Summer movie preview: the not-so-good, the bad and the ugly head to the big screen

The only thing more clichéd than summer movie plots are newspapers and magazines publishing summer movie previews, in which uninformed writers try to predict what will be good and what will be all-too-predictably bad. But, rejoice; I won’t expound the possible merits of the upcoming movies but rather go down an unabashedly self-indulgent path and expound my shallow biases regarding what I think will be bad and what I think will be. . . passable. The awards are as follows:

Wow, they’re really running out of comics to adapt, aren’t they?

“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”

Once again, Sean Connery sets out to prove that he is a film studio sell-out (“Xardoz” and “Finding Forrester” spring quickly to mind) in this comic book film gone awry. The schtick? I haven’t cared enough to look, but it is something about 19th century literary characters banding together to save England or something. And the ultra-hip acronym the studio picked out for the movie, “LXG,” is perhaps the stupidest part. (July 11)

Shouldn’t have been a movie in the first place, now there’s a sequel:

“2 Fast 2 Furious”

Vin Diesel won’t even be in this sequel. No more comment is necessary. (June 6)

Third Time’s a Failure:

“American Wedding”

Jim and Michelle are getting married in the third installment of the “American Pie” trilogy. Eugene Levy also stars, always a plus. Unfortunately, half of the cast won’t be returning. And what exactly does it say about a movie when the actors choose to move on, proving themselves smarter than the producers? (August 1)

Desperately seeking better source material:

“The Pirates of the Caribbean”

It should come as no surprise that Jerry Bruckheimer had to look for a Disney theme park ride to make his next movie. After all, this is the man who brought us “Pearl Harbor” and “Armaggeddon.” Still, it’s pretty damn sad. Despite the computer-generated pirates and the male-oriented swashbuckling appeal, this movie will do well in the box office entirely because of teenage girls who want to ogle over Orlando Bloom. Honestly, what is the world coming to? (July 9)

More superfluous shower shots:

“Tomb Raider 2: Cradle of Life”

Apparently, this is what the world has come to: Lara Croft setting out wearing virtually nothing to find Pandora’s Box. Let me say that again: Pandora’s Box. (Insert random witty and over-used comments about evil being unleashed upon the world when this comes out). (July 25)

Please, please, please let it not suck:

“The Matrix Reloaded”

Because if it does, I’ll have to actually look forward to “The Hulk.” “The Hulk,” incidentally, is going to be interesting, crappy CGI effects (judging by the trailers) and Jennifer Connelly notwithstanding (ostensibly proving the theory that supporting actress awards are doomed to mediocrity). But don’t count on it. (May 15, June 20 for “The Hulk”)

If all else fails, this might work:

“Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”

OK, so the director (Jonathan Mostow) has only made forgettable (to use a euphemism) fare like “U-571” and “Breakdown,” Arnold’s pushing 60 and Clare Danes is in it. Redeeming qualities? An ungodly amount of special effects and really dumb dialogue. I’m not sure why the latter is a good thing, but hey, I’m trying here. (July 2)

Self-Indulgent Guilty Pleasure:

“Bruce Almighty”

Hate or love Jim Carrey, his movies always at least have one funny scene. And this time, he’s back with Tom Shadyac, the director of “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “Liar, Liar.” Also, the idea of Jim Carrey as God is entertaining in and of itself. (May 23)

This was regrettably unavoidable:

“Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle”

First of all, the director’s name is listed as McG. No director with a three-letter name deserves any of my writing or viewing time. Secondly, this film features cameos by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Thirdly, if the first two haven’t convinced you that this is yet another shameless attempt at taking your money and draining your brain of precious neurons, here’s the clincher: Bill Murray won’t be in it. This disrespect towards audiences has got to stop. (June 27)

He did THIS but maybe not the Spiderman sequel!?

“Seabiscuit”

Tobey Maguire stars in this movie about a prize-winning racehorse. This, like “Tomb Raider,” needs no further comment. But really, who needs Tobey Maguire…Seabiscuit was really the glue that held this movie together… oh… nevermind. Hope I didn’t give away an ending here.

Movies I refuse to write about: “The Italian Job” (shameless, shameless remake), “Legally Blonde 2” (why oh why?), anything with Jennifer Lopez, “Prozac Nation,” “Dumb and Dumberer.”

In short, another typical summer. If things go on this well, in two years I’ll be seeing myself excited about the third Star Wars.