The sun is out, the temperature is up, and it is now time to study the list of blockbusters about to hit your screens. This year it looks like there’s a decent mix of the good, the bad, and the “why is this even happening” in theaters, so take a look and keep an eye out for your favorites!
After John Chambers (Brian Krause) and his family move into their new Pennsylvania home, he begins to experience sleep paralysis where other-worldly beings begin to visit him. He becomes haunted by these entities and when he discovers their mission to kidnap people to their shadowy world, he must uncover the portal to their land hidden in his town’s history. Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 39 minutes. My First Opinion: The sleep paralysis bit sounds interesting, but I can’t tell if it’s enough to hold a movie over entirely.
Diana of Themyscira (Gal Gadot) was raised to be an unconquerable warrior in a sheltered paradise. When pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes on her island, telling stories of a world at war, Diana chooses to leave her home to stop the threat and discover her true destiny as Wonder Woman. Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Fantasy. Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content. 2 hours and 21 minutes. My First Opinion: Holy cow that’s a long movie. I do have high hopes that it will fix the DCEU (and maybe inspire the MCU to do a female-lead film at last) though.
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Two best friends and over imaginative pranksters George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) are in hot water with their principal Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms) until they hypnotize him to believe that he is their cartoon creation, Captain Underpants. This leads them on a crazy adventure to keep him under control and face down a dastardly evil professor. Animation, Action, Comedy, Family. Rated PG for mild rude humor throughout. My First Opinion: Not going to lie, I loved these books growing up. Not sure how I feel about the Kevin Hart of it all though.
In June of 1944, Allied forces are assembled to retake Nazi-occupied Europe, and only one thing is standing in their way – the iconic figure with rousing speeches, Winston Churchill (Brian Cox). After facing political ridicule and military failure, he is fearful of repeating the mass slighter of 1915 in Gallipoli and afraid that if the D-Day landings fail, he’ll be remembered as an architect of carnage. Biography, Drama, Thriller. Rated PG for thematic elements, brief war images, historical smoking, and some language. 1 hour and 38 minutes. My First Opinion: I’m not sure how invested I am when we already know how D-Day went (goodness knows we’ve seen that movie plenty of times), but I don’t know much about Churchill. It might be good to learn about him.
A German soldier (Jai Courtney) must determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a British spy amongst the household of Kaiser Wilhem (Christopher Plummer) at the beginning of WWII, but begins to fall for a Jewish Dutch woman (Lily James) as his investigation goes on. Drama. Rated R for sexuality, graphic nudity, language, and brief violence. 1 hour and 47 minutes. My First Opinion: The ending of that trailer got a lot more exciting than I was expecting it to be.
Vincent N Roxxy
A small town loner and a rebellious punk rock are forced on the run and begin to fall in love before realizing that violence seems to follow them everywhere. Crime, Drama, Thriller. Rated R for brutal bloody violence, language throughout, some strong sexual content, nudity, and brief drug use. 1 hour and 50 minutes. My First Opinion: Uhhhhhh I’m not really catching onto anything in this one.
The loner and star athlete at a rugby-crazed boarding school form an unlikely friendship when they are forced to share a bedroom. Drama. 1 hour and 35 minutes. My First Opinion: It’s like High School Musical, with rugby instead of basketball, and maybe a little darker! That’s actually very funny.
A group of friends take off on an unlikely, fun adventure, determined to find a college roommate who disappeared on the day of their graduation. Comedy, Family. Rated PG-13 for some rude humor and brief strong language. 1 hour and 46 minutes. My First Opinion: I can’t tell if this mix of funny and dark is normal for this type of movie…but I think I like it.
After being betrayed and having her destiny stolen away from her, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) has awakened in the modern world. Her malevolence feeds her determination to take back the world that should have been hers. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Horror. Rated PG-13 for violence, action, scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity. 1 hour and 47 minutes. My First Opinion: If you’re going to remake Brendan Fraser’s movie, at least cast someone better than Tom Cruise to compare him to. Pretty please.
The Hunter’s Prayer
A solitary assassin named Lucas (Sam Worthington) is hired to kill a young woman named Ella (Odeya Rush), but can’t bring himself to pull the trigger. Both of them are then marked for death and their only hope for survival as they escape across Europe is to expose the man who murdered her family. Action, Thriller. Rated R for violence, drug use, and language. 1 hour and 31 minutes. My First Opinion: Like the trailer says…such potential…and yet somehow I can’t feel like the premise is enough.
It Comes at Night
A man has secured himself, his wife and his son into a desolate home as an unnatural threat begins to terrorize the world, and this refuge is put to the test as another desperate family comes seeking refuge. Horror, Mystery. Rated R for violence, disturbing images, and language. 1 hour and 37 minutes. My First Opinion: I’ve seen this trailer a couple of times now, and it seems much different than this plot summary…intriguing.
