By Dawson LeeryCreek PedophileAs a moviegoer, it’s always hard to make the right choice at the multiplex. But thankfully, you have someone as dedicated as me to point you in the right direction. A few insiders in “the industry” sent me the rough cuts of some upcoming summer releases – the best of which I’ve summarized here. Hopefully, this short list of must-see blockbusters will make your summer viewing experience more pleasurable. First up is Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven.” Starring Orlando Bloom, the teen heartthrob plays a warrior who must protect the Holy Land from heathen usurpers. The film begins with a harrowing invasion of Baghdad by coalition forces and follows Bloom’s American commander as he leads his troops through Iraq to the town of Fallujah to fight “the great Satan,” who looks, suspiciously, like a bearded old man in a hole in the ground. The final scene of his troops overseeing the construction of an oil well should remind us all of the cost of war and why we fight. Next is George Lucas’s indie art house project, “Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith,” which finally answers the most beguiling question of the series – where are all the minorities?Proving himself to be akin to history’s worst dictators, the Sith band together behind Anakin Skywalker to “cleanse” all “undesirables” from Republic space. This helps to explain why there are so many different aliens on Tatooine, yet nowhere else, and the only black person resides in a place called “Cloud City.” Fighting against him are the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, as well as scores of aliens who look and sound like ethnic stereotypes.Though criticized for his representation of the latter, Lucas, in this instance, is using easily recognizable images to make obvious the racism inherent in Sith ideology. This new installment is a thoughtful meditation on the ills of racial and ethnic injustice. Another sure winner should be “Lohan: Fully Loaded,” a documentary about actress-singer Lindsay Lohan as she gallivants around Los Angeles in her Volkswagen Beetle, Herbie.Much of the film details the horrors of addiction and codependency, containing many scenes of Lohan and Herbie, drunk on Cosmopolitans and Pennzoil, insulting friends and family, as well as backing into pedestrians and ignoring traffic laws. When Herbie is seriously hurt in a head-on collision, the two realize their problems and enter rehab together. I would consider this, quite possibly, to be the best documentary since “Spellbound.”Finally, we have the period piece, “The Dukes of Hazzard.” After the Civil War, the South is in chaos, and two brothers, seeking stability, create their own duchy with the help of General Robert E. Lee. Turmoil between the brothers leads to dissent among their subjects, which eventually escalates into a revolution when the beautiful, but not too bright Queen Daisy, upon hearing of the plight of her starving subjects, declares, “Let them eat pie!” Both a brilliant portrayal of the post-war South and the rise and fall of a nation-state, “The Dukes of Hazzard” should intrigue and engage the intellectual in all of us.Each of these films is a summer must, and as we approach that warm season, I can safely say this year is going to be better than the last. As always, happy viewing!Leery can be reached at ebert&roeperRHot@hitmefilms.com.



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