Summer Movie Preview

Guardians of the Galaxy (May 5th)

Sumer movie season usually kicks off with a Marvel movie at the start of May, ever since the first Iron Man, back in 2008. They have owned the start of the summer blockbuster season, and once again this year it continues. Guardians of the Galaxy volume 3 is the final film of a trilogy featuring these characters. It’s also writer / director James Gunn’s last movie for the studio, since he has gone over to be the new head of DC films. But none of that really matters. All that matters is whether or not the movie is good, and this one is pretty much a guarantee. It will be funny and exciting in all the right ways. Gunn is a master filmmaker at this point, (just look at his take on The Suicide Squad for proof,) and the Guardians movies are his babies (the movies that made him a household name.) This one is sure to be a blast.


Hypnotic (May 12) 

The story here, about robbers who use hypnosis looks like a combo of Now You Can See Me, Fallen, and Incepcion. In other words, it looks like something that we’ve seen before. And Ben Affleck being the star isn’t exactly reassuring. It brings back memories of the days he did paycheck B movies that were all very cliched and not very good, (literally one movie called Paycheck, and Reindeer Games as another example.) But there’s one partially reassuring thing here…director Robert Rodriguez. This is a pretty smart and talented action movie maker. From Desperado to Sin City to the more recent film Alita: Battle Angel, if anyone can pull off this thing, it’s Rodriguez.


Fast X (May 19th)

What is there to say about this, that we don’t already know? Really? It will be ridiculous. The story won’t add up to much of anything. And the stunts will be outrageous and insane. But unlike, say, the Mission Impossible movies, where the stunts are all done for real, in this one they will be one-hundred percent CGI. Now, the good news is they have some new likeable faces joining the cast. These include Jason Momoa and Brie Larson. But even still. I mean, c’mon. If there was ever a movie that you know exactly what the end result is going to be, it’s this one. It is the tenth movie in the series, after all.


The Little Mermaid (May 26th)

Disney has been hit and miss with their live action adaptations. Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King were kind of lousy and forgettable. Aladdin and Mulan, on the other hand, were pretty good. With the Little Mermaid, we will have to see. Casting Melissa McCarthy as Ursula the Sea Witch sounds like fun, and obviously the music is amazing. So let’s give this one the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best. On a side note, let’s see if they make any changes to the “Kiss the girl,” rowboat in a lake song, which in the past decade or so has gone under the microscope of criticism  for not being about consent. I guess they would have to make it, “now you better ask if you can kiss the girl.” Either way, it should be a fun movie.

Spider Man: Across the Spiderverse (June 2nd)

It’s about time. The first movie in this series, “Into the Spiderverse,” was so explosive and influential that it kickstarted the whole “multiverse,” craze. In terms of multiverse movies (which Marvel has been all over, with both live action films and Disney Plus shows, and DC is now getting into with The Flash,) this is the movie that started it all. Plus it has fantastic action, humor, and storytelling. It was a smart movie made by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, two of the smartest comedic directors around. And with the sequel, they have the green light to get even crazier. To up the ante. Should be a hell of a ride.

The Blackening (June 16th)

Who knows with this one? There are some definite components to the plot that make it look interesting, but at the same time it’s limited and fairly unknown cast, as well as director don’t exactly inspire confidence. The story involves a bunch of young black friends who rent a cabin, and find themselves playing a board game that is attached to some kind of deadly curse or killer. The genre is clearly meant to be horror-comedy. Think Cabin in the Woods mixed with Scary Movie and a touch of Clue. Considering how familiar the story is, what will really make or break this one is the humor. Will the jokes be funny or dopey? We will have to see.

Elemental (June 16th)

Yes, please. A creative new Disney animated movie. Let’s be real here, these movies are always good, but the more unique they are (think world building movies vs movies that take place in our current world,) the better. There’s a reason why Onward and Inside Out and even Raya and the Last Dragon are on a different level than Turning Red and Soul. And it’s because of the world building. Elemental seems to understand that in spades. This movie is about a world where the elements are the characters… fire, water, wind, and earth. And they don’t mix. The story might have a Romeo and Juliet vibe, and a message about being open-minded and accepting of others, but it’s the world that is sure to be captivating.

The Flash (June 16th)

Look, DC can do no right lately. Between Black Adam and Shazam, it almost feels as if they’ve been tanking on purpose, to pave the way for the new James Gunn- run DC era. But the Flash is the movie that will most likely usher that in. The Flash is DCs multiverse movie. It will feature multiple Batmen from our pasts (Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck,) and it will most likely open the door to a new universe which features the new heroes of James Gunn. So if there’s one DC movie that Gunn is going to make sure is good, (he didn’t direct it, but you better believe everything is going through him at this point,) it’s this one. This is the movie to be curious about more than any other. Who will they bring in (both cameos… Christian Bale?… and new characters?) And what will this movie mean for the future of DC? Whatever the ramifications are, they are bound to be interesting, and they all start with this movie right here.

