2016 summer movie preview

X-Men-Apocalypse-Poster-No-Text.0.0It’s that time of year again — summer blockbuster season is here! Summer is typically my favorite time of the year at the movie theater, because it tends to bring more science fiction and superhero films, my two favorite genres. This year, however, my “must see” list seems to be a little smaller than normal. There definitely are some really big and really exciting movies coming up, but there just don’t seem to be as many that made me think, “Wow, I’ve got to pre-order my ticket for this right now!” It could be that overall, this year’s offerings aren’t quite as strong as years past, or it could simply be that studios are moving some of their big-ticket items to other parts of the year (but more on that later).

The top item on my summer list is, of course, “Captain America: Civil War” (May 6), and I’m betting it will be the biggest movie of the summer and (hopefully!) my favorite. I’m excited about the concept, which pits two of the best Marvel superheroes against each other. Captain America normally respects the rules better than Iron Man does, so it’s interesting to see that this time, Captain America is the one on the run from the law. I’m glad to see Ant-Man joining the team, and I’m looking forward to the introduction of Black Panther. My one fear is that, similar to “Age of Ultron,” Marvel may have packed too many superheroes into this film. Hopefully they’ll keep the focus on the ideological and also personal conflict between Captain America and Iron Man.

I’m also looking forward to two other superhero movies: “X-Men: Apocalypse” (May 27) and “Suicide Squad” (Aug. 5). I’ve really enjoyed the X-Men prequel series featuring the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto, and I think the immortal Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac) will prove to be a worthy foe. While “Suicide Squad” — which recruits a group of unstable villains to save the world — could be more of a gamble, I hope this movie will be as fun and dark and crazy as the trailers seem to promise.

Although I’m sad the Star Trek reboot franchise has had to continue on without director J.J. Abrams, I’m glad that Simon Pegg, the actor who plays Scotty, has helped write the script for “Star Trek: Beyond” (July 22). I’ve really enjoyed these reboot films, and I think film makers picked a great cast to carry on the spirit of the original series. While I’ve heard some concern that the trailer makes this look too much like a standard action film, I think there are some cool elements in the trailer, and hopefully this movie will continue to push the franchise into exciting and uncharted territory.

The final film on my “most looking forward to” list is actually a bit of a departure for me. 🙂 “Me Before You” (June 3) is based on a novel about a young British woman who becomes a caregiver for a quadriplegic who resents his paralysis and no longer wishes to keep living. They do end up falling in love, but the ending is far from conventional. I read this book with my book club and absolutely loved it, even though it’s a bit different from the kind of books I normally read. I’m also excited about the “geek cred” of the cast: Daenerys from “Game of Thrones”; Finnick from the Hunger Games series; Clara, Doctor Who companion; and even Mr. Bates from Downton Abbey! 😉

I do have some films that I’m keeping an eye on, to see what initial reviews are. I’m worried about sequels like “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (May 27) and “Independence Day: Resurgence” (June 24) and maybe even “Jason Bourne” (July 29). Has it been too long since the previous films in these franchises came out, and will audiences still find these movies relevant? I do think “Jason Bourne” could be an interesting opportunity to show how the world — and the nature of national security — have changed since the first Bourne movie came out almost 15 years ago. “The Legend of Tarzan” (July 1) has a good cast and could turn out to be cool, and while “Ghostbusters” (July 15) does have a fun (and funny) cast, it’s always risky to mess with a classic.

As I look at all the other movies coming out this year, I’m wondering if we’re starting to see a bit of a shift away from the traditionally crowded summer movie season, and film makers are more willing to release big crowd-pleasers at other times of the year. “Batman v. Superman” fits the traditional summer movie mold but was released in March, and late fall/early winter has proven to be a good fit for some major films, such as the Hunger Games franchise and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” I’m actually really looking forward to the fall and winter season this year, with “Doctor Strange,” “Star Wars: Rogue One,” J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt’s “Passengers,” simply because it’s a sci-fi movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt (what more could I ask for?). 😉

So, what films are you most looking forward to this summer? What will be the biggest hit or the biggest flop?

