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HiLite’s resident movie critic previews summer’s most anticipated movies

By: Sam Watermeier <swatermeier@hilite.org>

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (May 23) – This choice is a no-brainer. Even though it may seem pointless to make another Indiana Jones film given that the most recent one, “The LAST Crusade,” ended the series on a good note, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic watching the trailer for this one. Considering his age, Harrison Ford looks surprisingly convincing stepping into action as Indy, and there are new members of the Indiana Jones family to look forward to, including Shia LaBeouf and Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett. Plus, Steven Spielberg can turn anything into gold. This is the major film to compete with this summer.

“The Incredible Hulk” (June 13) – After 2003’s “Hulk” tanked at the box office, Marvel and company decided to try again with this film—a leaner, more action-filled version of the Hulk saga. Although this film looks entertaining, it’s a shame that Ang Lee’s 2003 film is so disowned. It’s unfair that it was panned for taking itself too seriously and not having enough mindless action. What’s wrong with an action film also trying to be smart and thought-provoking? If you haven’t seen it, check out the original film. It was severely misunderstood by critics.

More No-Brainers: By now, everyone knows that the new Batman film, “The Dark Knight,” is coming out and that the late Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker looks intriguing. Not much more needs to be said about that film or the new Pixar film, “Wall-E,” about a robot. Both are bound to please. The one that does not look bound to please is “The Happening,” the new M. Night Shyamalan film. It’s somewhat of a “supernatural disaster” film starring Mark Wahlberg. Just the trailer of this film shows how Shyamalan’s films are getting hokier and hokier. “The Happening” (June 13), “Wall-E” (June 27), “The Dark Knight” (July 18)

“The X-Files: I Want to Believe” (July 25) – The appeal of this film comes from the fact that it has been in-the-making for 10 years. The original 1998 X-Files film was a fun and suspenseful science fiction thriller, and if this sequel can top it, that would be quite the feat. The truth is coming.

“Pineapple Express” (Aug. 8 ) – An action-comedy written by Judd Apatow that is about two stoners (Seth Rogen and James Franco) on the run from bad guys. What could possibly be funnier? Everything Apatow touches turns to gold. Also, it is interesting that this film is directed by David Gordon Green, who is known for dramas (“George Washington,” “Snow Angels”).

“Tropic Thunder” (Aug. 15) – Robert Downey Jr. plays an Australian actor who undergoes special surgery to play an African-American in a war film. Plus, “Tropic Thunder” is written and directed by Ben Stiller. The cast also includes Jack Black, Nick Nolte and in a cameo role, TOM CRUISE. Comic genius. Need I say more?

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