July Fourth weekend has come and gone, and one thing has become clear: 2006 is a summer movie dud. This weekend's so-called blockbusters You, Me and Dupree and Little Man -- two of the year's worst stinkbombs -- only comfirm it.

Sure, last year was no prize either, except that George A. Romero's Land of the Dead (one of the year's best films) eventually reared its head, and if you were like me, you got a huge kick out of the final Star Wars (Revenge of the Sith). But take a look at the soulful, rich, clever, snappy cornerstones of summers past: Spider-Man 2 (2004), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl(2003), Minority Report (2002), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Mission: Impossible II (2000), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Bulworth and/or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Face/Off and/or Men in Black (1997), Mission: Impossible (1996), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Speed (1994), The Fugitive and/orIn the Line of Fire(1993), etc.

categories Columns, Cinematical