Written by Mike Smith
As Memorial Day approaches you can count on two things: a lot of furniture stores will have sales and the multiplexes will be full. It seems like every year “summer” comes early. The first volleys have already been fired, with “Captain America: Civil War” jumping out of the gate and earning an amazing $355 million world wide in its first two weeks. Heck, even a movie based on a PHONE APP has made over $40 million in it’s first week. What’s next? Pull up your popcorn and big box of DOTS and let’s find out. As always, opening dates are subject to change at the whim of the studios. Some synopsis information courtesy of our good friends at the Internet Movie Data Base. If you want a more in-depth look at this summer’s offerings, give a listen to our special edition of the “Behind the Mikes” Podcast here. If you notice a set of initials after a title, that tells you that the film in question is highly anticipated by one of our critics (MG – Mike Gencarelli, LL – Loey Lockerby, MS: Mike Smith, JW – Jeremy Werner)
“Alice Through the Looking Glass”
Starring: Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp. Directed by: James Bobin.
-The continuing story of Lewis Carroll’s young heroine. Director Bobin has an extensive background with Ali G and the Muppets.
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. Directed by: Bryan Singer
-The original big, bad Mutant (Oscar Isaac) visits 1983 to settle some scores.
“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” JW
Starring: Andy Samberg, Imogen Poots and Bill Hader. Directed by: Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.
-The Lonely Island guys, who have given “Saturday Night Live” some of it’s best shorts in the last few years, tell the story of a former boy band member trying to remain relevant.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”
Starring: Megan Fox and Will Arnett. Directed by: Dave Green
-The Turtles are back and this time they’re bringing Casey Jones with them.
“The Conjuring 2”
Starring: Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. Directed by: James Wan
-The further adventures of Lorraine and Ed Warren, who seem to have nothing better to do then find places and things that scare us!
“Now You See Me 2”
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson. Directed by: Jon M. Chu
-The Four Horsemen are back, as is apparently everyone from the first movie. And Dave Franco. You’ve been warned.
Starring: Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber.
-After he reunites with an old pal through Facebook, a mild-mannered accountant is lured into the world of international espionage.
“Finding Dory” MG
Starring the voices of: Ellen Degeneres and Albert Brooks. Directed by: Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane
-Everyone’s favorite blue tang is lost and her ocean friends set out to find her.
“Swiss Army Man” JW
Starring: Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. Directed by: Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
-A hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.
“Free State of Jones”
Starring: Matthew McConaughey and Keri Russell. Directed by: Gary Ross
-As the Civil War rages, a poor farmer from Mississippi leads a group of rebels against the Confederate army.
“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” LL
Starring: Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. Directed by: Taika Waititi
-A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.
“Independence Day: Resurgence”
Starring: Bill Pullman and Liam Hemsworth. Directed by: Roland Emmerich
-They’re back. Well, not Will Smith or Randy Quaid, but Judd Hirsch is still around.
“The Shallows” MG
Starring: Blake Lively and Brett Cullen. Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
-A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills. I love “Jaws” as much as the next guy…ok, maybe more…so I’m hoping this doesn’t stink.
“The Purge: Election Year” JW
Starring: Frank Grillo and Elizabeth Mitchell. Directed by: James DeMonaco
-After two successful movies, it only makes sense that they would complete the trilogy, promising more bloodshed. This time around you get to see if a U.S. Senator can survive the deadly night.
“The BFG” MS
Starring: Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill. Directed by: Steven Spielberg.
-Meet Sophie and her friend, a Big Friendly Giant who is an outcast because he won’t eat children!
“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”
Starring: Adam Devine and Zac Efron. Directed by: Jake Szymanski
-Two brothers need dates for their sister’s wedding and end up running an on-line ad.
“The Secret Life of Pets” LL, MS
Starring the voices of: Jenny Slate and Lake Bell. Directed by: Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney.
-Ever wonder what Baxter and Charlie are up to when you go off to work. Wonder no more!
Starring: Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig. Directed by: Paul Feig
-This time it’s up to the ladies to tell us that they ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” LL
Starring: Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders. Directed by: Mandie Fletcher.
Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hot-spots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi.
“Star Trek Beyond” MS
Starring: Chris Pine and Zachary Qunito. Directed by: Justin Lin
J.J. Abrams has moved on and turned the reins over to multiple “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin. I’m intrigued that Simon Pegg helped write this film.
Starring: Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell. Directed by: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
-When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.
Starring: Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander. Directed by: Paul Greengrass
-The Jeremy Renner experiment a failure, Damon returns as Jason Bourne, a man who now remembers who he is trying to discover his past.
“Suicide Squad” MG JW
Starring: Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. Directed by: David Ayer.
-A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency. As much praise as Heath Ledger got for his stamp on the Joker, word is that Leto takes it a notch higher.
Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford. Directed by: David Lowery.
-A retelling of the classic 70’s Disney musical. And no, Redford is NOT the Dragon!
“Sausage Party” MS
Starring the voices of: Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen. Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon.
-An animated movie about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence. Coming from Seth Rogen and his writing partner, Evan Goldberg, I’m expecting one long 90 minute dick joke!
Starring: Jack Huston and Haluk Bilginer. Directed by: Timur Bekmanbetov
-A falsely accused Jewish nobleman survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his Roman best friend, who betrayed him. I’m not big on remakes, but the Chariot Race looks amazing.
“Kubo and the Two Strings” MG
Starring the voices of: Rooney Mara and Charlize Theron. Directed by: Travis Knight
-Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta.
“War Dogs” LL
Starring: Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. Directed by: Todd Phillips
-The true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan. This is the third time that Jonah Hill has played a real person on film, earning Oscar nominations the two previous times. I’m just saying.
Starring: Mel Gibson and Erin Moriarty. Directed by: Jean-Francois Richet
-An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.
“Hands of Stone”
Starring: Edgar Ramirez and Robert DeNiro. Directed by: Jonathan Jakubowicz
-The legendary Roberto Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel change each other’s lives.