My List of Most Anticipated Summer Movies for 2017

We have transformers, superheroes, knights, mummies, assassins, and soldiers…and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. There is, what seems like, an endless stream of great movies being released this year. Here is what I’m excited for through the end of summer and why. Let me know which movies have peaked your interest in the comments!

May 12

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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Summary from IMDB: Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writers: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Jude Law

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content and brief strong language

Run time: 2hr. 6 min.

Trailer: Click Here!

First, the trailer for this movie really catches your attention with its over the top style and the stringing together of one intense action shot after another. It looks very much like a Guy Ritchie film; which can be hard to put into words what that looks like, but is ultimately a good thing in my opinion. He was behind the excellent Sherlock Holmes movies from a few years back: whom Jude Law was apart of as well. If this movie is anything similar, it should be fun and entertaining to watch. Audiences will forgive a movie for most of it’s shortfalls if at its core it is entertaining throughout.

Charlie Hunnam, best known for Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim, will have the title role of Arthur. Hunnam is honestly not the greatest actor. His acting always comes across as rigid and monotone in range to me. While he’s decent in action roles, there are plenty of other actors who are better, frankly. He’s passable. Satisfactory. Judging from the trailer, that is exactly how he comes across as Arthur: not spectacular, but passable. But again, if the trailer is any indication, it should be at least a fun movie to watch. I’m a huge fan of the “medievel/fantasy” genre, so I’m interested to see what they do with it.

 

May 19

Alien: Covenant

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Summary from IMDB: Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in ALIEN with Alien: Covenant, the second chapter in a prequel trilogy that began with Prometheus — and connects directly to Scott’s 1979 seminal work of science fiction. Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Watterson, Noomi Rapace, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, James Franco

Rated R for sci-fi violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality/nudity

Run time: 2hr. 1 min.

Trailer: Click Here!

I have fond memories as a kid of being scared out of my freaking mind watching the first and second Alien movies. The original was an intelligent mixture of suspense and terror, holding your attention throughout. Aliens, the second movie in the series was still terrifying, but it focused more on action. Covenant looks to be more of a return to the suspenseful roots of the original film. It acts as both a sequel to 2012’s Prometheus and a prequel to the original Alien…similar to how Rogue One fits into the Star Wars timeline between episodes 3 and 4.

There are some beautiful sci-fi set pieces in the trailer, and the stark contrast between beauty and gore, discovery and death is a very satisfying balance if done correctly. Ridley Scott, the director behind both the original Alien and Prometheus returns with Covenant. This will be the first of two of his movies released this year: the second being Blade Runner 2049 which will out this fall. Both are continuations from two of his most beloved series. I think a lot of fans were disappointed that Prometheus never showed off any real xenomorph action. Covenant looks to fix that and return the series back to level Ridley Scott is known for.

May25

Baywatch

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Summary from IMDB: Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchanan butts heads with a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.

Director: Seth Gordon

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario

Rated R for language throughout, crude sexual content, and graphic nudity

Run time: 1hr. 59min.

Trailer: Click Here!

Who didn’t watch Baywatch, when it was on TV? (Stop lying, yes you did…and it wasn’t for the incredible story either). This movie makes the list for the nostalgia factor alone. The cast and story look fun, and seems to imitate the original show’s blurring between life guard and cop drama. I do have some mixed feelings about it. There is a trend in the movie industry right now to reboot classic movies and TV shows and mold them into “dumb” comedies: even when the original properties were not. They did it with Chips, and they seem to be doing it with Jumanji and now Baywatch. Don’t get me wrong, I love stupid humor, but it has it’s place. Growing up watching these movies and shows and then seeing the tone being completely changed for the reboots just feels out of place to me.

Hopefully this is just an over analysis on my part and Baywatch will be a fun movie to watch… If all else fails I’m sure there will be plenty of slow motion running.

May 26

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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Summary from IMDB: Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow with Geoffrey Rush back on board as Barbossa, Orlando Bloom resurfacing as Will Turner, and a terrifying new adversary, Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem, in the mix.

Director: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Cast: Johnny Depp, Kiera Knightly, Orlando Bloom, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush.

Rated PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence, and some suggestive content

Run time: 2hr. 15 min.

Trailer: Click Here!

Another Pirates movie? While this is actually the fifth movie in the series, it feels like there has been many more (somewhere around 10). Similarly to the Transformers franchise: the number of movies doesn’t necessarily equal quality as it does the amount of money made. As long as Disney keeps making money, they will keep making new movies.

That doesn’t mean the movies are horrible; they just aren’t as fresh as they once were. There will be plenty of action and swashbuckling adventure. Johnny Depp’s Sparrow is always fun and I am excited to see Bloom and Knightly back for one more go. If you’re looking for something drastically different than previous installments you will undoubtedly be disappointed. However, if you can be satisfied with a return to more of the same Pirate’s action and story, this popcorn flick should be fun.

June 2

Wonder Woman

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Summary from IMDB: Raised on the mythical island of Themyscira and trained by Amazonian warriors, a young woman named Diana fulfills a destiny long ago bestowed on her by the Gods when her home and the world at large is threatened, she must leave and travel to the outside world for the first time. In doing so she will take the first steps to becoming the hero that is Wonder Woman.

