The Summer starts in May. At least that’s the way it has been at the movies, ever since Marvel started up with Iron Man in 2008. And since that time, every May has been the time to kick off the season and start getting the big movies out, ahead of everything else.

The summer season at the movies, each year, gets carried on throughout June and July. August is commonly known as “the dog days of summer month,” which means very little comes out, as audiences are tired and have had their fill by that point (supposedly.)

And being as how it’s now May,  and due to the pandemic, things are still not back to normal, this is the perfect time to start looking at what’s up ahead. There’s just one problem… are audiences ready to go back to theaters?

Based on AMC’s restarting the A List program, (that won’t happen until July,) the answer is not quite yet. That’s when everyone who bought into the AMC A List gets reinstated. But starting with May, here’s what we’ve got…

 

Wrath of Man (Theaters, May 7th)

Really, really good. Without giving too much away, let’s just say it’s Heat mixed with concepts and style from a Tarantino movie. It’s the most mature (or at least serious,) movie Guy Ritchie has ever made. Now that’s not to say it’s his best. Lock, Stock and Snatch are his greatest films, in large part because of the humor. Wrath of Man is lacking in humor. But it’s got an intense plot, great action, and a whole lot of style.

Spiral: From the book of Saw (Theaters, May 14th)

Directed by Chris Rock, the movie is probably entertaining (after all, why would Rock remake Saw, if not for having a new and clever take on the material?) Then again, only the first Saw movie was really all that good. And considering that this one wants to be a sort of remake of that movie, (remakes are never as good, with exception to two older movies that were remade in the late-eighties / early nineties,… The Fly and The Thing,) it’s a tough call. Probably worth a watch (especially since it not only stars Rock, but also Sam Jackson,) but is it worth going back to theaters for? Probably not.

 

The Woman in the Window (Netflix, May 14th)

The title might make this one sound like The Girl on the Train, the Emily Blunt mystery from a few years back, but in actuality this seems to be a take on Rear Window. A woman living by herself in a NYC apartment spies on her neighbors and witnesses some violence. Supposing it is a remake of Rear Window, point blank (the released photo of Amy Adam’s with a giant camera in her hands certainly makes it look like one,) well, that could certainly be interesting. Netflix seems like a good place to put this one out, (they were the ones who turned Sandra Bullocks Birdbox, a female driven zombie-like thriller, into a mega hit.) But word of mouth on this one is bad, and we’re talking real bad. Like 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes bad. So seems like they dropped the ball somewhere on a movie and idea that might have had real potential.

 

Army of the Dead (Netflix, May 21)

A Zack Snyder zombie heist movie. Snyder has been hit and miss over the years. His best movies were early on in his career. Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen. Then came his second act, with all the DC films and Sucker Punch. That had to be his low point. Now, with the four hour Zack Snyder Justice League, which happens to be pretty great, he just might be back. Or this one might be another sucker punch. After all, it’s cast is pretty much just composed of Dave Bautista. He’s a fun guy to have appear in your movie, but to be the star… that’s going a little too far. And Snyder isn’t one to reign himself in. His movies tend to be too long. Army of the Dead clocks in at two and a half hours. No zombie movie needs to be that long. So, much as I like what Snyder did with his new version of Justice League, Army of the Dead is a hard pass.

 

A Quiet Place 2 (Theaters, May 28th)

Here’s where the movies that we’ve been hearing about for over a year start getting released.  The movies that got delayed due to Covid 19. The end of May. First, A Quiet Place 2 and then Cruella. The first A Quiet Place movie was a fresh take on the monster film genre. And it’s funny because that is a genre which has been done into the ground, to the point where it’s crazy to think big names actors would come up with something new (John Krasinski from the Office was the man behind the scenes, and both he abs his wife, Emily Blunt, started.) As far as this sequel, I’m not holding my breath. Yes, I trust these two (although how much can you really trust someone who has only made one movie?) I guess I have faith in them, but I also know how hard it is to strike hold with originality twice. So at this point I’m more curious than anything else.

 

Cruella (Disney Plus Premiere Access, May 28th)

In the vein of Maleficent, this one will be a fun Disney movie. Will Cruella be the hero, like Maleficent is in that movies take on the Sleeping Beauty story? Maybe. But even if she’s not, a live action, big budget telling of 101 Dalmatians seems right. After all, Disney is more or less remaking their entire catalogue at this point, including a live action Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and the Lion King, all which we got over the past few years.) With Emma Stone, Mark Strong, and Paul Walter Hauser in this one, it should be fun.

 

JUNE

 

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (HBO Max, Theaters, June 2)

Having never been a big fan of these movies, this new one doesn’t mean a whole lot. The Conjuring is just another horror series… this one about exorcisms and specialists being called in. I liked Indidious more, but only saw the first movie with that one. And never even watched a single Paranormal Activity movie. I guess the stories here just don’t sound catchy enough. But I did see the first Conjuring and was not impressed, so this Jew version means nothing to me.

Samaritan (June 4th, Theaters)

A Sly Stallone revenge movie. There was Nobody two months ago, then Wrath of  Man last month, and now this. Enough already. Why are these movies even being released in theaters? I love Sly, but this movie is unnecessary. Sly needs to be taking to time to figure out what movies people want to see him in. For example, word is he will not be in Creed 3. Why? He’s one of the biggest selling points of those movies. The main gimmick the second one had to offer was him and Ivan Drago coming face to face agsin. Imagine if that movie had gone without him. And who cares about Samaritan? Sly can do better. On a positive note for the icon, his new relationship with director James Gunn seems promising (he was in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and will now he voicing a character in The Suicide Squad.)

