By Bill Wine
KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — So here we are, according to the calendar, approaching the beginning of summer.
Not in Hollywood, though, where the summer movie season in already well underway.
As a glance at any multiplex marquee will tell you, even though June is not yet visible in the rearview mirror, we can clearly see the beginning of the parade of movies that will keep us entertained all summer.
But the warm-weather lineup of cinematic come-hither entertainments has just begun.
Here are the 15 high-profile attractions and potential blockbusters –- due for release (which is, please remember, always subject to change) in pretty much the order in which they’re listed –- that will be headed our way in June, July, and August. You know, actual summer.
Edge of Tomorrow — Tom Cruise continues his career comeback, co-starring opposite Emily Blunt, in this science fiction thriller set in the near future with a time-loop premise involving a military officer on a combat mission who is killed by the aliens he is fighting, but who then finds himself back on the same mission, starting over again and again, and getting better at it with each attempt.
The Fault in our Stars — Rising star Shailene Woodley (from The Descendants and Divergent) co-stars opposite Ansel Elgort, with Laura Dern and Willem Dafoe in support, in a heart-tugging romantic drama adapted from the Young Adult best seller by John Green about teenage lovers in a cancer support group.
22 Jump Street -– Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return in the sequel to the comedy hit 21 Jump Street, based on (but, being a raucous action comedy, very different from) the television series that starred Johnny Depp back in the day. Look for the two stars to have fun with their public personas this time.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 –- As the only big animated flick to be released this summer, this sequel to the monster 2010 hit (and it won’t be the last: look for a followup in 2016) is another adventure comedy set in a mythical Viking world where teens and dragons interact. The voices include Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, and America Ferrara.
Jersey Boys –- The Tony-winning musical biography of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons comes to the big screen under the direction of Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood. The only movie name in the cast is Christopher Walken, but John Lloyd Young, who stars as lead singer Valli, won a Tony for his work on the stage. This promises to be one of the “New Jerseyest” movies ever made.
Transformers: Age of Extinction –- While fans applaud and detractors cringe, here comes a fourth science fiction adventure in a franchise based on a line of toys. Like the first three, this fourth critic-proof visit from the battling-robot Autobots and Decepticons was directed by Michael Bay, with Mark Wahlberg taking over the starring role from Shia LeBeouf.
Tammy –- With her Oscar nomination as best supporting actress for Bridesmaids and starring roles in Identity Thief and The Heat, Melissa McCarthy has become a comedy brand name. She stars here as the title character, who leaves her unfaithful husband and goes on the road with her hard-drinking grandmother, played by Susan Sarandon. Their guiding light is McCarthy’s real-life actor husband, debuting director Ben Falcone.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes –- The sequel to the impressive 2011 reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is another apes-of-wrath franchise thriller, this time featuring Gary Oldman and Keri Russell and involving human survivors of a devastating virus who battle genetically evolved apes for supremacy as the planet’s dominant species.
Jupiter Ascending –- Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis co-star in a science fiction adventure from Andy and Lana Wachowski, perpetrators of the Matrix trilogy, Speed Racer, and Cloud Atlas. Which is to say that head-scratching confusion could well be involved. The plot involves a conflict between a janitor and the Queen of the Universe. (Believe me now?)
Hercules –- Dwayne Johnson, no longer The Rock, stars in multiple roles, including the title character, in this action-adventure thriller –- one of two films about Hercules coming out this year — as the Greek demigod who, having undergone and endured his legendary twelve labors, comes to the aid of the King of Thrace and his daughter when they’re threatened by a tyrannical warlord.
Sex Tape –- Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz, who teamed up under the direction of Jake Kasdan in 2011’s Bad Teacher, co-star for him again as a panicking married couple, the parents of two young kids, who wake up to the embarrassing realization that the sex tape they recorded the evening before to spice up their life is not only missing but has been uploaded into The Cloud. Yikes.
Guardians of the Galaxy -– As we continue to marvel at the Marvel Comics universe on the movie screen and hope that superhero fatigue doesn’t set in, this science fiction adventure, aimed at a narrower Marvelous fan base than, say, Iron Man or X-Men, presents a team of misfit superheroes with Chris Pratt in the lead and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel in the air.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -– They’re baaack! Remember the ’90s, when three inconsequential live-action movies based on the Nintendo game surfaced about these four criminal-fighting mutated humanoid turtles in New York City? Well, a comedic action-adventure reboot is upon us, as four outcast brothers come out of their shells and rise from the sewers to fight for justice alongside Megan Fox and Will Arnett.
The Expendables 3 — Sylvester Stallone co-writes for a third time in this second sequel of the popular action thriller that kicked off the shoot-’em-up franchise in 2010. Joining star Stallone in the ensemble cast are Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, and lots and lots of weaponry.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For -– Like its film-noir predecessor, the followup to 2005’s distinctive crime thriller Sin City is co-directed by graphic novel creator Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, but this time without “guest director” Quentin Tarantino. The big cast includes Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, and Lady Gaga.