May has finally arrived (hopefully banishing the rain) and the time of summer blockbusters is now upon us. Here are some of the upcoming movies for May, both big and small, and all an opportunity for you to unwind after work or finals.
After years in the violent underbelly of the English organized crime world, John Bradley (Lou Ferrigno) tries to adjust to a normal life with his daughter and granddaughter. When Bradley becomes witness to a murder in the gang war for drug dominance, his family pays the price and his last connection to humanity becomes his descent into fury and vengeance. Action, Crime. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour, 24 minutes. My First Opinion: Looks like your run-of-the-mill vengeance, ass-kicking story. Maybe if you like that sort of thing.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The Guardians continue their adventures, reaching the outer reaches of the cosmos in the search to find the truth about Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) parentage. The weight of this knowledge draws unfriendly eyes to them and they must join forces with old enemies to help keep their newfound family together. Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi. Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive content. 2 hours and 16 minutes. My First Opinion: I can only hope that Vol. 2 is as good as Vol. 1 was, since Guardians has always been one of the bright lights of the MCU.
A six-year documentary that studies the character of Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, who is undeterred in the face of legal jeopardy that threatens to undermine the entire organization and moment that he lead and inspired. Documentary. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 34 minutes. My First Opinion: This looks pretty intense, especially for a documentary that short. I also wasn’t expecting the Trump/Hillary connection, somehow the Wikileaks of it all threw me back a couple years.
The story inspired by the life of the heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber), the inspiration for the Rocky films. Drama, Sport. Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexuality/nudity, and some bloody images. 1 hour and 41 minutes. My First Opinion: I haven’t even seen a Rocky movie…should I watch those first or this I wonder?
Based on the novel by Herman Koch, The Dinner takes a look into the lengths a parent will go to protect their children. Two sets of parents discover their children committed a crime, and they try to figure out the best course of action for themselves and their families. Drama, Mystery, Thriller. Rated R for disturbing violent content, and language throughout. 2 hours. My First Opinion: I actually hadn’t heard of this book (despite it being an ‘international bestseller’), but it looks good, so I’ll have to check out both versions.
Enter the Warrior’s Gate (Original Title: Warrior’s Gate)
A teenager is transported to China by magic and begins to turn his years of video game experience into the skills of a Kung Fu warrior. Action, Adventure, Fantasy. Rated PG-13 for martial arts fantasy violence. 1 hour and 48 minutes. My First Opinion: Maybe video game movies are better when they’re not based on a specific game…either way, this one looks fun.
When a woman arrives in Asia, she is jumped and beaten by a gang of thugs. She asks a female fighter to train her in the hopes of taking part in a tournament to restore her confidence. Action, Thriller, Crime, Drama. Rated R for brutal violence and some language. 1 hour and 40 minutes. My First Opinion: I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie with badass women fighting that has been so on the nose about having badass women fighting.
A long married and dispassionate couple are seeking solace in serious affairs. On the brink of calling it quits with each other, a sudden spark reignites and leads them into an impulsive romance once again. Comedy. Rated R for sexuality and language. 1 hour and 34 minutes. My First Opinion: Does it say something about our society now that we have movies about couples having affairs and getting back together with one another? Not sure.
During 1959 in Indochina, a legend is born in a land beyond rule and a time without mercy. Action. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 34 minutes. My First Opinion: Sadly, even after watching the trailer, there isn’t a whole lot more I feel I can add to the plot summary.
A series of striking monologues becomes a performance of manifestos by Cate Blanchett. Drama. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 35 minutes. My First Opinion: This is an artsy movie about art. Seriously. It’s Oscar art bait.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
The young Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) of Camelot lives the hard life in the back alleys of Londinium, not knowing his true royal lineage until he grabs the sword Excalibur. He is forced to acknowledge his own legacy, join the rebellion, and defeat the dictator Vortigern (Jude Law) who murdered his family to become the king. Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy. Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content, and brief strong language. 2 hours and 6 minutes. My First Opinion: I was a lot more interested before I learned this is the first of a six-movie series. I’m not sure I want to sign up for all of that.
