Monday, July 15, 2024

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Summer movies: ‘Fall Guy,’ ‘Furiosa,’ ‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ lead the way

Mark Meszoros – The News-Herald (Willoughby, Ohio), (TNS)

The summer movie season is upon us.

Bring on Batman! Bring on Spider-Man! Bring on Darth Vader!

Wait, what’s that? No Spidey? No Bats? No visit to a galaxy far, far away?

Come to think of it, Godzilla and Kong have already smashed into theaters, and those shape-shifting robots won’t return until the fall with the animated “Transformers One.”

What in the “Jurassic World” is going on here? (Yeah, no dinosaurs, either.)

Oh, don’t worry, we’re still looking at a summer of sequels (“Inside Out 2”), prequels (“A Quiet Place: Day One”) reboots (“Alien: Romulus”) and heroic — and violent — men in ridiculous costumes (“Deadpool & Wolverine”). But we may just get an original story or three, too.

Here’s a look at some of what’s coming to theaters and streaming services in the warmer months:

“The Fall Guy” | May 3 | Theaters >> Look for “Barbie” star Ryan Gosling to bring some leftover Kenergy to this action romp, based on the TV show that saw Lee Majors as Colt Seavers, a stuntman who worked on the side as a bounty hunter. Now Gosling is Colt, a stuntman not far removed from a career-threatening accident who’s pulled into the case of a missing movie star. Emily Blunt,” who was a key player in Academy Award-winner “Oppenheimer” — the other half of the “Barbenheimer” craze — co-stars as a first-time movie director … and Colt’s ex-girlfriend. The cast also boasts Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who’s heavily rumored to be the next James Bond. Last but not least, “The Fall Guy” is helmed by David Leitch (“Bullet Train,” “Deadpool 2,” “Atomic Blonde”), who knows a bit about being a stuntman, as he was one, and about making movies that successfully blend action and comedy.

Ryan Gosling, left, and Emily Blunt in “The Fall Guy.” (Universal Pictures/TNS)

“The Idea of You” | May 3 | Prime Video >> Michael Showalter, whose directorial credits include winners “The Big Sick” (2017) and “The Lovebirds” (2020), is at the helm for this romance about a 40-something single mother (Anne Hathaway) and a 20-something member of a boy band (Nicholas Galitzine). Showalter and co-writer Jennifer Westfeldt (“Kissing Jessica Stein”) adapted the book of the same name by Robinne Lee.

“Prom Dates” | May 3 | Hulu >> Julia Lester and Antonioa Gentry star as best Defriends looking to have an epic senior prom — a goal in jeopardy when each breaks up with her date shortly before the big dance in this coming-of-age comedy directed by Kim O. Nguyen (“Never Have I Ever”).

“Tarot” | May 3 | Theaters >> Your future looks bleak — that is if you’re a character in this scary movie in which members of a group of college friends start dying after having a tarot card reading. The cast is led by Harriet Slater (“Pennyworth”).

“Unfrosted” | May 3 | Netflix >> Well, THIS is not nothing. Jerry Seinfeld makes his directorial debut, stars in and co-wrote this romp about warring cereal companies in the early 1960s. The crispy-and-sweet cast also boasts Melisssa McCarthy, Hugh Grant, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Peter Dinklage, James Marsen, Christian Slater and Bill Burr, among others.

Jeffy Seinfeld, left, Cedric the Entertainer and Jim Gaffigan appear in a scene from “Unfrosted,” which Seinfeld also directs. (John P. Johnson/Netflix/TNS)

“Mother of the Bride” | May 9 | Netflix >> The father-of-the-bride formula has produced a number of movies over the years, and Netflix will try to flip the script a bit with Brooke Shields as the mother and Miranda Cosgrove (“iCarly) as the bride to be in this comedy directed by Mark Waters (“Freaky Friday,” 2004’s “Mean Girls”). (His previous effort was the gender-flipping “He’s All That” in 2021, so this really should be comfortable territory for him.)

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” | May 10 | Theaters >> After a trilogy of solid movies in the “Planet of the Apes” reboot series, we jump ahead a few generations with this fourth entry. Apes are living in harmony as the planet’s dominant species, with humans relegated to the shadows. The apes are now ruled by the ambitious Proximus Caesar (Kevin Durand), who’s searching for valuable human technology. Meanwhile, a young chimp, Noa (Owen Teague), befriends a feral young female, Mae (Freya Allan), aka “Nova,” and the two go on a dangerous journey. Wes Ball (“The Maze Runner” trilogy) directs from a screenplay by Josh Friedman (“Foundation”).

