Flashback Friday Feature: Seaside Movie Days

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This week’s Flashback in Movie Time Tour happily finds us in the Summer of 2004, when Spider-Man was slinging his way through movie town, the Open Waters made us afraid to take a dip and The Village provided one freaky trip! Politics, naturally, made for strange bedfellows, Cruise was causing Collateral damage and a Princess was filling her Diaries with tons of drama! No matter where you’re cruising this hopefully drama-free holiday weekend, hope you enjoy our latest step back in story time…

Meg the Movie Buff Goes to Hollywood

2004 Summer Movie Guide

Originally Published in the Sun by the Sea…July/August 2004 edition

What do you think of when summer rolls around? Sun, surfboards, Spider-Man 2? Is the (summer) Day After Tomorrow the day you finally see Shrek 2? Maybe your summer revolves around the beach and the boardwalk, but for those who prefer a darkened theater to a sunlit sky, it’s a something-for-everyone season…

As usual, in the land of movies, summer starts several weeks before the calendar dictates. Hollywood insists on living by it’s own timetable. Summer may have technically started two weeks ago, but the summer movies started two months ago! Brad Pitt’s face has already launched a thousand ships in Troy, the honeymoon (thankfully not the love story) of our favorite ogres in Shrek 2 is over and Tom Hanks has finally gotten out of The Terminal. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban has already taken prisoners, I mean audiences, at the box office, Helen’s been Raised, The Stepford Wives have stepped out and it’s only July! What’s left, you may be wondering? Don’t panic, as it turns out, there are as many summer blockbusters left as there are solar rays and suntan lotion. It’s time to get out of the ocean and into a climate-controlled movie theater.

Where to begin? How ‘bout with the sequel to 2002’s $404 million-grossing Spider-Man? Spider-Man 2 (opening July 2nd) promises to be even better than the first (that’s according to starts Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. They wouldn’t lie to us, would they?) With Alfred Molina playing Doc Ock, the prerequisite comic book villain (with a name like that, Spidey should have known what he was in for), expect lots of angst for poor Peter Parker (as well as an arcade full of little stuffed Spider-men).

I, Robot (opening July 16th) starring Will Smith, a proven summer blockbusting star, is being labeled part mystery, part science fiction, part action thriller. Sounds scarier than the Sea Serpent. You don’t have to be on automatic pilot to find the success in this story.

The Village (opening July 30th) directed by M. Night Shyamalan (so you know there’s a strong possibility it’s going to freak you out) and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody and Sigourney Weaver, tells the story of a small Pennsylvania town, located a little too close to the woods, where the unsuspecting villagers soon come in contact with, well, let’s just call them bizarre beings (creepy like Dante’s Inferno but without the smoke and mirrors). All Signs indicate a strong opening weekend.

Musically inclined? It’s not too late to see De-Lovely (opens June 25th) starring Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd as Cole Porter and Mrs. Cole Porter, respectively, in this semi-biographical musical portrait of the songwriter’s life.

Need a good laugh? You can still catch Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (opens June 18th) starring co-producer Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Don’t expect to pick up any dodgeball tips from the athletically challenged group.

The laughter continues with Anchorman (opening July 9th) starring Christina Applegate and co-writer Will Ferrell as a, well, (intellectually challenged) anchorman in the 1970s.

Something for the (aggressive) girls: Catwoman (opening July 23rd) starring Halle Berry, Sharon Stone and Benjamin Bratt.

If you’re interested in female empowerment, but in a milder, less in-your-face way, first see A Cinderella Story (opening July 16th) starring Hilary Duff and Jennifer Coolidge. On a more Disney note comes Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement (opens August 11th) starring Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway. Seeing both of these films back-to-back is like spending the day riding the Teacups (unless, of course, fairy tales make you sick).

For the (cultured) girls: King Arthur starring Clive Owen and Keira Knightley holds court July 7th. The film takes place in 400 A.D. (which means lots of knights in shining armor on horseback).

You may not want to see Open Waters (opening July 30th), starring newcomers Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis, right before a beach day. Let’s just say there’s sharks involved. Let’s also say it’s important to leave the ocean with the same number of people you entered it with! The Log Flume will seem like a cakewalk after seeing this well-made-yet-based-on-a-true-story film, which is enough to keep the movie theaters, as opposed to the actual open waters, filled.

Need more excitement than the Great White can provide? There’s Matt Damon in The Bourne Supremacy (opening July 23rd), which picks up two years from where The Bourne Identity left off.

Thunderbirds (opening August 6th) starring Bill Paxton and Ben Kingsley revisits the 1960s TV puppet series. On paper it doesn’t sound very exciting, but there are puppets involved.

Politically minded? Then see The Manchurian Candidate (opening July 30th) starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep in a remake of the 1962 classic. Washington and Streep take over the roles once played by Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury, respectively.

Something for the girls and boys: Tom Cruise in Collateral (opening August 6th). Contract killer Vincent (Cruise) takes uninspired LA taxi driver Max (Jamie Foxx) as an unwitting chauffer to his killings. Cruise as a villain (not to mention the head full of gray hair?)

Open Water aside, it’s a summer friendly movie season. There’s even a Cookout (opening September 3rd, starring Queen Latifah and Ja Rule). Just in time for Labor Day!

Can’t decide between a day at the beach and a day at the movies? Just remember, skin burns but movie stars shine…🍿🍿

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