2015’s been a great year in film, giving us great titles such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Avengers: Age of Ultron and, of course, the cinematic masterpiece that is Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. But while the year’s very nearly halfway over (hard to believe, right?), we still have quite a few must-see movies on the horizon – particularly this summer. Here are just a few upcoming releases that you can’t afford to miss.
Set to hit theaters June 12, Jurassic World is quite possibly one of the most highly-anticipated sequels ever. Taking place 22 years after the series’s first film, Jurassic World centers on the Pacific island of Isla Nublar and its dinosaur theme park, appropriately named Jurassic World. After the park’s scientists create a hybrid dinosaur to increase park ticket sales, the creature, of course, ends up escaping. The film’s stars, Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins, are then forced to flee from the monster as it tears through Jurassic World.
Jurassic World has been through development hell, with whispers of a fourth Jurassic Park existing as far back as 2001. After the critically-acclaimed Jurassic Park but extremely disappointing Jurassic Park III, it’s going to be interesting to see how this movie plays out and if it’s good enough to warrant a revival of the franchise. However, with writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver at the wheel (the screenwriters and co-producers of the critically successful Rise of the Planet of the Apes), any doubts about the film’s quality should be immediately squashed.
After breaking their pattern of critically-beloved films with Cars and continuing with Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University, Pixar seems to have found that spark it apparently misplaced. Inside Out, the studio’s next film, has already received a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes with 19 reviews. The latest Pixar work focuses on a young girl called Riley, whose father’s new job forces her family to move. As Riley struggles with the change in her life, a group of personified emotions living in her mind help guide her.
Inside Out features an all-star comedian cast, including Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Lewis Black as the film’s central characters: Riley’s emotions. While Pixar’s last few films were nowhere near bad (except for Cars 2. I mean, come on), they didn’t come close to the critical acclaim of their earlier releases. With early reviews being extremely positive (and the fact that this is a Pixar film we’re talking about), you’d be crazy not to get your ass to the theater on June 19.
Marvel took a risk with Guardians of the Galaxy, one of their lesser-known properties, and it ended up netting them close to $775 million worldwide. Now they’re taking the same approach with Ant-Man, the twelfth film installment of Marvel’s insanely-successful cinematic universe.
Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) is a trifling criminal who is called upon by Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the Ant-Man of yesteryear, to help protect his super-powered suit. The Ant-Man technology, which grants its wearer the ability to decrease in size (but improve strength), pits Scott Lang against Hank Pym’s former protégé: Darren Cross (otherwise known as Yellowjacket). As Ant-Man, Lang is faced with both personal redemption and a heist plot which, like most superhero movies, will somehow involve some very high stakes.
With a title like Ant-Man, audiences may be a bit skeptical — something Marvel’s advertising team has fully embraced (several trailers have Rudd’s character asking, “Is it too late to change the name?”). Maybe it’s the Marvel fanboy in me talking, but after Guardians, I’m convinced that any property Marvel Studios touches turns to gold. Ant-Man hits U.S. theaters July 17.
After a series of horrible sequels, the 1980s classic is set to receive a reboot July 29 – although it’s hard to tell at this point whether or not this Vacation will be awful. While the movie doesn’t look too promising based on its first trailer released early in May, the fact that it stars the very funny Ed Helms and Christina Applegate may constitute giving it a shot.
The film follows a grown Rusty Griswold (Helms), his wife (Applegate) and his two sons as they embark on a journey to Walley World in hopes of recreating the magic of Rusty’s own childhood vacation. The film’s first trailer makes some very meta commentary about the reboot, promising to “stand on its own” and be “completely different.” I guess we’ll see whether or not this was a franchise worth refreshing come July.