If there was a message from year’s round of summer movies, it would be: is there such a thing as too little, too late?
From reboots to sequels grasping for relevance, originality in summer movies has become a cinematic delicacy. But these flicks don’t fall short in entertainment – and hey, they sure beat the ruthless Sun City heat!
Broadcast Film Critics Association member Felipa Solis weighed in on some of this season’s motion pictures, including “Alien: Covenant,” where careless earthlings further their space-colonizing program and bad things keep happening.
“It’s amazing,” Solis said. “I’m a huge Ridley Scott fan. And I’m also a huge fan of Michael Fassbender. He’s an amazing actor.”
“There’s a lot of things I don’t want to see. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ I felt should not have been made. ‘Wonder Woman’ I have no desire to see. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ is a very tired franchise. [Johnny Depp] needs to up his ante as an actor. He’s wasting his time doing this nonsense. Enough is enough. ‘Alien: Covenant’ is a strong way to start the summer season of films.”
Whether you’re looking for I-am-woman-hear-me-roar thrills, monsters or inconvenient facts, we’ve rounded up some upcoming films to look forward to.
Release date: June 2
Director: Patty Jenkins
Writer: Allan Heinberg
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Robin Wright
The DC Cinematic Universe trudges onwards with “Wonder Woman,” the first full-length cinema experience for the once bondage fantasy now feminist symbol of power.
Viewers got a taste of Wonder Woman in the schlubby mass, “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” “Wonder Woman” takes place before our badass vixen power fisted the lame out of that movie. Set in 1942, Wonder Woman’s chilling in her Amazon home-paradise, Themyscira, when Nazis and a hunk-a-saurus American pilot Steve Trevor waft upon her shores. Wonder Woman cannot stand to think of an evil that’s going to kill everything and decides to punch it in the face.
Release date: July 7
Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford,
Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr.
After web head’s debut in “Captain America: Civil War,” the Amazing Spider-Man returns for another Marvel movie. With all previous Spider-Man films being released by Sony, this is his first Marvel outing (hence the “Homecoming” subtitle). In this flick, Spider-Man wants to be an Avenger and Tony Stark’s a bullying jerk with rules he sets and doesn’t follow. All this would be peachy if there weren’t a new, high-tech villain called The Vulture misbehaving and robbing banks.
Release date: June 9
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Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: David Koepp, Christopher
McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman
Starring: Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis
An ancient Egyptian princess, once locked away for her malevolent nature, is released from her tomb and decides to destroy the world and run the joint. Standing in her way are possibly immortal Nick Morton and Prodigium, a secret government program that finds, studies and kills monsters.
“We need a little chick power in our tales of the dead in Egypt,” Solis said. “It was always gendered as a male. I think that’s awesome. Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll? I think that one might be fun.”
This is a reboot of the previous “Mummy” franchise and the first of Universal’s Dark Universe films. The Dark Universe takes Universal Film’s classic movie monsters – Frankenstein’s monster, The Wolfman, Dr. Jekyll, The Mummy – and unites them into a connected cinematic story.
The next film in the Dark Universe will be “Bride of Frankenstein,” directed by Bill Condon (“Beauty and the Beast”) with a 2019 release date. Johnny Depp will become The Invisible Man in a future Dark Universe film and Javier Bardem will become Frankenstein’s monster.
‘All Eyez on Me’
Release date: June 16
Director: Benny Boom
Writers: Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez, Steven Bagatourian
Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham
A biopic on the late great Tupac Shakur. The movie tells Pac’s story, from nobody to earth-shattering rapper and poet. Movie audiences will also learn about Shakur’s activism, and if you’ve seen “Straight Outta Compton, “Walk the Line” or “The Doors,” you’ll know what to expect. Spoiler alert: the hero dies at the end.
Release date: June 16
Director: Lucia Aniello
Writers: Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz, Ilana Glazer
A hard partying batch of regular gals gather for a bachelorette party and in the throws of needing to rock as hard as the night can possibly rock, kill a hunk stripper and have to deal with it.
Release date: June 23
Director/screenwriter: Sofia Coppola
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell
A union soldier wounded in the Civil War is nursed to health at a rural, Virginian school for girls. Sexual tensions, temper and violent tendencies all arise when the soldier can’t keep it in his pants.
“It’s a pretty interesting cast,” Solis said. “[Collin Farrell] was just in an independent movie called ‘The Lobster,’ which was absolutely brilliant.”
“The Beguiled” is a remake of a 1971 film originally starring Clint Eastwood and directed by Don Siegel (“Dirty Harry,” “The Shootist”). The movie was based on a novel that came out in 1966 called “The Painted Devil.”
“That was a film that was powerful in the ’70s, but not really one that you remember in Clint Eastwood’s list of films,” Solis said. “Redoing that film is very edgy and cool.”
“The Beguiled” was a commercial failure when it came out in ’71 due to Eastwood’s deviation from his usual role and a studio that didn’t know how to sell the film.
“It was a different kind of Eastwood film,” said Jay Duncan, founder of the Sunset Film Society, which hosts movie screenings at the International Museum of Art and Ardovino’s Desert Crossing every month. “It’ll be interesting to see what a female director will do. From what I’ve read, it seems to be pretty faithful to the original work.”
‘War for the Planet of the Apes’
Release Date: July 14
Director: Matt Reeves
Writers: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves,
Pierre Boulle (novel)
Starring: Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis
The third film since 20th Century Fox’s “Planet of the Apes” second remake in 2011. After the terrible losses incurred from the battles in the last film, the ape hero warrior, Caesar, must take the reigns and beat humanity into submission. You want fists? How about four?
Release date: July 28
Director: David Leitch
Writer: Kurt Johnstad
Starring: Charlize Theron, Sofia Boutella, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Bill Skarsgard
A spy thriller adapted from the 2012 graphic novel, “The Coldest City,” written by Anton Johnston and illustrated by Sam Hart. It’s 1989, phones are connected to walls and the collapse of the Berlin Wall is nigh. An undercover espionage ring murders a spy who got too close and now MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton has to find out who, why and where. Shut up, communism, or she’ll stick it where the sun don’t shine!
‘An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power’
Release date: July 28
Directors: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk
Starring: Al Gore
Despite the wide success of Al Gore’s Academy Award winning “An Inconvenient Truth,” Antarctica is still melting, fossil fuel use has no foreseeable end and natural disasters are getting worse and more frequent. Al Gore’s new documentary finds itself not so much treading the same water, but struggling to survive on a piece of wood in a boiling acid water lake. Scientists and former Vice President Gore were right, and here’s them saying that for two hours.
Also coming soon:
June 16: ‘The Book of Henry’ (drama/thriller), ‘Cars 3’ (animation/adventure)
June 21: ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ (action/adventure)
June 28: ‘Baby Driver’ (action/crime)
June 30: ‘Dispicable Me 3’ (animation/adventure), ‘The House’ (comedy)
July 14: ‘Wish Upon’ (fantasy/horror)
July 21: ‘Dunkirk’ (war flick), ‘Girls Trip’ (comedy), ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ (action/sci-fi)
July 28: ‘The Emoji Movie’ (no, fo’ real – an animated adventure about emojis)
Aug. 4: ‘The Dark Tower’ (action/adventure), ‘Wind River’ (crime/thriller)
Aug. 11: ‘Annabelle: Creation’ (horror), ‘The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature’ (animation/comedy)
Aug. 18: ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ (comedy/action)
Aug. 25 ‘Tulip Fever’ (drama/romance)