Welcome back, movie lovers! Ready for more summer blockbusters?
Now that youíve had a little bit of time to catch your breath and recover from the excitement and anticipation of our look at the movies of May and June, letís dive into the action and adventure of July and August.
Once again, Iíll start with a disclaimer: Films are listed by the week of their release (or at least their week of release at the time of writing). For most weeks, Iíve used Friday as the standard release date, though some will open earlier in the week (most, in fact, open on Thursday evening). Others will be opening in limited release, so release dates in your area may vary. As always, be sure to check your local listings for exact dates.
Nothing says ďHappy Independence DayĒ quite like male strippers and deadly robots....
First up this holiday weekend, in the latest Terminator movie, Terminator Genisys, the Governator returns to the franchise to help Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) and Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) in their quest to stop Judgment Day.
But, really, who cares about Arnold Schwarzenegger when thereís Channing Tatum? The dancer turned star returns this week in Magic Mike XXL. Though the plot details of the sequel are still pretty sketchy, letís face it: no oneís seeing this movie for the plot.
Kristinís Pick: Because Iím a girl, Iíve got to pick Magic Mike. If the film is anywhere near as entertaining as the trailer, itíll be worth checking out. No dollar bills required.
Can the Minions hold their own without Gru? Weíll find out when Minions makes its way to theaters. The Despicable Me spin-off follows the lovably bumbling characters as they take jobs with a ruthless villain (voiced by Sandra Bullock) whoís plotting to take over the world.
Also this week, in the thriller The Gallows, two decades after tragedy strikes a high school play, the school attempts to perform the same play to honor the anniversary of the accident. As you might expect, things donít go as planned.
Kristinís Pick: Though Iím admittedly skeptical about the minionsí ability to carry an entire film, Iíve still got to give Stuart, Kevin, and the rest of the guys my pick this week.
This week, Paul Rudd steps up (and shrinks down) to become Marvelís latest superhero in Ant-Man. After years of rumors, recasting, and director controversies, itíll be interesting to see what Rudd and director Peyton Reed can accomplish in this unconventional comic book thriller.
Also this week, Ian McKellen stars as an aging sleuth wrestling with an unsolved mystery in Bill Condonís Mr. Holmes. And Amy Schumer struggles with the idea of committing to Mr. Right in Judd Apatowís Trainwreck.
Kristinís Pick: Despite the set-backs it's suffered through its production, Iím still looking forward to seeing Ant-Man.
Aliens are invading, and Adam Sandler is our only hope. Also...Kevin James is the President. Itís a terrifying thought, isnít it? Perhaps the makings of a horror movie? But thatís the case in the latest from Chris Columbus, Pixels, which finds Sandler and a bunch of other gamers battling an arcade-style alien attack.
Also this week, director Joe Wright travels to Neverland in his Peter Pan origins story, Pan. Jake Gyllenhaal steps into the ring for Antoine Fuquaís Southpaw. And a band of young people set out to find a missing girl in the adaptation of John Greenís Paper Towns.
Kristinís Pick: Iím definitely intrigued by the idea of Joe Wright directing a family adventureóso Iíll give my pick to Pan.
This year, Tom Cruise closes out the month of July with a bang in Mission: Impossible Ė Rogue Nation. Expect plenty of quips from Simon Pegg, loads of action, and an often inexplicably shirtless star.
Or, for a different kind of thriller, thereís Joel Edgertonís feature-length directorial debut, The Gift, starring Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall as a happily-married couple whose relationship is shaken by an encounter with his old classmate.
Kristinís Pick: Though I sincerely wish that Tom Cruise would just put a shirt on already, Iím still looking forward to the breath-taking action of yet another Mission: Impossible movieóso Rogue Nation gets my pick.
Typically, in August, as the kids start heading back to school, things begin to cool down in theaters. But this summer gets one last hurrah from Foxís reboot of Fantastic Four, starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell as the quartet of superhuman scientists.
Also this week, Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess tries to recapture his early comic success with Masterminds, starring Zach Galifianakis as a bumbling security guard who plans a colossal bank heist.
Kristinís Pick: Iím not a huge Fantastic Four fanóbut, since I had my fill of both Jared Hess and Zach Galifianakis years ago, Iíll give the superhero adventure my pick for this week.
After directing two Sherlock Holmes adventures, director Guy Ritchie returns with his own take on a classic TV series in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Richieís adaptation stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer as operatives working together to stop a mysterious criminal organization.
Also this week, F. Gary Gray directs the NWA story, Straight Outta Compton, which follows the ground-breaking artists on their rise from the streets to superstardom in the mid-Ď80s.
Kristinís Pick: Guy Ritchieís career has had its share of highs and lows, but Iím still looking forward to seeing his take on Ď60s TVóso The Man from U.N.C.L.E. gets my pick.
Here is where the summer really begins grinding to a halt. This weekís only current offering is Sinister 2, the sequel to 2012ís low-budget [relative] hit.
Kristinís Pick: Take this weekend to go outside and enjoy the summer sun. Or maybe catch up on any releases that youíve missed
As is typically the case, another Summer Blockbuster Season ends not with a bang but a whimper. If you head out to your favorite theater during the last weekend in August, you can see War Room, a faith-based drama about a troubled marriage. You can also choose Regression, a thriller starring Ethan Hawke as a father whoís accused of a crime he doesnít remember committing. Or thereís Hitman: Agent 47, starring Rupert Friend as a genetically-engineered assassin who must stop a corrupt corporation that seeks to exploit his powers and use them against him. And youíll probably be able to get a pretty good seat.
Kristinís Pick: Once again, you wonít find me racing out to take in the latest releases this weekendóbut the latest Hitman adventure could at least provide some over-the-top entertainment, so Iíll give it my pick.
Donít let these last few weeks of August get you down. While you might want to take the last couple of weeks off (youíll probably want to spend some time gearing up for another Award Season anyway), this summer is sure to fill your weekends with action, adventure, and butter-drenched-popcorny goodness. And, as always, Iíll be right here to report back on all of the highs and lows, the hits and misses. Enjoy the latest Summer Blockbuster Season, my movie-loving friendsóand Iíll see you back here in a few months for my fall preview.