Summer Movies 2019: Superheroes, Sequels and Spin-Offs, Comedies, and Indies

Posted on May 2, 2019 at 2:04 pm

I love summer movies!  And this summer is filled with long-anticipated blockbusters and under-the-radar indies.  Some I’m especially looking forward to:


Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, currently featured in “Avengers: Endgame,” will be back for “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

X-Men’s Jean Grey gets her own cosmic ray transformation  in “Dark Phoenix.”

Want more from the X-Men universe?  We’ve also got “The New Mutants,” starring Maisie Williams, Antonio Banderas, and Anna Taylor-Joy.

Sequels and remakes

Copyright Universal Pictures 2019

Fans of the “Fast and Furious” franchise love Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham), partly because of how delightfully they hate each other.  Dame Helen Mirren is back as Shaw’s mum, and Vanessa Kirby joins the cast as his sister. That’s why “Hobbs & Shaw” looks like one of this summer’s biggest treats.

Copyright Sony 2019

The stars of “Thor: Ragnarok” team up in “Men in Black: International,” starring Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, with Liam Neeson and Chris Hemsworth.  That little guy in the trailer is voiced by Kumail Nanjiani.  

James Earl Jones is back as Mufasa in the “live-action” (meaning CGI) remake of “The Lion King,” co-starring Donald Clover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keegan-Michael Key, Amy Sedaris, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, and Beyonce.

That great big lizard is back in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”

And the “street rat” is back, too, in the live-action “Aladdin,” starring Will Smith as the genie.

Keanu Reeves is back as the world’s smoothest assassin in “John Wick 3,” and this time Oscar winners Anjelica Huston and Halle Berry join the cast.  I just hope they go back to that cool hotel.

Get your handkerchiefs ready. The toys are back in town for “Toy Story 4.” Tom Hanks, Joan Cusack, and Tim Allen return, joined by Keanu Reeves, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, and “Veep’s” Tony Hale.

Three generations team up in the latest “Shaft” movie, co-written by “Black-ish” showrunner Kenya Barris.

Patton Oswalt takes over the lead role in the sequel to the animated film about what our furry, feathered, and finned friends do while we’re at work and school, “The Secret Life of Pets 2”

We’ve had “Once Upon a Time” movies in the West, and Mexico — now it’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” directed by Quentin Tarantino, with a knock-out cast that includes Leonardo diCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie.

Olympus, London, and now Angel — in Gerard Butler’s latest “Fallen” movie, he has to protect himself, this time from an attempt to frame him in an assassination plot.

“A Dog’s Journey” continues the story of “A Dog’s Purpose,” with Josh Gad returning as the voice of the title pooch.

For the Kids

“Dora the Explorer” is a teenager in her first live-action film. “The Angry Birds Movie 2” adds “This is Us” star Sterling K. Brown to the voice talent. And “Playmobil: The Movie” features “Harry Potter’s” Daniel Radcliffe.

Based on Books

“The Sun is Also a Star” tells a timeless story of romance in the context of a timely story of a young woman who meets someone she could love just as she is about to be deported with her family from the only country she has ever known.

Cate Blanchett plays an architect who is having trouble adjusting to a new city in “Where’d You Go Bernadette,” based on the best-seller about a mother who goes missing.

“Artemis Fowl” is based on the best-selling fantasy series about the criminal mastermind.

“The Kitchen” is based on comic books about housewives-turned-gangsters, with Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, and Tiffany Haddish.

True Stories

“Rocketman” stars Taron Edgerton as Reg Dwight, who became Elton John.

“Trial by Fire” is the story of Camereon Todd Willingham (Jack O’Connell), a Texas man who may have been wrongly executed for starting the fire that killed his three daughters. with Laura Dern as the woman who befriended him.

Real Lives, Real Stories

Documentaries coming our way include “Hesburgh,” the story of the civil rights leader and  Notre Dame president who advised Presidents, Father Theodore Hesburgh, “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” about the rock and roll legend, “Mike Wallace is Here,” about the “60 Minutes” journalist, and “Framing John Delorean” about the rise and fall of the visionary car maker.

Indies to Watch Out For

Last year’s breakout star, Awkwafina, has her first lead role in the Sundance hit “The Farewell,” about a Chinese-American family who pretends they are gathering for a family wedding because they want to say goodbye to their grandmother without letting her know that she is dying. Fans of This American Life will recognize the story.

“Booksmart” is another festival darling, a sweet, very funny story from first-time director Olivia Wilde, about two girls who decide to have all the fun they missed in high school on the last night before graduation. Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever give knock-out performances.

What if you were the only person who remembered Beatles songs?  That’s the idea behind “Yesterday.”

“Late Night” stars Mindy Kaling as a writer and Emma Thompson as the television late night host she goes to work for.

The latest from Jim Jarmusch is a zombie comedy called “The Dead Don’t Die.”

“Blinded by the Light” looks as endearing as the director’s “Bend it Like Beckham.”

Happy summer!









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