4"CATS AND DOGS." The fur flies when man's best friend battles martial arts-trained kitties in Warner Brothers' most serious bid yet to crack the Disney monopoly on family entertainment: too bad the lip-synching of animals to human voices looks so lame in the trailer.
"SCARY MOVIE 2." The inevitable follow-up to last summer's out-of-left-field hit will try to replicate the grosses (and grossness) of the outrageous original -- and it could, too, if it's even half as funny. *
6"KISS OF THE DRAGON." Hong Kong action superstar Jet Li ("Romeo Must Die") plays a secret agent in Paris who, after being wrongly accused of murder, goes a.w.o.l. to clear his name; helping out is the always welcome Bridget Fonda. Co-written and produced by French action ace Luc ("The Professional") Besson.
13"FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WINHIN." The computer-animated humans look stunningly real in this futuristic action flick based on the popular computer game--but, will anyone besides hardcore sci-fi geeks care? ~~
"LEGALLY BLONDE." "Clueless" meets "The Paper Chase." Beverly Hills brat Reese Witherspoon enrolls at Harvard Law to win back the boy who dumped her. Thanks to the beguiling Witherspoon, this female empowerment comedy just might have what it takes to become a Generation Y "Private Benjamin." *
"THE SCORE." Aging thief Robert DeNiro is suckered into pulling one last score by fence Marlon Brando in Frank ("What About Bob?") Oz's light-hearted caper movie. The stellar cast includes Edward Norton as DeNiro's temperamental rookie partner, and Angela Bassett as the fiancee he hopes to retire with. *
20"AMERICA'S SWEET-HEARTS." Married movie stars John Cusack and Catherine Zeta-Jones hide their break-up from the press with help from publicist Billy Crystal (who co-authored the screenplay). America's real sweetheart, Julia Roberts, is Zeta-Jones' assistant -- and sister -- carrying a torch for her brother-in-law. *
"CRAZY/BEAUTIFUL." Or, "Save the Last Salsa for Me." Privileged rich kid Kirsten Dunst falls for a hunky Puerto Rican classmate (Jay Hernandez) against the wishes of her congressman dad. Hernandez seems like an exciting discovery in the film's trailer, but this looks too much like a remake of that 1995 Drew Barrymore/Chris O'Donnell camp classic, "Mad Love."
"JURASSIC PARK 3." Dinosaurs run amok (again) in the second sequel to 1993's mega-hit. Director Joe ("Jumanji") Johnston fills in for Steven Spielberg (who only produced this time), but "JP1" stars Sam Neill and Laura Dern are back, joined by Tea Leoni and William H. Macy. Am I the only one getting a "been there/done that" vibe from all this primordial goo?
27"PLANET OF THE APES." Tim ("Batman") Burton's unofficial remake of 1968's man-versus-monkeys sci-fi classic is the most eagerly awaited event movie of the season. Mark Wahlberg plays the astronaut who crash lands on a planet (not earth this time) controlled by talking apes. *