Stars: Bill Paxton (xi/tolln Li). Helen Hunt (Kiss- (linen/h). (‘ary lilwcs (The Princess Bride). Plot: A meteorologist and his estranged wife attctnpt. with a group of fellow scientists. to unravel the secret of the tornado. but end up battling the most jaw- dropping cyclone since Dorothy slipped over the rainbow.

Box office chances: The review in film industry paper liln'iety complained abottt lack of plot. It‘s a disaster movie. for goodness sake. The power of nature! .-\ script co-written by Michael (‘richtonl Scat-shaking special effects! Director Jan De Bout pill the accelerator to the floor with his debut Speed. and he has created a storm at the IS box office with this one too.

Release date: 26 July.

The Hunchback From Notre Dame

Stars: The voices of Tom llulce (Alum/ens"). Demi Moore il)l.\‘('/().\'Ill'(’). Kevin Kline (A Isis/t ('u/letl. Wain/u ).

Plot: The lonely bell-ringer in a Parisian cathedral falls in love with beautiful gypsy lismeralda in this animated romance set in the incdieval lirance of Victor l-lugo's novel. Songs by Alan Menken (The Little .T'Ierntuid. Aha/(Tin). Box office chances: School 'ioliday differences across the UK nean the film opens in Scotland


(and London‘s West End) before the rest of the country. Deformity might have been rendered cute by the hand of Disney. but the studio is on a roll and can‘t miss. even if young kids will have problems getting their tongue round Quasimodo’s name.

Release date: 12 July.

The Cable Guy

Stars: Jim Carrey (Ace ll'nrum. The til/ask). Matthew Broderick (Ferris Uriel/er is Day ()fl).

Plot: When Steve slips the cable TV installer $50 in an attempt to get free channels. (‘hip reckons he's found a friend for life. Much to Steve‘s annoyance. the cable guy starts barging into his everyday activities. and he won‘t take no for an answer.

Box office chances: .lim (‘arrey will have to pull out the stops to earn his reported 520 million fee. (')n the surface. it looksjust like another face-pulling. nus-matched buddy routine. which will split the (‘arrey lovers/haters down the middle.

Release date: I: .luly.

Stars: lilijttll \Vood (.Vm'l/l). l’aul llogan ((Wn'mll/e Hum/eel.

“Of: A fourtcen-year-old L‘in kid spends summer at his uncle's place in the middle of now here.


llot little numbers

Mission: Impossible should light the fuse of a dynamite summer at the cinema box office. Alan Morrison previews the most talked-about movies of 1996.

and isn‘t happy until he meets a dolphin and makes a new friend. Box office chances: Well. it worked in Free ll’i/ly. and dolphins are much more kid- friendly than whales. It probably helps that there‘s some recognition hanging over from the (i()s TV series. If any movie this summer sticks to the formulaic mould. it‘s this one. right down to the expected environmental point- scoring.

Release date: 2 August.

Independence Day

Stars: Will Smith (llml Boys). Bill Pullman (ll’hi/e You Here Sleeping ). Jeff (ioldblum (.lnmssie l’ur/v' l.

Plot: ()n 2 July. alien spaceships fill the skies. ()n 3 July. they begin to destroy every city on liarth. ()n 4 July. mankind fights back and declares Independence Day.

Box office chances: The best teaser trailer ever-cvcr-ever. good effects. the perfect global scare story . . . at last. here is a sci-fi movie that has the widest crossover potential since Slur ll'urs. Director Roland l‘immerich made the implausible but spectacular Shugute. so we know he can handle alien action on a stellar scale.

Release date: 9 August.


Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger (True Lies). Vanessa Williams (Grammy Award-xvinning singer). James ('oburn (Uur .llun Flint). James (‘aan (Iv’o/ler/m/ll.

Plot: When a woman working at a defence contractor discovers a conspiracy that could land a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands. she joins the Federal Witness Protection Program, but this case goes high up the government ladder. so Federal Marshall John Kruger is up against the big guys when he helps her erase her former identity.

Box office chances: It‘s not due for US release until 2| June. the final effects hadn‘t been completed by the end of May. the budget's rumoured to have passed the Sl()() million mark . . . a similar situation to Last Action Hero. Director Charles Russell had a huge hit with The Mask. but it was basically only an effects fest. However. as the one pure blast-‘em Arnie actioner this summer. it fills a notable gap. Release date: 23 August.


_ Stars: Dennis Quaid (The Big) lfuyv). David Thewlis (Nu/(ed). Pete l’ostlethwaite (In The Name ()fT/le hut/fer). Plot: A disillusioned knight and a talking dragon. the last of its species. join forces to free their country from an evil tyrant. Adventure. romance. humour. all wrapped up as an epic l()th century fantasy. Box office chances: Not only does the dragon have Sean (‘onnery‘s voice. those computer wizards have given it some of Big Tam’s mannerisms as well thanks to digital effects that supposedly outclass Jurassic Park. A quirky concept that will bring a smile to viewers over twenty. while the other ingredients ensure family fun in the Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves manner. Release date: October.

The List l4-27 Jun I99611