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Cover Story: Summer Movie Preview

The season of big, high-concept blockbusters

By Jason Gargano · May 2nd, 2007 · Cover Story
  Summer Movie Preview
Fox Searchlight

Summer Movie Preview

Steven Speilberg's Jaws radically changed the summer movie season. It was the first film to employ techniques that have now become commonplace: a huge marketing campaign and a wide release.

It raked in money like never before, in the process blowing box-office expectations out of proportion forever.

As a result, summer has become the season of big, high-concept blockbusters whose sole goal -- artistry be damned -- is to scrape up every last drop of disposable income. But don't get me wrong: I'm not here to lambaste Hollywood.

Let's be realistic -- it's a business. Besides, I like the occasional mind-numbing fluff as much as the next guy.

That doesn't mean CityBeat's film writers feel the need to pimp the summer's super-media-saturated sure bets in our summer movie preview package. (Though Cole Haddon does offer a feature on Spiderman 3 in the regular film section on page 61. Hey, what's an editor to do when it's practically the only film opening this week?)

Rodger Pille takes a look at which summer comedy -- the bastard stepchild of the season -- might distinguish itself from the rest. TT Stern-Enzi examines the lack of worthwhile high-profile women's roles -- a problem that likely goes back to the studios' slavish adherence to what it sees as its core demographic: teen boys.

Steven Rosen profiles what might emerge as the art-house hit of the summer, John Carney's sweet, music-laded Once. (It was reportedly made for just $50,000, probably the tab for Michael Bay's weekly massage expenses.)

Finally, I run through my 20 most anticipated movies of the season, many of which might get lost amid the behemoths of summer.



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