Memorial Day weekend formally is the start of the summer film season. We’re talking movie theater flicks, titles you watch in a bona fide theater, not streaming stuff on TV.
* Sequels prevail. Studios know one hit deserves another.
* Animated films will find their niche. Turns out adults like cartoons as much as kids.
* Action-adventure titles soar. Add a famous name, you’re likely to get a blockbuster, especially if Marvel is in the mix.
The bottom-line wonderment: With a lot of potential movie faves on the screens, will the seats in the theaters finally get filled like those pre-pandemic days, to break the inevitable COVID-era habit of staying home and watching streamed titles on TV, and resume the practice of buying tickets at the box office, pay absurd snack bar prices, and actually return to the habit of watching movies where they were made to be seen, on those large screen and mega-loud sound system?
Here are 10 summer films I won’t miss, and you shouldn’t either.
Here’s what I’m eager to see, with my soda and kaki mochi combined with popcorn:
1 –‘Top Gun: Maverick’
It’s been more than 30 years, when a young actor named Tom Cruise, portrayed a cocky, ace pilot named Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, in “Top Gun,” and became a Hollywood hottie and hotshot. This flick was supposed to premiere two years ago, but has been delayed – yeah, COVID – till this summer, so Maverick may rule the year…if lightning strikes again. MilesTeller, Jennifer Connelly, and John Hamm co-star. Opens today (May 27).
2 –‘Jurassic World Dominion’
Dino-mite. Can’t deny it; The roaring historic dinosaurs always scare up the audiences, and this time dinos are everywhere, not just in the forests. No fretting, familiar actors are back – Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, Lauren Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt. Colin Trevorrow directs the Steven Spielberg franchise… The dinos steal the show, lurching, sneering, roaring, and. boy, speed-racing all over the place, with humans trying to find the perfect balance on Earth. Opens June 10.
Pixar-Disney’s most famous space traveler, Buzz Lightyear, jumps into sci-fi heavens, and has a kinda a leap in time-traveling, in this prequel that supposedly leads into his “Toy Story” turf. Could be the summer’s biggest family-aimed animation adventure. Voices matter, so for the record, Chris Evans has replaced Tim Allen. Also voicing: Taika Waititi, James Brolin, and Keke Palmer. Opens June 17.
A newcomer, Austin Butler, portrays America’s favorite “Hound Dog,” Elvis Presley, and yes, he has moments where there’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on. Butler’s not a proven box office figure, and the trailers show he can do the Presley gyrations and lip-curling in those beaded and sequined jumpsuits. The heavyweights who can make this a hit are huge entertainment names: Oscar-winner Tom Hanks plays a chubby Col. Tom Parker, whose viewpoint on the Elvis phenom is the thrust of the movie, directed by Baz Luhrmann, of “Moulin Rouge” and “The Great Gatsby” fame. Opens June 24.
5 –‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’
Who doesn’t like the Minions, those quirky yellow figures oozing with individual charm? This project, from 2020, also was a victim of the pandemic, finally seeing screen life. This sequel marks the return of voicer Steve Carell, as the young Gru from “Despicable Me,” who gets help from his Minion to learn to become the franchise’s top villain. Other voices: Taraji P. Hansen and Michelle Yeoh. Opens July 1.
6 –‘Thor: Love and Thunder’
Because of its success from 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings back the giddy and funny superhero (Chris Hemsworth) in “Thor: Love and Thunder.” When he was in 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame,” Hemsworth was overweight. He’s trim again…and cannot peacefully retire. Taika Waititi directs, with Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, and Natalie Portman aboard. Opens July 8.
7 –‘Where the Crawdads Sing’
This drama might be a sleeper, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, set in the marshlands of North Carolina. Daisy Edgar-Jones stars as Kya, a self-raised girl who becomes a prime suspect in a murder case. Directed by Olivia Newman. Opens July 15.
8 – ‘Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris’
Lesley Manville is a widowed cleaning woman in 1950s London, who falls for the haute couture of Paree – notably a particular Dior dress she sorely wants – and makes an impact on the House of Dior. Isabelle Huppert, Jason Isaacs, and Rose Williams co-star. Opens July 15.
9 — ‘Bullet Train’
One of the stars of this action comedy, based on a Japanese novel, is the titular Bullet Train of Japan, the immaculate and dependable people-mover, including Brad Pitt, playing a likeable hit man on his pre-retirement assignment, who boards this train, only to discover four other assassins are aboard with their own assignments. Awkward. This looks to be an entertaining action comedy. Director David Leitch’s earlier credits include “Deadpool 2” and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.” Opens Aug. 5.
10 – ‘Samaritan’
Described as a superhero thriller adventure, “Samaritan” stars Sylvester Stallone as Stanley Kominski. The film is based on Mythos Comics characters, about a youth, portrayed by Javon Walton, who understands that a famous superhero who went missing 20 years ago, following an epic battle, who supposedly now leads a different life and living next door to him. Opens Aug. 26.
Surely, many other summer movies are awaiting crowds; I don’t particularly enjoy horror pics or mushy rom-coms, so obviously, these titles weren’t considered here. …
And that’s Show Biz. …