June 2016 Movie Preview

Once again, I’m aware that this is late, but this should be the last month for some time where the Preview will be delayed to this extent. With that out of the way…

…blimey, this Summer is pretty quiet, isn’t it? Big blockbusters such as ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass‘, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows‘, ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War‘ and more have under-performed and the box-office has been floundering. Will things change with June 2016? Well, only one way to find out. Let’s dive in!

June 3rd 2016
Me Before You – 

1 - Me Before You
A high-profile romance movie that doesn’t come from Nicholas Sparks? What a time to be alive.

In all seriousness, ‘Me Before You‘ is adapted from the best-selling book of the same name written by Jojo Moyes and tells the story of Louisa, played by Emilia Clarke who falls in love with rich, paralysed banker William, played by Sam Claflin. Whether or not Louisa would fall in love with William if he wasn’t phenomenally rich is a question I’m sure the movie will be all too eager to avoid.

It’s easy to be cynical about a movie like this, especially after all the controversy it’s courted amongst the disabled community for the casting of the able-bodied Claflin and also portraying disabled people as primarily a burden to their families then individuals still capable of ambition. But I’m sure its target audience will lap up this feel-good romance, cry at the end and move on to the next adaptation standing in line. Hopefully Emilia Clarke will be able to find a solid star-vehicle with this movie or other future ventures.

The Nice Guys –
2 - The Nice Guys
After dipping his toes into the blockbuster scene with the criminally underrated ‘Iron Man 3‘, Shane Black goes back to buddy-cop roots with ‘The Nice Guys‘ which feels like an evolution of ‘Lethal Weapon‘ and ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang‘. Starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as a mis-matched pair who have to track down a missing porn-star and uncover a mob plot.

Clearly paying homage to 1970s cop stories, what attracts me the most about ‘The Nice Guys‘ isn’t just the great comedy in the trailer such as the toilet-gag, the gun-throw etc. but the pairing of Crowe and Gosling. We know that Crowe can do a great hard-ass routine, but after seeing Gosling be so stoic in movies like ‘Drive‘ and ‘Only God Forgives‘ it’ll be great to see him cut-loose in a farcical comedy like this. Reviews have been great, the marketing has been great (unfortunately, it wasn’t a big hit in the States) I’m very excited about ‘The Nice Guys‘.

Race –
3 - Race
Jesse Owens is one of those figures who not only feels like he should have had a big mainstream biopic by now, but he should have a whole sub-genre devoted to him. For those of you who don’t know, Jesse Owens was an American track-and-field athlete who, in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, won four-gold medals. Now, that may not seem like it’s movie-worthy, but considering that Germany was under Nazi rule in 1936 and that Adolf Hitler was trying to promote his home-grown “Master Race” and prove the supposed inferiority of black athletes…well, now you know why Jesse Owens is such an iconic figure.

Now, ‘Race‘ is hardly a wide-release mainstream film in the vein of ‘42‘ or ‘Creed‘ or other films in the “Old White Trainer helps a Young Black Athlete win big” as it’s getting a limited release and was only made for a budget of $5M, but it’s the best we have right now and it’s a solid story with some good talent attached. Not the least of which is director Stephen Hopkins who is the acclaimed director of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child‘.

Huh. That’s an ecleptic career.

June 10th 2016
The Boss –
4 - The Boss
Melissa McCarthy, despite genuinely being one of the most talented comedians working in movies right now, seems to have two career trajectories right now. One path is the awesome-McCarthy with films like ‘Spy‘, ‘Bridesmaids‘ and ‘The Heat‘ and pants-McCarthy with ‘Identity Thief‘ and ‘Tammy‘. So which way will ‘The Boss‘ go? Well, McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone directed the weak and lacklustre ‘Tammy‘ and he’s directing this as well so…maybe it’s pants-McCarthy time.

Which is a shame, because the plot which revolves around McCarthy playing a business tycoon who gets arrested and has to start her empire from scratch is a good vehicle and teaming her up with Kristen Bell is an inspired choice. The trailers have also made me laugh, though maybe all the jokes were in the trailer as this movie has been poorly received by critics and its lasting legacy was besting ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ at the box-office on the weekend it opened.

Let’s hope the upcoming ‘Ghostbusters‘ movie is another awesome-McCarthy movie to help tip the scales.

Fire At Sea –
5 - Fire At Sea
Blimey, that poster and title attracts your attention, doesn’t it?

Italian director Gianfranco Rosi shot this documentary on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa last year during the still on-going European Migrant Crisis. ‘Fire At Sea‘ follows a 12 year old boy from a fishing family and a doctor who treats migrants upon their arrival. So yeah, not a fun time.

While the trailers for ‘Fire At Sea‘ have been way too minimalist to actually get much across, the reviews have been incredibly strong across the board and it even won the “Golden Bear” prize at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year. If this topic interests you, or you’d like to learn more about the ongoing Migrant Crisis, then ‘Fire At Sea‘ seems to have you covered, but it probably won’t be an easy watch.

