Summer is the season of high expectations and profound disappointments. That suntan looks more like sunburn, your beer stays ice-cold till the moment it's opened, and fat guys are the only ones hanging by the pool in bikini briefs. So it goes with summer movies: Sequels to beloved faves have all the flavor of week-old popcorn, blockbusters make pennies on their many dollars, and somewhere there's Adam Sandler pouring sour lemonade when you were craving something more refreshing. Maybe there's more hope this year, if only because last summer was such a bummer; Monster-in-Law, Stealth, or Dukes of Hazzard, anyone? Robert Wilonsky The following previews were written by Luke Y. Thompson, Jordan Harper, Melissa Levine, and Robert Wilonsky.
Directed by: Bryan Singer (X-Men, X-2)
What it's about: Set five years after Superman II, more or less, Superman returns from self-imposed exile to find Lois Lane with a kid and Lex Luthor out of prison, with yet another plan for world domination.
Why you should see it: Singer made the X-Menmovies into something accessible to mainstream audiences without sacrificing its comic-book roots; he made superheroes human.
Why you should not: Look, it can't be any worse than Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Or can it?
The Devil Wears Prada
Why you should see it: Streep rarely chooses unredeemable projects.
Why you should not: Do we care how hard it is to work for a fashion magazine?
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Directed by: Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl)
What it's about: Bill Nighy joins the fun as supernatural part-man/part-octopus villain Davey Jones, out to collect the soul of Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) just in time to ruin the marriage plans of Will (Bloom) and Elizabeth (Knightley).
Why you should see it: Depp's Sparrow is one of the most entertaining characters in cinematic history.
Why you should not: Bloom's still a stiff. And Chow Yun-Fat is in part three, not this one.
Strangers With Candy(THINKfilm)
Directed by: Paul Dinello
What it's about: A feature-film spinoff of the popular 1999-2000 Comedy Central series starring Sedaris as a 46-year-old ex-con high school student.
Why you should see it: If you don't think Stephen Colbert knows funny, you don't know funny.
Why you should not: It could feel like one long inside joke made for those who've seen the show.
A Scanner Darkly
What it's about: In the near future, a government drug-enforcement agent (Reeves) winds up being ordered to spy on himself. Like Linklater's Waking Life, the entire movie is done in rotoscoped animation, so it's hard to tell whether or not it really counts that Winona Ryder does her first-ever nude scene.
Why you should see it: Previous Philip K. Dick-based movies: Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall ... Why you should not: ... also Paycheck, Screamers, and Impostor.
Leonard Cohen: Im Your Man
Starring:Leonard Cohen, Bono, and the Edge
Directed by:Lian Lunson
What it's about: Lunson's doc about the singer-songwriter, featuring a pretty candid interview with the inexplicable ladies' man, uses a tribute show at the Sydney Concert Hall in 2005 to tell Cohen's beguiling journey from Montreal to a monastery on Mount Baldy.
Why you should see it: Because Lunson mingles footage of Cohen talking with scenes of his acolytes singing his famous-blue-raincoat songs.
Why you should not: See above; the performances are as mediocre as Cohen is magnetic.
Starring: Marlon and Shawn Wayans
Directed by: Keenen Ivory Wayans (Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2)
Written by: The Wayans brothers
What it's about: A digitally remastered Shawn Wayans plays a weensy little criminal mistaken for a baby by a wannabe dad (Marlon).
Why you should see it: Consider it your biennial dose of Wayans charm.
Why you should not: Perhaps you recall White Chicks?
You, Me and Dupree
Written by: Mike LeSieur
What it's about: Wilson's the best man in Dillon and Hudson's wedding, and when he loses his job after traveling to Hawaii for the wedding, they let him stay in their house.
Why you should see it:The Russos have estimable TV credits, including stints on Arrested Developmentand FX's woefully unappreciated Lucky.
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