Green Lake Summer Movie Preview 2002

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Maybe I’ve just seen too many movies, but the 2002 summer blockbusters just seem more formulaic than ever. The problem is, I can’t put my finger on exactly what element is off this year. Plot? Direction? Special effects? I just can’t figure it out. Take a look at these upcoming movies and maybe you can figure out why movies all look the same to me these days:

MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH SKY– A programmer for an e-business selling fake vomit (TOM CRUISE) is the target of a top-level government conspiracy led by a top CIA agent (JAMES GANDOLFINI). Watch for a great cameo by SELMA HAYEK disguised as a can of Old Milwaukee beer. Thriller.

THE SIMPSONS: THE MOVIE– At long last, MATT GROENING’s cast of Springfieldians comes to the big screen, and this one promises to explore all new territory for the Simpson clan. While drinking lots of beer and eating everything in sight, Homer gets fired from the nuclear plant, but comes up with a wacky idea in the process. Marge grudgingly goes along with the idea, until their burly new neighbor (voiced by JAMES GANDOLFINI) sweeps her off her feet. Meanwhile, Lisa complains about something Bart does, which causes him to rethink his ways. Comedy.

I CAN’T SEEM TO FORGET WHAT YOU DID SEVERAL SUMMERS AGO, NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY– SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR and FREDDIE PRINZE JR. hire a psychotic wedding planner from their past (JAMES GANDOLFINI), who wants to turn their rehearsal dinner into a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. Warning: the “mindblowing” scene reviewers keep touting is actually just a scene where Prinze sits underneath a big ceiling fan. Suspense.

A HIDDEN EXPECTATION– NICOLE KIDMAN hires a private investigator (RICK SCHROEDER) to figure out why her dryer keeps buzzing. When he learns the truth, that the clothes cycle is done, Kidman becomes convinced he’s a ghost, and runs to an appliance repairman with psychic abilities (JAMES GANDOLFINI) for help. Thriller.

SPOILERS– JACK BLACK and ADAM SANDLER play two buddies who love going to the movies and shouting out surprise endings as they leave the theater. A disgruntled moviegoer (JAMES GANDOLFINI) overhears the ending to “Citizen Kane” and vows bloody revenge, but the two movie buffs plan some “Home Alone”-inspired hi-jinks of their own. Comedy.

BAKIN’ FOR THE BIG DOGG– After being put to death in Texas for a suicide he did not commit, SNOOP DOGG returns to Earth as a chronic-smokin’ angel, with a mission to save the soul of a despondent ex-hippie who wants to quit drugs and start paying child support (JAMES GANDOLFINI). Great visual effects, the best of which is a CGI sequence where Snoop turns himself into a dime bag. Inspirational.

ANOTHER SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS– ANNE HECHE ruins HARRISON FORD’s second try at an island vacation when she brings along her publicist (KIM CATTRALL), who tries to seduce Ford, and her repressed-memory therapist (JAMES GANDOLFINI), who steals everyone’s wallets and high-tails it back to the mainland. Romantic Comedy.

DRAMAMOBILE– Hipsters BEN AFFLECK and MATT DAMON kidnap DENNIS HOPPER and take him on a cross-country road trip to prove that they know more about drama than he ever did. Copycat kidnappings abound: an enraged EDWARD NORTON kidnaps JAMES GANDOLFINI, KEVIN COSTNER kidnaps JUDE LAW, and OWEN WILSON kidnaps himself. Potentially great chase scene ends flat when someone asks who’s supposed to be chasing who and they all start crying. Drama.

THE SOPRANOS vs. THE THREE TENORS– While waiting for his tuxedos, LUCIANO PAVAROTTI watches some cable, and he doesn’t like what he sees. Under the tutelage of his angry dry cleaner (CHRISTOPHER LEE), Pavarotti starts to believe that the HBO crime family is real, and that their true goal is to take over the world of opera! He leads the three tenors into a war against the Sopranos, who use their underworld contacts to wage war and intrigue against the chubby musicians. If you’ve ever wanted to see PLACIDO DOMINGO cursing like a sailor in three different keys, here’s your chance. Also starring LORRAINE BRACCO, EDIE FALCO and DOMINIC CHIANESE. Action.

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