“Back to Black” | May 17 | Theaters >> Taken from the world tragically early — at age 27, like a few other forces in the world of music — British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse gets the biopic treatment with this film named after her hugely successful and critically acclaimed 2006 album. Marissa Abela (“Industry”) portrays Winehouse in the film helmed by “Fifty Shades of Grey” director Sam Taylor-Johnson, the wife of Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

“IF” | May 17 | Theaters >> After directing two highly entertaining “A Quiet Place” movies, John Krasinski trades vicious aliens for something kinder and gentler: imaginary friends. While Krasinski is in the cast, Ryan Reynolds stars opposite young Cailey Fleming, whose Bea can see other kids’ imaginary friends, who need her help. Providing voice-work for said creative creatures include Steve Carell, Krasinski’s old buddy from “The Office,” along with the director’s wife, Emily Blunt, and other heavy hitters including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Matt Damon, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and the late Louis Gossett Jr.

“The Strangers: Chapter 1” | May 17 | Theaters >> If we’re following, this is the first part of a horror trilogy, with all installments helmed by Renny Harlin (“Die Hard 2”), that will serve as a trilogy to 2008’s “The Strangers” and its 2018 sequel, “The Strangers: Prey at Night,” both of which were at least co-written by Bryan Bertino. The latter is credited with the story for this new scare fest, in which a young couple (Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez) who, after car troubles, spend the night in an eerie town — specifically in a remote cabin — and, of course, are terrorized by some masked folks. If you’re not frightened half to death after this first new flick, fear not: The subsequent chapters both are expected to hit theaters in 2024.

“Thelma the Unicorn” | May 17 | Netflix >> Musical artist Brittany Howard voices the titular creature in this animated adaptation of the children’s book series by Aaron Blabey. The voice cast also includes Will Forte and Zach Galifianakis.

“The Blue Angels” | May 23 | Prime Video >> After this documentary spends a week in IMAX theaters — and, honestly, that’s surely the best way to experience it — it will soar into living rooms via Amazon’s streaming platform. Says a news release about this look at the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron and frequent air show headliner, “The immersive footage puts you in the cockpit for a firsthand view of the Blue Angels’ precision flying, while the aerial shots deliver a spectacular showcase of the breathtaking maneuvers that have made them the world’s premier jet team.” (Note to self: Make time to see this in IMAX.)

“Atlas” | May 24 | Netflix >> In the latest from “San Andreas” and “Rampage” director Brad Peyton, Jennifer Lopez is Atlas Shepherd, a heroine out to stop a problematic artificial intelligence. The cast also features Simu Liu, Sterling K. Brown and Mark Strong.

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” | May 24 | Theaters >> Are you ready to venture back into the sensory-overload post-apocalyptic environment writer-director George Miller gave the world in 2015 with “Mad Max: Fury Road.” This prequel/spinoff — the fifth installment in Miller’s “Mad Max” franchise — sees the talented Anya Taylor-Joy portraying a younger version of the titular character, portrayed memorably in “Fury Road” by Charlize Theron. Taylor-Joy’s Imperator Furiosa will butt heads — violently, we presume — with Chris Hemsworth’s Warlord Dementus in a film sure to deliver wild sights along with sound and overall fury.

“The Garfield Movie” | May 24 | Theaters >> Chris Pratt voices our favorite lasagna-loving cat in this animated romp directed by Mark Dindal (“Chicken Little”).

“Summer Camp” | May 31 | Theaters >> Three women whose friendship dates way back to summer school, played by Diane Keaton, Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard, look to recapture the old magic at a camp reunion in this comedy, which also features Eugene Levy.

“Bad Boys: Ride or Die” | June 7 | Theaters >> Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back as brave-and-brash cops for a fourth installment in this action-comedy franchise, and the directing tandem of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, aka Adil El Arbi, returns after helming the previous installment, 2020’s “Bad Boys for Life.”

“The Crow” | June 7 | Theaters >> In this reboot of the story of the resurrected and avenging Eric Draven, aka The Crow, Bill Skarsgård takes over the titular role, first made famous by the late Brandon Lee in the 1994 film of the same name. Like that movie and those that followed, this new effort is based on the comic book series by James O’Barr. Rupert Sanders (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) directs.

