The Summer Movie Season is in full swing now and June looks to keep it going. In the traditional Summer Movie sense, June is filled with sequels to big franchises that have graced the summer screen in the past, as well as some really good indies. Here are my picks for the most exciting movies coming out in June.
5 – DARK PHOENIX (Simon Kinberg, June 7th)
- I am a big fan of the X-Men franchise, but this movie existing feels like the ultimate cash grab. The last time we saw the X-Men was in X-Men: Apocalypse, where they defeated Apocalypse and life seemed to be on the up-and-up for them. Though Apocalypse wasn’t a perfect film and not particularly the ending that we wanted from this prequel trilogy, it worked and we didn’t need anymore of these films. Fox had other ideas, however, and now they are trying to do the Dark Phoenix Saga, something they failed at miserably in X-Men: The Last Stand. The cast is big and the Dark Phoenix Saga is an interesting story, I just hope they do it right this time.
4 – MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL (F. Gary Gray, June 14th)
- The Men in Black franchise has really never been the same since the original film back in 1997. The second film tried too hard to recreate the magic of the first film and third film came out a decade after the second and though a relatively fun film closer to the original, it just didn’t get the traction it needed and looked like the end of the MIB franchise. Men in Black International looks to restart the franchise and it has a lot going for it. The cast is sensational, with Thor: Ragnarok teammates Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson leading the way as our main agents and Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, and Rebecca Ferguson rounding it out. The film is directed by F. Gary Gray, one of the more exciting directors and one who can make a big budget blockbuster more interesting than just special effects and set pieces. This has the potential to bring back the Men in Black franchise.
3 – THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (Joe Talbot, June 7th)
- There are a number of good indies coming out in June, like Wild Rose and Jim Jarmusch’s latest, The Dead Don’t Die, but the best one coming out this month is a small little movie you won’t forget. I’ve already had the pleasure of seeing The Last Black Man in San Francisco and it is a truly great movie. Joe Talbot’s directorial debut is a beautiful love note to San Francisco, as a young man searches for home in the ever-changing city he grew up in. This is a movie filled with gorgeous cinematography and set design, a powerful score, and deep, relevant themes about gentrification, systemic issues, gang life, and finding your place in the world. Talbot’s direction reminded me of a young Spike Lee, full of energy, passion, and love for the city he grew up in. Try and seek out The Last Black Man in San Francisco, as it is one of the best movies you will see this year.
2 – ANNABELLE COMES HOME (Gary Dauberman, June 26th)
- If you told me that The Conjuring would have kick started one of the best horror franchises of the 2000’s, I would have said you were crazy. But, six years and six movies later, here we are. Annabelle Comes Home brings the Annabelle prequel trilogy and the Conjuring series together, as we see how Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) come to into possession of the possessed doll, Annabelle. The Conjuring franchise has produced a number of scary films, with both Conjuring films being two of the scarier movies I have ever seen and Annabelle Creation offering up far more scares than the first Annabelle. But what makes these movies great are the human stories to them, making them more than just about the scares. Annabelle comes home could be the best horror film of the year.
1 – TOY STORY 4 (Josh Cooley, June 21st)
- Toy Story 4 is my most anticipated movies of this month and one my most anticipated movies of the year. I’m always excited for a new Pixar film, especially with their recent run of great sequels, and I will always welcome the sight of Woody, Buzz, and the gang on the big screen. I do have my reservations about this one, however. My main gripe is wondering if we actually need this film. Toy Story 3, a film of utter perfection and one if Pixar’s best, ended the trilogy on a beautiful note, giving us a perfect conclusion to a trilogy that we have grown to love for fifteen years. So why continue the story from there when it ended perfectly? Maybe they’re starting a new trilogy, focusing on the toys’ lives after Andy. That’s my hope. Regardless, I trust Pixar and I believe that they wouldn’t have made this movie without it being the right script. Also, Pixar has a great track record with long-delayed sequels (see: Finding Dory and Incredibles 2), so I’m banking on the same success with Toy Story 4.
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