With the release of The Amazing Spiderman 2 this week, Hollywood begins its annual summer blockbuster season. Nearly every week from here to the end of August we’ll see a number of releases. This summer continues the ever-increasing release of superhero movies, a slew of adult comedies, sequels looking to continue success, and adaptations of novels, musicals, and graphic novels all to the silver screen.
Last month Marvel continued building on their successful legacy of superhero movies with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Building on last year’s Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, Captain America is the third movie in the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe leading to next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. While separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, this week’s The Amazing Spiderman 2 sees the series building its own universe by already having a third and fourth sequel planned out.
Later this month the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past will expand the X-Men universe as an adaption of X-Men’s most popular storyline. Directed by Bryan Singer, who directed the first two X-Men movies, the movie sees Wolverine being sent to the past to prevent a chain of events that bring the end of mutant kind. Featuring past and present versions of Charles Xavier and Magneto, the film sees the return of favorites such as Mystique, Storm, Beast, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, and Iceman.
Perhaps the most intriguing superhero release of the summer is Guardians of the Galaxy. Featuring an unlikely team consisting of a bounty hunter, an alien, a savagely strong man, a tree-like humanoid, and a genetically engineered talking raccoon, the film has the galaxy’s fate resting in their hands. Perhaps Marvel’s biggest risk yet with using a little known comic series to adapt into film, it has been confirmed that the film will be connected to the third phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris Pratt takes the lead in this film as the Star-Lord. James Gunn director of the film spoke about the unlikeliness of Chris Pratt taking the lead role over the audition of two dozen other actors out for the role.
“None of them were right. It just didn’t feel right in my gut, and I always follow my gut. And Chris came in. He was pretty heavy at the time, and he read. But within about 30 seconds of him reading, I looked back at the casting director and I was like, ‘What the–? This is the greatest thing ever,” Gunn said.
A plethora of non-superhero action movies are expected for release this summer as well. Godzilla finds his way back to the big screen this month. The trailer led to many expectations that the film might be the surprise hit among fans and critics. Starring Bryan Cranston in his first big role since Breaking Bad and the most famous kaiju monster in the history of cinema, the film will see the two fight for the remains of Earth. Cranston, during an interview, stated how director Gareth Edwards really captured the tone and feel of what a Godzilla film should be like.
“The most important thing about this version of Godzilla is the characterization. The characters in this are real, well-drawn. He takes the time to really establish who these people are, that you root for them, that you invest in these characters, and that you care for them. That’s the best part of it,” Cranston said.
For those who want films presenting battles over the Earth, join Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum this July in Jupiter Ascending as they fight for the sake of their planet; Mark Wahlberg as he plays a single father in Michael Bay’s fourth installment of the Transformer films, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Gary Oldman and Keri Russell, the last remaining humans in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are at war to see who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.
Others might be searching for laughs, and should look no further than the following three films. Next week, audiences can see Seth Rogen and Zac Efron face each other in Neighbors. As a young couple with a newborn, Seth Rogen and Rose Bryne’s characters are surprised one day when they see a college fraternity move in next door. What follows is a set of pranks and crazy hijinks to get either one or the other to move out of the neighborhood.
Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and Director/Voice of Ted, is starring and directing his next film, A Million Ways to Die in the West. The film stars Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, and Neil Patrick Harris alongside MacFarlane. MacFarlane plays a sheep farmer in 1882 who gains courage through the bravery of another woman to face off with an infamous criminal.
Finally the most anticipated comedy sequel of the year, 22 Jump Street sees Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum back on the job. This time, the two are expected to go undercover at a college and once again have to become accustomed to a new generation of young adults.
There are also a couple highly anticipated children movies releasing this summer. On June 13, How to Train Your Dragon 2 brings back Hiccup and friends, now young adults in a world where all Vikings prominently now ride dragons. With this newfound exploration, Hiccup quickly encounters different cultures and dragons, but soon discovers a conflict arising between the two.
On May 30, audiences can see Angelina Jolie play one of Disney’s most terrifying villains in Maleficent. Set to tell the untold story of how Maleficent became the stone-hearted witch, Jolie plays the classic figure from Sleeping Beauty. As a kid, Jolie had always seen Maleficent as her favorite Disney character.
“She was just my favorite as a little girl. I was terrified of her but I was really drawn to her. I loved her,” Jolie said.
Lastly, the arrival of two adaptions of bestselling young adult novels will bring many readers to the cinema. Based on the John Green novel of the same name, The Fault in Our Stars, follows 16-year-old cancer patient Hazel as she falls in love with Augustus Waters who has lost his leg due to osteosarcoma. Starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, the film will most likely be a surefire tear-jerker. The equally beloved novel, The Giver, is finally finding itself as a movie 21 years after its original release, starring Brenton Thwaites as Jonas and Jeff Bridges as The Giver, it will also star Meryl Steep and Taylor Swift.
These are just a few films that should be on your list as Hollywood rains down all their blockbusters in their glory, so make sure to take a few trips to the theatre this summer.