The Biggest Films of Spring

Fighting through swarms of internet pirates and bootleg vendors standing out on street corners with their $5 DVDs, the movie industry flexed their muscles and finally hit it big. With help from swashbuckling pirates, talking cars, and the return of Krypton’s last son, box office numbers skyrocketed to $9.4 billion, the second largest revenue in its domestic history. 2007 has already been labeled by some to be “the year of the ‘threequel,'” but it is clear this year has a lot more to offer.

Here are previews for 2007’s most anticipated films for the next few months:

Ghost Rider (2/16/07): Nicholas Cage takes his dive into the growing pool of comic-movie popularity by stepping into the shoes of stunt-bike rider Johnny Blaze in Mark Steven Johnson’s “Ghost Rider.” In order to protect his father and childhood friend Roxanne (Eva Mendes), Johnny Blaze made a deal with Mephisto (Peter Fonda) to be the host of a vengeful spirit, making him the Ghost Rider, a night-time, vengeance-seeking agent riding Hell’s motorcycle. Now, Blaze must battle his fate and use his curse to protect the innocent. “Ghost Rider” has never been one of Marvel Comics’ most profound characters storywise, but has always had an aesthetic greatness to him and picked up a large enough fan base along the way. The film looks half decent for any comic book fans, but will more than likely make an impact similar to “Daredevil” or “The Punisher.”

300 (3/9/07): Based on Frank Miller’s story, Zach Snyder’s “300” revolves around the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae. Three-hundred Spartan warriors, led by King Leonidas (Gerard Butler), wage an epic battle against a massive Persian army to protect Greece. After the success of “Sin City,” Miller gave Snyder the green light to make this. By far one of the most visually impressive films of the year, it should go down as one of the most successful too.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (3/23/07): Everyone’s favorite heroes in a half-shell are back. In the latest film, we see the Turtles have grown apart as a family. However, tech-wizard Max Winters has gone mad with lust for world domination. Sensing his plan may succeed, Master Splinter struggles to draw the team back together to save the world.

With the original film series having gone down the gutter for most fans, this may be just what the Turtles need to get back on their feet. The decision to go CG is a nice touch, and the return of Casey Jones (voiced by Chris Evans) and April (Sarah Michelle Gellar) should please a lot of fans.

Grindhouse (4/6/07): “The Gruesome Twosome returns!” First of the double feature is Robert Rodriguez’s “Planet Terror”: there’s been an outbreak of zombie-like murders (affectionately called “sickos”), and gun-legged Cherry (Rose McGowan) and her partner Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) take on the army head on. In Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof,” psychopath Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) stalks and kills gorgeous women in his car.

Fused together with bogus movie trailers between the two films, Tarantino and Rodriguez take audiences back to a ’70s style feature. If anything, this should be a fun ride with two of the industry’s most interesting film makers.

Spider-Man 3 (5/4/07): Marvel’s poster boy is back for a third round. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) finally seems to have what he wants, only to have it all hindered by new evidence in his uncle’s death. Flint Marko, aka Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), is believed to be the real killer. Spider-Man, now equipped with the symbiote suit, hunts him down for vengeance, but also fights a battle within himself. Peter now has to fight to hold onto Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), but two new enemies arise: a new Goblin (James Franco) and Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), who becomes Venom.

Quite possibly the most epic of the series, Sam Raimi takes a chance with throwing multiple villains and a love triangle in here. Fans will rejoice with the addition of Bryce Dallas Howard as Peter Parker’s first love Gwen Stacey, but more so with fan-favorite Venom.