Infinite (June 10th, Paramount Plus, Steaming)

This is a Mark Wahlberg action movie about an assassin who has lived through multiple lives and keeps getting reincarnated. Consider it like the Bourne Identity meets the Old Guard (Charlize Theron  Netflix action movie,) The concept looks cool, and the trailer makes it look like it might be pretty neat. Especially considering that director Antoine Fuqua is at the helm. Fuqua is hit and miss as a director, but he has definitely given us some solid product over the years, including Training Day and the Equalizer. This one looks like it might be fun.

 

In the Heights (June 12th, HBO Max)

Lin Manuel Miranda’s first play, before Hamilton. This one looks creative and interesting in the way it tackles multi-diversity and relationships in Washington Heights, NYC. The music seems good, and the atmosphere seems lively and fun. Should be entertaining and interesting at the very least.

 

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (June 16th, Theaters)

Considering that the first movie wasn’t very good, this follow up probably won’t be much better. The two stars are great, but it will actually take a clever plot to make this one work. I’m not holding my breath.

Luca (June 18th, Disney Plus)

A Disney / Pixar movie about an Italian boy set in Cinque Terre. What’s not to like? This one is sure to be entertaining and fun. Considering Disney’s recent track record (all Disney’s movies  released last year – Onward, and Soul, Raya and the Last Dragon, were great,) the only question is just how great this one will be.


F9 (June 25th, Theaters)

After the last one, we’re they took on a submarine and the Rock kicked a torpedo, the franchise hit a low point. And now this movie doesn’t even feature The Rock or Jason Statham. Instead, it introduces a whole new villain played by John Cena. Doesn’t sound too good. And after even Hobbs and Shaw turned out loudly I wouldn’t bet on this one.


JULY

The Tomorrow War (July 2nd, Amazon Prime)

With only one short teaser out, it’s hard to tell much about this one other then that Chris Pratt is in it, and it looks like an action movie set against aliens. Sounds kind of like The Edge of tomorrow right? (The title doesn’t help this one avoid comparison.) I’ll reserve judgement until a longer trailer comes out, but right now I’m not expecting much.

Black Widow (July 7th, Disney Plus Premiere Access)

Now this is where things get good. Really good. Marvel is just too smart. Sure, Ant Man and the Wasp sucked, but that one was just a comedy with little more. Black Widow looks to be a much more serious movie, filled with action. And I love the idea of setting it right after Captain America Civil War, but before Avengers: Endgame. Go Marvel go!

Here’s a look at the second half of July and August…

Cinderella (July 16th, Theaters,)

Space Jam (July 16th, HBO Max)

Hotel Transylvania 4 (July 23rd, Theaters)

Jungle Cruise (July 30th, Theaters)

 

AUGUST

The Suicide Squad (August 6th, HBO Max)

Free Guy, (August 13th, Theaters)

Cinderella (July 16th, Theaters,)

Not much is known about this movie, including whether or not it is actually happening, but wasn’t there just a Cinderella movie not too long ago, with Lily James? That movie was pretty good too. And now there’s talk of a future Cinderella movie told from the step sisters point of view. So whatever this thing skated for mid-July is, something tells me it might be getting shelved.

Space Jam (July 16th, HBO Max)

Why not? It’s been a long long time since the Michael Jordan film (decades.) and Lebron is the best thing since Jordan. Plus, the concept looks kind of fun, with a combo of 2D animation, 3D animation (computer effects,) and live action. The humor won’t be great, but it still could be fun.

Hotel Transylvania 4 (July 23rd, Theaters)

These movies have never been very good. The first one was the best, with its original concept, but since then they’ve been grasping at straws. These films are an excuse to get the former SNL friends (of the nineties,) former Grown Ups friends (those movies were awful,) and generally not that funny group of guys beck together. In a kids movie. The concept of monsters hanging out together is still kind of cute, but after three films, a fourth one is not exactly something to get excited for.

Jungle Cruise (July 30th, Theaters)

As likable as these two stars (The Rock and Emily Blunt,) are, this one does not look very good. It’s an action adventure based on a Disney ride, and while that worked out nicely for Pirates of the Caribbean, this one doesn’t have pirates, ghosts, or monsters. Instead, it’s a period piece, and looks pretty silly. An adventure movie for kids. That’s the same target audience as Free Guy. The difference is Free Guy looks current and this one looks trapped in the past. Not looking forward to this.


AUGUST

 

The Suicide Squad (August 6th, HBO Max)

This is the one to look forward to. It’s James Gunn being given full reign of all kinds of freaky characters in the DC universe. At the very least, it will be as good as Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Gunn is responsible for both of those Marvel giants, and clearly he’s a guy who knows what he’s doing.

 

Free Guy, (August 13th, Theaters)

Ryan Reynolds in a movie about being in an open-world video game. The concept is great. The problem is, this one looks like it will be more for kids than anything else. Not exactly John Wick territory.  Or Deadpool either. Could be fun, but if it relies to much on the humor it probably won’t work. If the focus is on the action and works building this might be decent.