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Summer flicks hit theaters

Films opening soon to offer action, romance,

It is time once again for the summer blockbusters to hit the big screen.

Open your wallets and get ready to shell out your hard-earned money for some more crap, with a few hidden gems. Summer movie madness is upon us, but the Hollywood elitists aren’t giving the paying public much to choose from. I won’t even bother you with the special effect-laden, sappy, $300 million “Pearl Harbor,” or the ass-kicking moves of Angelina Jolie in “Tombraider.” Instead, I will focus on the other features hitting a Century Rio near you.

“A Knight’s Tale,” starring the ever impressionable Heath Ledger, tells the story of William Thatcher’s journey to win the heart of the maiden and become a knight. An action-packed film with lots of jousting, some romance and Thatcher trying to find out if he is the stuff which legends are made of. Anything Ledger is in has sucked — remember “Ten Things I Hate About You,” and “The Patriot.” There are better things to spend your $8 on anyway.

Rob Schneider has done it again. Starring in the upcoming comedy “Animal,” Schneider plays a loser named Marvin Mange who doesn’t have the skills to be on the police force. But everything changes when he is critically injured in an accident. A doctor secretly uses animal’s organs to perform a “trans-species-ectomy to rebuild him.” With his new parts, Marvin becomes a supercop and enjoys newfound popularity. Schneider is a funnyman and his animal urges throughout the film will gather many laughs. Drop some money, if not for the laughs, then for the film debut of ex-Survivor cast member, Colleen Haskell.

John Singleton has come out of the woodwork. “Baby Boy,” starring Tyrese Gibson, tells the story of a misguided 20 year old facing the commitments of real life. Singleton’s film is set in the same inner city Los Angeles neighborhood as “Boyz N the Hood.” Singleton is a great music video director and aesthetically his films are wonderful. Don’t forget that Tyrese can sing and dance.

“America Sweethearts,” starring Julia Roberts — hot off her Oscar win, Catherine Zeta- Jones, John Cusack and Billy Crystal in another sappy love story about helping friends and falling in love. Kiki, played by Roberts, helps Gwen, played by Zeta-Jones, make it through her last personal appearance with her estranged husband Eddie, played by Cusack. Kiki is faced with a more personal concern when her longtime friendship with Eddie begins to get romantic. See it at the dollar theater, it is cheaper than renting.

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Academy Award-winning director Fernando Trueba brings a journey to the senses, heart and soul of Latino culture to the big screen in “Calle 54.”

The film is a snapshot of Latino music by many of the masters. Trueba features many acclaimed musicians, including Tito Puente, Jerry Gonzales and many others. “Calle 54” is not only about the music, but also about the heart and soul behind the music that fuels a culture. If you see one film this summer, this is the one.

The Wayans brothers are back in action with “Scary Movie 2,” the sequel to their spoof, “Scary Movie.” This time, the movie takes aim at classic horror films, rather than just recent teen horror films.

Kevin Smith has finished his final installment to the New Jersey episodes. Smith’s final episode, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” has an all-star cast, including many characters from past Smith films, as well as many new characters. Hey, this one is worth the money and time. Snoochie Boochies.

“Apocalypse Now Redux,” is the reedited version of the original “Apocalypse Now.” Francis Ford Coppola and editor Walter Murch have taken the unedited raw footage, and created a new version of the film with an additional 53 minutes. More Brando, Sheen, Playboy Playmates and the much discussed “French Plantation Scene.” Make sure that you have the money for this one.

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