Posted at 5 p.m., April 29, 2016

Summer movie preview


Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – May 20

Now, the first “Neighbors” wasn’t too bad but knowing how sequels tend to sully even the finest of comedy get-togethers a follow-up to the 2014 movie may be a bad idea. Seth Rogan and Zac Efron are back, but this time they must help one another take down another sorority that moves in next door, but it is even more corrupted than the fraternity before it that Efron ruled. But from the trailer it seems the laughs may be getting stale and rehashings of what made the first one somewhat funny. —CD

Alice Through The Looking Glass – May 27

The first “Alice in Wonderland” was nothing more than an overly colorful, made-for-3D movie that failed to display the charm and wonder of the source material. And it looks like “Alice Through the Looking Glass” will rise to the incredibly low bar the first movie set. The color pallet looks like a unicorn ate a rainbow and threw it up on another rainbow. The overly exaggerated features of the human characters are nothing short of nightmare fuel and the CGI is atrocious. Read the books or watch the old animated movies instead of wasting your time and money on this cash grab. —CF

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2:
Out of the Shadows – June 3

If you want more of the garbage you saw in the first “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” then this is for you. Do you like terrible CGI that looks like a cross between “Antz” and a chewed-up dog toy? Do you enjoy endless jarring action scenes that in no way move the plot forward? Do you remember what Michael Bay did to the Transformers franchise? If you don’t want more of what you saw in the first “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” I highly recommend everyone avoid this movie like 14th century rats. Take your children to “Civil War”, “X-Men” or “Ice Age” instead of suffering through this made-for-TV-movie disguised as a summer blockbuster. —CF

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping –
June 3

Usually I’m a fan of mockumentary-style comedies, but this just seems overdone as it’s about a pop/rap superstar who tries to bounce back after his career goes into a major tailspin and his celebrity high life begins to collapse. The movie stars the band the Lonely Island, who are famous for their comedic take on music by telling jokes in their songs. But the laughs seem to stop there, especially since their last album came out three years ago. Not only that but they’ve made the jump to comedies a while back but don’t seem to be going anywhere. “Popstar” just seems like an attempt to make themselves relevant again in the comedy world. —CD

Warcraft – June 10

Many in Hollywood must think that a large fan base can be carried from gaming to the big screen. Many more must think that style and visuals can make up for substance. That seems to be proven with the upcoming “Warcraft,” a movie based on the magical and limitless online role-playing game. From the looks of the trailer, Universal Pictures seems to be taking the same risk that 20th Century Fox took with “Avatar” by making a visually stunning crowd-pleaser with hardly any solidity. The only difference is that director James Cameron made a mint off of “Avatar” with no fan base to begin with and “Warcraft’s” is already there, so maybe Universal is not taking as much of a risk as one might assume. Still, it looks to be just as much of a disappointment as “Avatar.” —CD

The Purge: Election Year – July 1

It seems the horror genre has fallen into a slump recently. Studios only seem to be interested in re-hashing franchises that were never good in the first place so it is no surprise the second Purge movie is right around the corner. This movie will undoubtedly be jam packed-with jump scares and other horror clichés. I would recommend another horror movie but there does not seem to be one worth seeing. If you crave horror watch the Starz series “Ash vs Evil Dead.” —CF

The Legend of Tarzan – July 1

The Tarzan franchise is no stranger to the big screen. Numerous live action adaptations and an animated Disney movie have milked this series for all it should be worth. The new outing seems to be more of the same. The story of a city girl trying to change a wild man. Blah, blah, blah. This is another rehashing of a franchise that should have been dead long ago. It’s another cash grab that exploits parents with young children. Tell the little ones that Tarzan is not in theaters around here and take them to “The Jungle Book” instead. —CF

Ghostbusters – July 15

One of the most beloved comedy franchises of the 1980’s is being brought back to the big screen. Or is it? The chemistry and comedic genius of Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson is nowhere to be seen. From what we see in the trailer we are actually getting a movie with unfunny, third-rate acting, terrible CGI, pointless jokes and the worst racial stereotype seen in comedy for a very long time. This movie will feel more like being broken on the rack than an enjoyable movie experience. Save your money, stay home and watch the original movies. You can borrow my copy. —CF

Mechanic: Resurrection – Aug. 26

The follow-up to the 2011 disaster of an incompetent, clumsy and ham-fisted collateral-damage movie, “The Mechanic,” comes the sequel that looks to be incompetent, clumsy and ham-fisted once again. Unlike the first movie, this time Jason Statham’s Arthur Bishop must travel the globe and make three impossible assassinations look like accidents to get his girlfriend back from his foe, most likely played by Tommy Lee Jones, so maybe this one may be worth seeing with the likes of veteran talent on screen. Other than that, this pulp assassin-for-hire genre seems to becoming overused for the big screen. —CD


Captain America: Civil War - May 6

We have seen the origins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes. We have seen them come together to stand against forces far beyond their control. But between giant alien worms coming out of a hole in space to evil artificial intelligence dropping a city on itself, the collateral damage in the MCU was bound to come to a violent head and now it is here. Now we get to see our heroes face off against one another and tackle one of the ultimate questions in a free society. What is more important, freedom or sacrificing that freedom for security? Captain America and Iron man square off in the ultimate super-hero showdown. Team Captain America or team Iron Man? Either way this will be the biggest and best movie of the summer. Be there. —CF

