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The good, the bad and the ugly

Sean Sweany | Tuesday, May 1, 2007

There are a lot of good movies coming out this summer, “Spiderman 3,” “Shrek 3,” Pirates 3,” “Transformers” – and the list goes on.

Its another summer of sequels (it seems like every summer is the summer of sequels these days, which makes you wonder if there’s any creativity left in Hollywood), many of which will bring storylines to an end that have been in progress for years, perhaps even as long as some of us have been in college.

While these will surely pull in billions of combined dollars and dominate news headlines (see tomorrow’s Scene section), I would like to take this chance to inform readers of some other, lesser-known sequels premiering this summer that “could” be just as worthy of our money as any of the “tentpole” movies coming out in the next month.

“Surf’s Up” (June 8)

Maybe this isn’t exactly the sequel to “Happy Feet,” but it’s close enough. Here, animated penguins will compete at the Penguin World Surfing Championships in what is being termed an animated mockumentary. Shia LeBouf (who’s in pretty much every movie these days) voices the lead surfer penguin in what is the third or fourth penguin movie to come out in the last few years. I’ll admit that penguins are cool animals, but this has seriously gone too far.

“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (June 15)

I’ll admit, I haven’t seen the first movie, but that’s because it looked really, really awful. Pretty much every critic in American seemed to think so too, and the movie wasn’t the hit the studio thought it would be. And now they’re making a second one? Do we need to see more bad writing, poor effects and lame acting tarnishing the genre of superhero movies? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

“Underdog” (Aug. 3)

This remake of the old television show where a dog receives super powers already promises to be a smash hit – in Disney’s pocket book. While the original cartoon was fun, and sometimes even funny, this looks like it will have fairly mediocre computer graphics and a storyline filled with so many spoofs that it’ll get lost along the way.

“Daddy Day Camp” (Aug. 10)

This sequel to 2003’s “Daddy Day Care” brings back none of the main original cast, instead placing Cuba Gooding Jr. in Eddie Murphy’s role as the boss of a Day Camp for kids. Fred Savage (yes, that Fred Savage) directs what should be a poor sequel to what was originally quite an entertaining film.

Hopefully this list will help the discerning moviegoer keep in mind ALL of the sequels coming to theaters this summer and maybe even help whittle down the list to what needs to be seen in theaters (“Underdog,” anyone?) – and what might be a more of a wait-for-it-to-come-out-on-video thing.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Sean Sweany at