Here is a look back ten years ago as this year’s summer movie season begins.
Cars – Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt and Larry the Cable Guy put personality and heart into the memorable vehicles that lead the drive to a racing themed summer. The highest credit goes to Pixar filmmakers who turn in yet another strong script.
Little Miss Sunshine – This late summer sleeper has a great cast including Steve Carrell, Toni Collette, Abigail Breslin and Greg Kinnear and an excellent road trip plot. Rated R.
Mission Impossible 3 – Tom Cruise and Phillip Seymour Hoffman went toe-to-toe in a great action/thriller directed by a talented, technical whiz – J. J. Abrams (Lost and Alias television series), which made huge box office bucks internationally.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – Johnny Depp and company proved that sequels can be more popular (and profitable) when you keep the core cast.
Da Vinci Code – Usually a big Tom Hanks fan, but this fiction filled “thriller” didn’t thrill.
The Omen – Filmmakers’ “if it’s not broke, don’t change it” philosophy failed here. This horror remake suffered the same fate as the 1998 shot-by-shot remake of Psycho.
Snakes on a Plane – You already can visualize the chaos, the horror/violence and sensitive places victims will get bit. What is there after that? Not much. There are lots of ways for the snakes to deliver that impending bite, but when you don’t have a great filmmaker like Hitchcock helming a simple concept (i.e. The Birds); you get a lame story and a shallow celluloid experience.
Audience didn’t like the temperature of Lady in the Water though it had originality while Monster House became a surprise scary hit (would’ve been rated PG-13 if it was a live action instead of computer animated).
Poseidon was well made, but sank due to fickle fans tiring of disaster films. My Super Ex-Girlfriend couldn’t take off, but Superman Returns flew pretty high with promises of a sequel in 2009.
Meryl Streep also returned to high profile prominence with The Devil Wears Prada and Prairie Home Companion.
Low audience awareness hurt Garfield: Tale of Two Kitties and the quality animation feature Ant Bully while audiences didn’t care much for Hoot.
Hope you enjoyed the limited gems and widely discussed blockbusters in 2006. Next summer (2007) offers sequels to Shrek, Spider-Man and Pirates of the Caribbean – all in the first month of May!
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler