Hollywood adds touch of ‘Spice’ to this year’s mov



    Hollywood produces numerous movies, making it nearly impossible for movie-goers to keep up with. Previews are useful in helping one select and narrow down those choices. So here it is, a preview of the big movies scheduled to be released within the next four months.

    Like them or not, the Spice Girls are coming out with their first feature film on Jan. 23, called “Spice World.” Considering that their album was No. 1 in 1997, it will be interesting to see if their popularity carries over to the cinema.

    The movie has been called the “Hard Days Night” of the 1990s, though I doubt their legacy will be as long lasting. George Wendt, Meatloaf and Roger Moore will all contribute to the Spice Girl’s action. Take it for what it’s worth.

    “Blues Brothers 2000” is sure to make cult followers happy with its Feb. 6 release. After his release from prison, Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) and new sidekick, Mighty Mack McTeer (John Goodman), enter a battle of the bands in Louisiana. Movie watchers will also enjoy guest appearances by BB King, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Donald Duck and others.

    Dumas and Leonardo DiCaprio fans are sure to rejoice at the release of “The Man of the Iron Mask.” Its tentative release date is Feb. 6. DiCaprio will play the classic role of Louis XIV and his twin the man in the iron mask. Other cast members include Jeremy Irons (Aramis), John Malkovich (Athos) and Gerard Depardieu (Porthose). With this stellar cast and classic feel, it should be a box office competitor.

    “Les Miserables” is one to look forward to as well. It’s scheduled to be released March 13. This newest non-musical interpretation of Victor Hugo’s novel is directed by Billy August and should be a successful adaptation. With a reputable cast consisting of Claire Daines (Cosette), Uma Thurman (Fantine), and Liam Neeson (Jean Valjean), faithful “Les Miserables” fans shouldn’t be disappointed.

    April 3 will announce the beginning of some serious box office competition with the release of “Lost in Space.” The $70 million special effects and Jim Henson Workshop creations will give the ’60s television series a bit of a science fiction face-lift.

    The cast includes William Hurt (John Robinson), Mimi Rogers (Maureen Robinson), Matt LeBlanc (Don West) and Gary Oldman as the evil Dr. Smith who sets out to destroy the Robinsons, the family he never had. The 1998 version of “Lost in Space” will deal with family dynamics and the struggle between the family and technology. This film version will add different dimensions to the “Lost in Space” norm.

    Summer and year-end releases to look for are “Godzilla,” “Armageddon,” “Toy Story II”, “X-Files The Movie” and “Star Trek IX-The Experience.” This year seems to offer a variety of movies for all personality types and should be taken advantage of.

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