The summer movie season has officially arrived, and while there is so much to do here in Vancouver, many of us still find time to flock to the confines of a cold and dark movie theatre.
With Avengers: Age of Ultron and Mad Max: Fury Road now in theatres and putting up big box office numbers, I have decided to put together a list of films that could be worth checking out in the coming months of heat.
So far, Fury Road has been the best action film of 2015, so if you get a chance, go and check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Keep in mind that there are always some sleeper hits and more independent-type films coming out over the Summer months too. I will focus on those in my monthly 6-Flick-Picks every first Friday of the month.
So without further ado, here is our list of 10 films that could be cinematic gold over the next three months. Mark them on your calendar.
Cast: Jeremy Piven, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Scott Caan, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Connolly
Director: Doug Ellin
Release Date: June 3, 2015
Official Synopsis: Entourage, the much-anticipated big-screen version of the award-winning hit HBO series, reunites the show’s original cast, led by Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven. Movie star Vincent Chase (Grenier), together with his boys, Eric (Connolly), Turtle (Ferrara) and Johnny (Dillon), are back…and back in business with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Piven). Some of their ambitions have changed, but the bond between them remains strong as they navigate the capricious and often cutthroat world of Hollywood. (C) WB
Why you should see it: The HBO series was fantastic and although it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I fully expect this film to do very well at the box office. Fans miss Ari Gold’s rants and tantrums while he burns bridges and finesses his way up the Hollywood ladder. We finally get to see what is in store for Vincent Chase and his movie star career. Will it tank? Expect this film to be chalk full of celebrity and athlete cameos like Ronda Rousey, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson to name a few. It’s loosely based on Mark Wahlberg’s life, who is also in the film along with his own entourage. If you were a fan of the show, you’ll want to check out the movie.
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Omar Sy, Judy Greer, Katie McGrath, Lauren Lapkus, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Judy Greer
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Release Date: June 12, 2015
Official Synopsis: The dinosaur dynasty created by Michael Crichton’s novels is back for its fourth installment, and though they “have spared no expense,” guest safety is still a challenge. Now genetically modified dinosaurs are in the mix, and they are hunting not just for survival, but for fun.
Why you should see it: I remember the first time I saw 1993’s Jurassic Park in the theatre on opening night. Many of you probably can remember how that movie put us in a state of awe and at the same time scared the living shit out of us. Who doesn’t remember those intense Velociraptor scenes? They even named an NBA team after them. We won’t talk about the two sequels that followed.
Now we have Jurassic World, and although many of us wish Hollywood would leave our childhood memories alone, this one has Chris Pratt and better science. You know you’ll see this. The inner child is screaming inside of you! It could be worth taking your kids too, but this is of course age dependent as long as they don’t get scared easily. This will be worthwhile checking out on the big screen.
Cast: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith
Director: Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Release Date: June 19, 2015
Official Synopsis: Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. — (C) Pixar
Why you should see it: According to early reviews, this is already another Pixar home run. It has some great comics playing the emotions in Riley’s head. This will be one of the top family films of the year, and to really appreciate Pixar’s art, you should have a family night out at the theatre. Hell, even if you have no kids this is a must-see for everyone of all ages. Go and see this, as this a lock to be funny and entertaining. An instant classic.
Magic Mike XXL
Cast: Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Alex Pettyfer, Gabriel Iglesias, Amber Heard
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Official Synopsis: Picking up the story three years after Mike bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, “Magic Mike XXL” finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach, and with legendary headliner Magic Mike sharing the spotlight with them. On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways. (C) Warner Bros
Why you should see it: I included this on the list because of how popular the first Magic Mike film was. I fully expect this sequel to do very well. I think if you watch the trailer it’s pretty self-explanatory on why this will be a hit. My only problem is that it completely sexualizes men. I kid. This is not everyone’s cup of tea but some men and women are really going to like this cup of tea because it will be piping hot. Here is a tip: if you want to get lucky, take your partner to this film. Like fish in a barrel. Thank me in the morning.
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm
Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Release Date: July 10, 2015
Official Synopsis: The story of Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters-from T. rex to Napoleon-the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression. But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he-alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob-ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award (R) winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation. (c) Universal
Why you should see it: It’s the minions. They’re funny. Is there any other reason? These little yellow dudes from the Despicable Me films now have their own stand-alone story, which is a prequel on how they “evolved” and met their evil masters. This is why I love this time of year in film because we usually get some animated classics like Pixar’s Inside Out, as I mentioned above, and now Minions. Once again, this has hit written all over it and is a must-see. Grab the kidlets and have a good time at the theatre.
Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Patrick Wilson, Evangeline Lilly, Matt Gerald, Corey Stoll
Director: Peyton Reed
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Official Synopsis: The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world. — (C) Marvel
Why you should see it: Marvel doesn’t seem to lose. Everything they touch turns to gold. Ant Man is their latest project in phase two of their worldwide cinema domination. However, I was hesitant in adding this to the list of “must sees” for the summer. Although I’m a big Paul Rudd fan, the trailer for this film hasn’t really grasped my interest like previous Marvel films. Maybe I’m entering comic book adaptation burn out. That said, there are many of you who can’t wait for this film so I’ve included it, but something tells me that you should go into this with low expectations. I hope I’m wrong.
Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader
Director: Judd Apatow
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Official Synopsis: Since she was a little girl, it’s been drilled into Amy’s (Schumer) head by her rascal of a dad (Colin Quinn) that monogamy isn’t realistic. Now a magazine writer, Amy lives by that credo-enjoying what she feels is an uninhibited life free from stifling, boring romantic commitment-but in actuality, she’s kind of in a rut. When she finds herself starting to fall for the subject of the new article she’s writing, a charming and successful sports doctor named Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), Amy starts to wonder if other grown-ups, including this guy who really seems to like her, might be on to something.
Why you should see it: Every summer needs a raunchy comedy, and Trainwreck, which is directed by Judd Apatow, could be the one that provides the laughs. Amy Schumer is hilarious, and you add Bill Hader to the mix and you hope for some comedy gold. Not to mention you have the likes of John Cena, Tilda Swinton, Method Man and Lebron James brought in for cameos which could add to the hilarity. This has all the pieces to be a hit, now let’s just hope that it delivers.
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomie Harris, Rachel McAdams, Rita Ora, Víctor Ortíz
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Release Date: July 24, 2015
Official Synopsis: From acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and screenwriters Kurt Sutter (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Richard Wenk (The Mechanic), Southpaw tells the riveting story of Billy “The Great” Hope, reigning Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World (Academy Award (R) nominee Jake Gyllenhaal). Billy Hope seemingly has it all with an impressive career, a beautiful and loving wife (Rachel McAdams), an adorable daughter (Oona Laurence) and a lavish lifestyle. When tragedy strikes and his lifelong manager and friend (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) leaves him behind, Hope hits rock bottom and turns to an unlikely savior at a run-down local gym: Tick Willis (Academy Award (R) winner Forest Whitaker), a retired fighter and trainer to the city’s toughest amateur boxers. With his future riding on Tick’s guidance and tenacity, Billy enters the hardest battle of his life as he struggles with redemption and to win back the trust of those he loves. (C) Weinstein
Why you should see it: I love a good fight movie if it’s done well. Nothing motivates you more to hit the gym after a good boxing film. Judging by the trailer alone and based on who was involved in directing and writing the film, this could be a sure fire hit. Jake Gyllenhaal went from skinny in Nightcrawler to absolutely jacked for Southpaw. I’m sure all of it was due to a healthy diet and a good workout routine right? Whatever the case, this film looks fantastic and probably far more entertaining than that Mayweather fight we witnessed.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Simon McBurney
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Release Date: July 31, 2015
Official Synopsis: Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.
Why you should see this: I loved 2011s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and to be honest, I have enjoyed most of the Mission Impossible franchise. What I also enjoy is when actors and directors use real stunts instead of CGI. Apparently there are some pretty crazy stunts in this action flick, including Tom Cruise hanging to the side of an airplane as it takes off. Love him or hate him, Cruise has been fantastic as Ethan Hunt, and I hope this series continues on. Put this on the must-watch list. It’s probably one of those types of action films that should be seen on the big screen.
Straight Outta Compton
Cast: Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, O’shea Jackson, Jr., Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr., Paul Giamatti
Director: F. Gary Gray
Release Date: August 14, 2015
Official Synopsis: In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton tells the astonishing story of how these youngsters revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war. — (C) Universal Pictures
Why you should see this: Gangster rap was huge in the 90s, and one of the biggest reasons was because of N.W.A. This biopic will show how the group was formed and how they eventually became a voice for the the voiceless. I remember there was a lot of political upheaval about the lyrics in their music. Their albums were banned and censorship ran rampant; all that did was make Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E into bigger stars. I see this film being one of the top grossing films of the summer and easily one of the most anticipated films of the year. This is an easy one to put on your list as a must-see.
Infinitely Polar Bear – June 19, 2015
Dope – June 19, 2015
Ted 2 – June 26
Terminator Genisys – July 1, 2015
Fantastic Four – August 7, 2015
Diary of a Teenage Girl – August 7, 2015
Shaun the Sheep – August 7, 2015
The Gift – August 7, 2015
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – August 14, 2015
Ricki and the Flash – August 7, 2015