Miracles From Heaven –
6 - Miracles From Heaven
Let’s forget about the Migrant Crisis and move onto to power of god to solve everyone’s issues! ‘Miracles From Heaven‘ comes from the producers of other faith-based movies such as ‘Heaven Is For Real‘ and is another attempt to cater to the highly profitable Christian audience in the United States. ‘Miracles From Heaven‘ tells the true story of mother Christy Beam whose daughter gets an incurable disease. But because of her and her husband’s faith in God, her daughter falls 30 feet from a tree, hits her head just right and gets cured of her disease.

And yes, before you ask, that is the entire story. Just watch the trailer below and you’ll have seen the entire movie.

As with most movies in this genre, your mileage will vary based on your stance on religion as reviews have been pretty mixed with Jennifer Garner’s performance as the mother getting most of the praise. Check out the trailer and judge for yourself, but the quality of a movie like this really is as subjective as you can get.

Mother’s Day –
7 - Mother's Day
Coming out on Father’s Day weekend in the U.K. is…’Mother’s Day.

You couldn’t pay me to make this stuff up.

What happened to you Garry Marshall? You used to be cool. In that you made a couple of good films in the 90s with ‘Pretty Woman‘ and ‘Frankie and Johnny‘. Then you made ‘Exit to Eden‘ you never fully recovered and now you make terrible rom-coms based on holidays with huge ensemble casts that only do it for the pay-cheque like ‘Valentine’s Day‘ and ‘New Year’s Eve‘. Now we have ‘Mother’s Day‘ and he could only get together a handful of stars and not even that many big names with the biggest, Julia Roberts, only turning up for 4 days for a $3M pay cheque.

Yeah, it looks pants, the track-record is pants and it’s not even Mother’s Day in the U.K. in June. That ship sailed three months ago.

The Stanford Prison Experiment –
8 - The Stanford Prison Experiment
The tonal whiplash continues with ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment‘; the perfect movie to show your dad on Father’s Day weekend. In the early 1970s Stanford University conducted a study on their students about the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or a prison guard. Professors and post-graduates would oversee the experiments as students took to their roles incredibly eagerly. However, the two-week experiment only lasted six days when things got out of hand and the guards would enact psychological torture on the prisoners and would encourage the harassment of other prisoners.

Lots of documentaries have been made about the experiment but this Festival-Circuit hit directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez and starring Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller and Tye Sheridan is one of the most high profile re-tellings. It gets a limited theatrical release this month and a straight-to-DVD release so don’t worry about not being able to find it if it takes your fancy. The trailer looks solid, but the issue with re-telling a story like this is that it’s sometimes more terrifying just to read the experiment summary then it is to see it dramatised. Let’s see how this pans out.

When Marnie Was There –
9 - When Marnie Was There
Studio Ghibli, the studio behind beloved classics ‘Spirited Away‘, ‘Ponyo‘, ‘My Neighbour Totoro‘, ‘Princess Mononoke‘ and more, have begun winding down production after the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki’s last movie was 2013’s ‘The Wind Rises‘ and since then we’ve had ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya‘ and now ‘When Marnie Was There‘, which tells the story of a young girl who is made to stay with relatives in the countryside and becomes infatuated with another girl who may or may not be a figure of her imagination.

It’s a great fairy-tale template and comes to us from ‘The Secret World of Arrietty‘ director Hiromasa Yonebayashi. The 2D art-style looks amazing and always looks great on the big-screen, reviews have been great and it feels like animation fans need to see this type of movie out of obligation to the legacy of Studio Ghibli, if this really is their last movie. Most theatres will be screening both the original-Japanese dub and also an English-language dub.

Where To Invade Next –
10 - Where To Invade Next
This will probably be the easiest recommendations of this preview. Basically, if you like Michael Moore’s previous documentaries; ‘Sicko‘, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11‘, ‘Bowling for Columbine‘ etc. then you’ll probably like ‘Where To Invade Next‘. Michael Moore travels to different countries under the guise of an “invasion” so he can steal their best ideas and take them back to his homeland to make America great again.

What follows is set to be a left-wing, optimistic journey to find out how other countries deal with healthcare, prison welfare, worker rights, education and other issues where America is continually falling behind on despite being considered the most powerful country in the world. I’m personally looking forward to it, but I tend to agree with a lot of Moore’s politics so your mileage will vary. You’ll at least get a cool insight into how other countries live and a bit of culture is always welcome.

June 17th 2016
Barbershop 3: A Fresh Cut – 

11 - Barbershop 3
Despite the first instalment in the “Barbershop” trilogy coming out in 2002, I must confess that I wasn’t even aware of the existence of this franchise until this movie started releasing trailers a few months ago. I guess that shows how good Warner Bros. have been with the marketing for this third instalment, but I guess this series just hasn’t gained much traction with U.K. audiences.