“Hit Man” | June 7 | Netflix >> In select theaters on May 24, the latest from director Richard Linklater (“Before Sunset,” “Boyhood”) sees Glen Powell (“Anyone but You”) doing his charming thing as a cop who regularly poses as a hit man — that is, as Powell’s Gary Johnson says, things get “complicated.” That’s when Adria Arjona’s Maddy Masters enters his life. Co-written by Linklater and Powell, this action-romance-comedy is based on a true story.

“Inside Out 2” | June 14 | Theaters >> Riley, the young girl from 2015 Pixar Animation Studios hit “Inside Out,” is now a teen, which means (gasp!) new emotions. Returning emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and Anger (Lewis Black) are joined by newcomers Envy (Ayo Edibiri), Ennui (Adèle Exarchopoulos), Embarrassment (Paul Walter Hauser) and, perhaps most importantly, Anxiety (Maya Hawke). Other newcomers include Tony Hale and Liza Lapira, taking over the roles of Fear and Disgust, respectively. And Riely is now voiced by Kensington Tallman, while Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan return to voice her parents. All this internal emotional havoc will be orchestrated by Kelsey Mann, making his feature-directing debut, and Meg LaFauve, who wrote the screenplay after serving as a co-writer on “Inside Out,” which won the Academy Award for best animated feature in 2016.

A teen’s inner emotions are introduced to a new one, Anxiety, in “Inside Out 2.” (Courtesy of Pixar Animation Studios/TNS)

“The Watchers” | June 14 | Theaters >> Ishana Night Shyamalan, daughter of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, would seem to be a chip of the ol’ creepy filmmaking block — at least if the recently released trailer for this horror entry is any indication. Starring Dakota Fanning as a woman who becomes trapped in a mysterious forest, it is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by A. M. Shine.

“Kinds of Kindness” | June 21 | Theaters >> It was really decent of filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos and actor Emma Stone not to keep us waiting for another collaboration after last year giving the world the cinematic treasure that is “Poor Things.” Among those joining the Academy Award-winner Stone on screen for this three-story affair will be Jesse Plemons and her “Poor Things” co-star Willem Dafoe.

“A Quiet Place: Day One” | June 28 | Theaters >> It’s still, well, pretty quiet when it comes to details regarding this prequel to writer-director John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place” (2018) and “A Quiet Place Part II” (2020). We know that a key player from the latter, Djimon Hounsou, is back, and he’s joined by actors Lupita Nyong’o, Joseph Quinn and Alex Wolff for this tale. It’s safe to say the movie — written and directed by Michael Sarnoski (“Pig”), who collaborated on the story with Krasinski — will take us back to the day of the invasion by ferocious aliens who don’t see so well but can attack upon hearing the slightest sound.

“Daddio” | June 28 | Theaters >> Dakota Johnson plays a woman who gets into deep conversations with her cab driver (Sean Penn) in this drama.

“Horizon: An American Saga (Part One)” and “Horizon: An American Saga (Part Two)” | June 28 and Aug. 16 | Theaters >> Directing for the first time since 2003’s “Open Range,” Kevin Costner also co-wrote and stars in this Western tale he’s been trying to bring to the big screen for just over a quarter of a century. The now former “Yellowstone” star has said he plans to make a four-part saga, but at least we’re getting these first two parts of “Saga” close together on the calendar. Telling a fictional story set before the Civil War about the expansion of the American West, “Horizon” also boasts cast members Sam Worthington, Sienna Miller, Giovanni Ribisi and many others.

“Despicable Me 4” | July 3 | Theaters >> Our villain-turned-hero Gru (voiced as always by Steve Carell) would seem to have his hands full in the latest entry in this enduring animated franchise. His family keeps growing — in addition to wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) and three adopted daughters, there’s now the trouble-making Gru Jr. — and characters voiced by Will Ferrell, Sofia Vergara and Joey King are out to get him. Back at the helm is Chris Remaud, who directed 2010’s “Despicable Me” and 2013’s “Despicable Me 2” has been known to give voice to one of those little yellow minions now and again.

“Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” | July 5 | Netflix >> Eddie Murphy reprises one of his most believed characters, street-smart, wise-cracking police officer Axel Foley, in this fourth “Beverly Hills Cop” installment. Judge Reinhold and John Ashton are back, too, as California cops Billy Rosewood and John Taggart, respectively, but Axel — who’s out to uncover a conspiracy after his daughter (Taylour Paige) is threatened — has a new partner played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

“Fly Me to the Moon” | July 12 | Theaters >> Romantic sparks fly between characters played by Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum in this comedy-drama set during the space race of the 1960s. Greg Berlanti (“Love, Simon”) directs.

