With Cannes Film Festival wrapping up last month, the only big cinematic event this month is pure, unadulterated blockbuster entertainment. The biggest and most promising of the summer blockbusters get released this June, as well as a few limited release gems. Check out what we are anticipating below and matinees to see on the next page.
10. Green Lantern (Martin Campbell; June 17th)
Synopsis: When he’s granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) becomes the first human to earn membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe. His mission: to combat an enemy called Parallax, which threatens to destroy the universe’s balance of power.
Why You Should See It: While the animation looks not much better than a video-game cut-scene, and Reynolds is extremely awkward in his CG-suit, I have an ounce of anticipation left for Martin Campbell‘s superhero blockbuster. The scope is large and Campbell has proved his action chops before, especially with Casino Royale.
9. Bad Teacher (Jake Kasdan; June 24th)
Synopsis: Dumped by her sugar daddy, an unsaintly schoolteacher (Cameron Diaz) targets one of her colleagues (Justin Timberlake) as her next lover — a plan that pits her against a popular co-worker.
Why You Should See It: Director Jake Kasdan has helmed what looks to be his most mainstream comedy thus far after giving us Zero Effect, Walk Hard, The TV Set, and Orange County. From The Office and upcoming Ghostbusters III writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, this R-rated comedy will see if Diaz can redeem herself in the “making us laugh” category.
8. Page One: Inside the New York Times (Andrew Rossi; June 17th)
Synopsis: A documentary filmed over one year at the New York Times and its newly created media desk, a group of reporters working to keep the paper in step with the transforming media landscape.
Why You Should See It: Premiering to great reviews at Sundance this year, this documentary delves into one of the the busiest newsrooms in the world. Although it is reportedly very one-sided, a look at how new media is effecting the newspaper industry is a fascinating topic.
7. Buck (Cindy Meehl; June 17th)
Synopsis: A documentary on Buck Brannaman, a renown “horse whisperer” who helps people connect with their animals.
Why You Should See It: One of the big films coming out of Sundance Film Festival this year is the story of Buck Brannaman, the perfect American cowboy. Cindy Meehl‘s documentary picked up the Documentary Audience Award to rave reviews. This is a definite must-see.
6. Beginners (Mike Mills; June 3rd)
Synopsis: At the age of 75, Hal (Christopher Plummer) decides to tell his son, Oliver (Ewan McGregor) that he (a) has terminal cancer and (b) is a gay man with a younger lover.
Why You Should See It: After the underseen Thumbsucker, director Mike Mills returns with a deeply personal story about love and aging. Inglorious Basterds star Melanie Laurent is fantastic and charming as the female lead, while Christopher Plummer continues to show he can deliver touching performances. Check out our SXSW review here.
5. X-Men: First Class (Matthew Vaughn; June 3rd)
Synopsis: Charles Xavier (aka Professor X) and Erik Lensherr (aka Magneto) are two young men discovering their powers. Banding together with fellow mutants to stop a threat to the world, a rift grows between the two forces, leading to the founding of Professor X’s X-MEN and Magneto’s Brotherhood, and the beginning of their eternal war.
Why You Should See It: It was only 10 months ago when Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn signed on to direct FOX’s biggest summer blockbuster. The fact that he has made something not only entertaining, but coherent is a minor miracle. The film still has its problems with breackneck pacing and subpar writing, but the chemistry between Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy is rarely seen in such a big production.
4. The Troll Hunter (André Øvredal; June 10th)
Synopsis: After learning that real-life trolls exist after years of being covered up by a government conspiracy, a group of Norwegian film students set out to catch the creatures on camera.
Why You Should See It: One of the most entertaining flicks of the summer will unfortunately fly under the radar it seems. The Troll Hunter has been available on VOD for some time, but it finally hits theaters this month. The adrenaline ride of this one takes you on will likely match the rest of the big-budget blockbusters when all is said and done. Check out our review here.
3. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (Rodman Flender; June 24th)
Synopsis: After a much-publicized departure from hosting NBC’s Tonight Show – and the severing of a 22-year relationship with the network – O’Brien hit the road with a 32-city music-and-comedy show to exercise his performing chops and exorcise a few demons.
Why You Should See It: If you missed Conan O’Brien on his road tour, this documentary chronicling the event seems to capture the wild experience. Premiering to great reviews at SXSW, it also seems to venture into the darker side of his NBC split.
2. Submarine (Richard Ayoade; June 3rd)
Synopsis: 15-year-old Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother (Sally Hawkins) and an ex-lover (Paddy Considine) who has resurfaced in her life.
Why You Should See It: In his directorial debut, Richard Ayoade has crafted one of the most lively, refreshingly humorous coming-of-age tales of late. With nods from the films that came before it, there are still many unique touches put into this playfully awkward comedy. Check out my TIFF review here, as well as my Sundance interview with the director.
1. Super 8 (J.J. Abrams; June 10th)
Synopsis: Ohio, 1979: when kids shooting a super 8 movie witness a train crash, their shock soon turns to feelings of suspicion and horror after disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town.
Why You Should See It: J.J. Abrams teams with Steven Spielberg for this homage to the ’80s blockbuster classics from the latter director. The summer adventure looks to match excellent child acting with a sci-fi mystery we can all get wrapped up in. If there is one must-see, original film this summer, it is Super 8.
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