Awakening the Zodiac
A couple who find themselves down on their luck come across the film reels of the Zodiac killer. They decide to take the law into their own hands for a chance at the $100,000 reward, only to find themselves in deadly cross-hairs. Thriller. Rated R for violence and language. 1 hour and 40 minutes. My First Opinion: I can already think of two or three ways this movie could easily not have happened, and that’s not a good start. Also, why Yankee Doodle Dandy?
My Cousin Rachel
A young Englishman plots revenge against his beautiful cousin, who he believes murdered his guardian, but his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling for her charms. Based on a classic novel. Drama, Mystery, Romance. Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, and brief strong language. 1 hour and 46 minutes. My First Opinion: This started sounding Lannister-esq (not helped by the presence of Jorah Mormont), but then it started getting a little women’s rights-y in there somewhere. Not sure where this is going.
When Megan Leavey (Kate Mara) is assigned to clean up the K9 unit after a disciplinary hearing, she finds herself identifying with a highly aggressive dog named Rex. She is given the chance to train him, and over the course of their service, they complete over 100 missions together until an IED puts their future together in jeopardy. Based on a true story. Biography, Drama, War. Rated PG-13 for war violence, language, suggestive material, and thematic elements. My First Opinion: War and dogs? That’s almost a cocktail for tears throughout. I do like Kate Mara though…
An ailing movie star (Sam Elliott) comes to terms with his past and his growing mortality. Comedy, Drama. Rated R for drug use, language, and some sexual content. 1 hour and 33 minutes. My First Opinion: He definitely has the voice to be an actor. Or the voice-over guy for trailers.
Beatriz at Dinner
A wealthy business man invites his holistic medicine practitioner to a dinner party after her car breaks down, inviting questions about her life and beliefs. Comedy. Rated R for language and a scene of violence. 1 hour and 23 minutes. My First Opinion: This seems like the sort of movie where you’ll feel awkward watching it all happen, but that’s probably a good thing. You should feel awkward, it seems like.
A pilot named Will Porter (Dan Stevens) must battle to save his family and the planet after an experiment for unlimited energy goes awry. Sci-Fi. Rated R for language and some violence. 1 hour and 31 minutes. My First Opinion: This is a very weird mix between video game and movie, and I’m kind of loving it. Can I play?
Five old friends from college reunite after ten years to throw a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami, but it all takes an unexpected turn when the male stripper they hire ends up dead. Comedy. Rated R for frightening and intense scenes. My First Opinion: The premise sounds a whole lot darker than any of the trailers ever made it look! Goodness are we sure this is a comedy?!
When a new generation of fast racers blind-sides the great Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), he feels himself being pushed out of the sport that he loves. He tries to get back in the game with the help of an eager young race technician Cruz Ramierez (Cristela Alonzo). Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sport. Expected Rating PG for a slightly darker tone. 1 hour and 49 minutes. My First Opinion: While I have never been a fan of this particular franchise, I will say it definitely looks better than Cars 2 (2011), and sadly better than several of the other animated movies coming around.
47 Meters Down
Two sisters who are vacationing in Mexico decide to go diving with sharks when their cage breaks free from the boat and they plunge to the ocean floor. With less than an hour of oxygen and great whites circling, they must fight to make their way to the surface. Horror, Thriller. Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense peril, bloody images, and brief strong language. 1 hour and 29 minutes. My First Opinion: It’s a little sad that they keep trying to make these shark movies to remind us of Jaws (1975), but the last one they tried actually ended up going well, so I guess you never know.
All Eyez on Me
The tale of the rapper, actor, and activist Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.) unfolds from his early days in New York City to becoming one of the most recognized and influential voices in the country before his death at 25. Biography, Drama, Music. Rated R for language and drug use throughout, violence, and some nudity/sexuality. 2 hours and 19 minutes. My First Opinion: Tupac is a name I keep hearing around, but this is the first time it’s ever been explained to me who he was. It’d be nice to learn a bit more.
The Book of Henry
Single mother Susan Carpenter (Naomi Watts) works as a waitress to support her sons Peter (Jacob Tremblay) and Henry (Jaeden Lieberher), the latter of whom views everything in his own unique way and supports his mother in her life. Soon Susan discovers that the family next door, Henry’s classmate Christina (Maddie Ziegler) and her stepfather, are hiding a dangerous secret, and Henry has devised a surprising plan to help. Drama, Thriller. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language. 1 hour and 45 minutes. My First Opinion: I’m already mixing up these boys, and that’s not a good sign, but it looks sweet enough.
Once Upon a Time in Venice
Steve Ford (Bruce Willis) is a private investigator in L.A. whose professional and personal worlds collide when his dog Buddy is stolen by a notorious gang. Action, Comedy, Thriller. Not Yet Rated. My First Opinion: Absolutely ridiculous. Where do I get tickets?
