A Monstrous Movie Preview!

How to stay cool in the cineplex this summer


Look folks, I know Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, BooHoo and Flim-Flam are all great ways to stay home and watch movies rather than go out for a change and experiencing film in a nice, living, breathing theater this Summer Movie Season.

I say, pull yourself away from that computer screen, make sure anything your dog can destroy is off the floor, and get thee to a movie theater, you lazy ass! Actually, I'm kind of just yelling at myself right now. I gotta get out more often. Hell, my dog even wants me out of the house. She just gave me a distinct "Get a life!" look. Now she's left the room and refuses to hang with me as I write this.

But I digress...

Here's what's coming this Summer Movie Season. Well, not every movie, but a choice selection. You've already been served up a nice heaping blockbuster plate of Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story (and some stink bombs like Life of the Party). Still to come, lots more superheroes, sharks, The Rock (Jesus, is there a movie Dwayne Johnson isn't in?), animation and dinosaurs, along with some Chekhov thrown in for good measure. I give you, this, our Summer Movie Preview!


Action Point (June 1): When I was a teen, I used to spend parts of my summers at a crazy amusement park called Action Park in New Jersey. The notorious park had a death toll from people cashing out violently on their water slides, their jacked-up rides, and drowning in their Tidal Wave pool. (I almost died in that sucker.)

How appropriate that Johnny Knoxville and parts of his Jackass crew mount a movie loosely based on Action Park. I'm thinking this thing will bring back pleasant memories of second degree sun burns, sprained ankles and excessive water in my lungs.

Adrift (June 1): Shailene Woodley stars as a woman who, along with her boyfriend, winds up adrift at sea after boating through a hurricane. Whenever I see a movie like this or Cast Away, I can't help but think about how bad everybody must smell due to the lack of showering and deodorant. Like that show Survivor...that set must STINK!

Hereditary (June 8): Brace yourselves, folks. This horror movie, the directorial debut of a dude named Ari Aster, is getting some major buzz as a film that will chill your bones so much the muscles around them will get pissed off and expel themselves out your asshole. Toni Collette stars in what looks to be this year’s scary classic.

Won't You Be My Neighbor (June 8): A documentary on Fred Rogers. I know Mister Rogers was a beloved children's TV figure and a good man, but his show gave my young self the willies. I was always offset by his sanguine tones, and those puppets freaked me out. The Lady Elaine Fairchilde puppet looked like a red-red-nosed alcoholic demon, the sort that would perhaps hide under my bed and steal my underwear off my butt while I was sleeping. Don't get me started on Captain Kangaroo.

Hotel Artemis (June 8): A futuristic crime drama with Jodie Foster playing a nurse running a hospital for criminals in her hotel. Foster hasn't really been doing much as an actress lately, but this one looks like a true departure for her. It also has Jeff Goldblum and Dave Bautista, so maybe it will be an under-the-radar surprise.

Ocean's 8 (June 8): Sandra Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean, sister to George Clooney's Danny, and equally big-minded when it comes to pulling a heist. Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett costar, with an appearance by Matt Damon. I couldn't be less excited about this particular thing.

click to enlarge Incredibles 2
Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2 (June 15): The original Incredibles was my favorite Pixar movie until Up came along and made me cry like a bitch. This one looks like it will be well worth the long wait (The original came out 14 years ago). Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) gets a new gig with the government while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) has to stay home with the kids, one of them being an infant with budding, mysterious powers.

Tag (June 15): A cross country game of tag played by the likes of Jeremy Renner and Jon Hamm. This reminds me of that Monty Python "Olympic Hide and Seek" sketch. You've never seen that? Oh my. Well, stop down and check it out on YouTube. You'll laugh. It's a regular riot.

Superfly (June 15): A remake of the '70s Blaxploitation classic starring Trevor Jackson and Jason Mitchell. If they jettison the original Superfly theme song by Curtis Mayfield, I will throw my unwrapped Starburst Minis at the screen as a show of extreme protest.

Hearts Beat Loud (June 15 at The Loft Cinema): Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons not only bond through writing music together, but actually get some notoriety the summer before she leaves for college. This one is a film festival sweetheart that looks like it has a giant heart and Offerman at his best.

Gotti (June 15): Somebody who recently met me said he could tell I grew up in New York (which I did) because my hair makes me look like John Gotti. Seriously considering a new stylist. (Since I first wrote that statement down, I did get a new stylist, and he chopped all of my hair off, so now I look like John Gotti with a military cut! Hooray!) John Travolta plays the dapper prick in this long-delayed look at the life of a total bastard.

