Hello and Welcome back to Steven Lebowitz, the West Palm Beach & Miami Movie Examiner's summer movie preview. I don't know why I just referred to myself in the third person, but it sounded good. This is my second part of three looking at many of the upcoming movies that will be bestowed upon us this summer.
You've come on a good day for I will be covering three movie genres instead of just two. Today I will be looking at Family films, Musicals, yes there are some movies that can be labeled musicals this summer and Sci-Fi Fantasy movies. If you missed my first preview article, there will be a link to it at the end of this section and eventually a link to part 3 too.
Maleficent - Disney brings one of their most famous animated villains to life in "Maleficent." In case you do not know, Maleficent was the evil fairy from "Sleeping Beauty" and she is brought to life with none other than Oscar winning actress Angelina Jolie. It was reported that many children who came to set was afraid of her, but this will certainly be a family affair at the movies. It is directed by long time production designer Robert Stromberg. However, this is his directorial debut. The movie is sure to look stunning, but can the auteur deliver the goods as we are to learn that there are different kinds of evil out there.
How to train Your Dragon 2 - DreamWorks animation has been on a downward spiral lately. They have not released anything worth mentioning in almost two years, but hopefully a sequel to one of their biggest and best movies can turn that all around. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless are back! They are both a little older and face a new threat of dragon trappers looking to build an evil army of dragons. Hiccup also meets his long lost mother in the form of Cate Blanchett.
Disney will also be releasing "Planes: Fire and Rescue." That's a heck of a turnaround time for an animated movie who's original movie came out only one year ago. Is Jon Hamm ready to become a leading man in movies? We'll get our first look as he plays sports agent hunting for a "Million Dollar Arm" all the way in India. Finally, there is "Earth to Echo." This movie is about a group of kids who find a small alien. The twist? It is told in the found footage/camcorder point of view. It should be an interesting movie at the least and hopefully a great movie for the whole family to enjoy and cheer.
Jersey Boys - You never know what you are going to get when you bring a Broadway musical to the big screen. Will it translate well and be a huge success like "Chicago" or will it blow chunks like "Rock of Ages?" "Jersey Boys" tells the tale of The Four Seasons and told from each of their perspectives from lead singer Frankie Vallie to lead guitarist Bob Gaudio. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this movie is that it is directed by Clint Eastwood who is a master cinematic storyteller, but can he bring those skills this hit Broadway play?
Get On Up - I met director Tate Taylor and Oscar winning actress Octavia Spencer a few years ago when they were promoting "The Help." So I excited to see them reunited, along with Viola Davis too for "Get On Up" which is about the life of singer James Brown. Chadwick Boseman will play the icon and he is no stronger to playing roles like this. He was Jackie Robinson last year in "42." Check out the trailer at the top and it looks like this can become a great summer sleeper hit.
Mark Ruffalo is a down on his luck former music executive who finds something to live for through the music of Keira Knightley. He can't get her in a studio so they embark to record her first album all over New York City in "Begin Again." "One Chance" tells the true story of Paul Potts, a man who dreamt of becoming an opera singer and was given his shot on "Britain's Got Talent."
Guardians of the Galaxy - Marvel took a real chance when they made "Iron Man" in 2008 since he was considered a "B" hero. Still, most of us has heard of Iron Man, but Guardians of the Galaxy is hardly a household name. These heroes, that include a talking Raccoon and even a living tree, exist in the same universe as The Avengers crew, but this story takes place beyond the stars. There is a tie in though as one of the villains in the piece is Thanos, who was seen in the post credits of "Marvel's The Avengers" and is reportedly the main antagonist in "Avengers 3." Early footage from this film looks good, so perhaps Marvel will have another hit on their hands.
Edge of Tomorrow - Tom Cruise is no stranger to science fiction, but he may have found himself in his best one yet with "Edge of Tomorrow" as he plays a soldier fighting in a war against aliens and dies. Oh, don't worry, I did not spoil anything for you because he picks up some of the alien's power which allows him to go back in time and re-fight the battle all over again. Emily Blunt helps him become a better solider. The special effects and the gear they have to wear looks pretty out of sight.
Godzilla - Everyone is excited for this new "Godzilla" because all the trailers make it look like it is going to be one hell of a ride when it comes out at the end of May. However, all the trailers for the 1998 version looked pretty good too and looked how that turned out. Godzilla was always my favorite monster when I was a kid, so I'm holding out hope.
One of worst movies of the year came out in January, "The Legend of Hercules." This summer, "Hercules" starring Dwayne Johnson in the starring role comes out and it can only be better than the other one. I was one of the few critics who liked "Cloud Atlas" by Andy and Lana Wachowski. Their new movie, "Jupiter Ascending" is looking to be their biggest hit since the original "The Matrix." Most of the human race is gone which means it is time for the "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes." Andy Serkis returns to play Ceasar. Chloë Grace Moretz stars in "If I Stay" which is about a young girl who gets into a serious accident and watches over her own body while she must decide if she wants to stick around our world or movie on to the next. Robert Pattinson tries to shake off his Twilight past in the post-apocalyptic movie, "The Rover." This movie could very well showcase whether this young man can truly act or not. That is not the only post-apocalyptic tale coming out this summer as Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton most ride around the world on a train called the "Snowpiercer." Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Taylor Swift believe they live in the perfect community, but they soon find that is a lie in "The Giver." Finally, at long last, "Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." The first one came out nine years ago and fans have been aching to get back to that grayed out, film noir world once again.
Whew. Okay. There you have it. Three genres of movies. There is certainly a lot coming out this summer and there is still one more part to go. So be sure to check back tomorrow, or simple click HERE to subscribe to this column as I will be covering the Dramas coming out this summer along with all the horror and thrillers.