Going forward, I’ll be previewing notable movies to be (wide) released within the next 30 days at the beginning of each month. I’ve always found it to be a bit of a hassle to keep track of movies that I’d like to see and when they actually get released, so hopefully this will be a helpful tool for everyone. My “intrigue” rating is on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a hard pass and 10 being a must-see.
Dark Phoenix – June 7th
Sophie Turner – fresh off her decade-long run on Game of Thrones – returns as Jean Grey, who appears primed to plunge deeper into her inner darkness. With Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox, Dark Phoenix seems positioned to serve as a climax of sorts for this assembly of X-Men. All of the headliners are back, with the only one notable addition to the cast in Jessica Chastain (Interstellar, Zero Dark Thirty) as the apparent baddie. Trailer looks…okay, but I was beginning to get a little weary of the X-Men even before the disaster that was Apocalypse so the bar isn’t set all that high for me, personally. It can only surprise in my book.
Late Night – June 7th
Features Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling (who also wrote it) as a late night show host and the new staff writer she hires to appease diversity concerns. There’s potential but this trailer isn’t good and honestly comes off like it’s trying a little too hard for me. Still, I’m typically a fan of anything Thompson and Kaling have their hands on so I’m willing to give it a shot, and co-stars like John Lithgow and Amy Ryan (The Office, Gone Baby Gone) can only help.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 – June 7th
The second installment of pets and their hijinks when the humans leave. I’ve never actually caught the original, so I don’t know much about this franchise…BUT, the animation looks fantastic and it’s loaded with comedic talent including Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Jenny Slate (Zootopia), Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress (Tag), Bobby Moynihan (Inside Out), and Nick Kroll (The League). Not bad at all for a kids’ movie.
Men in Black: International – June 14th
Fellow Avengers Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth take their turn in the MIB universe reboot. I really enjoy both of them and actually think they’ll be great in these roles but frankly, this is a movie/reboot that *nobody* asked for and as abysmal as MIB3 was…I’m not sure exactly how/why this was made. Trailer doesn’t do it any favors either, so it’s up to director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton) to take this somewhere useful. I’m (obviously) skeptical.
Shaft – June 14th
I thought this was just an internet gag for the longest time, but this is actually a real movie that’s being released – and it looks kind of amazing. It’s a continuation of sorts, with both previous versions of Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree) helping their estranged son/grandson (Jessie Usher) uncover the truth behind his friend’s unexpected demise. There’s obviously a satirical element at play here and if the trailer is any indication – it’s a great move. Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse), Regina Hall (Scary Movie), and Method Man (The Wire) should help make this a great time.
Anna – June 21st
Director Luc Besson is no stranger to the femme fatale, having helmed the likes of The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional, Lucy, and Nikita…but with that comes a question of what new components he’s bringing to the table. Sasha Luss (Valyrian) is Anna, a striking woman who also happens to be a deadly assassin. Trailer is action-packed and features a supporting cast that includes Helen Mirren and Cillian Murphy (Inception, Batman Begins). I think best-case scenario is this winds as the female version of John Wick, though I’m a little concerned this is only a slightly-reimagined version of Lucy. Should make for some great entertainment value at least.
Child’s Play – June 21st
*Another* reboot that’s completely unnecessary. Follows a mom (Aubrey Plaza) who gives her kid a toy that turns out to be infested with the spirit of a serial killer. I don’t have a lot to say about this one, just that the original was wildly overrated in the first place and I’m genuinely shocked Mark Hamill signed on to be Chucky’s voice.
Toy Story 4 – June 21st
The iconic toys return for yet another adventure, this time a search for Bonnie’s new (and lost) toy. The familiar voices of Hanks, Allen, Cusack, Wallace Shawn, and John Ratzenberger (among others) are back with a few newcomers mixed in (Tony Hale, Keanu Reeves, Jordan Peele, Keegan Michael-Key, and Timothy Dalton). So why not a higher intrigue value? Well, I’m a little disappointed that Pixar decided they needed a fourth film in this franchise after wrapping up Toy Story 3 about as flawlessly as they could have. I get that there’s obviously money to be made, but they’re venturing even further with material (talking toys) that can really only go so far before it starts to get stale. I’m sure it won’t be a total disaster (it’s still Pixar, after all) but I’ve got a hunch it’ll be the weakest in the series and tarnish a legacy that already felt finished.
Annabelle Comes Home – June 26th
The latest sequel in The Conjuring spinoff series. It features the creepy doll once again but this one is also centered indirectly around the Warrens (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), as their daughter Judy (Mkenna Grace – Captain Marvel) is the new subject of Annabelle’s torment. I touched on it here in the roundup earlier this year, but I’m still not sure who thought a Conjuring universe was necessary (especially one with 3+ Annabelle films). Obviously possible this turns out okay but this franchise is getting extremely stagnant at this point even though they just keep pushing these movies out anyway because everybody apparently loves jump scares.
Yesterday – June 28th
Definitely an original concept, seeing as its the story of one very fortunate musician (Himesh Patel) who wakes up one day to a world that’s completely forgotten who The Beatles are. I’m pretty intrigued by that alone, plus with Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) in the director’s chair and the supporting chops of Lily James (Baby Driver), Kate McKinnon, and Ana de Armas (Bladerunner 2049) – it’s hard to see this as being anything but a pleasurable trip to the theater.