Flaco’s 2016 Summer Movie Preview – Part 1
Summer movie season is here, where every release is huge and the competition ramps up each week. It’s also a season of familiarity, and the first half of this summer is just that. Two movies are based on video games, the rest are sequels. Early summer just isn’t the time Hollywood takes risks on movies that aren’t based on existing materials. Time to jump right in.
Captain America: Civil War
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a money-making machine, and the latest installment of the Captain America film series is no different. It’s going to be tough to balance all of the characters, in what is clearly more like Avengers 2.5 with Cap’s name slapped on the title, but the talented Russo brothers behind the helm are experts at handling ensemble casts as they cut their teeth on TV, directing episodes of Arrested Development and Community.
The Angry Birds Movie
While this looks like a huge corporate cash-in, I’ll give the filmmakers this much: they definitely aren’t straying too far from the game. Video game movies are still a tough sell, as even the faithful Ratchet & Clank film was a box office dud, but this has even wider appeal for the young target audience and could be a big hit.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
I wasn’t too enthralled by Tim Burton’s CGI explosion that was the first Alice movie, but the box office proved me wrong as it went on to gross over a billion dollars worldwide, resulting in this eventual sequel. Burton is not in the director’s chair this time, but his esthetic remains. Now that superior CGI and 3D spectacles are more commonplace, will the audience still be along for the ride?
I’m a fan of the Bryan Singer X-Men films, even if they do take a lot of liberties with the source material, and they have a strange fascination with making Mystique the most important mutant in the world for some reason. Still, they’re always pretty solid, with a fantastic cast, and this sequel looks no different. Just don’t ask me how the continuity makes sense or my head may explode.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Now that everyone got their complaints out of the way, following the first movie, with the fact that Michael Bay is involved behind the scenes and the Turtles have nostrils, this looks like a TMNT movie more people will get behind. They are obviously playing with a bigger budget this time, and with the origin stuff out of the way, the Turtles can cut loose and have fun in more familiar ground.
After years and years in development, I was convinced a Warcraft movie would never see the light of day. While Sam Raimi’s version didn’t, this more faithful adaptation rose from the ashes, thanks to Duncan Jones, and I think the movie will be better for it. Sure it’s more or less the story that was covered in the games, but at the end of the day, that’s probably what fans want as opposed to a new story set in the same universe. I can’t wait to see how it’s received by gamers and moviegoers alike.
Now You See Me 2
The first movie was a lot of fun, and was a surprise smash at the box office thanks to the humor and plot twists. Like most sequels, this appears to offer more of the same, but now with Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe making an appearance. This sequel will prove whether the first film was a flash-in-the-pan or the beginning of yet another franchise.
Dory was the breakout character of the original Finding Nemo, but can she carry an entire film? The Minions had a similar mission last summer, and while I thought that film was a disaster, it still raked in boatloads of cash. With Pixar behind the wheel I’m a bit more confident, though their magic doesn’t always carry over into sequels.
Independence Day: Resurgence
While I’m excited for this final movie of our preview, I miss the practical effects of the original. Now 20 years later everything is CGI and particles are flying everywhere, but as long as the heart of the movie is still the characters surrounded by awesome destructive action, then it should hopefully be good. Will Smith is missed for sure, but it was nice to see Jeff Goldblum getting some great self-referential lines in the trailer.
So that’s it for part 1 of my summer preview. Only 9 movies but a lot of big, anticipated films on the list. Rank your most anticipated below, and participate in the comments as well. I had to leave a few movies out, but I’m always willing to discuss more here.