Asteroid City (June 23rd)

Wes Anderson. A filmmaker so unique that his style has been parodied all over You Tube. What is Anderson made Star Wars? What if he made X Men? The spoofs are endless. And yet Anderson himself is still going strong, not changing a thing about his style, realizing if he’s being parodied it means he has made it into the mainstream, and pop culture knows who he is and what his movies are like. Now this newest one, Asteroid City, doesn’t look all that spectacular, but most Anderson movies don’t, from the trailer. You can’t tell me Grand Budapest Hotel or Moonrise Kingdom looked like anything special. What I will say is this one has Tom Hanks, Steve Carrell, and Scarlett Johansson. That’s a pretty nice start right there, and the content looks interesting enough (unlike Andersons last movie, the French Dispatch.) Plus its got Anderson regular Jason Schwartzman, who is always a plus. This one will most likely be pretty good.


Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (June 30th)

This is the Indiana Jones movie that I’m shocked ever got made. First off, Harrison Ford is eighty years old. Secondly, both Spielberg and Lucas were not involved. The two powerhouses behind the whole franchise, Lucas as writer and Spielberg as director. In fact, it’s safe to say the only reason this happened at all is because director James Mangold wanted a crack at it, and the powers that be (studio heads, Ford himself,) had faith in him. Mangold is no doubt a smart and talented filmmaker. From Copland to Identity to Walk the Line to 3:10 to Yuma to Logan, his directing skills have spanned genres. But this one is sure to be a challenge. Mangold is a director to have confidence in, but you never know how much the studio will be involved, (look at the difference between the Wolverine and Logan, both movies made by Mangold… one as the Wolverine movie the studio wanted him to make, the other as the Wolverine movie Mangold wanted to make.) Here’s hoping the studio let him have free reign with this one, and we get a solid movie to end the franchise once and for all.

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning (July 14th)

Like the new Fast and Furious movie, with this one, you know what you’re gonna get. If my count is correct, this is the seventh movie in the franchise. The stunts will be out of this world. The plot will be hard to follow, and will involve some double crosses. Will it be fun? Sure. Will it be anything special, that really makes it stand out from the others? Probably not. There’s not a whole lot more to say than that

Barbie (July 21st)

Why not? They’re making movies out of every other IP that has nostalgia value. From Super Mario Brothers to GI Joe to Transformers to a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So why not Barbie? Directed by Greta Gerwig, the go to female director for female orientated movies (Lady Bird, Little Women… this is her first movie in a while that doesn’t actually have “Lady,” or “Women,” in the title.) But seriously, the movie might be funny. With a cast that includes such likeable stars as Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and Simu Lieu, the way they balance the toy world with the real world might make it interesting (will it go for a Toy Story vibe, only live action?) Another question worth asking is how much sexuality will be in it, in terms of the jokes.. sexual innuendo? This one is definitely for kids after all, but the trailer sets only makes it look like that kind of humor will be what they’re going for. Should be good for some laughs.

Oppenheimer (July 21st)

Here we have the newest Christopher Nolan movie. And it’s based on the true story of the man tasked with designing the atomic bomb. I’m sure it will be an interesting story, filled with moral dilemmas and arguments and discussions about ethics, but let’s take a step back for a moment and talk about Nolan. This is guy whose success comes from gritty mystery movies… Memento, Insomnia, the Dark Knight trilogy, even the Prestige. And they are all based on fictional stories. When Nolan stays in his lane, he’s perfect. When he veers out, into say Sci-Fi (Interstellar, Tenet,) he’s a bit of a mess. Even Dunkirk was kind of dull. So Nolan trying his hand at another true story, a bio-pic as you will, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. And considering his last movie, Tenet, was by far his worst, this guy really needs to get back in the game. In all honesty, this movie looks more boring than exciting. But most people probably won’t admit that.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (August 4th)

And then there’s the new Seth Rogen TMNT movie. If anyone can do it right, it’s Rogen. This guy lives and breathes comedy.  Especially when he’s the writer involved. Ever since his one-two punch, both in the same year (2007,) with Knocked Up and Superbad, Rogen has been delivering. He has proved himself as a director (This is the End,) and as a producer (The Boys.) Now the challenge with TMNT is that it will have to be suitable for children. No R rating with this one, which is certainly a different ballpark for Rogen. But something tells me he can pull it off, and this movie will be fun. Nothing huge (there’s a reason it’s being released in August, so it can fly in under the radar, whether it is good or not,) but certainly enjoyable on some level, be it comedy or action or both.