Let’s rejoice, summer is finally here, which of course means that theatres are the best place to escape the heat with their glorious air conditioning. While there are plenty of big tent pole movies coming out in June like Jurassic World and Entourage, for the most part I will be featuring smaller movies or ones that could be sleeper hits. I am selecting films that I hope to see, but I usually don’t get to see them all as soon as they come out so it is funny seeing films I previewed a few months ago resurface on coming out on Blu-Ray lists. I will keep to only previewing a film once though. So no recap of Welcome to Me or Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, two films I still haven’t seen but want to.
New Theatrical Releases
Love & Mercy
Release Date: June 5th
Directed By: Bill Pohlad (Old Explorers)
Starring: Elizabeth Banks, John Cusack, Paul Dano and Paul Giamatti
IMDb Summary: In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.
Why I Am So Excited: This film is based on a biography of Brian Wilson that I had read recently so when I found out it was being adapted I was very excited. By all accounts this is supposed to be a very accurate portrayal of the Beach Boys genius front man. Casting Paul Dano to play young Brian and John Cusack as older Brian is an interesting bit of casting and seeing the two timelines shift back and forth is an ambitious project. Don’t expect this to be a happy film as Brian Wilson’s life was fraught with sadness and addictions. But if you are a fan of Pet Sounds and Smile, it is a must see.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Release Date: June 12th
Directed By: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (American Horror Story, Glee)
Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman and Connie Britton
IMDb Summary: A teenage filmmaker befriends a classmate with cancer.
Why I Am So Excited: The summary doesn’t really tell much and frankly coming of age movies are usually crap, but for some reason this film looks unique. Two amateur filmmakers befriend a classmate dying of cancer and they decide to make a film for her to help her through the pain. Watching the trailer alone makes you choke up a bit and anything with Nick Offerman has me intrigued. It also helps that this film is getting a ton of great buzz from the festival circuit.
Release Date: June 19th
Directed By: Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.) and Ronaldo Del Carmen (Freakazoid!)
Starring: Diane Lane, Amy Poehler, Kyle MacLachlan, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader and Lewis Black
IMDb Summary: After a girl moves to a new home, her emotions are plunged into chaos as they compete for control of her mind.
Why I Am So Excited: Frankly the last few Pixar movies have sucked. But the animation studio seems to be getting back on track by having Pete Docter in charge of this film, a man who helmed two of the best Pixar films and it has a stellar cast to back it up. Pixar films work best when they are tackling difficult and heavy subject matters and showing a child that is clearly going through some form of mental health issues is definitely a big gamble. Remember how everyone cried five minutes into Up? Well this one looks to do the same thing.
Release Date: June 19th
Directed By: Rick Famuyiwa (Our Family Wedding, Brown Sugar)
Starring: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Zoë Kravitz and Forest Whitaker
IMDb Summary: A coming of age comedy/drama for the post hip hop generation. Malcolm is a geek, carefully surviving life in The Bottoms, a tough neighborhood in Inglewood, CA filled gangsters and drugs dealers, while juggling his senior year of college applications, interviews and the SAT. His dream is to attend Harvard. A chance invitation to a big underground party leads Malcolm and his friends into a, only in Los Angeles, gritty adventure filed with offbeat characters and bad choices. If Malcolm can persevere, he’ll go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.
Why I Am So Excited: Well look, another coming of age story. This story turns the tables by having a young inner city student black teen trying to do everything in his power to make his life better and go to a good school. With a fun 80’s throw back feel mixed with a killer soundtrack look for this film to be a sleeper hit and Shameik Moore become a name to be reckoned with in the coming years. I am also interested to see Tony Revolori in another project after his breakout in last year’s The Grand Budapest Hotel as Zero.
New On Blu-Ray
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Release Date: June 9th
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn (X-Men First Class, Kick-Ass)
Starring: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson
IMdB Summary: A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
Why I Am So Excited: When this film came out in theatre’s I had no intention of seeing this at all. The trailers made it seem like a silly wannabe action film that tries way too hard at everything. Then the word of mouth started pouring in that this film is a ton of fun and the action is great. I looked into the film a bit more and Matthew Vaughn hasn’t made a bad film in 5 tries, and it was actually rated R meaning it could go a bit further than your typical teen action flick. Every time you bet against Colin Firth being in a good movie, you are going to end up on the wrong side of the bet. This is no exception.