Excess Hollywood

In the season of sequels and Happy Meals toys, '05 may be a pleasant surprise

Why it will be fabulous: Michael Bay made The Rock.

Why it will be dreadful: He also made Armageddon and Pearl Harbor.

July 29The Brothers Grimm Starring: Matt Damon and Heath Ledger

Directed by: Terry Gilliam

Written by: Ehren Kruger

What it's about:A fictionalized fantasy about the German fairy-tale authors, here portrayed as con men who lift fake curses only to encounter a genuine form of black magic that will force them to deal with things they've only written about.

Why it will be fabulous: After Gilliam's aborted Don Quixote effort, The Brothers Grimmsees him back in fantasy mode, which is what he does best.

Why it will be dreadful: Its release was postponed for a year, as Miramax's Harvey Weinstein tried recutting it. His version then scored lower with test audiences than Gilliam's did.

August 5Broken Flowers

Starring:Bill Murray, Sharon Stone, Tilda Swinton, Jessica Lange, and Julie Delpy

Written and directed by:Jim Jarmusch

What it's about:Murray plays Don Johnston (heh), an aging, sweatsuit-sporting Lothario who's dumped by his young girlfriend (Delpy) just as he receives news of a 20-year-old son he never knew. (Shades of The Life Aquatic, but still...) Jeffrey Wright (Basquiat) is the pal who convinces Murray to take a trip down Amnesia Lane to see his old lovers, including Stone, Swinton, Lange, and other all-stars, and find out if any of them might be the mother.

Why it will be fabulous:Did you not just read the synopsis?

Why it will be dreadful:Seriously, read it again. And then rent Coffee and Cigarettes for the Bill Murray scene with The RZA and The GZA. Dreadful. Hardly. Then again, Dead Mandoes kinda suck.

August 5The Pink Panther

Starring:Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Beyoncé Knowles, and Jean Reno

Directed by:Shawn Levy

Written by:Len Blum, Steve Martin, Michael Saltzman, and Glen Bloomberg

What it's about:A new take on Peter Sellers' surpassingly incompetent French detective in which Jacques Clouseau (Martin) tackles a case combining a murdered soccer coach, a priceless diamond, and the usual selection of beautiful women.

Why it will be fabulous:It takes les grandes balles for Martin to assail the rich life and high art of Inspector Clouseau.

Why it will be dreadful:Can The Jerk out-bumble Peter the Great? The smart money says non.

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