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Of rats and wizards

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Ratatouille_lJust curious: Now that the big movies from the first half of the summer are behind us (Spidey, Shrek, and Captain Jack — see ya!), what new films are you most looking forward to seeing from here till September?

Me? I’m psyched about Live Free or Die Harder, Transformers, and Superbad (yep, I’m a boy). Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix could be great, if it really does go darker. Sicko is sure to be entertaining — and infuriating. Evan Almighty and License to Wed, I’m a little less optimistic about. The Simpsons Movie, well, I’m interested to finally see what this whole Simpsons thing is all about.

And then there’s the big wild card, Ratatouille. I’m still not sure what to think about this Pixar flick, which has been scoring great early reviews and buzz, but continues to be a challenge for Disney to market: It’s got a weird title, it’s about a rat (the last rodent-centric animated movie was the flop Flushed Away), and it’s set in Paris (I can’t tell what the popular verdict on France is these days). For years now, one of the best parlor games in Hollywood has been trying to figure out when Pixar’s string of box office winners will finally be broken; thus far, the company has released seven features, all of which have been smash successes. So do you think that Ratatouille be their first flop? Or will it keep the streak alive? Certainly, EW’s Q&A with the film’s writer/director, Brad Bird, make it sound like a must-see. But are you looking forward to watching it? And what else is on your must-pony-up-your-hard-earned-cash-for list?