Maybe there are just too many movies with colons in the title this summer. In Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life , set to open July 25, Angelina Jolie returns as the video game vixen, now off in search of Pandora's Box. Why? Isn't it, you know, empty? Paramount's been trailering this one on every DVD it's released this summer, and the stunts look spectacular. On the other hand, while Jan de Bont directed Speed, he also did that vile remake of The Haunting.
Arnie goes back to the well
Following several years of declining box office and weird rumours that he's going to run for governor of California, Arnie runs instead for the cover of his most successful film, this time without James Cameron and Linda Hamilton. In favour of Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines - or Schwarzenegger: Fall Of The Career - we note director Jonathan Mostow , who helmed U-571 and Breakdown and who does not believe in leaving a lot of fat on the narrative meat. It opens July 4.
Depp does Disney
Just when everyone's convinced of Johnny Depp 's artistic integrity and anti-Hollywood choices, he turns around and does Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl , a Disney movie based on a theme ride. Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine) comes along to play the evil pirate. Director Gore Verbinski 's resolutely refused to screw up The Ring, so Pirates suddenly has a little directorial interest going for it. Look for a July 11 opening.
Fresh from the Cannes competition comes Swimming Pool , François Ozon 's study of 2 Femmes, Charlotte Rampling 's English mystery writer and Ludivine Sagnier as the trampy daughter of her publisher, colliding in said publisher's summer house. From the director of Under The Sand and 8 Femmes, with one of the stars of each. Those who remember Sagnier as the tomboyish daughter in the latter are in for a bit of a shock here. (July 11)
A few years back, the Polish brothers ( Mark and Michael ) wrote and starred in Twin Falls Idaho (Michael directed it), an oddball indie by any standards. Their new film, Northfork , takes place in 1955 in a small Montana town where the populace is being uprooted to make room for a dam. It stars Nick Nolte (whom the Polish brothers met on The Good Thief, in which they had acting roles) as the town priest, and Daryl Hannah as a character named Flower Hercules. That's almost enough to make the film a must-see. Check it out when it opens July 18.