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9 thoughts on “2016 summer movie preview

  1. Captain America Civil War looks amazing and I fully expect it to still be going strong at the box office by the Summer’s end. X-Men Apocalypse looks good too but there is a chance it falls flat. I sincerely hope not. Suicide Squad looks like it’s still being tweaked. A lot of times the studio will do too much tweaking and screw up the pacing or shoehorn to much forced action or forced comedy after the fact.

    I hear amazing things about the Alice sequel. Very excited about that. Love the cast. Loved the first one. I really like that Simon Pegg penned the new Trek. He is a big fan of the franchise. So even if it seems like generic sci-fi, it should be solid Star Trek. And I like the new young cast and can’t wait to see them again. If it’s even mildly entertaining it will make me buy Into Darkness on BluRay (I know that makes no sense)

    Me Before You (from your description) sounds like a major tear-jerker. I may watch it at home when it comes out on video in the Fall.

    Independence Day was a cheesy movie to begin with. The best part of seeing it when it first came out was that I saw it on the second day (it came out July 4th) and they showed the date (3rd, 4th, 5th) on the screen and that got the biggest cheers. And when July 4th came on we all cheered but when it said July 5th we cheered even louder because it was today (sounds stupid but it was the most enjoyable thing) So depending on how it’s received I may go see it July 4th weekend to try to relive that.

    Jason Bourne… always good. Love the series. Own them all. Can’t wait. It can’t not be amazing. I just can’t imagine it being anything but phenomenal.

    What else? No to Tarzan. They have never done that story right. And they have tried a hundred times. (sorry to get racial but…) The story has always been problematic. White kid gets lost in Africa and becomes king of the jungle. Tames the animals. Tames the environment. You know there were people already living there right? sorry.

    And Ghostbusters is starting to look like the studio may sabotage its release. It has become more political than it needs to be but the All-Female aspect of the casting can rub a few suits the wrong way. This is just a prediction and I’m pulling it out of my nethers but I see problems and I see accusations from the creative team toward the business people.

    And YES the Fall and Winter have me more excited than this Summer. Dr Strange, Fantastic Beasts, Rogue One and Passengers all look and sound amazing. Sorry about the long comment. There was a lot to cover.

    • I’m a little worried about the reported changes to Suicide Squad; you’re absolutely right, a studio can end up doing too much tweaking and second-guessing, and the film ends up far worse than it would have been if they just let it alone.

      I love Simon Pegg, he’s one of my favorite actors and he’s a great writer too (his autobiography is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read).

      “Me Before You” is definitely going to be a tear-jerker. It’s a beautiful book, but deeply sad. What I loved about it is the fact that it recognizes that while life can be happy and wonderful, people don’t always get happy endings. And love can be real but not last forever. Hopefully the movie will be as great as the book was!

      I saw both Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are back for the Independence Day sequel, which is cool. It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the first film, and 15 years since Jason Bourne. Crazy how fast time goes!

      The Tarzan story is problematic, and the plot is definitely from another era. Maybe this is one they should have just left alone. 😦 It’s a cool cast, but maybe it would have been better to stick these actors in a different, original adventure film. I kind of feel the same way about Ghostbusters. It’s a talented cast of very funny women; I kind of wish they’d come up with an original ensemble comedy for them to star in. It’s sad that the film has become political. 😦

      This year, summer actually seems like kind of just a prelude to the awesome stuff coming this fall and winter.

  2. I’m looking forward to Jason Bourne. I like that Matt Damon is back and so is director Paul Greengrass. For the summer superhero movies I’m most excited for Civil War. 🙂 I’m rooting for Suicide Squad. I like the trailers so far. I’m not that excited for Alice or Ghostbusters, but I’ll keep an eye out for the reviews.

  3. I REALLY WANT X-Men Apocalypse to b my Movie of th Yr, but have just come back from my internet-hiatus to some troubling below-average initial reviews.
    Synger’s lost his touch? Perish th thought!
    I still have NO enthusiasm for Suicide Squad – I feel as if I’m too old now for such malarkey…
    Passengers sounds intriguing – want to find out more
    Cheers!

    • Yeah, I had also heard about some “meh” early reviews for X-Men Apocalypse. 😦 Not what I wanted to hear. It’s definitely still on my must-see list, though, and hopefully it will be fun.

  4. Pingback: The good, the bad and the ugly: Looking back at five years of hits (and misses!) at Box Office Buzz | Box Office Buzz

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