The summer movie season is upon us once again – that odd seasonal conundrum in which we give thanks for all the bright, warm, days by rushing into dark, cool, theaters to watch Hollywood’s big tentpole films (and a few counter-programming hopefuls) crash together in competition for audience dollars.
The presence of at the start of the lineup pretty much signals that there will be a clear king of summer this year (Marvel) – but nonetheless, some big budget reboots (Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road), new installments of popular franchises (Minions, Mission: Impossible 5) and a few new entries (Tomorrowland, Ant-Man) could all pull in serious dollars, and probably deserve your attention.
Unlike in previous years, we will NOT be focusing on the overall release schedule between May and August; since it’s 2015, we’ve picked 15 films off of the summer slate that we think are the ones you should see – for reasons we will explain and discuss, below. NOTE: films are listed in the order of their release date.
Why to Watch: Is that even a question? We’re not going to waste the typing effort even trying to sell this film; you’re probably already in line to see right now. But if you’re one of the few who has no intention of ever seeing this in theaters, nothing WE say is going to change your mind. Good for you, I guess?
Why to Watch: Summer blockbusters often try to appeal to a larger public, but is the rare case of a movie that has blockbuster production values, but the niche appeal of a great cult film. It gets extra points for bringing back original Mad Max director George Miller, and for tapping Tom Hardy to take over the titular role from Mel Gibson. Fury Road looks like a wonderfully designed and blessedly straightforward non-stop action/chase film – albeit one that could have a few insights (gender politics) and some unique visuals, now that Miller is using modern film tech to realize his vision. Action fans, start your engines and get to the theater.
Why to Watch: Much like Insidious 3, the Poltergeist remake clawed its way onto our list through the quality of its trailer, From what we’ve seen, the film could be that gem of a remake which manages to preserve the spirit of the original (no pun), while still justifying its own existence with a creative new (and seemingly polished) vision. Some real spooky scenes could give summer a much needed chill of good horror.
Why to Watch: Director Brad Bird made some incredible animated movies (The Incredibles), but he really gained acclaim when he successfully took on a big-budget franchise tentpole like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Now Bird has a bit more creative freedom to bring to life, and after some impressive NYCC ’14 footage we can say: if you have fond memories of adventure films like Goonies – or you loved how a Disney ride became an epically fun adventure in the first Pirates of the Caribbean – then this film is a must-see.
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