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Summer filled with must-have flicks and tracks

With the end of another spring semester comes Hollywood’s heaviest hitters, all part of the summer release schedule. Both the movie and music industries flourish during this period, releasing their most commercially appealing products. And summer ’05 is no exception, with the return of the caped crusader, the pioneers of nerd rock and a classic child’s tale reimagined on the silver screen.

On the movie front:

House of Wax (May 6)

The only attraction of seeing this sure-to-be-mediocre horror remake is the urge to see Paris Hilton die a painful death. Thanks to nonstop media coverage of the heiress, every planned moment has rubbed more than a few people the wrong way, and come this May we’ll get to see her bite the dust.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (May 19)

The concluding chapter to one of the highest-grossing franchises in history and the first to garner a PG-13 rating, Revenge of the Sith promises to be the only decent chapter of the prequels. The emergence of Darth Vader, the eradication of the Jedis and the birth of Leia and Luke Skywalker will be only a few highlights of Sith.

Batman Begins (June 17)

The caped avenger went down in flames with the horrid Batman & Robin, but thanks to talented director Christopher Nolan (Memento) and a stellar cast that consists of Christian Bale, Liam Neeson and Michael Caine, Batman Begins should have much more success. Rather than focus on the Batman we have all to come to know, Batman Begins shifts attention to the early Bruce Wayne, who was hungry to satisfy his thirst for revenge.

War of the Worlds (June 29)

Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning embark on what is claimed to be “the most expensive film ever,” with their adaptation of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds. Spielberg/Cruise landed a sci-fi hit with the intelligent but overlooked Minority Report in the summer of ’02, but they’ve raised the stakes to create an event that promises to entertain.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (July 15)

The most bizarre trailer in recent memory and yet another Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is setting up to be one of the summer’s most anxiously anticipated releases. There’s no one else who would be suited to handle this classic tale than Burton and his go-to man, Depp. Expect the completely unexpected.

On the music front:

Weezer’s Make Believe (May 10)

After the release of Maladroit, frontman Rivers Cuomo returned to Harvard, and, instead of partying during winter break, reunited with his bandmates to record Make Believe. The set’s first single, “Beverly Hills,” is catchy, and the playmate-covered video is sure to gain heavy rotation on MTV.

Coldplay’s X&Y (June 7)

Having a baby and touring the world doesn’t leave much time for writing a new record, but Chris Martin found the time. Coldplay will unveil their latest LP, X&Y, which has been preceded by “Speed of Sound.” Judging by the sound of the set’s first single, this could be a Coldplay audiences have never heard before.

With no classes and a demographic of trend-following teens looking for the latest entertainment to occupy their time, Hollywood has created a line-up they’ll be hard-pressed to refuse.