Under the Silver Lake (June 22): From the writer/director of It Follows...that's all you have to say to me to get my curiosity up for this one. Starring Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough.

click to enlarge Jurassic World 2
Jurassic World 2

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22): I was having doubts about this one based on the trailer, but the second trailer has me happy. The movie's first half deals with Chris Pratt trying to get dinosaurs off an island that is about to erupt. That part looks a little goofy, but the second part deals with dinosaurs invading residential homes. That's following the basic blueprint of Spielberg's The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and that's fine by me. Movie dinosaurs belong in living rooms scaring the shit out of people.

American Animals (June 22 at The Loft Cinema): Based on a true story, four bored high school kids decide to pull off a crazy heist. As the preview says, "This is not based on a true story...this happened." Costars such up-and-comers as Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk), Evan Peters (American Horror Story) and Blake Jenner (The Edge of Seventeen).

Damsel (June 22): Robert Pattinson has been picking them well in his post-Twilight career. This one is from the Zellner brothers directing team.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (June 29): Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro are back for this sequel, but Emily Blunt is not because she's off piloting her umbrella for the new Mary Poppins movie. My first thought was this would be lame, like when Harrison Ford didn't show up for The Fugitive sequel. But, I have to admit, that scene where del Toro goes ape shit on a drug cartel guy with that nasty little herky-jerky gun has me thinking it might deliver the goods.

The Hustle (June 29): This is actually a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which, in turn was a remake of the Marlon Brando film Bedtime Story) starring Anne Hathaway in the role previously inhabited by the late Glenne Headly. It's weird to type the words "the late Glenne Headly."

Uncle Drew (June 29): This is an online series sponsored by Pepsi starring the likes of Kyrie Irving and Shaquille O'Neal playing tournament basketball in old age makeup. Seriously, what the hell is this?


The First Purge (July 4): Marisa Tomei is in this. THE Marisa Tomei! This is disheartening news.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 6): In case you haven't figured it out yet, the Marvel universe is in full swing this summer.

Sorry to Bother You (July 6): This is in my Top Ten movies I'm looking forward to. Starring Lakeith Stanfield (the party screamer in last year's Get Out) and directed by Boots Riley. (You just have to root for a guy with the name Boots Riley.) Stanfield stars as a guy who employs a "white voice" (voice of David Cross) to make it big as a telemarketer. This looks like fantasy satire to be reckoned with.

Eighth Grade (July 13): I hated junior high—a lot. Writer-director Bo Burnham's dark comedy looks to be something I can full-on relate to.

Boundaries (July 13 at The Loft Cinema): Yes, it's another road trip movie, but this one has Christopher Plummer, Vera Farmiga, Peter Fonda, Christopher Lloyd and Kristen Schaal in it, so it has to be good, right?

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (July 13): I'll say this in advance: you should feel just a little guilty for dumping your kids off for this animated kiddie crap while you go have your margaritas on a Saturday. My dad used to drop me off for shit like Star Wars and Indiana Jones when he went out for his bourbon and hooker full tilt boogie. There was an attention to quality even when he was blowing me off.

Skyscraper (July 13): While it's not called The Towering Inferno, this looks a lot like Irwin Allen could sue, even though Irwin Allen is so, so dead. Dwayne Johnson stars as a security guy who must rescue his family from a skyscraper besieged by bad guys while also being on fire. This would be the 589th movie Dwayne Johnson has headlined in the last year.

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot (July 13): Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill star for Gus Van Sant in the true story of cartoonist John Callahan. I have nothing clever or snarky to say about this.

click to enlarge Mamma Mia 2
Mamma Mia 2

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (July 20): Look, I love ABBA, but the first movie kind of sucked, and this one will obviously be utilizing the second tier of ABBA hits unused in the original film. And...Pierce Brosnan is back and singing again. There are a lot of horror movies coming out this summer, but there are no cinematic prospects as horrifying as the possibility of Brosnan warbling "Super Trouper." Say, did you hear that ABBA just recorded some new music together? No, seriously, they really did!

