May-June Movie Previews by David Marsh 2001 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu  
David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Seann William Scott and Orlando Jones star 5/16 Shrek (LA/NYC)
5/18 Shrek General Release
5/18 Angel Eyes (2001)
6/8 Evolution (2001)
6/15 Atlantis- The Lost Empire (2001)
6/15 Tomb Raider (2001)
2/29 A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Seann William Scott and Orlando Jones star in Evolution. Photo by Murray Close - 2001 - Dreamworks LLC and Columbia Pictures - All Rights Reserved

It must be summer. Suddenly there are movies coming out on top of each other whose box office grappling will make WWF look civilized. Last month, the big winner was Mummy Returns, a considerable improvement over the remake that spawned it. I've decided (after actually watching the trailer) that Shrek may just be fun, and I expect it will unwrap the Mummy. In June it's going to be a fight to the finish between Atlantis and Tomb Raider with a few interesting things to go see besides. I'm hoping that Evolution is half as good as any of the Tremors films and that A.I. doesn't fall flat on it's face...having been done before.

Princess Fiona & ShrekShrek
Princess Fiona & Shrek
2001 - Dreamworks SKG - All Rights Reserved

Lord Faraquaad (John Lithgow) is the Evil Ruler with a serious jones for Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and only a smelly Ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) and his faithful if talkative Donkey (Eddie Murphy), can save the damsel's virtue.

Of course, It's not like the Princess is exactly helpless, delivering "Matrix" style martial arts moves too the bad guys. I've gotten to like this movie more after hearing the actors talk it up and seeing the trailer. Lithgow, Meyers, and Murphy are three stooges to draw to, after all, and even if Ms. Diaz isn't onscreen in the flesh, as it were, she no doubt inspired the animators of her character and it's unlikely that she can't act.

Evolution
 2001 - Dreamworks LLC and Columbia Pictures - All Rights Reserved

"Have A Nice End Of The World"

I'm probably going to be horribly disappointed, but I'm looking forward to this sciffy comedy starring Dan Aykroyd, David Duchovny, Julianne Moore and Orlando Jones among others. It looks like the southwest is the scene of yet another tale of science gone wrong as evolution speeds up big time. If it's half as good as the Tremors movies it will still be worth watching. Preferably at a drive in if you can find one. The 50s may be half a century behind us, but fortunately (I think) their Sci-Fi legend lives on.

photoAtlantis
2001 - Disney Enterprises, Inc. - All Rights Reserved

Who could put together a cast including Michael J. Fox,  Jim Varney, Claudia Christian, James Garner, Leonard Nimoy, David Ogden Stiers, Cree Summer and more in a great looking animated feature about a lost city?

Ok, that was pretty easy. Disney's latest offering is light on lovable sidekicks and heavy on action. How many Disney animations have a PG rating? How many bystanders get drilled by automatic weapons fire in this film? How hot can an animated Atlantean Princess be? Are you sure this is Disney? I've heard that the CGI and animation work unusually well together in this, and that it's a "brilliantly realized thrill ride that only Disney could have created." Ok I made the last bit up, but it's probably true.

Laura Croft: Tomb Raider
2001 - Paramount Pictures. Tomb Raider and Laura Croft are trademarks of Core Design Ltd. All rights reserved.

Back in 1999 she was "Mark" to Denzel Washington's "Ironside" (if you didn't get that, ask your parents) in The Bone Collector. Now she's graduated to ripping of all manner of things, ala Indiana Jones, as the living embodiment of Laura Croft, known to adolescent male computer game players everywhere as the pneumatic, dual pistol packing Tomb Raider.

As Han Solo once said several times, "I have a bad feeling about this." At some point, someone is going to wake up and realize that no matter how hard you try to sugarcoat it, stealing artifacts is stealing artifacts and it doesn't remotely resemble archeology.

Will adolescent males flock to this in droves, resting their thumbs for a few hours? You gotta wonder. Ms. Crofts character seems half Indy, half Batman and Ms Jolie certainly appears to be well suited to the part. Music is provided by a bunch of groups with more energy than sense, U2, Nine Inch Nails, and others, so if your ears are prone to bleeding, please bring cotton.

Still, I confess, I'll be there, and I suspect I'll enjoy myself...even if I wind up saying bad things about it later. - DM