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June movies

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Mindhunters, The Stepford Wives, The Chronicles of Riddick, Garfield: The Movie, Around the World in 80 Days, The Terminal, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Notebook, The Door in the Floor, Two Brothers, White Chicks, Spider-Man 2

Published May 20, 2004

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[Photo: Warner Bros.]
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Stepford Wives
The Chronicles of Riddick
Around the World in 80 Days
The Terminal
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
The Notebook
The Door in the Floor
Two Brothers
White Chicks
Spider-Man 2

Film reviews
Harry Potter's future gets brighter
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Who ordered the usual?
The Chronicles of Riddick.
Garfield is lost in third dimension
Garfield: The Movie.
Stepford revisited
The Stepford Wives
Staying power
The Terminal
Hey, Ben. Take five ... YEARS
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Eighty minutes, and more, of torture
Around the World in 80 Days
Cautionary jottings
The Notebook
Stars and stripes
Two Brothers
This time, Spidey swings
Spider-Man 2


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - The third screen adaptation of J.K. Rowling's book series seems more menacing than the first two. Daniel Radcliffe returns as the bespectacled wizard, with Gary Oldman gnashing the scenery as an escaped murderer out to get him. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien).

Mindhunters - Dimension Films pulled Renny Harlin's thriller from its 2003 schedule and tossed it under the Harry Potter locomotive. If anyone notices, Val Kilmer and LL Cool J as FBI profilers tracking a serial killer may be smart counter-programming.


The Stepford Wives - Director Frank Oz makes subjugation of women funnier than the original version could in 1975. Newlyweds Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick move to a community populated by too-perfect women and the husbands who created them. Christopher Walken, Bette Midler and country music singer Faith Hill co-star.

The Chronicles of Riddick - Let me get this straight: Vin Diesel turns down a sequel to the blockbuster XXX but accepts a sequel to the underperforming Pitch Black? Now Riddick is a good guy mixed up with an intergalactic war against a tyrant (Colm Feore). This universe isn't big enough for both of them.

Garfield: The Movie - The cat and his fat go Hollywood with Academy Award nominee Bill Murray providing Garfield's nonchalantly sarcastic voice. Take that, everyone who didn't like Murray's masterful turn in Lost in Translation.


Around the World in 80 Days - I'm betting it won't take that long for this one to reach home video. Jackie Chan does his thing as servant to an inventor (Steve Coogan) trying to win a bet in a hot air balloon. The 1956 original won a best picture Oscar. Rob Schneider is shown in the preview trailer for the remake, if that tells you anything.


The Terminal - Tom Hanks is officially in the accent phase of his career after a syrupy drawl in The Ladykillers and now playing an Eastern European man trapped in a New York airport when war breaks out in his homeland. Steven Spielberg directs. Catherine Zeta-Jones co-stars as a helpful flight attendant. No, it isn't science fiction.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - Rollerball meets recess in a comedy starring Ben Stiller (again?) as a gym owner with an unbeatable dodgeball team. Vince Vaughn leads a team of the guys always picked last. Previews look agreeably dumb.


The Notebook - A young couple (Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams) fall in love and are separated by World War II. Decades later, an aging man (James Garner) reads their story to a nursing home patient (Gena Rowlands). You don't need to read Nicholas Sparks' novel to guess where this is going.

The Door in the Floor - The (down)beat goes on with Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger as a married couple wracked by tragedy and infidelity. Based on part of John Irving's novel, A Widow for a Year.

Two Brothers - These siblings are tiger cubs separated young and drawn together as enemies by an explorer (Guy Pearce, Memento). Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Bear) on location in Thailand and Cambodia.

White Chicks - Finally there's something to laugh about this weekend. Maybe. Marlon and Shawn Wayans are FBI agents posing as women to protect two heiresses.


Spider-Man 2 - Marvel Comics' best superhero spins another worldwide web. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are back and Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus looks like a marked improvement in villainy over the original. I saw the 10-minute elevated train chase at the ShoWest convention of theater owners and was very impressed. Likely the top-grossing film this summer, if not the year.

[Last modified May 19, 2004, 11:40:07]

This Weekend


  • Postwar postscripts

  • Dine
  • Food and wine events
  • Sushi goes sublime

  • Film
  • Family movie guide
  • Indie flix: A trip worth making
  • August movies
  • Independent films, documentaries and foreign imports
  • July movies
  • June movies
  • May movies
  • September movies
  • Summer reunion

  • Get away
  • Down the road
  • Mummy dearest

  • Inside information
  • Pretty in pink
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