Summer Movie Preview: June 2014

Vacation time is over, and I'll be sticking to home for a while. And speaking of sticking, it looks like it's going to be the usual sweltering, humid summer, so I'll be seeking out air-conditioned locales, many of which will contain technology capable of screening movies. Hey, what a great opportunity to see what cinematic treasures June has to offer! As always, let's sift them neatly into one of four handy categories: Must-See, Rental, TBD, or Pass.

June 1

X-Men: Days of Future Past: First, a correction. Obviously, this movie has already come out, and isn't weirdly being released on a Sunday. I just accidentally left it off of the May movie preview post, and will be doing penance not only by mentioning it now, but by going to see it on June 1. I don't even need the glowing reviews this film has already been getting; I was already excited to see it. The X-Men have always held the most allure for me in the superhero genre (and not just in in movies - I watched the show and played the video games religiously, too), so I'm giddy about this. (Must-See)

June 6

Obvious Child: A comedian goes through a breakup, loses her job, and gets pregnant from a one-night-stand, all in one day. It sounds like it has the potential to be incredibly annoying, but Jenny Slate, you guys. I love Jenny Slate. She's been killing it on shows like Parks & Rec and Bob's Burgers lately. And if I need any additional backup, the crowds at Sundance loved it. This one is definitely staying on my radar. (Rental)

Edge of Tomorrow: This is the most confusing of the movies being released this summer. I don't mean the plot is confusing; it's actually a pretty clever idea, in which Tom Cruise reawakens when he dies, and thus learns more each time about how to defeat an invading alien army. Emily Blunt takes on her first big action role as his...trainer? Co-death-walker? Long lost sister? Who knows? What's confusing is that the trailers walk such a tight line between looking fascinating and goofy. I feel like this movie is either going to be completely amazing or a total disaster, but I can't predict which. (TBD)

Trust Me: Movie previews is one of the reasons I keep up my subscription to Entertainment Weekly, despite its continual slide into becoming the next love child of Tiger Beat and US Weekly. This movie, directed by and starring Clark Gregg, would have slipped right by me if I didn't comb through the movie calendars they publish. And look how interesting it seems! Gregg plays a former child star who now struggles to hold onto clients as an agent for child actors. The movie costars Felicity Huffman and Allison Janney, and basically looks like it was tailor-made to my tastes. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it's received, and if it can live up to my expectations. (Rental)

June 13

How to Train Your Dragon 2: The trailers for the first one made it look like a pretty generic kids' movie, so I didn't realize how great it was until months later. So now I'm in a pickle. The trailers for this one make it look like a pretty generic kids' movie sequel. Am I being misled again? Or is this exactly what it appears to be: a straining attempt to recapture the magic of the original? I'll let some first-wave viewers let me know before I make any decisions. (TBD)

22 Jump Street: I am apparently the only person on Earth who didn't think that 21 Jump Street was a rollicking good time. So I think I'll leave the rest of you to enjoy this series, and I'll go start another Sims family or something. (Pass)

June 27

Transformers: Age of Extinction: I'm intensely curious who the audience for this series is now. It's not like the plot or even the special effects were ever that great, and with Megan Fox no longer around to bounce up and down in slow motion... Who are these Michael Bay enthusiasts lining up for tickets? (Pass)

They Came Together: I like David Wain, but he's not infallible. I was distinctly meh about Wanderlust, so no matter how much I love a cast, they can't always elevate weak material. That said, They Came Together promises to do for romantic comedies what Wet Hot American Summer did for summer camp movies, and if it can follow through on that promise, it'll be my favorite movie ever. With stars like Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Cobie Smulders, and Christopher Meloni, it seems like all signs point to awesome. I'm cautiously optimistic that this will lean more towards Role Models than A.C.O.D. (Rental)

Snowpiercer: Mentions of this South Korean movie have already been popping up a lot on the film podcasts I listen to. It's gotten awards and nominations at various festivals. But until I looked it up to write this entry, I had no idea what Snowpiercer was about. Now I'm intrigued. It stars Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, and Tilda Swinton, among others. The plot revolves around the passengers on a train that circles the globe. A catastrophe has wiped out most of humanity, and a new society begins to form on board the train, with all the problems and complications that entails. I'm not sure I'll rush out to the theaters to see it, but assuming it's not too gory, this seems like a good Netflix movie. (Rental)


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