Time sure flies, doesn’t it? Well, it appears to pass even faster in Hollywood. After something of a lull at cinemas this week (the newest releases aren’t even being screened for the press), the summer season is about to arrive. Sure, according to the Gregorian calendar we’re not even close to those long, lazy, heat-filled days of shorts and sunglasses. Yet the movie studios have other ideas. They’re already hoping to pack cinemas with big, expensive, and often goofier movie fare. Here are the highlights.
It all starts on May 5th, with the arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Based on the Marvel comic book characters, it’ll find protagonist Peter Quill on a search for his long lost father and is pretty certain to be one of the biggest titles of the season. The following week, audiences will be taking a trip to England to be reintroduced to an old fable about the Knights of the Round Table in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Snatched arrives the very same week. It’s one of the few flicks this season that isn’t a sequel or remake; this is a buddy picture featuring comedians Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn as mother and daughter who end up kidnapped and lost in the jungle while vacationing.
Later in the month, Alien: Covenant attempts to answer a few questions after the events of Prometheus, while drumming up more scares and chills along the way. Who knows what to make of the tongue-in-cheek Dwayne Johnson/Zach Efron take on the David Hasselhoff show, Baywatch? Or for that matter, Everything, Everything, a teen romance that sounds like an update of the John Travolta TV-movie, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.
May ends with another franchise tentpole, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Johnny Depp returns once again as Captain Jack Sparrow setting out to find Poseidon’s Trident in order to fight a vicious ghost pirate played by Javier Bardem. Original film co-stars Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom are also said to return to the series as well.
With the arrival of June, the movies get even bigger and presumably louder. Wonder Woman is another superhero getting the big screen treatment; Gal Gadot plays the title character. A different kind of guardian takes to the screen in the (thankfully) animated children’s flick, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Universal Pictures has been trying to resurrect their classic monster line and set up a new universe featuring all the characters. They had some trouble with 2014’s Dracula Untold, but hope to change things with the more elaborate and expensive Tom Cruise redo of The Mummy.
Animation studio Pixar are also prepping the release of a sequel; Cars 3 features Lightning McQueen heading out to face off against new vehicles and prove he’s still the fastest. And while no one appears to be clamoring for yet another follow-up, Transformers: The Last Knight aims to make eardrums bleed and confuse those attempting to decipher any kind of logical plot as a war breaks out between humans and the robots.
Hopefully Baby Driver can help alleviate some of the cinematic repetition. The latest from director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) is a heist film about a young getaway driver that wowed festival audiences at South by Southwest. Whether it’ll find a larger audience remains to be seen. Scarlett Johansson stars in the bachelorette party comedy, Rough Night. And Despicable Me 3 promises more animated family-friendly fun as ex-evil mastermind Gru discovers that he has a cheerful and exceedingly upbeat sibling.
July also has some very intriguing releases. Hoping no one has gotten tired of superheroes by mid-summer, Marvel will release Spider-Man: Homecoming, the latest live-action revamp of the popular web-slinger. Personally, it’s the next couple of weeks that boast some of the most exciting releases. So far, the new Planet of the Apes movies have marked one of the better attempts at revitalizing a preexisting property. The latest, War for the Planet of the Apes, portrays an epic struggle between lead simian Caesar squaring off against an army of angry humans.
Director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) returns to his science-fiction roots with an eye-popping adaptation of the French comic series, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Dunkirk offers weightier fare for movie fans. This WWII tale about Allied forces trapped in the titular city is considered a tide-turning mission in the war. The all-star feature comes from filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Prestige, Batman: The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar). Finally, Charlize Theron plays an undercover secret agent in the comic book adaptation, Atomic Blonde.
As always, August is a little slimmer, but there are a couple of big movies, including The Dark Tower, a fantasy based on the books by Stephen King. The horror film Annabelle 2 finds a possessed doll getting up to more malevolent mischief with a new set of owners. Find clowns scary? It is safe to say that most people do find them unsettling, and as September rolls around, audiences will get a feature version of another popular Stephen King novel, It. Word on the street is that the movie is the first of a planned two-film adaptation.
The movies won’t all be excellent, but some of them are sure to provide fun entertainment for viewing audiences. Who knows, a couple of films might provide thoughtful, insightful fare as well. And let’s hope there are a few sleepers no one knows about that might surprise us all. Whatever happens, there will be no shortage of flicks to see this summer.