I literally cannot tell you anything about this film other than the fact that the trailers looked funny and the reviews have been positive. Sorry folks, but with ‘Barbershop 3: A Fresh Cut‘, you’re on your own.

The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Case –
12 - The Conjuring 2
Now here’s something I do know about! Horror movies and British true-stories! James Wans’s ‘The Conjuring‘ from 2013 is considered one of the great modern-horror movies and for good reason as Wan is a natural behind the camera at building suspense and delivering actual frights as opposed to lazy, found-footage jump-scares. I have a feeling that if ‘The Conjuring‘ was released in the 80s then it would have gone down as a cult-classic as opposed to the apex of the genre, but I guess that’s the curse of deflated expectations when it comes to modern horror.

Anywho, ‘The Conjuring‘ was a huge summer hit for Warner Bros. so Wan returns to direct the sequel which follows Ed and Lorraine Warren on their most famous case; the Enfield Hauntings in the late 70s. The hauntings are considered to have been a hoax, but that’s no fun so let’s throw in a creepy nun and more creepy children! In all seriousness, this looks pretty darn scary and thankfully this movie hasn’t gone the route of most horror sequels and just done as a lazy cash-grab (that honour went to ‘Annabelle‘ in 2014) and I’m really looking forward to this one.

Gods of Egypt –
13 - Gods of Egypt
No, your eyes to not deceive you. ‘Gods of Egypt‘, a movie that came and went in February in the States is only just getting a release here in the U.K as a Summer tent-pole. Truly, the gods have blessed us.

I was rooting for this movie from the first trailers, but it seems that expecting stupid, white-washed schlock was too much to ask for and ‘Gods of Egypt‘ is a critical disaster. So much so that director Alex Proyas had a social media meltdown decrying the very existence of movie critics.

I’m sure many people are curious about this new low benchmark for blockbusters, but I think this is a safe skip.

June 23rd 2016
Independence Day: Resurgence – 

14 - Independence Day Resurgence
20 years ago director Roland Emmerich created one of the most iconic blockbusters ever made with ‘Independence Day‘. Not only was it the feature-length launch-pad for the career of Will Smith but it redefined the summer movie season by focusing on mass destruction, iconic spectacle and cheesy schlock that was stupid, but also very sincere.

Now in 2016, movies like that seem to be coming out all the time so does a follow-up to ‘Independence Day‘ fit into this current landscape? Well, we’re going to find out because while humanity had 20 years to prepare for another alien invasion, those aliens also had 20 years and they’re coming back to destroy even more landmarks than before. A lot of the original cast members have returned and we have a few younger actors to help kickstart what Emmerich hopes to be a trilogy of sequels. However, reviews haven’t been kind so let’s see if he gets his wish.

June 24th 2016
Elvis & Nixon – 

15 - Elvis and Nixon
We’ll get to ‘Elvis & Nixon‘ in a moment but fun fact; this movie is the first film to have been acquired by Amazon Studios for distribution as they bought the movie for $4M.

Anyway on December 21st 1970 Elvis Presley shows up at the White House to meet with President Richard Nixon to volunteer his services as an undercover agent to fight in the war on drugs. You couldn’t make this up. Now, very little is known about the actual meeting that took place so what we have here is a fictionalised version, but the premise itself may be strange enough to carry a movie.

Combine that with the casting of Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon…this might just be crazy enough to work.

The Secret Life of Pets –
16 - The Secret Life of Pets
Y’know what…I was really looking forward to this when the first teaser trailer was released. I thought that showing relatable, if quirky scenarios revolving around household pets when their owners weren’t around would be a really novel and fun way to spend 90 minutes.

Then the first proper trailer was released and ‘The Secret Life of Pets‘ revealed itself to be…an incredibly generic looking “animals get lost in the city” story that we’ve literally seen a hundred-thousand-million times before.

I know I’m judging the movie based on what I expected it to be as opposed to what it actually is but…god, that first trailer felt so original. Either way, the cast is really solid and Illumination Entertainment make crowd-pleasing family movies so I’m not expecting anything bad here. I’m sure kids will dig the movie and it will make for a fun time at the movies, it’s just…man, that first teaser really got my hopes up.

Despite Summer being in full-swing, this month feels oddly quiet. There are a few big movies like ‘Independence Day: Resurgence‘, ‘The Secret Life of Pets‘ and ‘The Conjuring 2‘ but it feels like counter-programming has gone into overdrive with lots of smaller movies like ‘Elvis & Nixon‘, ‘Race‘, ‘When Marnie Was There‘, ‘Barbershop 3: A Fresh Cut‘ and more.

Either way, my Top 3 most anticipated movies for June 2016 are (in no particular order);

  • The Nice Guys
  • When Marnie Was There
  • Where To Invade Next

Anyway folks, what are you all looking forward to this June? Are there any other releases that I missed that you can’t wait to see? Be sure to sound off in the comments section below!

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Posted In: Movie Previews

Author: Trilbee

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Posted: 1st Jul 16