Welcome to a special summer movie edition of “Next Week’s News.” What’s playing at the mulitplex this summer? A serious case of cinema derivate.
Sequels like “Shrek 4″ and “Toy Story 3.”
Remakes like “Karate Kid,” “The A-Team” and “Saved by the Bell: The Revenge of Screech.”
And even the movies that are supposed to be original seem to be based on recent events in the news. For example, let’s take a look at the upcoming Angelina Jolie spy thriller, “Salt.”
In “Salt,” Angelina plays a CIA agent who is accused by her bosses of being a Russian spy. Sound familiar? You got it: it’s a thinly veiled adaptation of the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings.
It’s the exact same story, only Kagan is a solicitor general who’s accused by Republican senators of being a liberal. And here’s the biggest similarity: when both women are interrogated, they refuse to reveal anything. Now, let’s take a look at the latest Tom Cruise action comedy, “Knight and Day.”
In the film, Tom Cruise plays a rogue agent who seems to be working for the government, but then turns out to be totally out of control. Heard this one before? That’s right: another name for this film could be, “The Stanley McChrystal Story.”
Now, given Hollywood’s current penchant for plot lines that have been ripped from the headlines, it’s surprising that no one’s made a summer movie based on the BP oil spill.
But maybe that’s because it’s already been done: the 1998 Michael Bay classic, “Armageddon.” In that movie a team of oil company employees led by Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck try to stop a catastrophe — an asteroid headed for Earth. The only difference between “Armageddon” and the BP story is that in “Armageddon” they succeed — and it only takes them two hours.
And finally, what about the latest adventure of those sexy “Twilight” vampires? Is it worth your twelve dollars? I don’t think so. If you crave entertainment starring a super-sexy stud, then wait until fall: CNN’s got a new show with Eliot Spitzer.
I want to see that in 3-D!