Monarch Summer Movie Guide
Tyler Passarge | Staff Writer
With the semester coming to an end and the month of May slowly creeping up on us all, we are reminded that the summer movie season is about to begin. Starting off the crowded season are destined blockbusters, like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and the fifth installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” What will follow those two big releases are four comic book movies, nine sequels and five movies based off of existing franchises that are bound to start their own sequels and shared universe franchises.
Summer is typically packed and bloated with so many of these kinds of movies that it’s hard to see past the tent pole releases to find original, standalone features in the crowd. Fear not, film-goers, there are quite a few original movies out there that have potential to make a big splash on your summer fun.
‘Snatched’ | Release Date: May 12
Starring: Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Joan Cusack and Ike Barinholtz
What’s it about? Starring the megastar female comedian, Amy Schumer, “Snatched” follows Emily (Schumer), a woman who is dumped by her boyfriend just before a big vacation. In order to not let the breakup get her down or let the trip go to waste, Emily convinces her ultra-conservative and cautious mother (Goldie Hawn) to go on the trip with her. Misadventures ensue when they are both hurdled into captivity by a gang of kidnappers.
Why should you see this? While Schumer’s brand of raunchy, liberal comedy doesn’t sit well with many, it’s hard to deny the potential that lies within it. Judging by the trailer, Schumer and Hawn’s onscreen chemistry could serve as a crackling formula that has a chance of making the film work. Anyone who is a fan of Schumer’s stand-up will certainly get much enjoyment from this one.
‘All Eyez on Me’ | Release Date: June 16
Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Dominic L. Santana and Jamal Woolard
What’s it about? In this film, the story of famed rapper and poet Tupac Shakur is detailed, from his upbringing in the midst of a cultural revolution to his untimely death at the age of 25.
Why should you see this? Biography pictures, like this one, only work when they tell a grander story rather than just acting as a montage of greatest hits. 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton” told the story of N.W.A as a voice for the inner city anguish caused by police brutality. “All Eyez on Me” can certainly serve as a companion piece, as it creates Tupac as a tragic figure that succumbs to fame and the gang violence he wanted to save others from.
‘Baby Driver’ | Release Date: June 28
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James and Jamie Foxx
What’s it about? Since a childhood accident that impaired his hearing, Baby (Ansel Elgort) uses the beats of music to be the best in his game. His game, being a getaway driver for anyone willing to pay the right price. It’s only when he meets the love of his life (Lily James) that he decides to make a clean break from a life of crime. However, Baby must first thwart a nasty crime boss (Kevin Spacey) who forces him into a heist that is untimely doomed to fail.
Why should you see this? There is only one name you need to know to get you excited: Edgar Wright. This dynamic filmmaker is the one responsible for praised action comedies “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” Here, he demonstrates his crafty touch as a filmmaker with car chases and action scenes that ooze with style and flow. If the early reviews from SXSW are true, “Baby Driver” could be Wright’s best film.
‘Rough Night’ | Release Date: June 16
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz, Kate McKinnon and Ilana Glazer
What’s it about? Just as Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is about to get married, she reunites with her four friends from college for a bachelorette weekend in Miami. As the drinks keep coming and the drugs have no end in sight, the girl’s weekend escalates in glorious fashion. Things take a darkly comedic turn when they accidently kill a male stripper.
Why should you see this? At first glance, this could easily be written off as just another “Hangover” knockoff with an all-female led cast. But the star power and comedic abilities of this cast could just be the thing to make “Rough Night” stand from the crowd. Written by the team that produced the Comedy Central series “Broad City,” the film’s cast combined with an oddly dark premise could make for the summer’s most unique comedy.
‘Dunkirk’ | Release Date: July 21
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh
What’s it about? Acclaimed director Christopher Nolan brings audiences his latest film in the form of a WWII story. Based on real events, “Dunkirk” follows a group of soldiers who were trapped by German troops on the beaches of Dunkirk during an evacuation. This intense look at those events will capture the fight for survival these soldiers faced during the week of their entrapment.
Why should you see this? If there is a filmmaker who knows something about risk and scope to tell a unique story, it’s Christopher Nolan. Known for grandiose genre-bending films, such as, “The Dark Knight,” “Interstellar” and “Inception,” Nolan shows no sign of slowing down with his huge take on the battle in Dunkirk. Lined with an impressive and diverse cast, “Dunkirk” could be the film of the summer.