Think Different

Could it be that this year's crop of summer movies actually requires a brain cell or two?

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (June 27) The genius of director McG's first Charlie's Angels was that it had something for almost everyone: girls kicking ass for the ladies, fetishistic costume changes for the guys, self-satire for the hip ironists, Tom Green for those who prefer less subtle humor, Crispin Glover for the weirdoes, etc. It was a movie that made no apologies for its junk-food consistency, and neither does the new one, by the looks of things. Green and Bill Murray are gone, but instead we get Bernie Mac and, uh, Demi Moore. (Sony)

A Decade Under the Influence Ted Demme's last film, completed by Richard LaGravenese, is a documentary about most movie critics' favorite era of cinema, the '70s. The Production Code had just ended, and the corporate blockbuster mentality had not yet begun, so a bunch of wild and crazy auteurs basically got to make whatever they wanted. Among the many interviewed are such obvious choices as Dennis Hopper, Francis Ford Coppola, Milos Forman, Jon Voight, Sydney Pollack and Martin Scorsese; we also get to hear from contemporary directors working in a similar mold, like Alexander Payne and Neil LaBute. (IFC)

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (June 13) It's possibly the worst prequel idea since The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas: a Dumb and Dumber movie without Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels or the Farrelly brothers (or even Trey Parker and Matt Stone, long ago attached). Nonetheless, based on the trailer, Eric Christian Olsen's Jim Carrey impersonation looks impressively dead-on. Maybe there's hope. (New Line)

Goofy but fun: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu are back in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
Jasin Boland
Goofy but fun: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu are back in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

Finding Nemo (May 30) Pixar's latest computer-animated opus goes underwater in this tale of a young clownfish who gets kidnapped by a diver and winds up in a tank in a dentist's waiting room. Fortunately, the fish's dad (Albert Brooks) is on the case, with the help of a CIA father-in-law . . . wait, wrong movie. The sidekick in this one is another fish, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. Advance word has it that the script isn't quite up to Pixar's usual high standards, but the deep-sea visuals look breathtaking. (Disney)

Gasoline An Italian lesbian thriller about two young lady lovers on the run with a dead body in the trunk of their car and some nasty characters on their tail. You don't see that sort of thing every day. (Strand)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood's finest collaboration returns to the big screen for the benefit of those poor, misguided souls who don't realize that Clint rules. Ennio Morricone's theme is similarly one of the all-time greats. Clint's made some mediocre flicks in recent years, but if you can come out of this one unimpressed, you're probably a Communist. Or French; go rent a Jerry Lewis movie instead. (MGM)

Hollywood Homicide (June 13) Ron Shelton follows his serious cop movie (Dark Blue) with a not-so-serious one that teams up yesterday's heartthrob Harrison Ford with current It-Boy Josh Hartnett. Ford, of course, is the hard-bitten veteran cop saddled with rookie partner Hartnett, who has a thing for yoga and New Agey beliefs. Presumably, they learn something from one another while attempting to solve a case, the nature and location of which are described in the film's cleverly alliterative title. (Sony)

The Hulk (June 20) Hey, brother! What'cha gonna do when the largest arms in the world run wild on you? Wait, wrong Hulk. No middle-aged wrestler's biceps can measure up to those of the 15-foot CGI creation who runs roughshod over San Francisco in this comic-book adaptation. Audiences will be lured in by lovely Jennifer Connelly and the promise of "Hulk smash!" but director Ang Lee hopes they'll stay for a story line he likens more to classic tragedy. Wait'll you see the mutated "Hulk dogs." Eric Bana, who did mood swings to perfection in Chopper, stars as alter ego Bruce Banner. (Universal)

The In-Laws (May 23) "Inspired by" the 1979 Alan Arkin-Peter Falk comedy, this version stars Michael Douglas as a CIA spy and Albert Brooks as -- this is a stretch -- a whiny neurotic. When the former's son marries the latter's daughter, both fathers-in-law somehow end up as mismatched partners in an international smuggling scheme. Director Andy Fleming is responsible for underrated pleasures The Craft and Dick, so maybe it'll actually be good. (Warner Bros.)

The Italian Job (May 30 ) He tried stepping into Cary Grant's shoes in The Truth About Charlie; now Mark Wahlberg tries on Michael Caine's footwear for size. The man's not a bad actor, but he doesn't help himself by forcing comparisons to the greats like this. Italy, meanwhile, barely registers any screen time in this heist remake directed by F. Gary Gray (A Man Apart), and Edward Norton only appears as the villain because he was contractually forced by Paramount. Mos Def, Seth Green, Charlize Theron and Donald Sutherland also appear in what looks to be at least a strong ensemble. (Paramount)

L'Auberge Espagnole (May 30) Loosely defined as "Euro pudding," and indeed some comparisons to American Pie leap to mind as a young dork (Romain Duris) explores his sexual impulses amid a wild crowd. Set mostly in Barcelona, this boy-abroad movie garnered six Cesars, the French equivalent of the Oscar. If that means to you that a movie is good, perhaps you'll dig it. With Amélie's marketable Audrey Tautou in one of her four new features this year. (Fox Searchlight)

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