After her boyfriend dumps her before their exotic vacation to Ecuador, dreamer Emily Middleton (Amy Schumer) persuades her cautious and conservative mother (Goldie Hawn) to join her instead. Emily insists that they seek out adventure, but when they are kidnapped, the two different women must find strength in each other to navigate the jungle and escape. Action, Comedy. Rated R for crude sexual content, brief nudity, and language throughout. 1 hour and 31 minutes. My First Opinion: I’ve seen Schumer live, and if she wasn’t that funny in person I can’t believe that she’ll be that funny onscreen. But that’s just not my type of humor.
Two American soldiers are trapped by a lethal sniper, protected only by an unsteady wall that separates them. Drama, War, Thriller. Rated R for language throughout and some war violence. 1 hour and 21 minutes. My First Opinion: Why is it that none of these war movies look actually bad? I mean, they all look really interesting when it’s just their trailers.
A young street artist in East Los Angeles becomes caught between his father’s obsession for the law rider car culture, his ex-felon brother, and his own need for self-expression in a world where the way to get to the top is to be noticed for your Street Creds. Drama. Rated PG-13 for language, some violence, sensuality, thematic elements, and brief drug use. 1 hour and 39 minutes. My First Opinion: I know it’s not the point, but all the crazy car tricks at the end have a very Fast and Furious vibe. Of course I know nothing about cars so maybe it’s normal.
A group of eccentric aliens travel to Earth determine whether or not humans are a species that are, by their standards, decent. In order to find out, they choose to give Neil Clarke (Simon Pegg), a teacher down on his luck, special powers to do whatever he wants. Clarke must find the line with his powers to avoiding leading the world to misery and destruction. Comedy, Sci-Fi. Not Yet Rated, includes drinking/smoking, profanity, violence and gore, and sex/nudity. 1 hour and 25 minutes. My First Opinion: I was laughing and then I realized OH MY GOD ROBIN WILLIAMS IS IN THIS MOVIE CUE SOBBING.
Paris Can Wait
Anne (Diane Lane) finds herself at a crossroads in life. She has been married to a successful but inattentive movie producer for years and she drives to visit him in Paris with one of his business associates. What started as a seven-hour drive turns into a two-day adventure to reawaken Anne’s senses and giving her a new lust for life. Comedy, Romance. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, smoking, and some language. 1 hour and 32 minutes. My First Opinion: This trailer is half food! But let’s face it, who hasn’t wanted to go on a road trip and have the ability to stop wherever you want to see whatever you want?
Reagan (Heather McComb), a 14-year-old girl grounded by her parents after sending suggestive selfies to boys, begins a friendship with a 22-year-old medical assistant out of loneliness and resentment. As he becomes an outlet for her rebellious desires, the innocent relationship begins to turn sinister and Reagan begins to realize that their meeting was not an accident. Thriller. Not Yet Rated. My First Opinion: The premise sounded so much cooler than the trailer makes it look…
The crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers an uncharted paradise as they journey to a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy. They soon discover that the planet is actually a dark and dangerous place, and a threat to their survival prompts a harrowing escape attempt. Sci-Fi, Thriller. Rated R for sci-fi violence, bloody images, language, and some sexuality/nudity. 2 hours and 3 minutes. My First Opinion: It’s sort of shameful I haven’t seen any other Alien movies, isn’t it?