Director: Patty Jenkins

Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content

Trailer: Click Here!

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is near, if not at the top of my list for must see movies this year. The Israeli model turned actress has already played the Amazon princess in Batman v Superman, and was easily one of the best parts of the movie. There were some doubts that Gal was the right choice for the role but I think she looks perfect as Diana and did well holding her own in the action scenes. Now, this stand-alone movie is a prequel that depicts the origins of her character. Since she doesn’t age as fast as humans, this prequel becomes a period film, and holds striking similarities in setting with the first of Marvel’s Captain America movies. I do think they made the right choice going with WWI era, rather than WWII as we saw in Captain America. While it’s still similar, the more direct comparisons to both films’ depiction of WWII would have hurt Wonder Woman in the end.

Watching the trailer, there seems to be plenty of action along with a generous dose of humor mixed in. The two main settings offer a nice contrast with the bright and beautiful Amazon island of Themysciria along with the dark and dirty city of London. Hopefully they will use that contrast as a way to describe Diana’s inner conflict of leaving her “perfect” island to become entangled in the affairs of mankind. The main villain also appears to be a woman, however there are rumors of a surprise appearance from Aries, the god of war. This movie is promising to be an awesome full cinematic debut for Wonder Woman.

June 9

The Mummy

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Summary from IMDB: Thought safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the desert, an ancient queen (Sofia Boutella) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

Director: Alex Kurtzman

Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, Jake Johnson

Rated PG-13 for violence, action and scary images, and for some suggestive content and partial nudity.

Trailer: Click Here!

What a surprise; it’s another remake of a movie from my childhood (sarcasm in case you couldn’t tell). This Mummy, unlike the original, actually looks like it could be scary. While it is yet another remake, at least they are starting over completely with a new story and characters. Another reason to be excited about this movie is that Universal is trying to mimic the huge success of Marvel’s cinematic universe with one of their own. They are looking to create a “movie monster cinematic universe” that includes Dracula, the Wolfman, and more. This is exciting news to me, as I grew up watching all of the classic monster movies as a kid. The Mummy has promise, however time will tell if this is a quality remake or a cheap attempt to cash in on the Marvel movie formula.
June 16

Cars 3 (Honorable Mention)

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Summary from IMDB: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage.

Director: Brian Fee

Cast: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Armie Hammer, Cristela Alonzo

Rated G for general audiences

Trailer: Click Here!

While I doubt I will see this in the theater, I do think Cars 3 will be entertaining and worth a watch. The first trailer with McQueen crashing across the track was pretty intense for a Pixar movie, and definitely seemed to get everyone’s attention. Speaking of Pixar, the only travesty with this movie is that we will soon live in a world with 3 Cars movies, but only 1 Incredibles movie. Get with it Pixar! Where is my super suit!?

Pixar is still in the business of making quality animated films, and I don’t think Cars 3 will be any different.

June 21

Transformers: The Last Knight

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Summary from IMDB: The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).

Director: Michael Bay

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Jerrod Carmichael, Isabela Moner

Run time: 2hr. 6 min.

Trailer: Click Here!

As I stated earlier, the Transformers franchise is similar to the Pirates franchise, in that they keep making money, so more movies keep getting churned out. The Last Knight seems to be trying to shake things up though, with an apocalyptic setting, knights of the round table, and Optimus Prime apparently turning on his Autobots (although I’m sure that won’t last). I am also excited to see Anthony Hopkins added to the lineup with Mark Whalberg reprising his role from the previous film.

There seems to be all of the signature explosions and destruction we’ve come to expect in a Michael Bay Transformers movie; which is usually part of the problem. Honestly, except for one or two stand out moments, the explosions are all I can remember from these movies. The plot and any important character development is lost as it all turns into one giant “Bay-splosion.” I don’t think I could remember what happened in the previous film if my life depended on it, much less a couple back. I still want to see The Last Knight, and think it will be a fun time as long as viewers keep their expectations in perspective. It will ultimately be more of the same: a solid summer popcorn flick: light on any type of compelling story and heavy on the explosions, destruction and unrealistically hot women. Maybe I’m being too harsh. It is a movie about giant alien robots after all.

July 7

Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Summary from IMDB: A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Director: Jon Watts

Cast: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton

Trailer: Click Here!

Tom Holland is the 3rd actor to play Spider-Man on the big screen. However, there is a special reason the web-head is being rebooted again. Until now, the rights to making Spider-Man movies has been owned exclusively by Sony. However, due to the unstoppable success of the Marvel cinematic universe and the lackluster performance of Sony’s “Amazing Spider-Man” franchise, Sony and Marvel Studios have worked out a deal that grants joint custody to the web slinger’s movie rights. Marvel Studios will finally get a crack at making a movie with their own character.

The movie’s title, “Homecoming”: therefore has special significance. Tom Holland has already passed the first test, appearing in last year’s Captain America: Civil War. If you haven’t seen that movie you should first examine your life’s priorities and then check it out. Tom does a great job of capturing the essence of Spider-Man; how does a high school kid balance everyday teenage life while also secretly being a superhero?

