It’s May and you know what time it is: The Summer Movie season begins! For the last half of my life, I have set out every first week of May (sometimes last week of April) and waited with gleeful anticipation for the first action packed popcorn movie to come out. I would always gather large groups of people in my high school and college days to get together for one giant extravaganza of movie watching. Some movies were great and others were downright terrible (looking at you Spider-Man 3), but it was always big event dating back to when my dad would take me out the first weekend of the season and we’d revel in the events that unfolded on the silver screen. Stars are made in the summer and these movies that myself, Brian, and Amanda went through, should be on the top of your guys’ lists, as well as a few honorable mentions.
10. The Conjuring
Who’s ready for a good old fashion ghost story. This tells the “true” story of the Warrens, a married couple of paranormal investigators who attempt to help a family rid their home of an evil entity. I’m ignoring the fact that last time we saw Lili Taylor in a trailer that looked like this we got The Haunting. This time it would appear that simply abandoning the house will not be enough, as the evil has attached itself to the family. Here’s hoping they can break the recent trend of ‘Awesome Trailer > Incredible Buildup > Disappointing Ending’ that seems to be plaguing so many modern horror films. – BK
Director: James Wan
Stars: Norma Bates, Lili Taylor, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Hayley McFarland, and Joey King.
US Release Date: July 19th
MORE ON ‘THE CONJURING’:
– The Conjuring: Amazing New Trailer!
The story is not new, and in today’s economic situation, it’s a story that I imagine many might feel is a possibility; the rich and privileged have a new and shiny, beautiful planet all their own while the unwashed masses still toil down below on an Earth that has seen better days. Not a District 9 sequel, Elysium starts it’s own story line with Matt Damon starring as Max De Costa, a man willing to take the risk necessary to breach the planet of Elysium. I’m looking forward to this because obviously, Matt Damon is awesome, but add in Jodie Foster and now we’re talking. Plus, I really can’t wait to see how that exoskeleton Damon is “equipped” with works, especially since the part where they screw it onto him is rather reminiscent of Blizzard’s cinematic for WoW – Cataclysm with Deathwing becoming, well, Deathwing. –Amanda
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
US Release Date: August 9th
MORE ON ‘Elysium’:
– Niell Blomkamp’s Incredible Vision of the Future is Unleashed in New ‘Elysium’ trailer
8. The Great Gatsby
This is my favorite book of all time (which always prompts two responses: Why, and you actually read books?) and I’m excited for this release. It has been sitting on the shelf for the last year but Baz Luhrmann always has visually striking films and the way he has been talking 3D up and the recent success of Ang Lee and Martin Scorcese makes this movie a must see for me. The cast is great and seeing DiCaprio, Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and Jason Clarke on the same screen playing together should deliver something terrific.-Chris
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, Isla Fisher
US Release Date: May 10th
7. The Purge
So if this movie is counted as prophecy, then in a little less than a decade the US employment rate will be at 99% and the crime will be at an all time low. Doesn’t seem likely, but who knows. Anyhow, this is all made possible by the fact that once a year, for one night, everything is legal and you can try to get all the rage out of your system. Something tells me that this makes all your neighbors a little friendlier during the year. This sounds intriguing, and while I’m not an Ethan Hawke fan, I do love me some Lena Headey. – BK
Director: James DeMonaco
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Cersei Lannister, Max Braverman, and Edwin Hodge.
US Release Date: June 7th
MORE ON ‘THE PURGE’:
– The Purge: Newest Thing in Home Invasion Horrors…
6. This is the End
I love love love when actors play “themselves” in movies so an entire movie where the entire cast is themselves? Yes, please. Everyone shows up to James Franco’s house for a party (who knew Michael Cera was such a perv?) and as fate would have it, the beginning of the apocalypse is upon us. Any movie that has Rihanna in a sinkhole and the line “Hermione just stole all our shit” is one that I need to see. Of course it doesn’t hurt that people like Danny McBride, Martin Starr, and Mindy Kaling are involved. In the words of the great Philip J. Fry, “Shut up and take my money!” –Amanda
Directors: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Stars: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd
US Release Date: June 12th
MORE ON ‘This Is the End’:
– 2013’s ‘End of the World’ Set Pictures
5. Pacific Rim
It’s been 5 long years since Guillermo del Toro has directed a movie (he was supposed to do The Hobbit but backed out because it was tied up in the MGM bankruptcy) so his return is naturally something so fantastical and high concept that it’s just so crazy that is has to work. When you mix some Godzilla monsters from the ocean deep and then throw people in giant robots to fight them, you’re getting a less corny and more adult version of the Power Rangers. Add in a great cast of Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Rinko Kikuchi and Ron Perlman…you’ve got yourselves a hit. The new footage trailer shown at the Con really helps too. Let’s face it, it’s visually the most striking film in terms of special effects and with del Toro at the helm, you know it won’t be a fluff movie either. -Chris
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman
US Release Date: July 12th
4. The Wolverine
Let’s get this out of the way: X-Men Origins: Wolverine sucked. Horribly. It was a mess for several reasons that I’d rather not get into and everyone dismissed it as such. However, going back to the drawing bored, they decide to adapt the Chris Clairemont/Frank Miller comic book mini-series that made Wolverine one of the best Marvel characters to date. New footage has come out and it looks to be the true spin-off that the first movie should have been. If anything, it’ll be a nice filler until we get X-Men: Days of Future Past. Unless we see a decapitated Deadpool shushing people, then all bets are off. – Chris
Director: James Mangold
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto, Hiroyuki Sanada
US Release Date: July 26th
3. Man of Steel
Well, 30 years we’ve been waiting for a legit Superman movie, something worthy of the genre’s greatest icon, and it would appear that Zack Snyder might have just given it to us. The big blue boy scout is back and this time it appears as if he doesn’t plan to disappoint us. Kudos on dumping Lex Luthor and bringing in General Zod to be the nemesis, and even more props for the casting. Cavill seems more than capable (not the Brandon Routh wasn’t) and between Lois, Jor-El, Zod, the Kents, and Perry White – this cast has 13 Oscar nominations (3 wins). That’s pretty damn good. This is one of the only true MUST SEEs of the summer. – BK
Director: Zack Snyder
Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Bud White, Morpheus, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Chris Keller, and Toby Ziegler.