“Touch” | July 12 | Theaters >> Egill Olafsson stars in this tale of a man’s emotional journey to find a long-lost love before his own time runs out. Baltasar Kormákur (“Everest”) directs and co-wrote the screenplay.

“Deadpool & Wolverine” | July 26 | Theaters >> The stakes appear to be of the universe-altering variety in this long-awaited third “Deadpool” entry, with Ryan Reynolds’ titular antihero going so far as to team up with old nemesis Wolverine — being played for the umpteenth time by Hugh Jackman — to try to save the day. Shawn Levy takes over directing duties after working with Reynolds on 2021’s “Free Guy” and 2022’s “The Adam Project,” but, despite those family-friendly titles and Deadpool now being controlled by Disney-owned Marvel Studios, “Deadpool & Wolverine” appears to have all the colorful language and over-the-top action we’ve come to expect from the franchise. Morena Baccarin returns as Vanessa, and newcomer Emma Corrin portrays the powerful mutant Cassandra Nova in this story, the co-writers of which include Reynolds and Levy.

Ryan Reynolds, left, as Deadpool/Wade Wilson and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan in “Deadpool & Wolverine.” (Jay Maidment/20th Century Studios and Marvel Studios/TNS)

“Didi” | July 26 | Theaters >> This coming-of-age story about a 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy (Izaac Wang) — a semi-autobiographical film from writer-director Sean Wang — made some noise at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

“Harold and the Purple Crayon” | Aug. 2 | Theaters >> Positioned as a sequel to the 1955 children’s book of the same name by Crocket Johnson, this live action-meets-animation fantasy stars Zachary Levi — as a now-grown Harold, long the holder of a magical purple crayon — Lil Rel Howery, Benjamin Bottani, Zooey Deschanel, Alfred Molina and others. Carlos Saldanha (“Ferdinand”) directs.

“My Old Ass” | Aug. 2 | Theaters >> We’re comfortable assuming the title of this comedy from writer-director Megan Park (“The Fallout”) — in which a girl (Maisy Stella) is warned by her future self (Aubrey Plaza) not to fall in love — tells us a lot about the tone we can expect.

“Borderlands” | Aug. 9 | Theaters >> The television world has produced a couple of excellent video game adaptations of late in “The Last of Us” and “Fallout,” and the movies get another shot with this slice of irreverent sci-fi-action-comedy from director Eli Roth (“Hostel”). The ensemble cast is led by the unusual but appealing tandem of Cate Blanchett and Kevin Hart.

“It Ends with Us” | Aug. 9 | Theaters >> Black Lively, Justin Baldoni (“Jane the Virgin”) and Brandon Sklenar star in an adaptation of the romance novel of the same name by Colleen Hoover. Baldoni, whose directorial credits include 2020’s “Clouds,” also is at the helm of this one.

“Trap” | Aug. 9 | Theaters >> The internet — or, more accurately, some people on the internet — suspect this next film from M. Night Shyamalan is another fitting within the universe that began with his twisty 2000 hit “Unbreakable.” Regardless, we mostly like what the director has been putting out into the world in recent years, so we’re looking forward to this original tale of a dad (Josh Hartnett) who, while talking his daughter to a big concert, realizes he’s suspected by authorities of being the serial killer knowns as “The Butcher.”

“Alien: Romulus” | Aug. 16 | Theaters >> With 2016’s “Don’t Breathe,” director Federico Alvarez showed he knows how to build tension — a prerequisite for helming a film in the long-running “Alien” franchise. This entry is said to be set between the two most-loved movies in the series, the saga-launching “Alien” (1979) and its 1986 sequel, “Aliens” — directed, respectively, by Ridley Scott and James Cameron. It doesn’t sound like the most original of setups — a group of space colonists scavenging an old space station and running afoul of one of those teeth-forward monsters — but we’ll see. (In space, no one can hear you complain about a movie that feels a bit too much like what’s come before it.) By the way, Scott, who was at the helm of 2017’s “Alien: Covenant,” is counted among the film’s producers.

“Blink Twice” | Aug. 23 | Theaters >> Zoe Kravitz makes her directorial debut in this black comedy thriller starring Naomi Ackie (“The End of the F***ing World”) and Channing Tatum as a waitress and the tech mogul who invites her to an island where, you guessed it, some crazy things go down. The cast also boasts Christian Slater, Haley Joel Osment and Alia Shawkat, and the whole thing looks like a lot of twisted fun.

©2024 The News-Herald (Willoughby, Ohio). Visit The News-Herald (Willoughby, Ohio) at www.news-herald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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