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Summer movie preview: July

Summer movie preview: July — We look at the upcoming films coming out this summer including the ”True Lies,” ”Forrest Gump,” ”The Mask,” and more

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TRUE LIES

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Tia Carrere, Art Malik. Directed by James Cameron.

Schwarzenegger. Cameron. A $70 million budget rumored to have spiraled past the $100 million mark. A release date postponed to allow for postproduction complications. Yes, it’s deja vu all over again as the Terminator duo ignite their latest stick of cinematic dynamite. Credit Ah-nuld with the idea: He suggested that Cameron adapt La Total, a 1991 French comedy about a married man who, unknown to his bored wife, moonlights as a master spy. ”It’s about reconciling your job and your home life,” says Cameron, whose hero earns his daily bread by keeping the world safe from nuclear terrorists.

In the wake of the much-maligned Last Action Hero, Schwarzenegger was tempted to retreat to a straight, tough action movie. He resisted, after a fashion. ”As I said to Arnold, ‘At the point when people expect you to retrench, you’ve got to charge ahead and leave them in the dust,”’ says Cameron. So audiences will be treated to an unusually romantic, 007-ish Arnold; he even gets to enjoy a flirtation with villainess Tia Carrere, who played Sean Connery’s love interest in Rising Sun. ”He’s a little more stoic (than Connery),” she says, ”but still very Bond-like.”

With a pair of Harrier jets, 170 digital effects, locations that ranged from L.A. to Miami-even an unexpected week’s hiatus last January when the L.A. earthquake interrupted filming in Van Nuys-the movie didn’t come cheap. And that doesn’t take into account the star’s $15 million price tag. Cameron insists the budget is ”nowhere near” the rumored $120 million that Hollywood has been talking about, but in his view, ”What the f — – does it matter? I’m gambling that people will say, ‘Hey, I got my money’s worth there.’ This movie delivers. If it changes the cost of your ticket, it matters. If it doesn’t, who cares?” (July 15)

Buzz: Could go either way; after all, a blockbuster and a bomb are both explosives. But we’re betting this is the kind that makes people run toward the theater.

BLOWN AWAY

Starring Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones, Forest Whitaker, Lloyd Bridges, Suzy Amis. Directed by Stephen Hopkins.

Starring in his first all-out action flick, Bridges plays a Boston police explosives expert. Jones is a short-fused terrorist who blows up everything from cop cars to a barge in Boston Harbor. ”Schwarzenegger and Stallone are great in those over-the-top action movies,” says director Hopkins (Judgment Night), ”but the heroes in Blown Away are flawed and the violence is more disturbing. It’s not just disposable life.”

Filming got a bit disturbing as well. In Boston, one harbor explosion popped windows out of buildings all over town, and on an L.A. soundstage, an accidentally detonated tear-gas canister sent several crew members to the hospital with minor injuries. Other contents under pressure: Jones didn’t like his bad guy’s motivation in the original script. ”Tommy has a lot of views about imperialism that he wanted in his character,” says Hopkins. ”So we made the character more of an anti-imperialist. He has his own twisted sense of justice.” (July 1)

Buzz: The thrilling trailer has hopes running high, and the post-Fugitive Jones couldn’t be a hotter commodity.

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