The Bobs of summer
Our movie guy predicts the good, bad and ugly of the upcoming movie season
Yes, the summer movie season is already in full swing, with substandard stuff like Avengers: Age of Ultron and San Andreas already released. So far the season is sucking fumes with a few decent exceptions.
On the positive side, Mad Max: Fury Road turned out to be a lot better than expected, and The D Train proved to be a nice fringe comedy. The dark sci-fi thriller Ex Machina is probably the best film of the season so far.
Sadly, in addition to the Avengers and San Andreas letdowns, there’s been a lot of disposable stuff like that garbage Poltergeist remake and that stupid Arnold Schwarzenegger zombie movie.
With a few months left, Arnie again, dinosaurs, Pac Man and the Minions will try to salvage summer 2015 and send us into Oscar season with some momentum.
Jurassic World (June 12): After a 14-year break, the dinos are back, this time with Chris Pratt and a hybrid dinosaur that makes the T Rex look like my Boston Terrier. I thought the first trailer looked like donkey spunk, but decent follow-up footage and some positive word of mouth have me optimistic.
Inside Out (June 19): The ever reliable Pixar’s latest offering involves emotions battling inside a girl’s head. This looks like it could be one of Pixar’s more offbeat films, in the spirit of Up.
Ted 2 (June 26): Seth MacFarlane tries to bounce back after last year’s awful A Million Ways to Die in the West with a sequel to his foul-mouthed teddy bear hit. Mark Wahlberg returns but Mila Kunis is conspicuously absent from the cast list. Have people figured out that she can’t act worth dick?
Terminator Genisys (July 3): Just what in the heck is going to happen with this one? The dragon lady from Game of Thrones is the new Sarah Connor, and Governor Schwarzenegger returns, this time as an aging Terminator (no hair dye!). Arnie actually fights himself as a younger Terminator in this movie. I say if they pull that scene off, this can’t go wrong.
Magic Mike XXL (July 3): Channing Tatum once again plays a stripper who won’t show his balls. I wonder if the sequel will attract a vast amount of seriously disappointed bachelorette parties like the original did.
Minions (July 10): The little yellow things from the Despicable Me movies get their own flick. Eight-year-olds will be giggling their asses off, while I will miss the little girl who yelled, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” Maybe she’ll have a cameo.
The Gallows (July 10): Students revisit a play 20 years after somebody died on stage during a production of the show. This is probably not a good idea, and said student will probably show up and haunt the shit out of this situation. While this looks creepy, it can’t be any more nightmarish than the high school production of Paint Your Wagon I sat through when I was a kid. That mess was horrifyingly toxic.
Ant-Man (July 17): Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) shepherded this project for a bunch of time, then bailed last year, breaking the hearts of geeks everywhere. While Paul Rudd as the title character certainly gives this film a fighting chance, I will always wonder what kind of subversive, nutty Marvel movie Wright would’ve given us.
Trainwreck (July 17): Amy Schumer stars for director Judd Apatow in this relationship comedy costarring Bill Hader. Apatow has been making good movies lately, but nobody has been going to them. Schumer seems to be just the one to get him back on track at the box office.
Irrational Man (July 17): Woody Allen’s 9,876th movie stars Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone. I have a feeling there will be a very neurotic character in this film. Call me crazy, but I think it could happen.
Pixels (July 24): Aliens, having opened up a time capsule from the ’80s, totally get the wrong message and send massive recreations of Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Centipede to destroy us. Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage and Kevin James star in what looks like something striving for a bit of a Ghostbusters vibe.
Southpaw (July 24): Jake Gyllenhaal looks to be going all in as a boxer trying to win back custody of his son after the death of his wife. This one looks crazy.
Vacation (July 29): While Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo make a short return, this franchise restart stars Ed Helms as Rusty Griswald (played by Anthony Michael Hall in the original), who takes his family to Walley World to relive his childhood. The whole premise seems wrong to me. Didn’t Rusty have a pretty bad time the first time around? And why not just cast Anthony Michael Hall again? He’s alive. I think.
Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation (July 31): And with this, Tom Cruise will try to put that Scientology documentary out of your mind. He hangs onto a plane during takeoff in his bid for you to remember him as an awesome action star and not a total psychopath.
Wet Hot American Summer: The First Day of Camp (July 31): I will be binge watching this on Netflix the day the above Cruise flick is released, an eight episode prequel to one of the funniest comedies of the 21st century. Yeah, it’s on Netflix, but I’m counting it as a legitimate summer release. Most of the original cast, including Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Michael Showalter and Amy Poehler return, along with new cast members like Kristen Wiig, Chris Pine and Jon Hamm. I might actually be anticipating this more than the next Star Wars.
Oh yeah, Ash vs. Evil Dead comes to Starz this fall, with The X-Files and Twin Peaks coming back to TV next year. TV is starting to really kick ass.
Fantastic Four (August 7): Fox has made another Fantastic Four movie. This one’s a reboot. I’m just a little scared, even with Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan in the cast.
Masterminds (August 7): Zach Galifianakis, looking pretty skinny these days, stars in this movie based on the 1997 Loomis Fargo bank robbery. This has an astoundingly cool supporting cast featuring Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Ken Marino and Kate McKinnon.
Ricki and the Flash (August 7): Jonathan Demme directs Meryl Streep as an aging musician who looks to get things right on the home front. Yeah, this looks a little rough, but Demme has directed some good stuff, so maybe he will surprise us.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (August 14): Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill star in this adaptation of the old TV show starring Robert Vaughn. Guy Ritchie directs, and I just have a bad feeling about this one.
Straight Outta Compton (August 14): Chronicles the rise of the great NWA. It looks cool, but Orlando Bloom is in it. That just seems strange. Will he be wearing his pirate scarf?