A fictional account of two enemies in Northern Ireland – Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall) and Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney) – who are forced on a short journey together, allowing them to take a leap of faith and change their history. Drama. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including violent images and language. 1 hour and 34 minutes. My First Opinion: Eh. Skip.
Transformers: The Last Knight
When Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) discovers that he is responsible for the death of his home planet Cybertron, he needs to find an artifact to bring it back to life, and the only one he knows of is on Earth. With humans and Transformers at war, the hidden history of the Transformers on Earth becomes the key to saving both races. Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller. Expected Rating PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some gore. My First Opinion: My God are they really still making these? Like they are actually making money with all the over-the-top explosions?
The Bad Batch
A love story arises in a community of cannibals located in the wastelands of Texas after the world has come to an end. Romance, Sci-Fi. Rated R for language, violence, some drug content, and brief nudity. 1 hour and 58 minutes. My First Opinion: The initial summary doesn’t seem like much to go on, but the first four listed actors are Keanu Reeves, Jason Momoa, Jim Carrey and Diego Luna. I’m a little amused already.
In a small town in North India, Laxman (Salman Khan) lives with his only remaining family, his younger brother Bharat (Sohail Khan). When war breaks out and Bharat is drafted into the army, Laxman’s world comes crashing down and as tension escalates, Laxman decides to stop the conflict and save his brother. Adventure, Drama, History, War. Unrated. 2 hours and 51 minutes. My First Opinion: Well, it would appear that the dark and light humor thing is normal. But it does seem good.
After being conned into working for a crime boss, young getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) finds himself taking part in a heist that is doomed to fail. Action, Crime, Thriller. Suggested Rating of R for violence, including some bloody images and language. 1 hour and 53 minutes. My First Opinion: I’m not sure how I feel about this movie but I feel so bad for whoever named this kid Baby. At least in Dirty Dancing (1987) it was a nickname.
Despicable Me 3
Gru (Steve Carell) meets his long-lost twin brother Dru, who begins to coerce him back into a life of crime. Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi. Rated PG for action and rude humor. 1 hour and 36 minutes. My First Opinion: OH MY GOD WHEN ARE THESE MINIONS GOING TO GO AWAY PLEASE.
At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, the students and teacher have been isolated from the outside world. They take in a wounded Union soldier, which envelopes the house in sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn in their lives. Drama, Western. Rated R for some sexuality. 1 hour and 34 minutes. My First Opinion: I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve seen a Civil War movie that looks quite like this. I’m intrigued.
A dad (Will Ferrell) convinces his friends to start a casino illegally in his basement in order to start earning back the money from his daughter’s (Ryan Simpkins) college fund that he and his wife (Amy Poehler) squandered. Comedy. Rated R for language throughout, sexual references, drug use, some violence, and brief nudity. 1 hour and 28 minutes. My First Opinion: I do like Amy Poehler, but I’ve never been a huge fan of Will Ferrell…
Amityville: The Awakening
Belle (Bella Thorne), her little sister, and her comatose brother move into a new house with their mother Joan (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to save money for her brother’s healthcare. When strange things begin happening in the house, Belle discovers that her mother has not told her everything – they have moved into the infamous Amityville house. Horror, Thriller. Rated R for strong horror violence and language. 1 hour and 25 minutes. My First Opinion: They’ve tried to release this movie so many times I started believing it wasn’t happening…that doesn’t bode well.
The Little Hours
A young servant fleeing from his master in the middle ages seeks refuge at a convent, only to discover that the nuns there are all very emotionally unstable. Comedy. Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, and language. 1 hour and 30 minutes. My First Opinion: I see Aubrey Plaza listed and already I am done.
A man’s life is derailed when an ominous pattern of events begins to repeat itself in the exact same way every day, ending at exactly 2:22 p.m. Thriller. Rated PG-13 for violence and some sexuality. My First Opinion: I can’t tell if this is trying to be Inception (2010) or what, but it looks like it is.
Katie (Nicky Whelan) and her daughter move to a new town to escape her abusive past and befriends Angela Morgan (Gina Gershon), a mother who longs for a bigger family. She and her husband Brian (Nicolas Cage) invite Katie to live in their guest house as a nanny, and the friendship between the two begins to turn to a dangerous obsession. Drama, Thriller. Rated R for some violence, sexuality, nudity, and language. 1 hour and 45 minutes. My First Opinion: I wonder if these guys know what the word means. Also, what is it with all these movies about crazy ladies getting into knife fights?!
New wide-release films:
Elser (aka 13 Minutes) – Original Release in March 2017.
So there’s your lineup for the beginning of the summer, from blockbusters to indie films. What looks good? What will you be skipping? What will you see in the hopes that it’s not as bad as you think it is?