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Summer movie season offers sequels and franchise fodder

Summer Movie Preview
Boy howdy, it’s summer movie season again. And this year is pretty much like 2006: A metric ton of franchise movies (and a few franchise wannabes) that the studios hope will lure teens away from their videogames and into the multiplexes.
Shrek the Third — King Harold gets sick, and it’s up to Shrek to find the true heir of Far, Far Away, while Fiona and her girlfriends try to thwart a coup d’etat by Prince Charming. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. I’m there for Donkey and Puss N Boots. (May 18)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End — Keith Richards plays Jack Sparrow’s (Johnny Depp) dad. Keith. Richards. Nuff said. (May 25)

Ocean’s 13 — Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his all-star gang plan another casino heist. Al Pacino plays the bad guy. Whatever. I mean seriously, how many casinos do these people need rob? Are they raising the cash to produce Spider-man 4? (June 8)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer — The first FF movie was pretty bad — almost “Catwoman” bad. They better not screw this one up. Silver Surfer was my G back in the day. (June 15)
Evan Almighty — Really looking forward to this one. Steve Carell returns in this sequel to “Bruce Almighty” as Evan Baxter, newsman turned congressman who is visited by God (Morgan Freeman. I mean, who else?) and commanded to build an ark. Oh yes, the laugh-o-meter will be measuring the yuks in cubits! (June 22)
Live Free or Die Hard — Bruce Willis once again fights terrorists as cop John McClane. I haven’t seen the trailer or a copy of the script, by my guess is stuff is gonna blow up. Blow up real good. (June 29
Transformers — The “robots in disguise” get an overhaul from their clunky, cheap ’80s-TV animated look to Funky-Mean, Mecha-Mess-You-Ups. I’m not expecting much in plot, but there better be some major Optimus Prime action onscreen or I’m gonna hafta get all Megatron on someone. (July 4)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — Children and parents will flock to theaters to see the 5th installment of the series for gobs of family-friendly Anglophilic Fun. (July 13)
The Simpsons Movie — Finally, Our Favorite Family makes the move to the big screen. Fox has been pretty tight-lipped about the plot, but that’s OK. As long as Disco Stu and Professor Frink show up, there’ll be laughs aplenty. (July 27)
(c) 2007 King Features Synd., Inc.