With the commencement of May, the Summer Movie Season will officially begin. From Transformers: Age of Extinction to 22 Jump Street to Guardians of the Galaxy, there are 36 releases this summer to keep a look out for. Find the complete summer movie line up after the break and see if you should see ’em, rent ’em, or skip ’em.
Last summer was jam packed full of movies, a total of 51 all together. This summer takes a step back just a skosh with only 36 new releases this year, 14 just in May alone. Studios have spaced their films a lot better this year most likely because of that reason, giving each a fighting chance to make top dollar. It wouldn’t be too bold to say that the summer movie season officially started when The LEGO Movie hit theaters in February, followed up by Divergent and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
By my count, there are only 11 sequels, 7 comedies, 2 horrors, and 3 reboots to whet your appetite this summer; very laid back from three years ago when there were a record breaking 27 sequels. Enough recapping, BRING ON THE SUMMER MOVIE SEASON:
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Marc Webb) Rated PG-13 – May 2 – Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, and Paul Giamatti
Regardless of how unnecessary ridiculous of a reboot it is, there’s something about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that piques my interest. Perhaps there is something about the world building that excites me that wasn’t enough in Raimi’s trilogy. It was a very contained universe that only overloaded the villains until Spider-man 3. TASM2 goes all out in this sequel with three villains, leading into a Sinister Six spin-off. The effects look spectacular here – I would be bold enough to say the 3D will be worth it too. I love the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and Garfield has more spunk than Maguire. SEE IT! (Watch the trailer)
Belle (Amma Asante) Rated PG – May 2 – An illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, and Miranda Richardson
For those who want to tone it down a bit early this summer, Fox Searchlight brings Belle. The film definitely feels out of place with its very dramatic, serious nature. I don’t smell Oscars potential, but any period piece of this caliber sure seems like it would like us to think that. WATCH IT ON NETFLIX!
Walk of Shame (Steven Brill) Rated R – May 2 – A reporter’s dream of becoming a news anchor is compromised after a one-night stand leaves her stranded in downtown L.A. without a phone, car, ID or money – and only 8 hours to make it to the most important job interview of her life. Starring Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs, and Sarah Wright
Elizabeth Banks is cute, funny, and full of energy, but she hasn’t shined in the forefront of a big movie – she partnered with Seth Rogen for Zach and Miri Make a Porno. She dominates as Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games, but is she up to the task of spearheading this wacky, physical comedy? The trailer is pretty meh. RENT IT!/MATINEE IT IF YOU’RE REALLY BORED.
Neighbors (Nicholas Stoller) Rated R– May 9 – A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house. Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Lisa Kudrow
This movie is an absolute blast. I saw Neighbors two weeks ago and I still cannot stop thinking about it. Everyone shines in this hilarious, balls to the wall comedy. Completely raunchy, full of fun, ridiculous humor, and more penis jokes than a Ron Jeremy spoof, Neighbors hits this one out of the ball park. SEE IT!
Chef (Jon Favreau) Rated R – May 9 – A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family. Starring Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, and Dustin Hoffman
Jon Favreau is a wild card. He’s a decent actor – very good at playing the asshole – but also a middle tier director that hit it big with Elf and Iron Man. Unfortunately his other films, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens were not as great. In Chef we’ll get to see Favreau step away from the big blockbuster action and into a more grounded, family comedy of sorts. I like this side of Favreau. Based on the trailer, I look forward to seeing how he’s capable of making dramedy work. MATINEE IT!
Moms’ Night Out (Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin) Rated PG – May 9 – All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and fun – a long-needed moms’ night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation, and food not served in a bag, they need their husbands to watch the kids for a few hours … what could go wrong? Starring Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, and Trace Adkins
PG potty humor, a lost baby, and young parents who don’t know if they’re ready to face the complications of raising children. It’s going to be a very eye rolling experience. The trailer alone feels like a slog. I can only imagine the life lessons will be shoved in your face faster than a piece of cake in a five-year-old’s hands. SKIP IT!
