It's an exciting time in America cinema. Long past the hay-day of celluloid, the current entertainment landscape allows studios to produce and market films rapidly. So rapidly, in fact, that it's both possible and likely that several well-deserving gems will enter and exit theaters tragically unnoticed.

I'm here to avert that tragedy.

Allow me to exhaustively preview a tasty grab-bag of summer movies, designed to better help you plot your viewing experiences. Armed with the knowledge that you've at least vicariously done your homework, you can drop your seventeen dollars with confidence.

Marmaduke

Marmaduke movie posterGreat concept here. He's a big dog, and big dogs can be a real handful. Remember Beethoven, when that guy's kids find a puppy, and he seemed kind of mean because he didn't want to let them keep it? Remember how the dog grew up, and turned out to be a really big dog? That was funny because pets, especially big pets, can be a lot of responsibility. Extra responsibilities are a source of frustration to adults, which is funny because sometimes they step in dog poop or the dog can ruin your barbecue because he's overly friendly.

In Marmaduke, Marmaduke is a big dog that talks to other animals. He's pretty carefree, which is a source of frustration to his adult owners because he comes with a lot of extra responsibilities. The underlying subtext is that his owners can't hear him talk, which complicates things because they don't really get how smart and clever he is.

We often don't give our pets enough credit that they'd be able to set up a complex spy network, but here we see that they totally can.Marmaduke wears sunglasses and goes on dates, which I loved because dogs don't typically wear sunglasses or go on dates. Those are things that people usually do, and seeing a dog do them is a refreshing change of pace. He also does dog things too, like poop on the lawn or tear the stuffing out of pillows, which I think we all can relate to.

The other animals are given similarly complex personalities, and it's remarkable how they all belong to a diverse array of ethnic groups. It's like their world parallels our world. Loads of summer fun; especially great for dates.

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Cats and Dogs movie posterI had my reservations about this one. I remember thinking to myself, "Isn't this like Marmaduke, because the animals all talk to each other?" My fears were quickly put to rest. In Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, cats and dogs are at war. This is a great concept because we often think of cats and dogs as not really getting along, and here we see what it would be like if someone took that idea a little further.

The cats and dogs have developed an intricate network of counter-intelligence, kind of like the CIA and MI5 but, you know, with cats and dogs. The concept pretty much sells itself, because you've got that winning hybrid of animals behaving like humans, but also reminding you every few minutes that they are still, in fact, animals. They do things like spy on each other with complicated technology and fly hovercrafts, but at the same time sometimes they poop and pee on the carpet, much to the chagrin of their human owners. We often don't give our pets enough credit that they'd be able to set up a complex spy network, but here we see that they totally can.

Oh, and there's this one part where a fake squirrel does the hamster dance and then explodes. Remember the hamster dance? Not recommended for children, especially since the film is essentially an elaborate Cold War parable.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Sorcer's Apprentice movie posterI have to say that the preview made me laugh out loud. There's this part where the nerdy guy who is skeptical about becoming a sorcerer's apprentice is trying to learn how to shoot and control fireballs and he actually hits himself in the nuts. I don't know if you've ever done that before, but it really doesn't feel too good, which I think is why it's so funny to see someone else get hit there. The look on their face is usually priceless, and The Sorcerer's Apprentice is no exception.

The concept of a nerdy guy becoming a powerful sorcerer's apprentice is great because you can bet that he's going to get off to a bumpy start. He's clumsy and nerdy, and he's probably out of shape and the good-looking guys pick on him and get all the girls. Once he becomes a sorcerer's apprentice, however, people are going to notice him. Everyone just needs the chance to make an impact.

The sorcerer concept is great too, because he wears a funny outfit that probably looks out of place next to our contemporary wares. There's this one part where the sorcerer gives the sorcerer's apprentice something to wear, and the sorcerer's apprentice doesn't really like it or want to wear it, and he almost expresses his displeasure, but then he remembers that the sorcerer is powerful and probably wouldn't like it if he expressed his displeasure, so he says, "I love them." I laughed because I got the impression he didn't love them.

The sorcerer can also turn things into Corvettes or Ferraris or something. Must see, especially for all the magic.

Knight and Day

Knight and Day movie posterAt first I thought someone had really screwed up in the QA department and allowed the studio to market a film with a typo in the title. Then I got it. The "Knight" of Knight and Day refers to a knight in shining armor, which is a pretty neat play on words. The concept here is so solid because a hitman of sorts kidnaps a woman we are told is attractive, and clearly in a relationship. The hitman shoots her boyfriend, which you might think is a deal-breaker, but here it only seems to deepen the intrigue surrounding the hitman.

They have a lot of witty banter because she didn't want to be kidnapped, but soon it became clear that she would be depending on him for her survival. As an audience member I felt very conflicted because at first I was totally on her side, thinking to myself that it was really rude of him to kidnap her, but soon I was on his side, thinking to myself that she'd be depending on him for her survival. It's really interesting how films can present us with different points of view.

Soon I just decided to go along for the ride, and what a ride it was. There's this scene where the hitman repeats himself a bunch of times for emphasis like he does in all his other movies, and I laughed because his repetition made him seem a little off-balance, but then again he's survived this long, so he must be doing something right. If you like your summer popcorn-fare with a heaping helping of chemistry, prepare to be told that these people have chemistry in droves.

The A-Team

I actually didn't see this movie. The trailer was horribly loud.

The A-Team movie poster

I love movies, and you should too. Enjoy!


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