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The summer movie season officially kicks off (are you ready for this?) a week from Friday!

May 4th brings us Spider-Man 3—the summer’s first movie release, the first anticipated blockbuster, and the first sequel.

Movie sites such as Moviephone and Premiere and papers led by USA Today seem to agree that this is the Summer of the Sequel. Since most movie-goers enjoy a certain kind of viewer-character relationship with the story’s players, audiences are glad to return to see an old friend, which I see as a Good-News-Bad-News-Good-News situation.

Good News: Millions of us are genuinely curious to see what happens to Spidey, Shrek and his friends, Captain Jack and his crew, Danny Ocean’s Twelve and their foe-turned-friend—number Thirteen, and Jason Bourne as Jason Bourne. Chris Tucker (Rush Hour 3) and Bruce Willis (Live Free or Die Hard) return as really-long-lost-friends, as its been awhile since their last reprise. Although It may sound goofy that we’d relate to a recorded image on the screen, it brings out the fact that we were created to be relational creatures, and while we may like watching things crash or lovers cry, it’s the return of specific characters that we come back to and enjoy. I like that.

Bad News: Despite all of the buzz I hear about the independent film movement, it sure seems like sequels get the big budgets and backing. Since distribution is everything and risky themes don’t fare well in a cost-benefit analysis, the films with the potential to say a lot rarely do. I don’t like that.

Good News: Serials and movie trilogies (or quadrilogies and quintilogies!) allow more characters to interact in more settings amidst more plot twists with more characters, allowing deeper spiritual themes to emerge if directors and writers are so inclined. This allows us to go deeper with characters we relate to, and I like that.

Here are the dates of the Summer Sequels; I hope there’s a whole lot in there for the reflective moviegoer on a spiritual journey:

  • May 4: “Spider-Man 3”Spidey vs. Sandman, Venom, New Goblin…and his darkside.
  • May 18: “Shrek the Third” — Layers of comedy for every age group.
  • May 26: “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” — Likely not the end of anything!
  • June 8: “Ocean’s Thirteen” — Clooney, Pitt, Garcia, Pacino, Damon, Cheadle, Mac, Ellen Barkin.
  • June 15: “Fantastic Four” Rise of the Silver Surfer.
  • June 22: “Evan Almighty” — Morgan Freeman returns as God but Steve Carell is new as Moses.
  • June 27: “Live Free or Die Hard” — Bruce “John McClain” Willis returns and is himself again.
  • July 13: “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” — He keeps his clothes on.
  • Aug 3: “The Bourne Ultimatum” — Paul Greengrass (United 93) directing Damon’s defining role.
  • Aug 10: “Rush Hour 3” — Chris Tucker’s first film since “RH 2” and Jackie Chan.

Of course, if there’s anything of spiritual value to talk about, we’ll be doing so right here at Idol Blogger and we welcome you to do the same!

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