Movie guy Bob Grimm runs toward the summer movie season
Look, folks, I know Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, BooHoo and Flim-Flam are all great ways to stay home and watch movies rather than going out for a change and experiencing film in a nice, living, breathing theater this summer movie season.
Hey, big screens in stinky multiplexes are still the best. A trip to the theater comes with the added value of $197 popcorn and drinks, and the opportunity to catch bedbugs, head lice and strep throat while somebody threatens to beat you up for texting during the flick or mug you in the parking lot afterward.
Hmm … not making a good argument for going out to the movies, am I?
Here’s what’s coming this summer movie season. Well, not every movie, but a choice selection. Lots of superheroes, sharks, The Rock—Jesus, is there a movie the guy isn’t in?—animation and dinosaurs along with some Chekhov thrown in for good measure. I give you this, our Summer Movie Preview!
Tully (May 4): Charlize Theron is getting some good reviews as a stressed-out mom who becomes pals with her nanny. From the writer-director team that brought you Juno. Should we be excited? I think so!
Overboard (May 4): Because the world just wouldn’t be right if they didn’t remake that lousy ’80s movie starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Anna Faris stars in the dumbest kind of movie of all: the amnesia movie. Are there evil twins and villains with twirling mustaches in here, too?
Life of the Party (May 11): Melissa McCarthy stars as a jilted wife who goes back to college and gets her freak on. Not a high concept premise by any means, but McCarthy involvement usually brings a good laugh or two. Unless she’s wearing a proton pack, in which case, the movie is shit.
Terminal (May 11): I’ve watched the preview for this movie starring Margot Robbie numerous times. I still can’t really tell what it’s all about, but Robbie looks to be in Harley Quinn psycho mode in it, so this could be fun.
The Seagull (May 11): Here’s that Chekhov movie I mentioned before. Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening costar in the movie you will say you are going to see in order to look all smart and cool to passersby. Go to your local wine bar, order up a red that is at least 15 years old, do that stupid spin-your-goblet-and-sniff-it thing, then proclaim “I’m going to see The Seagull when it comes out!” like the pretentious chump you aspire to be. People will think you are so … damned … cool.
Deadpool 2 (May 18): On the encouraging side, the guy who directed John Wick is helming this sequel. On the not-so-encouraging side, Ryan Reynolds’ shtick is getting a little tired in all of the previews. Deadpool is getting to be like a movie reviewer who is a little too impressed with his own not-so-clever clever jokes.
Book Club (May 18): If you thought the horrors of the 50 Shades of Grey series had come to an end earlier this year, here comes a movie about the likes of Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Candice Bergen getting off reading the novels. It’s called Book Club but, to me, it should be called Future Unyielding, Unrelenting Pain.
How to Talk to Girls at Parties (May 18): In preparing for this article—that’s a fancy way for saying slacking off during the writing of it and surfing the web—I watched the preview for this. It’s an early contender for one of the year’s weirdest movies. Elle Fanning stars as an alien living in London, and it’s directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). It costars Nicole Kidman in full punk regalia.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25): Ron Howard, the guy who directed Willow and those shitty Da Vinci Code movies, stepped in to take over directing chores after the guys who directed The Lego Movie got kicked off the set for being dicks to Kathleen Kennedy. Alden Ehrenreich, a name I will never spell correctly without triple-checking, steps into the role of Han Solo—a Han Solo long before he got all unfortunately huggy with his lightsaber-wielding son.
Why didn’t they release this on May 4?
Action Point (June 1): When I was a teen, I used to spend parts of my summers at a crazy amusement park called Action Park in New Jersey. The notorious park had a death toll from people cashing out violently on their water slides, their jacked-up rides, and drowning in their Tidal Wave pool. (I almost died in that sucker.)
How appropriate that Johnny Knoxville and parts of his Jackass crew mount a movie loosely based on Action Park. I’m thinking this thing will bring back pleasant memories of second degree sunburns, sprained ankles and excessive water in my lungs.
Adrift (June 1): Shailene Woodley stars as a woman who, along with her boyfriend, winds up adrift at sea after boating through a hurricane. Whenever I see a movie like this or Cast Away, I can’t help but think about how bad everybody must smell due to the lack of showering and deodorant. Like that show Surivivor … that set must stink!
