Summertime is a joyous season, not only for the sun and sand, but for the greatest movies of the year. The season keeps starting earlier and earlier so we are including a couple of films that are already out this year. Read on for a preview of this year’s best offerings.
Captain America – (May 7) – Officially started off the summer movie season early as a May release and boy, what an amazing ride it is. Iron Man vs Cap makes for an unrelenting two and a half hour thrill ride.
XMen: Apocalypse – (May 27) – The biggest and the baddest of them all, the third in the First Class series delivers everything lovers of the X-Men could want. Set in the eighties, ten years after Xavier and Magneto have gone their seperate ways, the film packs in tons of action and riveting subplots including the origins of Storm. I could see this over and over again.
Independence Day: Resurgence – (June 24) – The aliens are coming back and need to be reminded that Earth is not for the taking. Pro: Special effects have come a long way in the 20 years since the first one. Con: Will Smith didn’t come back.
Now You See Me: The Second Act – (June 10) – I was so glad Now You See Me garnered a sequel as I was mad for it. This time the Four Horsemen take on a crooked tech magnate played by Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe. There are lots of surprise twists and turns making this one as exciting and smart as the first. I was, however, very sad that Isla Fisher as Henley was not in this one as the female lead was not as strong.
Star Trek Beyond – (July 22) I have been a Trekkie since I was four when I crushed on William Shatner’s Captain Kirk because of the interracial kiss with Uhuru. Not much advance press on this. However, I love every incarnation of this franchise, so will definitely see it.
Jason Bourne – (July 29) – Bourne is back and he knows who he is. Add the killer supporting cast of Oscar winners Alicia Vikander and Tonmy Lee Jones and this is an action must-see.
Suicide Squad – (August 5) – Four reasons to see this. One, it’s based on the DC Comic series about a Special ops team of supervillians, who gain their freedom by carrying out special missions. Two, Jared Leto as the Joker and Margo Robbie as Harley Quinn. Three, Will Smith as Deadshot. Four, it’s directed by David Ayer, who wrote “Training Day” and co-wrote the original “Fast and The Furious.”
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – (May 20) – Except for one unfortunate tampon scene that no female writer would have allowed – the writers were all male – and I could’ve done without, this was hilarious throughout. Teddy returns to help his former nemesis Mac and his pregnant wife Kelly, oust a rowdy female sorority that moves next door.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping – (June 3) – With all the annoying talents in the music business right now, I knew this Andy Samberg parody was to hit the right chords (pun intended). I laughed my ass off at this mockumentary, which is the funniest film about the music industry since Spinal Tap. The cameos from Mariah Carey. Questlove Usher, DJ Khaled, Seal and Micheal Bolton brought peals of laughter from the preview audience. And anytime Tim Meadows and Maya Randolph appear on screen expect to cry laughing. The mock songs are also hilarious with one of my favorites “Legalize It” playing over the credits.
Central Intelligence – (June 17) – Because I could watch the Rock and Kevin Hart individually in anything, together this is a definite do.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates – (July 8) – Zac Efron is building an impressive resume as a great comedic young actor and this looks to be another hit. The plot is simple – two brothers are forced to bring dates to their sister’s wedding to ensure they are on their best behavior. The problem is their dates are Than they are.
Ghostbusters – (July _5 )- While I am on the fence about this because I loved the original so much, I am going to support the gals. The combination of a female cast and Chris Helmsworth is worth the price of my ticket.
Absoultely Fabulous: The Movie – (July 22) – I lived in London when the TV series was out and knew women, like Patsy and Edna. Written by the Comic Strip vet, Jennifer Sanders this is sure to be a laugh riot.
Bad Moms – (July 29) – From the writers of “The Hangover”, it’s the average Moms vs. the perfect Moms. With a stellar cast, this is sure to be a hoot, especially for Moms.
Nine Lives – (August 5) – Kevin Spacey trapped in the body of a cat. Sure to be purrfectly hysterical, both for cat lovers and Spacey fans.
The Horrors/ The Thrills
The Darkness – (May 13) – Purports to be based on a true story of a family that brought something more than a souvenir t-shirt back from their Grand Canyon visit. I will see it for Kevin Bacon, who always elevates any film. The six degrees of Bacon are further extended.
Conjuring 2: The Enfield Experiment – (June 10) – The first one was so horrifying that I watched it through my fingers in my living room and thus missed most of it. Though claiming to be based on true stories, the jury is still out on the Warrens misadventures into the world of the occult but I wouldn’t mess with them. This time they are off to the UK to deal with the ghostly occurrences that the movie “Poltergeist” was based on. It’s creepy but not as scary as the first. As a Christian, I wasn’t sure I should see this. But it was
The Shallows – (June 24) – Blake Lively vs. sharks. See this plus “Jaws” and you may never go near the beach again.
