Highly Anticipated Summer Flicks 2023
Will America go back to movie theaters this summer?
This Monday, May 29, is Decoration Day, or, in modern terms, Memorial Day. For decades, Hollywood has seen Memorial Day weekend as the kick-off to the summer movie season. Ultimately, some of the highest-grossing films of all time have been released, traditionally, during this 4-day period. Top box-office memorial day flicks. That is, until 2020. The impact the pandemic has had on movie theatres across the country have been devastating. So, here we are, 3 years later, with the CDC declaring the end of the Federal Covid-19 Public Emergency, will Americans go back to movie theaters?
The Summer Blockbuster
How many of you were around at the time Jaws was released? I was a kid, but I’ll never forget it. On Memorial Day weekend, 1975, Universal Pictures released what would become a cultural phenomenon. Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg, made moviegoers afraid to swim in their pools and bathe in the dark. Although we were underage, in those days, at the mall, you could buy a ticket for one movie and sneak into another. So, my friends and I saw everything rated R from the time we had skateboards. We’d just say we were going to the arcade. Aw, remember those? I know, I’m a dinosaur.
Summer flicks that I am looking forward to:
The Little Mermaid (May 26)
Due to the controversy surrounding the casting of black actress, Halle Bailey, in the starring role as Ariel, in The Little Mermaid, I hope this movie makes more money than any other this summer. As long as it’s acceptable for racist internet trolls to be such a loud presence, the more we fight for diversity and inclusion. Disney has entrusted Rob Marshall (Chicago, Mary Poppins Returns), to direct the live-action version of this Hans Christian Andersen classic and Disney’s iconic 1989 animated blockbuster. Early reviews are fantastic. The Little Mermaid trailer.
About My Father (May 26)
Hilarious comedian, Sebastian Maniscalco, has written and stars in this semi-autobiographical comedy about his old-school Italian immigrant father, Salvo (Robert De Niro), and his relationship as they spend the weekend with his girlfriend and her wealthy family. The gathering develops into a culture clash allowing father and son to discover the true meaning of family. About My Father trailer.
Mending The Line (June 9)
So, this looks like my kind of flick, i.e. quality acting and storytelling. A marine (Sinqua Walls, Power), wounded in Afghanistan is sent to a V.A. facility in Montana where he meets a Vietnam Vet (Succession’s Ronny Cox), who teaches him how to fly fish. Eventually using it as a way to deal with his emotional pain. By and large not your typical summer flick, I hope it does well. Mending the Line trailer.
Asteroid City (June 13)
Director/Writer, Wes Anderson, (The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore), is at it again with another of his niche comedy-drama-romances. Despite his enormous talent, I will admit that sometimes Wes has me confused watching his movies. But, I love his style and his casts are always first-rate. This time he has some of my favorites. Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks and Bryan Cranston, to name a few. Asteroid City trailer.
No Hard Feelings (June 23)
Jennifer Lawrence makes her return to theatres after taking a break to get married and have a baby. While a proven box-office star, (The Hunger Games), this town is all about, ‘what have you done for me lately’, so, the pressure is on. In effect, another actress in Hollywood having to continuously prove herself. This time, she plays Maddie, a woman about to lose her home, until she finds an intriguing job listing. Helicopter parents looking for someone to bring their introverted 19-year old son out of his shell before college. She has one summer to make him a man or die trying. It looks hilarious. No Hard Feelings trailer.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (June 30)
So long as 81-year old Harrison Ford can remember his lines, there will always be Indiana Jones. Unquestionably, one of the most successful summer movie franchises in Hollywood history, this is the 5th installment of the iconic action-adventure. Thrilling audiences since 1981, this time the Archaeologist, Indiana, races against time to retrieve a legendary artifact that can change the course of history. What, again? To be honest, I probably won’t be paying to see this one. But, I had to include it and I’m guessing it’ll kill at the box-office. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny trailer.
Joy Ride (July 7)
An Audience award recipient at this years SXSW, ( South by Southwest) film festival, this raucous comedy follows four Asian-American friends as they bond and discover the truth of what it means to know and love who you are, while they travel through Asia in search of one of their birth mothers. Fantastic to see more stories from the AAPI community. Joy Ride trailer.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (July 12)
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), is, once again, prepared to wow audiences in this action-adventure-thriller franchise that is best viewed on the big screen. At this time, Tom Cruise, remains the highest grossing box office star of all-time, at $11.5 billion and counting. Last years Memorial Day offering, Top Gun: Maverick, grossed nearly $1.5 billion worldwide. Despite his polarizing image, he is tried and true Hollywood royalty whose movies never disappoint. As has been noted, he did all of his own stunts in this one as well. At the time of this movie’s release, he’ll be 62 years old. You go, Tom. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning trailer.
Oppenheimer (July 21)
Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling, Writer/Director, Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, Inception), brings one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. The story of American scientist, J. Robert Oppenheimer, this drama-bio-history film tells of his involvement in the development of the atomic bomb. Irish-born actor, Cillian Murphy, plays the title role. Oppenheimer trailer.
Earlier, in my blog, The Bodyguard turns 30!, I wrote about going to see the film I appeared in when I was 25, again, after 30 years. As I didn’t do a follow up, I failed to mention that it never happened. Once seated, an usher came in to announce they had loaded up the wrong film and the screening was cancelled. The sold-out audience was irate. The good news is that the AMC theaters compensated us with 4 free movie passes with no expiration and I’ve only used one. I miss going to the movies, especially in the summer. Getting out of the heat, big bucket of popcorn with way too much “movie theater butter.” So much has changed in the way we consume entertainment. The internet is currently winning the battle, making everything unpredictable. I want to wish you and yours a great Memorial Day and thanks for reading.
Will you go to the movies this summer?
I quit going to movie theaters in the 60’s, and then came Star Wars. It was necessary to see the franchise on the big screen. These trailers make me want to go back. Thank you for assembling them.
Thanks Gayle for commenting. So supportive. I really appreciate it!
Yes going to the movies this summer, my son has some passes. Otherwise, I would probably wait for most of, okay all of these films.
I hear ya Kimm. Movies are way too expensive these days! Thanks for commenting!
Good stuff! Thanks Chris! Omg, along with many others and you have pointed out, Jaws scared the daylights out of me for years. I would say that movie and The Exorcist scarred me for life. 🙂 Come to think of it, it probably wasn’t such a good idea to watch them at a young age. 🙁
Thanks for the recommendations Chris! I would love to have seen your movie reviews when the Marvel Universe movies were taking over the big screens. Like Gayle mentioned with Star Wars, being huge Marvel fans, Marvel movies were a must see on the big screen for our family.
Michael, great comment! Agreed, The Exorcist lives in my head forever. Way too young to see that. Marvel now has over 2 decades of Hollywood dominance. I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon. Thanks for commenting!🙏🏽