17-year-old Madeline Whittier (Amandla Stenberg) has a rare disease that makes her allergic to everything around her lives her life indoors at all times, with filtered air and carefully planning of every experience. Her mother (Anika Noni Rose), her nurse Carla (Ana de le Reguera), and her books are her only link to the outside world. When Olly Bright (Nick Robinson) moves in next door, they begin to communicate and Madeline starts to realize that she wants more out of her life than just trying to survive. Based on the YA novel by Nicola Yoon. Drama, Romance. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief sensuality. 1 hour and 36 minutes. My First Opinion: This looks as cheesy as any other YA romance novel, but it also looks pretty damn cute. It’ll also be a good chance for Robinson to make up for his creepy performance in Jurassic World (2015).
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
The Heffley family road trip to their grandma’s 90th birthday happens to coincide with Greg’s (Jason Drucker) wish to visit a video game convention. His scheme sends the family far off track as their cross-country experience becomes one they will never forget. Comedy, Family. Rated PG for some rude humor. 1 hour and 30 minutes. My First Opinion: Oh my God, they’re still making these?! The source material wasn’t even that good to begin with…
Howard (Bryan Cranston) has a loving wife (Jennifer Garner), lovely daughters, a comfortable home, and a prestigious job as a lawyer in Manhattan. But inwardly he’s suffocating, and when he eventually has a mental breakdown, he retreats into his garage attic and begins to spy on his own life through the window, exiling himself from his family and leaving them to wonder if life can go back to the way it was. Drama. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 46 minutes. My First Opinion: Gotta say, don’t know what Cranson has to complain about if he’s married to Garner! But it looks like he’s doing a good job in this movie.
Mitch Buchanan (Dwayne Johnson), a devoted lifeguard with years of training under his belt, butts heads with the new recruit Matt Brody (Zac Efron) hired to improve the bay’s image. They soon uncover a local plot that threaten’s the bay’s future and must work together to stop it. Comedy. Rated R for language throughout, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity. 1 hour and 59 minutes. My First Opinion: I have been told that the original show was even more ridiculous than this appears to be, so that’s interesting. I feel bad that Efron keeps getting cast in these hot-guy, superficial roles – he must be getting tired of being the ab guy.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is being hunted by deadly ghost pirates, lead by his old enemy Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem). Sparrow’s only hope of survival is to find the Trident of Poseidon that bestows power of the seas to the wielder, and the only way to find it is with the help of astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and Navy sailor Henry (Brenton Thwaites). Action, Adventure, Fantasy. PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence and some suggestive content. 2 hours and 9 minutes. My First Opinion: Here’s to hoping that this will be the Pirates movie to revive the franchise – it’s all been a little downhill from Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). Not to say they were all bad, of course, but the first one was best. Also these titles are getting super long, no?
Neil (Sean Bean) is a private drone contractor who flies covert missions in other countries before returning home to a family life in the suburbs. When a whistle-blowing site threatens to expose him to a deadly threat, the Pakistani business man Imir (Patrick Sabongui) on a path of vengeance, Neil must prepare for the ultimate confrontation. Thriller. Not Yet Rated. My First Opinion: You can usually sell me on Sean Bean alone, but I’m also getting a certain amount of nostalgia for Eye in the Sky (2015).
Australian photojournalist Clare (Teresa Palmer) meets local Andi (Max Riemelt) in Berlin while on vacation, and an instant attraction leads to a night of passion. It all takes a more sinister turn when Clare becomes locked in Andi’s apartment and realizes he has no intention of letting her leave. Thriller. Rated R for disturbing violent content, strong sexuality, nudity, and some language. 1 hour and 56 minutes. My First Opinion: The movies this month seem determined to give Criminal Minds a run for its money…
Long Strange Trip
The tale of the Grateful Dead as they made art out of their own open-ended chaos and achieved success on their own terms. Netflix film. Documentary. Rated R for drug content throughout, language, and some graphic nudity. 3 hours and 58 minutes. My First Opinion: I couldn’t name a Grateful Dead song off the top of my head, in all honesty. That makes it hard for me to be excited about a four hour film on a band story.
So that’s your update for the month of May – which movies will you be seeing? Which are you unsure of? Which are definitely not on your list?