I am very much looking forward to this Summer, but not because of the warmer weather. I am supremely excited about some of the Summer features that are releasing in a few months.
10 Must See Movies of the Summer
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Release Date: April 4, 2014
For those who cannot wait for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios is happy to kind of, maybe, quietly give you just a taste of it next April. They’re sneaky like that. Based on Captain America’s most popular comic book story, Winter Soldier promises the return of Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in a supposed throwback to the 1970s spy thrillers the likes of which Robert Redford would star in. Speaking of which, it does have Robert Redford! But it also has the return of the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), fresh off being turned into a fan favorite under the tutelage of Joss Whedon, as well as Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp), and NEW superhero The Falcon (Anthony Mackie)! Plus, who doesn’t want to see more of The Avengers’ cycloptic BMF super-leader, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)?
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Release Date: May 2, 2014
Sony’s Spider-Man franchise has always had the best (financial) luck during the first weekend of May, a prime real estate spot that Spider-Man carved out in 2002. With The Amazing Spider-Man 2, they seem poised to recreate history in the sequel to the 2012 reboot. Andrew Garfield is back as the adventurous webhead that must balance wisecracks and crime fighting with high school life, including girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Yet, his life is about to get a whole lot more complicated as former childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) reenters his world, bringing father Norman Osborn’s (Chris Cooper) troubles with him. These may or may not include Electro (Jamie Foxx), the Rhino (Paul Giamatti), and a possible rumored green meanie to reappear as well. Also, featuring Felicia Hardy (Felicity Jones), director Marc Webb will have a lot to cover in this entry, but sampled footage online looks promising. Could this one swing the web-slinger to new heights?
Release ate: May 16, 2014
Okay, the last time Hollywood sent Godzilla stomping over easily smash-able cityscapes, the box office and critical response was lukewarm AT BEST. But this 2014 effort should be different. For starters, the beast actually looks like Godzilla! With an impressive cast that includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn, and Juliette Binoche, Gareth Edwards has assembled some serious talent to react to this giant monster movie. It is still unclear whether this final Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures collaboration can outdo Pacific Rim, but having the big green guy back up from the depths and 40-stories high will be an event hard to pass up.
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Release Date: May 23, 2014
It is a rare thing when the SEVENTH film in a franchise feels like the freshest idea ever. Emboldened (or inspired) by Marvel Studios’ terrific success with The Avengers, 20th Century Fox appears to be pulling out all the stops to give fans the X-Men movie they have long craved. Not only is director Bryan Singer of the first two still-loved films back, but so too is most of the cast from those flicks. Also returning are Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence from the groovy 2011 prequel, X-Men: First Class. But best of all, everything in between those films, including two or three clunkers nobody can truly remember, are about to get erased from continuity with a time travel story based on the much-lauded Chris Claremont and John Byrne comic book that is still revered by fans to this day. If you’ve seen the viral marketing for the Sentinels, the alternate timeline and especially Peter Dinklage rocking a ‘70s ‘stache as the big bad, you know that we are in for a treat that could rival anything coming from the House of Mouse.
Release Date: May 30, 2014
To date, the need to revisit and “revitalize” classic fairy tales, particularly still adored from the Disney catalogue of the 20th century, has been a mixed bag. I doubt many were happy with either poor attempt at a Snow White film in 2012, and $1 billion or not, I have yet to meet someone who genuinely enjoys Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Still, there is something devilishly RIGHT about Angelina Jolie as Maleficent. Another reimagining from Walt Disney Pictures’ vault, the studio is taking what was by far the best thing in their adaptation of Sleeping Beauty (1959) and making her the center of her own fiendish film. Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) is there too, but this movie will live or die on Jolie representing one of the great Disney villains of all time. And if 2012’s misbegotten Snow White and the Huntsman proved anything, it is that these live-action adaptations are so much better when movie star scene-chewing evil is drowning out the rest of the colorful production.
EDGE OF TOMORROW
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Everyone loves the movie Groundhog Day where Bill Murray must repeat the same horrific date until he embraces it. Now turn that premise into a war of alien invasion in which an inexperienced soldier must relive his death in battle again and again until he stops the space-aged scum, and you may have yourself a summer blockbuster. Granted, this will not be the first sci-fi film to experiment with such a premise (*cough* Source Code), but to be fair this is based on a pre-existing Japanese light novel called All You Need is Kill. Also, with a cast like Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton, it appears that killing will have a bit of a surplus too. Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Go), this picture could be a wild ride in alien fighting and time paradoxes redux.
22 JUMP STREET
Release Date: June 13, 2014
Comedy sequels are difficult, right Hangover? But if it there is one that is primed for a new adventure, it must surely be Jonah Hill’s comedic reimagining of 1980s teen show 21 Jump Street. In the 2012 film, Hill replaced Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise with himself and a perfectly cast Channing Tatum. Between Hill’s hyperbolic condescension and Tatum’s wonderfully delivered deadpan, the two made for a great buddy cop parody in the midst of a high school spoof where everything unhip in the 1980s (or even from the 20-something leads’ 2005 days) is now as Twitter-trending as the latest episode of Glee. Depp and DeLuise even made cameos as their old characters before being humorously killed off. And it left the perfect hook for a sequel: Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) is so impressed with their unconventional, but goddamn results-getting success, that he’s sending them to college. What college movie clichés can they spoof now? Smoking weed on the Quad? Getting into collegiate sports? Being hit on by a TA? The premise naturally lends itself to a sequel that can reuse the same set-up without feeling forced…at least this time. See you soon on 22 Jump Street.
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
Release Date: June 27, 2014
What can be said about Michael Bay’s Transformers movies? You love them or you hate them—but either way, you’re probably going to see them. And Bay is well aware that he needs to change things up, as Transformers 4 (or Transformers: Age of Extinction to be precise) is a quasi-reboot of the series. Not only is Megan Fox’s Mikaela Banes gone, but so too is Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky and his parents. Now is the time for Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, and Stanley Tucci to run from the gigantic robots. But hey, that’s why we’re all here! And if you cannot tell from the title, Age of Extinction means only one thing: DINO-BOTS.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Release Date: August 1, 2014
August 2014 will kickoff with Marvel Studios’ riskiest and most intriguing gamble to date, Guardians of the Galaxy. With nary an official superhero in sight, Guardians is a funky cosmic adventure complete with a talking raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Release Date: August 8, 2014
Nothing says “relaunch” like Michael Bay. The producer who turned quaint 1980s nostalgia like the Transformers cartoon and action figures into billion-dollar blockbuster destruction porn is now producing the live-action TMNT reboot. Hell, he even threw in reconciled leading lady Megan Fox if you didn’t see the parallel already. Directed by his buddy Jonathan Liebesman (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Battle: Los Angeles), Bay’s new Ninja Turtles movie promises to be a departure from the many cartoons and Jim Henson original films, as the CGI adolescents are now fighting William Fichtner as the Shredder.