The Equalizer 2 (July 20): Denzel Washington goes on a revenge spree after his friend is murdered. He's gonna kill ya. Doesn't matter if you have a bazooka in his face, explosives set to go off in his pants, and a nuclear bomb ready to kill him and everybody around you if he moves. He gonna kill ya. Don't even try to protect yourself. He...gonna...kill...ya.

click to enlarge MI: Fallout
MI: Fallout

Mission: Impossible-Fallout (July 27): Tom Cruise, who notoriously does many of his own stunts, broke parts of his body filming a scene for this, and I think that footage makes it into the movie. I'm buying a ticket just for that. Tom Cruise is a freaking nut, but he's still a badass.


Christopher Robin (August 3): Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) grows up to work a regular Joe job and gets visited by old pal Winnie the Pooh. Could be cute. Could also be Hook revisited.

The Spy Who Dumped Me (August 3): Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon and Justin Theroux star in a spy comedy that has to be good because of those three names I just typed.

Searching (Aug 3): At first glance this movie about a dad (John Cho) searching for his missing daughter, with the search being seen via his computer screen while he utilizes various apps and communication platforms, looked gimmicky to me. But the movie is getting some nice buzz, so something good might be afoot.

Mile 22 (August 3): Director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg team up for the umpteenth time for this CIA thriller. I just put it together that the last four letters of Wahlberg's last name are the same as Peter Berg's last name. Or maybe I knew that already. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm quite slow.

BlacKkKlansman (August 10): Few films have me more excited than this, Spike Lee directing the true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington...son of Denzel). Stallworth, the first African American police officer in the Colorado Springs Police Department, infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, including that sonofabitch David Duke (Topher Grace).

This made a big splash at Cannes, and it looks like Spike Lee might be back to making classic cinema again after some years of missing the mark (although 2015's Chi-Raq was a step in the right direction). Summer will kick ass if Spike Lee gives us a masterpiece.

The Meg (August 10): A big shark movie. A really big shark movie. A really, really, really, god-damned, holy crap big shark movie. OH YEAH! Starring Jason Statham. Oh well.

The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society (August 10): Yes, there is a movie with this title coming out this summer.

The Happytime Murders (August 17): Humans and puppets share the screen in this Jim Henson Company production. No Muppets are in the cast, but Elizabeth Banks, Joel McHale and Melissa McCarthy show up.

Dog Days (August 24): A drama about people in Los Angeles meeting via their dogs. I wasn't excited about this until I noticed it's directed by Ken Marino (Wet Hot American Summer) and I saw a Boston Terrier in one of the publicity stills. Boston Terrier sighting!!!

Replicas (August 24): Keanu Reeves stars as a scientist who doesn't know how to say goodbye to his wife (Alice Eve) and kids after they die in an auto accident. Prepare yourselves in advance for brainy, somber Keanu as opposed to vapid, joyous Keanu. It's a very different strain of Keanu. Psychological adjustments and preparations are required for the beholding of SOMBER BRAINY KEANU. Don't be caught off guard by SOMBER BRAINY KEANU. This is a PSA brought to you by the fans of VAPID, JOYOUS KEANU.

Destination Wedding (August 24): That's right, you get two Keanu movies this fine week in August! This one costars Winona Ryder. Did you know Reeves and Ryder have starred in 218 films together? Actually, this is their fourth film together, and it features not Somber Keanu, not Joyous Keanu, but adorably cranky Keanu. If you love Keanu, this will be your favorite week of the year. If you hate Keanu, this whole Keanu Week might piss you off enough to cover the pool early and call it a day on summer.

Papillon (August 24): One of my all-time favorites is the original Papillon starring Steve McQueen as an escape artist trying to get off a prison island with Dustin Hoffman in tow. Charlie Hunnam steps into the McQueen role and Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) steps in for Hoffman. I don't know about this.


Alpha (September 14): I love my dog. This one is about a cave kid lost in the wilderness becoming the world's first dog owner. I'm hoping it plays at a drive-in nearby so I can take my dog with me and we can experience it together. I'll shed some tears and feel uncompromised love for my furry companion. She'll probably just fart a lot.

The Predator (September 14): As the summer winds down, someone takes another shot at making a worthwhile Predator movie, something that hasn't happened since the original Arnie installment over 30 years ago. So, they've cooked up a new story for you and they are dropping you into a rebooted meat grind-uh!

By the time you've watched the Schwarzenegger-less Predator, it will be three months until Christmas. That's messed up. So, if you read these capsules in chronological order as you were seeing the movies in real time (sort of like a cinematic Advent Calendar) and you are reading this part in late September, Santa is coming soon! Hooray!

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