The Lobster – May 13

In this sci-fi dystopian romantic comedy, a single person, played by Colin Farrell, is sent to a hotel where he is to find a romantic partner or else he’ll be turned into an animal and sent off into the wild. With something this original, quirky, macabre and humorous—and with a cast featuring the delights of John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Rachel Weisz and Ben Whishaw—it’ll be a fun time to start the summer off at the theatre. —CD

Nice Guys – May 20

This summer seems to be hitting off with more comedies than usual, especially with this hilarious-looking crime comedy about a private eye who investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and uncovers a conspiracy. From “Iron Man 3” director and “Lethal Weapon” writer Shane Black comes a buddy comedy that pairs the talents of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who play characters that are in over their heads. —CD

X-Men: Apocalypse - May 27

The X-Men franchise started out strong with “X-Men” and “X2” but hit some Juggernaut-sized speedbumps with “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” But things have changed for the better. Movies like “X-men: First Class,” “X-men: Days of Future Past” and the recently released, record breaking “Deadpool” have once again brought the franchise into greatness. Now, for the first time, we get to see our favorite mutants face their ultimate enemy in “X-men: Apocalypse.” En Sabah Nur comes to claim his place and only the strongest will be fit to survive in his twisted idea of what humanity should be. This is the only movie that has a chance to catch “Civil War” at the box office and steal the hearts of movie-goers everywhere. —CF

The Conjuring 2 – June 10

It always seems out of place to view a horror movie at the theater that is not playing in the fall but in the middle of summer. If you’re a fan of the first Conjuring then you won’t want to miss the Warrens’ return at battling malicious sprits. With James Wan returning to direct, this surely won’t disappoint those who enjoy classic horror stories told well and to chill the spine even in the middle of a hot summer. —CD

Finding Dory – June 17

It’s always good to let something remind you of what it was like as a child and what better way than to return to a movie most of us saw when we were a kid. In the sequel to 2003’s “Finding Nemo,” we return to the world under the sea in Finding Dory but this time follow Ellen DeGeneres’ Dory and learn again about the real meaning of family. —CD

Independence Day:Resurgence – June 24

Anyone who grew up in the 1990s can attest to the amazing cinematic spectacle that was “Independence Day” on the big screen. It set the precedent for epic disaster movies and has often been copied but never duplicated. Alas, the movie so many loved as children has not aged well, maybe due to the cheese being so deep, one needs full body waders to make it through the movie. Two decades later a new generation will get to see the spectacle that is “Independence Day” on the big screen. The absence of Will Smith’s Capt. Steven Hiller will undoubtedly sour many on this movie but the always charismatic Jeff Goldbloom can make a movie great on his own. At the worst it will be a Michael Bay-style action flick with plenty of explosions, shootouts and popcorn. At the best it could become a future classic in the eyes of young people everywhere. —CF

The Secret Life of Pets – July 8

Most animated movies, either from Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, etc., have dove into questions like “what if inanimate objects had feelings?” and “what do these things do when people aren’t around?” This concept has been explored thoroughly through toys, fish, robots and even emotions themselves. This time they’ll be seen as something most everyone loves: pets. The movie not only explores pets and what they may be up to when we’re not around but takes us on an adventure when a group of them have to come together and take down a white bunny who is building an army of abandoned pets determined to take revenge on pets and their owners. Like “Homeward Bound” and “Oliver & Company,” “The Secret Life of Pets” will give us an exciting new look at many of man’s best friends. —CD

“Ice Age”: Collision Course – July 22

Our favorite giant sloth, wooly mammoth and sabretooth cat return to the big screen this summer in the fifth, and possibly last, installment of the Ice Age franchise. After four movies some fans might be a little tired of the franchise, but parents will never stop taking their children to movies like Ice Age. It will definitely command hefty amounts of money at the box office and entertain thousands of children and more than a few adults. Take a trip with the lighthearted and goofy franchise one more time. And yes, the squirrel and the pesky acorn will be along for the ride. —CF

Jason Bourne – July 29

Even though the plot is unknown at this time, action fans surely can’t wait to see one of the best action heroes on the big screen. In the fifth installment, Bourne returns to what seems to be non-stop action sequences on the Las Vegas strip and being hunted by the government once again. For a good day, spend it with Bourne. —CD

Pete’s Dragon – Aug. 12

Live action updates of classic Disney animation have been hit and miss, mostly miss. But perhaps the studio has learned something from past mistakes and injected some of that Disney magic into one of its oldest animated classics. The story of an orphan boy and his dragon will have a modern update but hopefully it can retain the same charm and lighthearted fun that made the original great. —CF

Snowden – Sept. 16

From the “Platoon,” “JFK,” and “Natural Born Killers” director Oliver Stone comes another film about one of American’s most recent controversial individuals. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the CIA employee who leaked thousands of classified documents to the press as well as other actors like Shailene Woodley, Scott Eastwood and Nicolas Cage, it’s a perfect way to end the summer and dive into more dramatic films in the fall. —CD

Deepwater Horizon – Sept. 30

On April 20, 2010, the off-shore oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon experienced a natural gas blowout from a concrete plug that failed. The gas ran up the well casing and instantly ignited, killing 11 and injuring 17. Two days later the wounded oil rig capsized and sank to the bottom of the sea. The underwater blowout preventer failed because of a bent casing pipe and 4.7 million of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf communities suffer from this industrial nightmare to this day. Is it too soon to open this wound or does the public deserve a proper depiction of the disaster? Can Hollywood properly replicate what life is like on an offshore rig? One thing is for sure, the action and drama in this movie will net it its fair chunk of box office cash this summer. —CF



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