The Purge: Election Year – (July 1) I loved one and two, so can’t wait for this one. This time, when a well-meaning senator tries to put an end to the murderous annual event, she is targeted by proponents of the Purge. Enter Leo Barnes to the rescue.
Lights Out – (July 22) – Childhood fears make for adult reality in this spooky supernatural thriller produced by James Wan, the director of “Saw”.
Don’t Breathe – (August 26) – Reuniting director Fede Alvarez and Jane Levy from the last “Evil Dead” remake, this thriller is getting such great buzz I can’t wait to see it. A sort of “Wait Until Dark” with a twist, this blind man is not to be taken lightly.
Money Monster – (May 13) – Good script and great chemistry between Clooney and Roberts make this one of the best films so far this year.
The State of Jones – (June 24) – Another slave narrative told from the Great White Hope frame of mind, but worth seeing for Matthew McConaughey and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. I DO hope that Hollywood doesn’t consider this a move towards that much needed diversity and will allow some of the stories of the slaves, like the legendary Gabriel, who led a rebellion in Virginia, to also be told.
The Legend of Tarzan – (July 1 ) – Hunky Alexander Skarsgard and gorgeous Margot Robbie make the sexiest Tarzan and Jane E-VAH. Can’t wait.
Captain Fantastic – (July 8) – Viggo Mortensen as an eccentric father figure, who is raising his six kids away from modern society, until a tragedy forces him to return them to the real world.
The Infiltrator – (July 13) – Two words: Bryan Cranston. Cranston is one of our finest living actors, so I will definitely see this. Also, who doesn’t love a good true life crime story?
The Founder – (August 5) – Michael Keaton in, what looks from the trailer, to be a Oscar-worthy turn as Ray Croc, the “creator” of McDonalds. The story is sorted and interesting and it seems that Croc was as toxic as the fast food he hoisted upon us.
Florence Foster Jenkins – (August 12) – Meryl Streep as the title character, a quirky American socialite who became an Opera singer despite her lack of vocal talent. Directed by the iconic Stephen Frears, with Hugh Grant opposite Streep.
War Dogs – (August 19) – Strange but true story of two brothers, who supplied arms to troops in Afganistan and pissed off a lot of people. My crush, Robert Mitchum look-alike Miles Teller and Jonah Hill play the brothers.
Ben-Hur – (August 12) – I have seen the original over 30 times, so am very curious about this one. Sure to be interesting with hunky Jack Huston – the grandson of the legendary director John Huston and Anjelica Huston’s nephew – filling Charlton Heston’s very big shoes.
Southside With You – (August 26) – Re-imagining the first date of future President Barack Obama and then Michelle Robinson in the summer of 1989. With all the crazy in the current election cycle, we nay never again have such an elegant couple in the White House.
Hands of Stone – (August 26) – Edgar Ramirez as boxer Roberto Duran and Robert DeNiro as his trainer Ray Arcel in a bio-pic about the relationship between the two men and the fierce rivalry between Roberto Duran and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard. This is a must-see for the all-star cast including Usher, as Leonard.
The Family Fare
The Jungle Book – (April ) – This started off the Summer movie season as an early Spring release and oh how I loved this. A live-action version of the beloved Disney classic, everything about this film was perfect. Neel Sethi as Mowgli is perfect casting and Christopher Walken singing “I Wanna Be Like You”, made the whole movie for me.
The Angry Birds Movie – (May 20) – The game becomes a movie with the birds po’d that their island home is taken over by green pigs.
Alice Through The Looking Glass – (May 27) – It isn’t a Disney film unless I have wept a couple times. This poignant story about Alice traveling through time to help The Mad Hatter find his family had me both delighted and in tears throughout. It’s a magical and empowering cinematic ride and vital viewing for all girls from 5 to 95.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (June 3) – I was never a big fan of this series, but kids love it. This time, the Ninja Turtles take on Krang.
Finding Dory – (June 17) – I loved Finding Nemo and can’t wait for this sequel that focuses on Dory finding her family. I cried like a baby in the first one, so know I will be equally weepy this time. Joy with tears is always a winning movie formula for me.
The BFG (July 1) – Because anything Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg will be magical, this is a must-see.
The Secret Life Of Pets – (July 8) – I often wonder what Bodhi and Yoko Rey do when I am away from home. While I suspect they mostly sleep, like they do when I am home, this fanciful tale imagines our pets doing all sorts of things in our absence.
Ice Age: Collision Course – (July 22) – Still after the acorn, Scrat ends up in outer space. This is fun for the whole family.
Sausage Party – (August 12) – Seth Rogen voices Frank, in this animated film, about a hot dog, who discovers what it really means to be taken home from the supermarket. Sure to spawn more vegetarians.
Pete’s Dragon (August 12 ) – Remake of the 70’s classic, about a dragon named Elliott and his best friend, a boy named Pete.
Kubo and The Two Strings – (August 19) – The Boxtrolls is one of my favorite animated films ever. So I just can’t wait for this new film from its creators featuring the voices of Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey.