Just The Blockbusters: June 2016 Movie Preiview

M: So while May is the official start of summer movie season, June is the true start of the season when the studios know that their customers ages 22 and under are out of school and are looking for air-conditioned fun. With that we’ll get the most anticipated animated movie in years, and some other seemingly fun fare.

E: June might just be the most blockbuster heavy month of the year. The studios have brought out what they thinks are the big guns, boys and girls.

M: I think July will give it a run for it’s money, but yeah, June’s got the big guns. As for the Siblings, well, the June movies start on Friday, but C is getting married on Saturday! Needless to say, she won’t be joining in, and neither E nor I have a lot of time to devote to this.

E: We have rather a lot going on, thank you.

M: Therefor, we’re only running through the big releases. Our apologies, and we should be back on track a month from now (when there’s at least one zany looking smaller release that I’m interested in discussing).

E: We hate to skimp, but if a skinny preview is all we can deliver, I’d like to think it’s better than nothing.

Week 1 – Me Before You, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Week 2 – Now You See Me 2, The Conjuring 2, Warcraft

Week 3 – Finding Dory, Central Intelligence

Week 4 – Free State Of Jones, Independence Day: Resurgence

June 3rd

Me Before You (wide)

M: A very selfish sounding title for a romance.

E: No!  No no no, you’re reading the title wrong.  It refers to how much the two main characters impact each other’s lives.  That they were different people before they met.

M: Ahhh, that makes sense. It just sounds selfish. Anyways, it’s based on the crazy-popular best selling book of the same name that every woman I know seems to be reading of have just read.

E: I haven’t, actually, but it is on my list. I hear it’s terrific. It’s not on the top of my list (and my list, it is long) but it is on there. Who knows? Maybe Mr. E and I will finally get to celebrate our anniversary, see it, and I’ll be overwhelmed with the desire to move it up the queue.

M: Other than that, all I knew about it before watching the trailer was that it was the usual tale of a woman entering a relationship with a broken man (though, this time he’s quite physically broken as well), and trying to fix him. My guess? She will, then he’ll die, and pretty much all the women who see this will cry, and love it. Now I’m going to shut up before I get in trouble with Mrs M and all her friends.

E: I’ve heard it compared to The Fault in Our Stars, so that seems a safe guess.

M: Exactly. Which, if people haven’t read it, that’s a phenomenal book.

E: I’m not in love with the dead boyfriend genre (even though I loved The Fault in Our Stars), so I’m cautious about this. But on the other hand I do love a good cry…

M: Me not as much, despite also loving TFIOS. However, the cast is quite stellar, with Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke and Hunger Games‘ Sam Clafin as the leads…

E: I’m not a fan of Clafin either (he is so not Finnick Odair) but Clarke’s pretty terrific.  It’ll be very interesting to see her range extend beyond the Mother of Dragons.

M: As a non-GoT watcher, I can’t really compare. Anyway, they are supported by Doctor Who‘s Jenna Coleman, Downton Abbey‘s Brendan Coyle, nearly everything ever made’s Charles Dance (though I’ll always remember his villain in Last Action Hero the most), Janet McTeer and Nigel Longbottom himself, Matthew Lewis.

E: I love that supporting cast. Coyle! McTeer! And oh my goodness, Nigel! I didn’t know Nigel was in it! Now I may actually need to see it.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (wide)

M: Andy Samberg going back to his musical parody roots as a former boy band member who flops going solo, but looks to hold onto his fame.

E: This is a wide release, huh?

M: Samberg is big. Not yet Will Ferrell in his prime big, but getting there.

E: I hadn’t heard word one about it until now. And now that I have, I kinda wish I hadn’t. The trailer is painfully unfunny.

M: To be honest, I hadn’t taken the time to watch it until just now. It wasn’t horrible.

E: Really?  I was way underwhelmed. Not that Justin Bieber isn’t ripe for satire, but if he’s the quarry, they need a younger guy doing it. On the other hand, the gag with the wolves and Seal is kinda funny?

M: Not bad. I thought that the bagpiper was a decent gag. And the clinical depression comment, dry, but funny. A good thing for it? Samberg brings along a ton of former SNL cast members and comedians, and half the recording industry. Seriously, the cast includes Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Tim Meadows, Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Silverman, Will Arnett, Joan Cusak and Paul Scheer, along with Adam Levine, Usher, P!nk, Snoop Dogg, Seal, Carrie Underwood, Questlove, Mariah Carey and Simon Cowell.

E: That’s great and all, but blech. It looks atrocious.

M: I’m not saying I’ll see it in the theater, but I’m withholding judgement for now.

E: I guess that’s fair (she says, grudgingly).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (wide)

M: You know it’s a banner weekend when Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping isn’t the longest or most ridiculous title, or the only one with a prominently featured colon. The punctuation, get your mind out of the toilet!

E: That’s not the kind of toilet humor I worry about, old man.

M: Har har. Not in the mood for toilet humor, since I’ve been working on replacing toilet hardware for the last 4 days, and dealing with leaks and such. But I digress, back to the movie.

E: For which I — and our readers — thank you.

M: While I didn’t see the previous one, I’ve heard from a lot of people that it was entertaining, and that it was pretty true to the comics.

E: I did recently see the first one at the prompting of one of my son’s friends, and yes, it was entertaining. I could see taking the kids to see it, and not grudgingly, even if it wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice in entertainment.

M: Plus, Megan Fox’s recent turn on New Girl has softened me a bit, and I now don’t feel like I have to instinctively avoid everything she’s in. Plus I like Arrow‘s Stephen Amell, and kind of want to see him in something where he doesn’t have to be quite so dour.

E: Me too. About Amell, that is. I don’t watch The New Girl…

M: …shut your mouth! You need to fix that. Now continue…

E: …so it was the first I’d seen Megan Fox since the first Transformers flick, which was not a selling point. She was fine, though. Not as nerdy as I wanted April to be, but fine.

M: But then there’s Will Arnett, looking about as Will Arnett as possible, playing the most Will Arnett character they could write….

E: Thankfully he wasn’t in enough of the first one to annoy me terribly. And also, he’s supposed to be annoying, so in that sense it’s genius casting.

June 10th

Now You See Me 2 (wide)

M: While we’re talking about things I didn’t see the first one of, but I have to say, the sheer magnitude (POP! POP!) of stars in this sequel has me looking to see if it’s on Netflix or Prime. I mean… *inhales a deep, deep breath* … Mark Ruffalo,Jesse Eisenberg,Lizzie Caplan,Michael Caine,Morgan Freeman,Woody Harrelson,Daniel Radcliffe and Dave Franco. *exhale*

E: Apparently this IS a theme, because I saw the first one of these too and liked it quite a bit. I like heist movies.

M: Me too!

E: I like most of the cast.

M: Me too!

E: I didn’t see it in the theater or anything, and I can’t imagine seeing this one, but I’ll be looking for the reviews and hoping it’s as entertaining as the first, which is definitely Red Box worthy.

M: Ok, now I definitely want to see it.

E: I didn’t hear why Isla Fisher didn’t return, did you?

M: No, and I’m unfamiliar enough with the first that until you said that I forgot that she was in it. BTW, kudos to anyone that got the Magnitude reference.

E: Which would not be me.

M: Community. Lee Jordan. Check it out. Well, at least YouTube it.

The Conjuring 2 (wide)

M: My immediate thought on seeing this was “didn’t we already review this?” but I think I was thinking of the original.

E: My first thought was to question your sanity in considering this a likely blockbuster.

M: Not a blockbuster, just a wide release. Come on, pay attention!

E: Do you want me to point out the title?  Which you wrote?  Because it does not say “Just the Wide Releases.”

M: Semantics, you know what I meant. Jerk. Anyway, my second thought was that maybe it was one of the 10 million other horror movies that all blend together in my head. Of course, I looked back through our archives to make sure we didn’t already review it, and found this gem from C regarding Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga’s presence in the original: “Who then turn to the director and say, ‘Can I have my paycheck now please, so I can get back to my next project for Sundance?’” Me thinks the same thing applies this time around.

E: I feel like the first was supposed to be relatively decent for what it is. Obviously neither of us are going to see it either way.

Warcraft (wide)

M: This massive, sprawling live-action/animation fatnasy epic is based on the incredibly popular online game World of Warcraft. It’s been teased and promoted since the SuperBowl, and frankly I feel like I’ve already seen it with as many commercials as I’ve seen for it, and I rarely watch live TV.

E: I mostly know about this because they themed a Face Off episode around it.

M: I still can’t get over the fact that they used the title of a bad action movie for a reality make up show. Do they at least have challenges where they have to make people look like either John Travolta or Nic Cage? Especially people that look nothing like them, aren’t the same size as them, etc?

E: Speaking of shows you need to start watching, bro.  Face Off is awesome.  Completely awesome. The New Girl can only dream about being as awesome as Face Off, and then hide in shame for daring to dream that impossible dream.

M: Setting that slight against a show you’ve never watched but is filled with actors you love, if they make people look like Travolta and Cage, I will.

E: You’re impossible.

M: I know. But wait, we were talking about Warcraft… trying to think of something relevant to say… um, the animation looks pretty great, and it looks like they put together a decent fantasy plot for it, I guess?

E: You think? I don’t know. Looks very CG heavy to me, which I have real trouble getting around, and the plot looks extremely basic.

M: The CG looks like good CG, though. And yes, the plot is basic, but basic in this case could work. Now, I will be disappointed if there isn’t a “Leroy Jenkins” reference thrown in somehow (warning, the linked clip has naughty language, proceed at your own risk).

June 17th

Finding Dory (wide)

M: How early is too early to get in line?

E: You and the rest of America, I’m thinking.

M: Seriously, I cannot wait for this. I so love the original, and have a great family story, about taking my eldest child (who was three at the time, easily frightened and scared of dark, enclosed places) to see it. She’s now super-super excited for this, and I’m really looking forward to going to see this with her (without her clutching to my neck in abject terror).

E: I saw the original just after my eldest was born; my husband was trying to distract me because our preemie was still in the hospital. The beginning almost killed me – but the movie is one of the all time greats. It’ll be amazing to see it in the theater with my kids.

M: I will say, the trailers and commercials look great, the concept is great, and they’ve taken their time, all of which does two things: it makes me hopeful that they’ve done this right, and it raises my expectations.

E: Yes. The fact that it’s a sequel (and that Pixar’s slate is so sequel heavy this year) worries me a little, but if anyone can do it justice, it’s Pixar.

M: Agreed. Other than Cars 2, they haven’t really missed.

Central Intelligence (wide)

M: Who remembers Mad Libs?

E: I do. I don’t think kids today do them as often as we did, but they’re definitely still out there. Why?

M: Probably true. The reason I bring them up is that Kevin Hart movies have become Hollywood Mad Libs. Plug in random much larger and more manly costar (in this case, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). Plug in concocted situation where Hart has to tag along with said co-star. Plug in scenes where Hart “hilariously” is a fish out of water. Rinse, lather, repeat.

E: Well, I’m not sure I’d classify Will Ferrell as more manly, even if he is taller, or that it was worth the analogy, but let’s go with it. In this case, it turns out that the fat nerd Hart took care of in high school is now a hulking CIA agent on the run who draws a hapless suburbanite Hart into his crazy life.

M: Oh, the excitement.

June 24th

Free State Of Jones (wide)

M: I have to say, I love this type of thing.

E: What type of thing is that?  Keeping up with the Joneses?  Free falling?  Statehood?

M: I love me a good 80’s Tom Petty song, but no. The kind of trailer or movie itself that makes me go and look up the real, inspiring history behind it.

E: Oh, you know I’m all about that. Which is why I’m finishing up reading a third revolutionary war history in the last month after becoming obsessed with the musical Hamilton.

M: Exactly! Now, I first saw the trailer for this months and months ago, and at that point looked up Newton Knight (McConaughey’s character) and found the fascinating story of an imperfect man who believed in racial equality during the Civil War (real one, not Captain America) enough to form a militia and fight the Confederate army, and try to set up his own country where people could be free and equal. I hope the movie does it justice, but even if it doesn’t, I’m better off for knowing it.

E: Whoa. I’ve never heard word one about this story.

M: I hadn’t either before the trailer.

E: I’m sure it all ends in tragedy, but it looks pretty darn interesting despite that. Kind of like Braveheart. I might be more likely to read up on the subject than make it to the theater, but I’ll be looking out for the reviews. I love seeing the fantastic Gugu Mbatha-Raw in a heavily featured role, too.

M: Agreed, she is very good. Another thing this has going for it is that it’s written and directed by Gary Ross.

E: This is a huge plus in the Siblings’ books.

M: In case you don’t know who Ross is, he wrote the fantastic comedies Big and Dave, and wrote/directed Pleasantville, the first Hunger Games, and one of my all time favorite movies, Seabiscuit.

Independence Day: Resurgence (wide)

M: I love the idea of this. I loved, loved, loved the intentionally campy original. I really like the look of campy spectacle that the trailers have. I love that they brought back most of the cast. And come on, who doesn’t love Bill Pullman? I just wonder if it can capture the same magic that the original had. I hope so.

E: Er, well, sure, I hope it’s good. I want all movies to be good. It could be a fun popcorn movie.

M: You want ALL movies to be good? Like, you’d want some puff-piece Donald Trump bio-pic to be good? Or something glorifying Scientology? Or the next Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel? (and yes, I put those all on even footing)

E: You’re right, I don’t think it’s possible for the pro-Donald Trump puff piece that the RNC produces for their convention to be good. You’re not always dealt a winning hand.

M: I’m still not convinced they the RNC’ll actually do that, but let’s move on.

E: Letting it go. So with theatrical releases, wouldn’t you prefer they not suck?  I mean, wouldn’t you prefer, say, that the only animated movie in theaters right now wasn’t Angry Birds?  Or that someone was capable of making a good romantic comedy?  I want choices of good movies to see!  Or is that just me?

M: Clearly, I want there to be good movies. But think about it, without bad movies there’d be no Mystery Science Theater 3000, and things like that. So I don’t need EVERYTHING to be good.

E: I suppose that’s fair (she says, grudgingly). Really, all I can think of is that it kind of makes me want to cry when I’m forced to remember the original premiered, er, quite so long ago.

M: You can say it. 20 years ago. TWENTY. Which is precisely why this is coming out now.

E: Yuuuuuuck.

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