Friday movie roundup – June 15

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In this summer of sequels, is any film less-anticipated than “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”? The 2005 original is widely regarded as one of the worst superhero films, and it grossed only $150 million at the box office. (That’s big money to you and me, but for a summer blockbuster franchise, it’s a flop. You may recall that “Spider-Man 3” made that much in one weekend.) But apparently they felt justified trying again, because here we are with a sequel … and it’s actually quite a bit better. Not quite “good,” but definitely better.

They didn’t screen it until last night in most markets, which is indicative of the amount of faith Twentieth Century Fox has in it. In some places, they had press screenings earlier in the week, but only for “legitimate” critics, i.e., those who write for daily newspapers. People at the weeklies and of course us no-good online critics had to wait until Thursday night, for a promo screening. At the Portland screening, they didn’t even bother taping off seats for the press, like they usually do. That’s how uninterested Fox is in dealing with the critics when it comes to this particular film.

But never fear: When they have something good, they’ll be really nice to us, and ask if we want to do interviews, and set up a press screening well in advance. They will love us again! Just not right now, when their movies blow.

The other major wide release today is “Nancy Drew,” which is pretty good, all things considered. I’ve never read any of the Nancy Drew books. I read several Trixie Belden novels when I was young, though, and I gather they’re similar. Anyone else remember Trixie Belden? She was the Hydrox to Nancy Drew’s Oreo, but I loved her anyway.

Finally, not screened for critics — making it one of Hollywood’s Shameful Secrets® — is “DOA: Dead or Alive.” It is based on a video game, which should tell you something right there. (Historical fact: Not a single movie based on a video game has ever been good. NOT ONE!) It’s about hot chicks who go around beating people up, I think. I’m not even going to pretend to be interested in seeing this movie.

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