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IN 2001, the horror movie trend wrought by "Scream" finally reached its sad conclusion with "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" and "I Am Sam." Will 2002 be any less dreadful?

"Austin Powers 3"
Recently, a controversy erupted between two top studios over the new "Austin Powers" film. Here's a breakdown:
  • Mike Myers entitles the film "Austin Powers in Goldmember." MGM is not amused, but neither is anyone else, especially.
  • MGM claims the title gives their James Bond franchise a bad name. New Line argues that after "Moonraker" all bets were off.
  • MGM retorts that New Line is using a familiar name to get a little more mileage out of a weak premise. Elsewhere, a pot calls a kettle black.
  • The MPAA sides with MGM, and New Line renames the film "Austin Powers in Jack Valenti is a Douche."

"The Scorpion King"
The prequel to the highly successful "Mummy" flicks, "The Scorpion King" features WWF star Duane "The Rock" Johnson and long strings of binary code. Films like this are commonly called "popcorn movies," with "popcorn" meaning "unwatchable."

"Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones"
This blatant knock-off of "Star Saga" keeps raking 'em in. George Lucas has promised his faithful legion of doughy fan boys that they won't be disappointed, which means we can look forward to seeing Natalie Portman, in "slave Girl Leia" outfit, making out with the assistant manager of a comic-book shop.

"Big Trouble"
This comedy's release was pushed back several months for sensitivity's sake, as there is a terrorism-themed plot, plus a scene in which Dennis Farina chokes on a pretzel and faints, taking an energy conglomerate and two figure skaters down with him.

"E.T. The Extraterrestrial"
2002 marks the 20th anniversary of this classic, and Universal is re-releasing the film with slight changes that only the most anal-retentive viewers will notice.
  • The government agents chasing Elliot and E.T. no longer carry firearms, but instead hold car batteries and rubber ducks.
  • Six-year-old Drew Barrymore has been digitally replaced with 26-year-old, bikini-clad, delectably curvy Drew.
  • The classic insult line "Penis breath!", now deemed too offensive by Steven Spielberg, has been replaced with "Jism chin!"
  • Greedo fires first.

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood"
The boy wizard is taken in by old Southern ladies and taught to play pinochle.

"Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"
The second of the "Lord of the Rings" films focuses on Tim Duncan and David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs as they take on Frodo and Legolas in a high-stakes game of 2-on-2.

"Remember a Few Years Back? Gosh, Has It Had to Be, What? Five Years Ago, Wow. That Time That You Ran That Guy Over With Your Car and Then He Tried to Kill you? Remember That? I Still Do, Too, Bitch."
Jennifer Love Hewitt stars.

Mel Gibson stars as Jeff Keith, troubled lead singer for the pop-metal band Tesla. The movie details Keith's year-long stint as a strip club DJ, his tour with former bandmate Tommy Skeoch, and the reunion of the band that made him what he is today, troubled lead singer for the pop-metal band Tesla.

"Road to Perdition"
Tom Hanks and Paul Newman take on the Hope and Crosby roles as they wander aimlessly through a purgatorial wasteland, trying to find a leading lady half as sexy as Dorothy Lamour.

Early trailers featuring the World Trade Center were pulled and replaced with Spidey carefully opening his mail and watching CNN.

"Analyze That"
Gladly. Sequels are almost always crap, so DeNiro must be doing this film as a favor to his friend Billy Crystal. In order to pay for his daughters' college tuitions, Crystal will need six more blockbusters that gross in excess of $100 million. College ain't cheap, folks. Believe me, I've been going for six years. I have to stick it out just to prove to my stepfather that I can finish something. Analyze that.

"MIB 2"
Millions of moviegoers will line up for this one, thinking it's the sequel to the hit Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones movie "Men in Black". They will be shocked and dismayed to see that it is actually the sequel to "Meet Ivan Boesky."

"8 Mile"
A white rapper on the mean streets of Detroit. Unbridled anger. Unrivaled talent. Unchained passion. Eminem stars in the true story of Pete Nice from 3rd Bass. Bring your hankies.

"Scooby Doo"
This surefire summer hit addresses all your "little suspicions about the group" according to alleged star Matthew Lillard. Among the juicy questions answered in the film:
  • Is Velma gay?
  • Why does Fred wear an ascot?
  • Does Daphne suffer from chronic fatigue?
  • Is the Mystery Machine manual or automatic?
  • What are Shaggy's views on the works of Thomas Aquinas?
  • Was it really a monster, or just Old Man Johnson from the carnival in disguise?

More Hollywood ha-ha:
Life During Awards Time
Two Thumbs Off!

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