The previews are almost as good as the movie.

I saw the new Indiana Jones movie last night and it was just as good I expected it to be, maybe better. I mean, it’s kind of hard not to do an Indiana Jones movie justice – the formula is pretty easy to follow. Plus, Harrison Ford is looking pretty damn good for a self-admitted old guy. But my favorite part about seeing Indiana Jones – an action/adventure with a foot planted firmly in the surreal – is the previews, which are generally pimping other films in the same (or a similar) genre. In this case, there were previews for three supernatural action/thrillers with superhero leads, one animated sci-fi adventure, and even a fantastic love story. 

Hancock, the new Will Smith summer blockbuster, looks to be pretty damn awesome. In sum, Smith plays an acerbic alcoholic superhero who, despite his well-intentioned heroics, is generally despised by everyone because of his bad attitude and fire-setting breath. Jason Bateman stars as Embry, the publicist who sets out to help Hancock change his image; and Charlize Theron plays Embry’s wife, Mary, who deems Hancock a lost cause. Peter Berg directs; the film comes out June 2.  

Wall·E is the latest computer animated Disney/Pixar film and it seems to be a departure from the usual warm, family-friendly fare – it’s mostly dialogue free (its characters talk in bloops and bleeps), the film is set far into the future, and the main character is WALL·E, a robot who’s spent the past 700 years cleaning up the mess left behind by humans, whose rampant, unchecked consumerism has left the earth unfit for habitation. Basically, the film follows what happens when WALL·E falls in love with EVE, a robot from a probe that comes down to check on Earth. The film hits theaters June 27. 

Now, I really enjoyed Hellboy, a film about a Dark Horse Comic hero who was summoned to the realm by Nazis when he was a little demon baby. Rescued and raised by U.S. government, Hellboy is a badass mo' fo' with red skin, shaved down horns, a tail, and a large, indestructible stone right hand he uses to clobber paranormal bad guys for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, a government agency dedicated to combating occult threats. The preview for Hellboy II: The Golden Army caught my attention immediately because of all the bizarre-looking creatures – way more than the first one. It makes sense after finding out more about the plot: an ancient truce between humankind and the invisible realm is broken by a ruthless prince who defies his bloodline and awakens a dark army of creatures. Director Guillermo del Toro returns to direct the second film, which comes out July 11. 

The Dark Knight is the new follow-up to Batman Begins. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Christopher Nolan returns as director, Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, and Heath Ledger portrays The Joker, his last role and one that apparently has the potential for a post-mortem Academy Awards win for Ledger. Looks good, but I don’t think I can commit to seeing it in the theater when it comes out July 18.  

And finally, there’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Based on a 1922 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald and directed by one of my faves, David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en), the film is a fantasy drama that stars Brad Pitt (hot no matter how old or ugly they try to make him) as a man who is born in his 80s and ages backwards – in other words, he gets younger, not older, over the years. Cate Blanchett stars opposite as his fiery haired love interest. About the film, Fincher has said, “It's dark, it's romantic, and it also deals with mortality in a pretty unflattering way.” Fincher and Pitt usually make magic together, but we won’t be treated to their latest endeavor until its release December 19. Bummer.