]. Why? Because these movies delivered, time and again, and I didn’t feel like I was wasting my money seeing them in the theatre. But do we really need another National Treasure 2? Mr. Bean’s Holiday? I’m sure somewhere in Hollywood, someone’s taking a meeting to produce Garfield 3: Catacular.

One of the movies I’m most eagerly awaiting is New Line’s The Golden Compass [4], the first installment of Philip Pullman’s wonderful His Dark Materials trilogy. New Line is an imaginative studio and they have great novel as its base, plus an exciting cast headlined by Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman. It should be good. I’m also intrigued by The Golden Age [5]–another sequel–but this time Cate Blanchett reprises her role as Queen Elizabeth and faces off against Samantha Morton’s Mary Queen of Scots. Bonus reason: Clive Owen will play Sir Walter Raleigh.

Flops I see coming: The Bee Movie [6] (Jerry Seinfeld plays a bee–even he seems embarrassed), Transformers [7] (will get lost among the glut of A-list fantasy films), Fred Claus [8] (who cares about Santa’s brother) and Charlie Wilson’s War [9]. The latter is a ‘prestige’ film: deep subject matter, lots of stars, very earnest screenplay. It’ll win a ton of awards and everyone will wait until it comes out on DVD.

Dark horse: Sweeney Todd [10]. I dunno, I’ve seen this musical performed live and it was weird both times. Will it really be any better up on the screen? But maybe Tim Burton will inject some visual zestiness to this black comedy that will overcome my reluctance. However, Burton did manage to screw up Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so my hopes aren’t high.

But for the most part, 2007 looks like a stellar year for escapism at the movies, and what could be bad about that?

Which movies are you interested in seeing in the theatre? Which ones are relegated to your Netflix queue?

About Kathleen Bolton [11]

Kathleen Bolton is co-founder of Writer Unboxed. She writes under a variety of pseudonyms, including Ani Bolton [12]. She has written two novels as Cassidy Calloway [13]: Confessions of a First Daughter, and Secrets of a First Daughter--both books in a YA series about the misadventures of the U.S. President's teen-aged daughter, published by HarperCollins, and Tamara Blake, for the novel Slumber [14].