US Release Date: June 14th
MORE ON ‘MAN OF STEEL’:
– Man of Steel’s Michael Shannon Reads Psycho Sorority Letter
– Superman is 75, Let’s Celebrate With Some New “Man of Steel” Trailers
– Man of Steel: New Promo Shots and Set Pictures…
2. Iron Man 3
Of course this is one I’m looking forward to because frankly who isn’t looking forward to Iron Man 3? I don’t think there exists a person who doesn’t want to see Robert Downey Jr. again as the grandiose Tony Stark. Of course it’s made even more appealing as Stark turns a bit introspective and dark. I know I can’t be alone in really wanting to find out how on earth The Mandarin came to have a southern/Texan accent. Obviously not canon so it’ll be interesting to see how that story unfolds. Plus, it kicks off Marvel’s Phase Two so of course it’s one of our most anticipated! -Amanda
Director: Shane Black
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle
US Release Date: May 3rd
MORE ON ‘Iron Man 3’:
– Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled
– Iron Man Trailer #2: Voiceovers, Dramatic Music, and a Ton of New Armors
– New Iron Man 3 Posters Arrive, Mandarin Looking Strangely Chill…
1. Star Trek Into Darkness
In 2009 I took my Dad to see the new Star Trek movie. I didn’t expect it to end up my favorite film of the year. I loved the casting, and all of a sudden, the franchise was a live again. Now, 4 years later it’s time to plan another trip to the theater with the old man to watch Kirk and Spock tangle with Benedict Cumberbatch, a casting selection that makes this all that much easier to get excited for. Details about the plot are still a little sketchy (for those not lucky enough to have seen an early screening yet), but it looks awesome. Abrams built enough trust with me after the first movie that I’m will to just have faith this one will be good. I sure hope I’m right… – BK
Sherlock, Sherlock, Sherlock. Of course I’m a Star Trek fan (Jean Luc Picard being the sexiest bald man ever to walk the Earth) and liked the first J.J. Abrams re-incarnation, but let’s be honest here – I’m a fangirl who is looking forward to seeing Benedict Cumberbatch on the big screen again. The trailers have done nothing to quell that desire to squeal like a little child, but I will try my best to not be “that girl” in the theatre. – Amanda
There’s a reason why this is the most anticipated movie on our list. 2009’s Star Trek was crazy good for a reboot and restored the franchise to new highs. For the most part, it satisfied the fanboys while bringing in a whole new audience to the franchise with its reboot alternate timeline. The stakes are raised even higher with J.J. Abrams taking over the Star Wars franchise and let’s face it, it’s Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain. The dude can do anything he wants and we would all watch it with adoring eyes. – Chris
Director: J.J. Abrams
Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Sherlock, Zoe Saldana, Alice Eve, Dredd, Bruce Greenwood, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, Harold, and Robocop.
US Release Date: May 17th
Amanda- The Way, Way Back
I’m an admitted sap who enjoys coming of age stories especially when they involve Allison Janney with a drink in her hand and Steve Carrell as a douchebag. Liam James is Duncan, an awkward kid spending the summer with his mom (Toni Collette) and her ass of a boyfriend (Steve Carrell) at the beach. He strikes up a friendship with Sam Rockwell who runs a local waterpark and eventually gets a job there. What summer movie would be complete without summer love? Enter The Carrie Diaries, AnnaSophia Robb.
Of course Jim Rash has shown already with The Descendants that he can take a funny and heartbreaking/warming story from a book to the big screen so I’m looking forward to seeing how he does with his own original screenplay. Also? Maya Rudolph, enough said.
Directors: Jim Rash, Nat Faxon
Stars: Steve Carrell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Liam James, Allison Janney
US Release Date: July 5th
Chris – Fast & Furious 6
Say what you want about the franchise but the way that Justin Lin reinvigorated the franchise with Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6 is a pure popcorn summer movie that blends humor, ridiculous stunts and action and attractive leads that will engage the audience without making them think too much about it.
Add to the fact that Dwayne Johnson seems to be the busiest action hero around these days (see: G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Pain & Gain) and has tons of cars flipping and exploding in ridiculous scenarios, all that makes this movie a must see on anyone’s list.
Director: Justin Lin
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano, Luke Evans
US Release Date: May 24th
Kronner – The World’s End
Nira Park, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost reunite once again (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), this time on a much more grandiose scale.
Pegg and Frost are among 5 friends that get together and try to complete an “epic pub crawl” that they all failed at 20 years earlier. The stakes are raised though when they realize that there is more at stake then just reaching The World’s End, which is the last pub on the crawl.
Director: Edgar Wright
Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Bilbo Baggins, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, and Walder Fray.
US Release Date: August 23rd