Ocean’s 8 (June 8): Sandra Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean, sister to George Clooney’s Danny, and equally big-minded when it comes to pulling a heist. Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett costar, with an appearance by Matt Damon. I couldn’t be less excited about this particular thing.
Hereditary (June 8): Brace yourselves, folks. This horror movie, the directorial debut of a dude named Ari Aster, is getting some major buzz as a film that will chill your bones so much that the muscles around them will get pissed off and expel themselves out your asshole. Toni Collette stars in what looks to be this year’s scary classic.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor (June 8): A documentary on Fred Rogers. I know Mister Rogers was a beloved children’s TV figure and a good man, but his show gave my young self the willies. I was always put off by his sanguine tones, and those puppets freaked me out. The Lady Elaine Fairchilde puppet looked like a red-nosed alcoholic demon, the sort that would perhaps hide under my bed and steal my underwear off my butt while I was sleeping. Don’t get me started on Captain Kangaroo.
Hotel Artemis (June 8): A futuristic crime drama with Jodie Foster playing a nurse running a hospital for criminals in her hotel. Foster hasn’t really been doing much as an actress lately, but this one looks like a true departure for her. It also has Jeff Goldblum and Dave Bautista, so maybe it will be an under-the-radar surprise.
Incredibles 2 (June 15): The original Incredibles was my favorite Pixar movie until Up came along and made me cry. This one looks like it will be well worth the long wait. (The original came out 14 years ago.) Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) gets a new gig with the government while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) has to stay home with the kids, one of them being an infant with budding, mysterious powers.
Tag (June 15): A cross-country game of tag played by the likes of Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm. This reminds me of that Monty Python “Olympic Hide and Seek” sketch. You’ve never seen that? Oh, my. Well, stop down and check it out on YouTube. You’ll laugh. It’s a regular riot.
Superfly (June 15): A remake of the ’70s Blaxploitation classic starring Trevor Jackson and Jason Mitchell. If they jettison the original Superfly theme song by Curtis Mayfield, I will throw my unwrapped Starburst Minis at the screen as a show of extreme protest.
Gotti (June 15): Somebody who recently met me said he could tell I grew up in New York, which I did, because my hair makes me look like John Gotti. Seriously considering a new stylist. John Travolta plays the dapper prick in this long-delayed look at the life of a total bastard.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22): I was having doubts about this one based on the trailer, but the second trailer has me happy. The movie’s first half deals with Chris Pratt trying to get dinosaurs off an island that’s about to erupt. That part looks a little goofy, but the second part deals with dinosaurs invading residential homes. That’s following the basic blueprint of Spielberg’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and that’s fine by me. Movie dinosaurs belong in living rooms scaring the shit out of people.
Under the Silver Lake (June 22): From the writer/director of It Follows … that’s all you have to say to me to get my curiosity up for this one starring Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough.
Damsel (June 22): Robert Pattinson has been picking them well in his post-Twilight career. This one is from the Zellner brothers directing team.
Sicario: Day of the Saldado (June 29): Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro are back for this sequel, but Emily Blunt is not because she’s off piloting her umbrella for the new Mary Poppins movie. My first thought was this would be lame, like when Harrison Ford didn’t show up for The Fugitive sequel. But, I have to admit, that scene where del Toro goes ape shit on a drug cartel guy with that nasty little herky-jerky gun has me thinking it might deliver the goods.
The Hustle (June 29): This is actually a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels—which, in turn was a remake of the Marlon Brando film Bedtime Story—starring Anne Hathaway in the role previously inhabited by the late Glenne Headly. It’s weird to type the words “the late Glenne Headly.”
Uncle Drew (June 29): This is an online series sponsored by Pepsi starring the likes of Kyrie Irving and Shaquille O’Neal playing tournament basketball in old-age makeup. Seriously, what the hell is this?
The First Purge (July 4): Marisa Tomei is in this. THE Marisa Tomei! This is disheartening news.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6): In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the Marvel universe is in full swing this summer.
Sorry to Bother You (July 6): This is in my Top 10 movies I’m looking forward to. Starring Lakeith Stanfield—the party screamer in last year’s Get Out—and directed by Boots Riley. (You just have to root for a guy with the name Boots Riley.) Stanfield stars as a guy who employs a “white voice” (the voice of David Cross) to make it big as a telemarketer. This looks like fantasy satire to be reckoned with.
Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (July 13): I’ll say this in advance: you should feel just a little guilty for dumping your kids off for this animated kiddie crap while you go have your margaritas on a Saturday. My dad used to drop me off for shit like Star Wars and Indiana Jones when he went out for his bourbon-and-hooker full tilt boogie. There was an attention to quality even when he was blowing me off.
Skyscraper (July 13): While it’s not called The Towering Inferno, this looks a lot like Irwin Allen could sue, even though Irwin Allen is so, so dead. Dwayne Johnson stars as a security guy who must rescue his family from a skyscraper that’s on fire, while also being besieged by bad guys. This is the 589th movie Dwayne Johnson has headlined in the last year.
Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot (July 13): Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill star for Gus Van Sant in the true story of cartoonist John Callahan. I have nothing clever or snarky to say about this.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (July 20): Is Meryl Streep really in this, or are they just using her in flashbacks? Look, I love ABBA, but the first movie kind of sucked, and this one will obviously be using the second tier of ABBA hits unused in the original film. And … Pierce Brosnan is back and singing again. There are a lot of horror movies coming out this summer, but there are no cinematic prospects as horrifying as the possibility of Brosnan warbling “Super Trouper.”
The Equalizer 2 (July 20): Denzel Washington goes on a revenge spree after his friend is murdered. He’s gonna kill ya. Doesn’t matter if you have a bazooka in his face, explosives set to go off in his pants, and a nuclear bomb ready to kill him and everybody around him if he moves. He’s gonna kill ya. Don’t even try to protect yourself. He’s … gonna … kill … ya.
Mission: Impossible-Fallout (July 27): Tom Cruise, who notoriously does many of his own stunts, broke parts of his body filming a scene for this, and I think that footage makes it into the movie. I’m buying a ticket just for that. Tom Cruise is a freaking nut, but he’s still a badass.
Christopher Robin (August 3): Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) grows up to work a regular Joe job and gets visited by old pal Winnie the Pooh. Could be cute. Could also be Hook revisited.
The Spy Who Dumped Me (August 3): Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon and Justin Theroux star in a spy comedy that has to be good because of those three names I just typed.
The Meg (August 10): A big shark movie. A really big shark movie. A really, really, really, god damned, holy crap big shark movie. Oh, yeah! Starring Jason Statham. Oh, well.
The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society (August 10): Yes, there is a movie with this title coming out this summer.
The Happytime Murders (August 17): Humans and puppets share the screen in this Jim Henson Company production. No Muppets are in the cast, but Elizabeth Banks, Joel McHale and Melissa McCarthy show up.
Dog Days (August 24): A drama about people in Los Angeles meeting via their dogs. I wasn’t excited about this until I noticed it’s directed by Ken Marino (Wet Hot American Summer) and I saw a Boston Terrier in one of the publicity stills. Boston Terrier sighting!
Replicas (August 24): Keanu Reeves stars as a scientist who doesn’t know how to say goodbye to his wife (Alice Eve) and kids after they die in an auto accident. Prepare yourselves in advance for somber, brainy Keanu as opposed to vapid, joyous Keanu. It’s a very different strain of Keanu. Psychological adjustments and preparations are required for the beholding of somber, brainy Keanu. Don’t be caught off guard by somber, brainy Keanu. This is a PSA brought to you by the fans of vapid, joyous Keanu.
Papillon (August 24): One of my all-time favorites is the original Papillon starring Steve McQueen as an escape artist trying to get off a prison island with Dustin Hoffman in tow. Charlie Hunnam steps into the McQueen role and Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) steps in for Hoffman. I don’t know about this.
Alpha (September 14): I love my dog. This one is about a cave kid lost in the wilderness becoming the world’s first dog owner. I’m hoping it plays at a drive-in nearby so I can take my dog with me, and we can experience it together. I’ll shed some tears and feel uncompromising love for my furry companion. She’ll probably just fart a lot.
The Predator (September 14): As the summer winds down, someone takes another shot at making a worthwhile Predator movie, something that hasn’t happened since the original Arnie installment over 30 years ago. So, they’ve cooked up a new story for you, and they are dropping you into a rebooted meat grind-uh!
By the time you’ve watched the Schwarzenegger-less Predator, it will be three months until Christmas. That’s messed up. So, if you read these capsules in chronological order as you were seeing the movies in real time—sort of like a cinematic Advent Calendar—and you are reading this part in late September, Santa is coming soon! Hooray!