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The summer is an interesting time for movies. On one hand, the conventional wisdom in Hollywood for decades has been to release blockbusters during summer, because kids are off from school, and people generally have more free time on their hands, therefore generating larger crowds. On the other hand, independent films and festival circuit-favorites are also by large released during summer, to counter-program against the blockbusters, aiming for people tired of explosions and whatnot. Also, if they’re good enough, indie movies use the space of summer as a launch pad for the award season during winter, like Boyhood last year. There is an interesting dynamic during summer where there are a lot of big and small movies, but basically no middle class of moderately-budgeted movies.
In this post, I will go through every notable movie coming to theaters this month, from big to small, to help you figure out what to do with all that free time you may or may not have.
Movies Released 6/5
Entourage (June 3rd release)
Thoughts: The movie that is most likely to lead all summer movies in unironic uses of the word “bro” will likely win this weekend’s box office. It’s been four years since the show ended it’s run on HBO, but don’t worry, Vince and the gang sure seem like they’re up to their old antics! This movie was actually released on my 21st birthday, and I like to think that there’s an alternative universe where there is a bro version of me who was beyond the moon that this movie come out on his 21st.
Thoughts: If Entourage doesn’t win the weekend, then Spy probably will. This espionage comedy stars Melissa McCarthy and is directed by the guy who made Bridesmaids and The Heat, but I’m excited about Jason Statham’s return to comedy. The Stath might not have that many great movies other than Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but if he plays off McCarthy’s energy well than Spy could prove to be a big hit.
Insidious: Chapter 3
Thoughts: For a modern PG-13 horror movie, the first Insidious was pretty freaky. Plus the demon guy appeared to have been played by Darth Maul, so that was cool. I never saw the second one, though I didn’t hear great things about it, and the third one is actually a prequel to the first two. From the trailer, it seemed like a pretty standard horror movie, full of jump scares and children in peril. However, this is the directorial debut of Leigh Whannell, who wrote the first two Insidious movies, so maybe there will be a stronger emotional cord here than what’s on the surface. These are his characters, after all.
Love & Mercy
Thoughts: I have absolutely no idea what to make of this movie. I love the idea of Paul Dano playing young Brain Wilson as he’s writing the best Beach Boys songs and starts to break down mentally, it’s the other half with John Cusack playing older Brian Wilson that seems like it might get a little heavy-handed. I’m not sure. I know three things for sure: the music will be great (obviously), Paul Dano will make me feel sad, and Elizabeth Banks is just the best. This is such an interesting topic, but I’m not so sure it wouldn’t be better suited for a documentary. Of course I could be completely wrong, and this movie turns out to be excellent.
Movies Releasing 6/12
Thoughts: I heard that early on in the process of making Jurassic World, it almost featured dinosaur-human hybrids. I think it is a tragedy that it was nixed, because I guarantee you I would never, ever miss a hundred-million dollar movie where Chris Pratt fights dino-men. That is so freaking camp, and was such a bad idea, I would’ve seen it in a heartbeat. Now this just looks like an okay action blockbuster, whose main buzz for a couple of months was Joss Whedon criticizing it for appearing to be sexist. Oh well. What could have been…
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Thoughts: No weekend demonstrates the blockbuster/indie dichotomy better than this weekend, with Jurassic World coming out the same weekend as this Sundance favorite. This is probably the June movie I’m looking forward to the most. This coming-of-age cancer drama looks as sad as it is beautiful, without the trappings of indie quirkiness. Plus it has Nick Offerman, who is a great litmus test for quality.
Movies Releasing 6/19
Thoughts: It looks like Pixar is back on it’s game after watching the trailer for this movie. The jokes are legitimately funny, and the overall themes of emotions, thoughts and depression will ensure that older people can relate to it as well. The best animated movies are ones that everyone, not just children can enjoy, and Inside Out seems like it will be one of those movies. The voice cast looks incredible as well. Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Kyle MacLachlan, Lewis Black, Diane Lane, Rashida Jones…I could go on.
Thoughts: This movie looks pretty dope. Really though, I’ve heard good things about this movie, as it came from both Sundance and Cannes, and the trailer seemed like it is a funny movie that has a point to make. I’m looking forward to this one.
Infinitely Polar Bear
Thoughts: Mark Ruffalo is one of the most underrated actors working right now, and this could be the kind of role that he could hit out of the park. A manic-depressive husband who has to take care of his two kids as they get into a bunch of shenanigans? That sounds like it can go in a variety of ways, all of which make me anxious.
Thoughts: This is the latest movie from David Gordon Green, whose movies range from blockbuster stoner comedies (Pineapple Express) to independent dramas (Joe, George Washington), and this looks like it’s on the quieter, more dramatic end of his spectrum. Al Pacino is playing a lonely man on the search for love, or perhaps something else, I’m not entirely sure from the trailer. Either way, sad Al Pacino is still better than Jack and Jill Al Pacino by about a mile or two. Harmony Korine is in a supporting role, which is interesting considering how strange he is.
Movies Releasing 6/26
Thoughts: Seth MacFarlane has a tendency to spread himself too thin at times, between the three TV shows he has made and now the three movies he has made. His stuff dips in quality often, but this movie looks like a dud honestly. The trailer made me groan much more than it made me laugh. My thinking is that if you’ve seen a recent episode of Family Guy, then you’ve probably seen a good approximation of Ted 2.
Thoughts: This movie is about a dog with PTSD. If that doesn’t make you sad, then I can’t help you.
Thoughts: I feel like I’ve been waiting my entire life to see Samuel L. Jackson play the President of the United States, and now he finally is. Not only that, but this is directed by the dude who made Rare Exports, a.k.a. the killer Santa Claus movie. I’m not expecting an Oscar-worthy movie, but if you can past the ridiculous premise then I’m sure this movie will be enjoyable. Did I mention that Samuel L. Jackson plays the President?
Thoughts: This documentary is about one of the most heart-warming news stories of 2013, when a boy with leukemia was granted a wish to be Batman and save Gotham, and subsequently went viral. This documentary looks to be just as heart-warming. Also, this movie has a fantastic title.
A Murder in the Park
Thoughts: This documentary is like an Errol Morris movie gone wrong, where a man is exonerated for a murder because of cases made by a bunch of college students who believed his innocence…only for it to turn out that he did commit the murder. This looks like it’ll have a lasting effect on the subjects, considering this movie is partly responsible for the reopening of the case in 2013.