It’s humpday. Pat yourself on the back — you’ve made it halfway to the weekend. With that in mind, it’s not too early to start planning a little weekend fun. What about a trip to the movies? Here, we look at this week’s new releases and review them based solely on their trailers. We do the work, now it’s up to you to choose wisely. On July 17th, there are two big openings, so it should get interesting when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince faces off against (500) Days of Summer. Does a cloyingly cute indie couple stand a chance against a team of British wizards? Stay tuned to see who wins this week’s round of Box Office Grudge Match.
First up is the powerhouse Harry Potter. Weighing in as a successful, multi-billion-dollar franchise, the 6th installment of the Potter saga is sure to pull major bucks at the box office. Still, you’ve got to wonder if anyone is getting sick of H.P. and his buddies yet.
The verdict: This movie definitely gets bonus points for its 3-D and IMAX versions (although it’s a bummer that you’ll have to wait 2 weeks to see them), and if the preview is any indication there’s sure to be a lot of drama — chase scenes set in London, girl drama and, of course, some Quidditch. Now I’ve never seen a Harry Potter movie and after this trailer, I don’t feel like starting now. But chances are, if you’re into this stuff you already have your ticket. No use in trying to stop you. Enjoy.
In the other corner is the dark horse candidate, (500) Days of Summer. Like Potter, it too has a built in audience. After all, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been lookin’ foxy lately and Zooey Deschanel is the official dream girl of indie geeks the world over. But let’s look at the trailer, shall we.
Verdict: Okay, so the trailer starts with a pair bonding in an elevator over the Smiths. Warning sign! This boy-meets-girl, boy falls in love, girl doesn’t story is a nice reversal of the usual trope (this time she’s Sid, he’s Nancy). But (500) Days also looks like one of those movies that takes one of the bad parts of life, rubs it in your face, reminds you how much it sucks and leaves you feeling generally pretty crappy. The stamp of approval from Sundance doesn’t hurt, though, and as long as Deschanel doesn’t sing in this film, it could be okay. But chances are she will, so I’ll pass.
The Victor: A valiant effort was given by all, but this one goes to Potter for the promise of 3-D.
photos: Potter poster courtesy of Warner Bros. picture; (500) Days of Summer poster courtesy of Fox Searchlight