I’m really intrigued by Michael Keaton’s portrayal of the villain, Vulture as well. It seems like a new and interesting take. Keaton has been making a movie comeback lately and I can’t wait to see how he does as The Vulture. I think Homecoming will prove once and for all that the only company that should be making movies with Marvel characters is Marvel.

July 14

War For The Planet of The Apes

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Summary from IMDB: In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel.

Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis, Gabriel Chavarria, Chad Rook, Judy Greer

Trailer: Click Here!

Woody Harrelson vs Ceasar? Come on. That’s as crazy as it gets. Kudos to whoever came up with the idea. Ceasar actually looks like he’s the “level-headed” one in this matchup. “Verses” movies are always appealing to me: superheroes vs superheroes, giant robots vs giant monsters, and this: genius killer apes vs the last remnant of the human race lead by a crazy man. When you can take that conflict and also blur the lines between “good and bad” to the point where viewers sympathize with both sides: that’s when you have a captivating story that people remember.

Andy Serkis is a genius with motion capture, and there isn’t any role he can’t tackle. I’m not sure if this movie is suppose to be a finale, but the series has really hit it’s stride with the last two movies. Hopefully “War” will continue that streak.

July 21

Dunkirk

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Summary from IMDB: Miraculous evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 27- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in Word War II.

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Mark Rylance, Aneurin Barnard

Rated PG-13 for intense war experience and some language

Trailer: Click Here!

Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors. He’s the guy behind fantastic movies like The Prestige, The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Interstellar. I don’t think there is a single movie he’s been a part of that I haven’t enjoyed. His movies are always thought provoking, dramatic, and the cinematography is spectacular.

Dunkirk looks to be no different. I’ve honestly never heard of the events that take place in this movie, but one viewing of the trailer and you can feel the emotion of the events that took place. This movie is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat and I can’t wait to see Nolan’s portrayal of it.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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Summary from IMDB: Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout the universe.

Director: Luc Besson

Cast: Cara Delevingne, Dane DeHaan, Clive Owen, Herbie Hancock, Ethan Hawke, Rihanna

Trailer: Click Here!

I first found out about this movie at New York Comic Con last year. It came out of the gates strong, advertising it was directed by the same guy behind The Fifth Element. It also credited Lucy, which many people enjoyed, even though I myself thought it was boring. I do love The Fifth Element, however. It’s one of those cult classics that you have to pull off the shelf and watch every now and then, so it was smart advertising in my opinion.

Valerian is also based on a graphic novel, which I haven’t read unfortunately. I may read it if the movie turns out to be solid. The CGI seems to be very well done, and the world rich with depth. The Fifth Element also did a fantastic job of creating a complex universe, full of multiple races of people and aliens, each with their own culture, history, personality, and language. Valerian looks to try to capture a similar feel. It’s a bit of “wild card” for me and could go either direction as far as quality.

July 28

Atomic Blonde

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Summary from IMDB: A thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with a revolution and double crossing hives of traitors.

Director: David Leitch

Cast: James McAvoy, Charlize Theron, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella

Trailer: Click Here! (Red Band)

Again, we have a movie based on a comic that most people have never heard of. To say Atomic Blonde’s trailer is over the top is the understatement of the year. There’s an interesting use of bright vs dark colors that adds a flair to the movie. Charlize is equal parts seductive and bad ass. The fight choreography feels gritty and well grounded, but also flamboyant as well. Charlize takes on multiple guys throughout the trailer, and you can see the physical toll it takes on her body. She reminds me of a female mix of James Bond and John Wick. There’s also a bit of comedy scattered throughout. If the movie can keep up the pace of the trailer, it should be a wild ride.
August 4

The Dark Tower

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Summary from IMDB: Gunslinger Roland Deschain roams an Old West-like landscape in search of the dark tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.

Director: Nikolaj Arcel

Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Abbey Lee, Tom Taylor, Jackie Earle Haley

Trailer: Click Here!

Dark Tower is the movie adaption of Stephen King’s famous series of novels. The first trailer was recently released, and so far it has great promise. Idris looks like a natural as the gunslinger; it actually makes me want to see him in a full fledged western. The only problem I see for this movie is with die hard fans if the plot deviates too far from the source material. The series is held in very high regard which means the movie will be scrutinized heavily. Regardless, so far it looks good.
August 18

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

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Summary from IMDB: An action comedy about the world’s top protection agent (Reynolds) and his new client: a notorious hitman who came in from the cold (Jackson).

Director: Patrick Hughes

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Elodie Yung, Salma Hayek, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson

Rated R for strong violence and language throughout

Trailer: Click Here! (Red Band)

This movie looks HILARIOUS. Seriously. Reynolds and Jackson are an interesting pair, and at least from the trailer, it looks like they play well off of each other with their dueling sarcastic personalities. My fiancé noticed right away that the movie’s title and basic plot is a spoof on The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner and Whitney Huston. Compare the posters and you will see it immediately. Whitney Huston’s signature song matched with the screaming and profanity is a hilarious combination. There’s also few other high caliber stars: namely Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman. This will hopefully a comedy that will have me in tears laughing.