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre) Rated PG – May 9 – Dorothy wakes up in post-tornado Kansas, only to be whisked back to Oz to try to save her old friends the Scarecrow, the Lion, the Tin Man and Glinda from a devious new villain, the Jester. Wiser the owl, Marshal Mallow, China Princess and Tugg the tugboat join Dorothy on her latest magical journey through the colorful landscape of Oz to restore order and happiness to Emerald City. Staarring Lea Michele, Kelsey Grammer, Dan Aykroyd, and James Belushi
I’m sorry parents, you aren’t given much to work with this summer. Maybe the lack of solid PG/G movies that are wholesome and entertaining will help teach kids to get out of the house and learn the value of the outdoors? I don’t even know what they were thinking when pitching this idea. The animation takes the industry 100-steps backwards. SKIP IT!
God’s Pocket (John Slattery) Unrated – May 9 – When Mickey’s crazy stepson Leon is killed in a construction ‘accident’, nobody in the working class neighborhood of God’s Pocket is sorry he’s gone. Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body, but when the boy’s mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck in a life and death struggle between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please and a debt he can’t pay. Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Richard Jenkins, and John Turturro
This is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last credited role he worked on before his untimely passing. As John Slattery’s first directorial debut as a feature film maker, I remain optimistically weary. He has done a decent job directing five episodes of Mad Men, but a full-length movie is a different kind of beast. There’s a great cast here and I am interested to see how this pans out. MATINEE IT!
Godzilla (Gareth Edwards) Rated PG-13 – May 16 – The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, and Ken Watanabe
Have you seen the marketing and the trailers for this reboot? It looks absolutely crazy – in a good way. Since the very first teaser, Godzilla has been on my radar front and center. With an all star cast and a director that knows how to churn out some incredible tension building scenes with monsters, Godzilla will be what everyone is talking about this summer. SEE IT!
Million Dollar Arm (Craig Gillespie) Rated PG – May 16 – A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Asian cricket players to play Major League Baseball. Starring Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Alan Arkin, and Suraj Sharma
I’m not one to get all excited about a sports flick, but maybe Million Dollar Arm is your cup of tea. If you watch the trailer you’ll get a sense of the film’s stereotypical tropes and themes. If you want to see how a group of nobodies changes the life of an uptight business man who puts it all on the line be my guest or you could watch Jerry Maguire. WATCH IT ON NETFLIX!
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bryan Singer) Rated PG-13 – May 23 – The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. Starring Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, and Halle Berry
Alongside Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past will be igniting May with destruction and chaos. Bryan Singer has not been involved with the X-Men since X2: X-Men United and it feels good to have him back for one of the most epic stories the mutants have ever faced. All Singer drama aside, as a movie, DOFP should be an absolutely blast for superhero fans. SEE IT! (Watch the trailer)
Blended (Frank Coraci) Rated PG-13 – May 23 – After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship. Starring Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Kevin Nealon
Barrymore and Sandler team up again for what looks to be a pretty craptacular Adam Sandler movie. Director Frank Coraci has such credits as The Wedding Singer, The Water Boy, Zookeeper, Click, and Here Comes the Boom, so he is pretty hit or miss when it comes to sweet, fun comedies. But based on the trailer and Sandler’s landfill of garbage he has be churning out lately, I wouldn’t be too surprised that this is just another dud. WATCH IT ON NETFLIX?
Maleficent (Robert Stromberg) Rated PG – May 30 – A vindictive fairy is driven to curse an infant princess only to realize the child may be the only one who can restore peace. Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, and Imelda Staunton
This is the role Angelina Jolie was born to play. At least that’s how she’s making it seem. Her makeup and costume are fantastic. It’s nice to see Disney branching out to its more villainous characters. The full-length trailer does the story justice, but the visual effects look less to be desired. I just hope this isn’t another Alice in Wonderland/OZ: The Great and Powerful CGI fest. MATINEE IT!
A Million Ways to Die in the West (Seth MacFarlane) Rated R – May 30 – As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival. Starring Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman, and Amanda Seyfried
Ted is rather enjoyable in my book. I wasn’t expecting too much, so it surprised me for the better. A Million Ways to Die in the West is a crappy name for a film, and the trailer doesn’t give the story much depth, but if you love Seth MacFarlane‘s comedy, one could assume this won’t fail to please. MATINEE IT!