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Bruce Watson: Duck, here comes the popcorn! A look at summer movies that aren’t

From now until mid-August, mall and IMAX screens will host the usual summer fare. Watch for today’s headlines morphed into the absurdist paranoid fantasies of the average 13-year-old male overdosed on Ritalin. Oh, and there will be cartoons and date movies. Here are some highlights.

• Meathook 3 (3D) — Robert Downey Jr. returns as mild-mannered IRS auditor Paul Bland who, every April 15, just flat out loses it. Driven insane by tax loopholes and government bureaucracy, Bland becomes Meathook.

After wasting IRS headquarters, he terrorizes Washington, D.C., with his slashing hooks and steel teeth. But while Meathook is tearing up the FDA, Islamic terrorists strike. A top CIA operative (Bruce Willis) recruits Meathook to find the terrorists and teach them not to mess with America. Rated PG for strong violence, inane politics, more blood than a slaughterhouse.

• Star Trek 37 (4D) — Following the prequel that followed 35 sequels, this pre-prequel travels in time to find Kirk and Spock in middle school at Starfleet Academy. When Islamic terrorists kidnap their gym class, Kirk renounces the Prime Directive. Setting his phaser to “TOAST,” the boyish Starfleet star mows down the terrorists while a pimply-faced Scotty cheers “Atta boy Cap’n.” Watch for cameos by Beyonce and an ancient Leonard Nimoy who should know better by now. Rated E for endless.

• Puppy Problems! — Animated romp about golden retriever pups who break out of a pet store and have to find homes. Filmed in Fur-o-Vision.

Puppy voices provided by Tom Waits, James Earl Jones, Lady Gaga, Charo and the late Phyllis Diller. Rated G for strong schmaltz and shameless tear jerking.

• Death Defier Doom­slayer Die Hard Destruction Dynasty 2 (6D) — This sequel sends the Death Defier Doomslayer team (Bruce Willis, Matt Damon, Ethan Hawke) back into action. Last summer the Dynasty prevented the destruction of Earth, except for Washington, D.C., which, as Willis quipped, “was askin’ for it.”

This year, the entire solar system is targeted by Islamic terrorists from deep space. Watch out, Venus (Venus Williams)! Rated G for decapitations, 25,000 explosions and cool weapons available at a gun show near you.

• Naked Grab — Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Rachel MacAdams and Jennifer Aniston star in this 90-minute family fest date movie. The plot features budding romance, strong male bonding, terminal disease and a naked grab for your entertainment dollar. Rated PS for pretty stupid.

• Mary Queen of Sluts — Some hot teen you never heard of stars in this touching tale of a troubled high school cheerleader who sets out to sleep with every guy in New Jersey.

After working her way through Hackensack and Hoboken, Mary is driving to Secaucus when Islamic terrorists hit the World Trade Center. 9/11 gives Mary a new purpose and soon she’s teaching a team of first responders to dance away their PTSD. Rated TT for total tease.

• Veterans! — Lovable incompetents Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan star as two petty thieves sentenced to community service at their local Veterans Affairs office.

Merry mix-ups have the duo spilling coffee on claims and shredding the wrong paperwork. But then Wilson and Vaughan uncover a secret government scheme denying benefits to veterans of America’s last 17 wars. They descend on D.C., kidnap the entire VA and hold it hostage until claims are paid. Rated OMG.

Finally, if we survive the summer, September brings my favorite plot featuring Hollywood execs asking why the summer box office was down 15 percent.

Bruce Watson’s column appears twice a month. He can be reached at opinion@gazettenet.com.

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