Big summer movies have flown into theaters and homes with red tights and eye patches gleaming, talking cars, and a would-be Navy officer. This year’s summer season will offer nearly anything imaginable for movie enthusiasts.

When it comes to buying or renting new releases on DVD, Clara Corn, a clerk at Reasor’s Video, said several movies have had more sizzle than others.

“‘Annapolis’ is really popular,” said Corn. “They’ve been coming in and going right back out.”

James Franco plays Jake Huard, who arrives at Annapolis in search of becoming a Navy officer, according to the Entertainment Update booklet produced by Reasor’s Video. Franco runs into challenges with Midshipman Lt. Cole, played by Tyrese Gibson.

“‘Matador’ has been a big release too,” said Corn. “It was checked out days before it came out.”

Starring Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear, “Matador” seems to attract the adventurous fans into a world of hit men and thrilling action. Brosnan takes on the role of Julian Noble, a lonely hit man who meets up with Kinnear, playing Danny Wright, and set out for the most critical kill of Noble’s career.

“‘Madea’s Family Reunion’ has also been popular, and several have asked about ‘Basic Instinct 2’ and ‘She’s the Man,’” said Corn. “‘Failure to Launch’ has been checked out too.”

“I thought ‘Failure to Launch’ was more for women, but I guess it was an OK movie,” said Brandon Cooper. “Could have been better, I guess.”

Those looking for something on the humorous side of the DVD player might be interested in “The Benchwarmers,” loaded with comedic stars Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Heder, Craig Kilborn, Jon Lovitz, Adam Sandler, Rachel Hunter, Tim Meadows and Reggie Jackson.

“It’s not been requested so much yet, but I think once it comes out, it will be,” said Corn.

“The Benchwarmers” follows three guys - Schneider, Spade and Heder - who try to make up for the missed opportunities of their childhoods. The trio forms a three-player baseball team to compete against little league squads, according to the Entertainment Update.

“I’ve already reserved a copy of ‘Benchwarmers,’ said Cooper. “You just have to watch a movie that has all of these three guys in it.”

For children, Corn would recommend one of several movies, including “Valiant,” “Wallace and Grommit” and “Nanny McPhee.”

“‘Eight Below’ is slightly sad, but it has a happy ending,” said Corn. “It’s really a family movie.”

If a trip to the theater is more interesting, several upcoming releases are grabbing media attention.

“Superman Returns” could be the biggest movie to hit theaters this season, if the anticipation and hype of movie critics and fans lives up to value. For the first time since 1987, The Man of Steel returns to action after several years of being out of action.

With the direction of Bryan Singer, Brandon Routh becomes the new Superman, last played on the big screen by the late Christopher Reeve. Movie critic Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun-Times, gave “Superman Returns” two stars and said the movie, “like its hero, spends a lot of time dead in the water.”

The comment came through his critique posted on his Web site at

“There is, I suppose, a certain bottom line of competence in ‘Superman Returns,’ and superhero fans will want to see the movie just for its effects, its plot outrages and its moments of humor,” Ebert posted. “But when the hero, his alter ego, his girlfriend and the villain all seem to lack any joy in being themselves, why should we feel joy at watching them?”

If men with capes and tights don’t fit movie fans’ fancies, perhaps Johnny Depp’s outfit will draw audiences in for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.” The second installment of “Pirates” reunites Depp with Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in a quest to escape a debt owed by Depp’s character, Captain Jack Sparrow.

Ashley Gilliam enjoys a new movie now and then, and Depp’s latest will be no different.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing ‘Dead Man’s Chest,’ said Gilliam. “I liked the first one, so I want to make sure I see the second.”

Gilliam isn’t alone in looking forward to the movie’s summer release.

“Simply put, if you liked the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, you’re probably going to enjoy the sequel,” according to’s “Pirates” preview. “It has everything that made the first film so much fun. You have fantastic sword fights, creepy bad guys created with stunning special effects, romance, drama, comedy, and Captain Jack Sparrow in top form.”

“Pirates” opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, July 7.

When it comes to taking children to the theater, Ebert gives the animated “Cars” three stars.

“The message in ‘Cars’ is simplicity itself: Life was better in the old days, when it revolved around small towns where everybody knew each other, and around small highways like Route 66, where you made new

friends ... ” Ebert wrote on his Web site. “This older America has long been much-beloved by Hollywood, and apparently it survives in Radiator Springs (the town in the center of the movie) as sort of a time capsule.”

“Cars” features the voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Richard Petty, Larry the Cable Guy, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub and Michael Keaton, among others.

“Another movie I’m ready to see is ‘Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties,” said Gilliam.

The sequel to the original Garfield movie continues with Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt, as well as the voice of Bill Murray as Garfield.

“’Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” is actually funnier and more charming than the first film,” said Ebert.


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