Coming real soon to a theater near you


May 16, 2002|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,SUN STAFF

There'll be familiar faces and familiar places at the movie theater this summer. It's not just the actors we know so well - although lots of big stars are accounted for - but some characters and plots we've loved elsewhere are now larger than life on the movie screen.

There are movies based on literature, such as Oscar Wilde's classic play The Importance of Being Earnest, Rebecca Wells' best-selling novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and A.S. Byatt's Possession, and the thrillers The Sum of All Fears, The Bourne Identity and Minority Report (a novel by Tom Clancy, a novel by Robert Ludlum and a short story by Phillip K. Dick, respectively).

There are movies based on television shows. Scooby-Doo makes the jump from the small screen to the big, as do Hey Arnold!, The Powerpuff Girls and The Crocodile Hunter.

And there are movies based on other movies. The ever-popular summertime sequel is back. There's more Austin Powers, more Men in Black, more Stuart Little, more Spy Kids, more Halloween and more Star Wars.

In addition to all these old friends and not-so-secret plots, moviegoers can still see some surprises: Robin Williams being scary (twice), Tom Hanks as a hit man, David Arquette as an engineer and Christina Ricci as a sorority girl. And how about the birth of punk rock, the drama of marching bands, the cuteness of singing bears, and Sean Penn narrating a documentary about skateboarding?

Here's a rundown of the films of Summer 2002. Probable release dates are at the end of each entry.


Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones: The summer kicks off with a little film about the battle between good and evil in outer space. Opens today.

The Cat's Meow: Based on a real unsolved killing in 1924, this film follows publisher William Randolph Hearst, actress Marion Davies, Charlie Chaplin and other notables on a cruise marked by deception, jealousy and danger. May 17.

About A Boy: Hugh Grant is irresponsible bachelor Will, who goes to single-parent meetings to pick up women but learns to grow up with help from a troubled 12-year-old boy. May 17.

Time Out: A psychological thriller about a man who fabricates a new career for himself so the people in his life will not know he lost his job. May 24.

Enough: Jennifer Lopez is buffed up as a woman on the run from an abusive husband. May 24.

Insomnia: Chris Nolan (Memento) directs Al Pacino as a police detective sent to a small Alaskan town to investigate a murder and play mind games with Robin Williams, the primary suspect. May 24.

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron: An animated tale of a mustang stallion that won't be broken even as he becomes friends with a young Lakota brave and finds romance with a paint mare. May 24.

The Sum of All Fears: Ben Affleck takes on the role of a younger Jack Ryan in the latest espionage thriller based on a Tom Clancy novel. This time, Ryan must stop a sinister plot to draw the United States and Russia into World War III. Rumor has it, he doesn't succeed until after something very bad happens to Baltimore. May 31.

Undercover Brother: Eddie Griffin is a private detective who has to trade in his '70s style to pose as a preppy nerd, resist Denise Richards and stop the overthrow of the government. May 31.

Mystic Masseur: An urban teacher in Trinidad moves to the country and becomes a healer to support his writing aspirations. His knowledge and reputation for mystical healing powers soon make him famous and propel him into the less-amenable world of politics. May 31.

The Importance of Being Earnest: Colin Firth and Rupert Everett play two men in 1890s England who bend the truth a bit to woo two lovely young women. May 31.

Triumph of Love: Mira Sorvino plays a princess who uses a variety of diguises to get to the man she loves and restore him as the rightful heir to the throne. May, date to be determined.


Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: An estrogen-o-rama based on the best-selling novel, this movie follows a group of four lifelong female friends in the South. Ellen Burstyn and Ashley Judd play the older and younger selves of one of the Ya-Yas, and Sandra Bullock plays a daughter seeking to make peace with the past. June 7.

Bad Company: Chris Rock is a streetwise bookie who has to take the place of his twin brother, an educated CIA agent, to protect national security. Anthony Hopkins also stars. June 7.

The Bourne Identity: An international spy has to discover his identity when he is found floating at sea with only the bullets in his back, a bank account number implanted in his hip, lots of snazzy spy skills - oh, and the face of Matt Damon. June 14.

The Emperor's New Clothes: What if the exiled Napoleon traded identities with a sailor, headed back to France to reclaim power, got stranded in Paris and found love with a beautiful widow? June 14.

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