By DIEGO CAGARA
Summer has finally arrived and while the idea of hitting the beach or going on a well-deserved vacation is far too tempting, don’t forget to take a trip to your local cinema this season as well.
The competition for what will be the summer’s biggest hit has commenced, particularly with the release of superheroine film “Wonder Woman” on June 2 to surprising acclaim for the DC Extended Universe to cherish. The following are five not-to-be-missed works amid the exodus of summer movies that are worthy of your attention and those pesky movie ticket prices.
Cars 3 (June 16) – Family movies have long been mostly triumphant at the box office, as with Disney/Pixar’s entries like the “Toy Story” series (1995-present), “Inside Out” (2015) and “Finding Dory” (2016). But despite the “Cars” films receiving mixed reviews, its third film looks to reconciling with audiences with its seemingly full-circle storyline.
Main character Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is challenged by a younger, fresher group of race cars, forcing him to confront whether he is becoming too old for the industry. The trailer suggests a slightly darker tone which could be an attempt to attract grown-up Pixar fans as well as disgruntled parents who may have to accompany their excitable children.
The Beguiled (June 23) – A remake of a 1971 version which starred Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page, it is based on the 1966 novel of the same name (originally titled “A Painted Devil”). Directed by Sofia Coppola, it is populated by a stellar cast with Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning.
Set in 1863, with the American Civil War as its backdrop, wounded Union soldier John McBurney stumbles upon a girls boarding school in Virginia and becomes embroiled in sexual tension with the ladies there. The trailer suggests an eerie undertone as the relationship between McBurney and the ladies seemingly deteriorates, amid whispery dialogue and peculiar drama.
Despicable Me 3 (June 30) – Whether you think this film series has become too saturated with gullible yet adorable minions, families seem unperturbed with that as the spin-off film, “Minions” (2015) grossed over $1 billion albeit garnering mixed reviews. The series’ established cast—Steve Carell as Felonius Gru, Kristen Wiig as Lucy Wilde and Miranda Cosgrove as Margo—returns and must face ’80s-obsessed supervillain Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker).
As family is among the core themes of the film series, Gru is shocked to encounter his long-lost twin brother Dru whose slapstick comedy surely would elicit laughs from children. With the army of minions collectively serving as a running gag once again, this film seems to cater more to its devoted fanbase, instead of caring for what critics will say.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7) – Although the film is Marvel’s flagship character’s second reboot within a decade, what makes it refreshing is how it exists within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (being its sixteenth film). Its much-hyped trailers have promised thrilling action sequences and familiar faces, as other established Marvel characters like Iron Man and Captain America will be making appearances.
Newbie Tom Holland, who previously debuted as the arachnid-based superhero in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” will portray Peter Parker as being back in high school again. While we hopefully can skip the whole Uncle Ben’s murder plot, what remains to be seen is whether this film can deliver. Nostalgic Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield fans may hesitate with this entry but given Marvel’s impressive success with its shared universe, perhaps it can both impress them and attract new audiences too.
Dunkirk (July 21) – This World War II film is the latest effort by revered director Christopher Nolan who previously helmed blockbusters like “The Dark Knight” trilogy (2005-2012), “Inception” (2010) and “Interstellar” (2014). Revolving around the Dunkirk evacuation which occurred from May 26 to June 4, 1940, its somber nature seemingly strives to offer a hopeful and heroic tone for viewers.
While Nolan’s works typically are fictional and set in modern times, this film is a complete 180 as he beckons his established fans and audiences to welcome a war film that is based on true events. According to Nolan, the film also notably will be presented in three perspectives to seemingly enrich the film’s plot.
Obviously, there are a lot more movies to bookmark this season, depending on your preference, but these five films should be a part of your summer package. Although we live in a time where finding movies online illegally is unfortunately common, nothing beats the experience of watching a feature film for the first time on the big screen.