King of the movie mountain

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By Johnathan Kroncke

THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS

By Johnathan Kroncke

Summertime is here again and that means three things: sun, sand and Hollywood unloading its most explosive movies of the year.

In years past, blockbusters such as “Spiderman,” “X-Men,” and “Minority Report” have led the way. This year, the marathon of summer movie greatness begins with “Kingdom of Heaven.”

Orlando Bloom stars as Balian, a young man who learns the ways of the sword. He is eventually knighted and sent off to join the crusades. Young Balian winds up in Jerusalem, defending the city against the invading Hospitallers.

On May 19, movie history was made as the final chapter in the “Star Wars” saga was unveiled to the world. “Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith,” the last installment of the three prequels, and indeed the entire “Star Wars” universe, follows young Anakin Skywalker as he walks the path to the dark side. Skywalker, played by Hayden Christensen, becomes enamored with the power that the Sith have to offer and, in order to obtain this new power which may contain the ability to prevent death, he slowly turns on everyone and everything he has ever loved.

“Revenge of the Sith” is exactly what “Star Wars” fans have been waiting for and promises to be one of the highest grossing films of the year. An intense script and spectacular visuals make up one of the best films of the year so far.

“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” hits theaters on June 10. This new twist on romantic comedies stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as your typical married couple, bored to death with the life they lead. Both are surprised that, while searching for a new spark, they are also assassins assigned to kill each other. Vince Vaughn serves as Pitt’s associate Eddie, who provides marital advice, weapons and classic comedic acting.

While this movie carries some of the biggest names in Hollywood with Pitt and Jolie, it may turn out to be a huge flop. Fights within marriages may be common, but blasting holes through walls with a shotgun trying to kill your spouse is tough to swallow. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” is obviously not played to be serious but it may not deliver the comedy that it promises.

The following week sees the return of the dark avenger to the big screen with “Batman Begins.” Christian Bale stars as the caped crusader alongside the new Alfred, Michael Caine, as well as the man who trained the young Bruce Wayne, Henri Ducard, played by Liam Neeson.The main villains of this fifth film in the “Batman” saga will be Ra’s Al Ghul, played by Ken Watanabe, and the Scarecrow, played by Cillian Murphy. It will be interesting to see how the Scarecrow character will be portrayed on screen, but it will be even more interesting to see whether “Batman Begins” will return to the original dark roots of the series or if it will continue the downward slide set in motion by “Batman and Robin.”

On June 29, Mars attacks! No, it is not a sequel to the horrible Tim Burton flick, but the remake of the classic sci-fi movie, “War of the Worlds.” Tom Cruise stars as Ray Ferrier, a man just trying to get by when Martian invaders show up and decimate everything in their path. “War of the Worlds” marks the second movie that Cruise and director Steven Spielberg have worked on together, the first being “Minority Report.” Almost any project Spielberg helms produces a huge box office draw and this one looks to be no different.

Finally, to wrap up just a few of the movies likely to be the biggest draws of the summer is yet another remake. This time Tim Burton changes direction from the dark and brooding to the bright and cheery with “Charlie and the Chocolate factory.”

Once again, Burton teams up with his favorite actor Johnny Depp who plays the role of eccentric candy maker, Willy Wonka. Just as in the original, a young boy is one of five lucky winners to tour the amazing factory which seems like every child’s dream except that it is no ordinary factory and Wonka is no ordinary C.E.O. While this new incarnation will not be a musical as the other was, it certainly looks to be a fun, acid-induced ride.

With all of the summer blockbusters coming out, the upcoming vacation should be anything but boring. Audiences will laugh, cry, and hide under their seats from aliens with lasers. Personally, I can’t wait.

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