Thursday, June 5, 2014

Movie Preview: June 2014

Going into May, 2014 was on a huge role. With the slate that was lined up for May, it seemed certain that May would continue that hot streak. While each weekend did have a huge opening, they all also self destructed each other as nothing seemed to have any staying power. Because of this, instead of being one of the highest grossing Mays, this May ended up as the lowest grossing May since 2010. Can June pick up the slack? Well, it does have two movies that are guaranteed to be huge hits, but outside that, June is surprisingly empty. Perhaps everyone is simply trying to avoid releasing their movies during the world cup. Or perhaps it's just coincidence. But either way, it's time to dive into this month and take a closer look at what we do have on the schedule.

June 6th - 8th- 

June starts us off with romance vs. sci-fi. With both getting strong reviews and both targeted for different audiences, both could end up being surprise hits, especially with the non-crowded June. Looking at the sci-fi first, we have Tom Cruise starring in his second sci-fi movie in as many years with Edge of Tomorrow. "Live. Die. Repeat." That's the slogan with this. Yes, Groundhog Day is the movie that comes to everyone's mind, because that's essentially what this is. A sci-fi version of Groundhog Day. That unique twist is working well with audiences right now as early reviews have been really positive. At the time of this post it holds a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.1 on IMDb.

Next up is the aforementioned romance movie in The Fault in Our Stars. The movie is based on the recent best-selling novel of the same name by author John Green. The movie is about Hazel and Gus. Hazel carries an oxygen tank around with her while Gus has a prosthetic leg. They met at a cancer support group. So yes, the circumstances are very unique, which could give the movie some heartwarming messages that would make it more than just your average romance movie. It's interesting to note that our two lovers in the movie are played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. The two actors recently teamed up in Divergent where they played brother and sister, so they try out a much different role this time around.

Since I didn't mention it during May, let me quickly mention the expansion of the movie Chef. It opened in limited release during May, getting strong reviews. It got an official nationwide release in the last weekend with just over 600 theaters, but now gets expanded out more to over 1,000 theaters. Chef is a movie that is directed by Iron Man director Jon Favreau. It also stars Iron Man himself Robert Downey Jr. It also features Jon Favreau himself as an actor in the movie as well as Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman and John Leguizamo. The movie is a comedy about a chef who starts up his own food truck after getting fired from his previous job.

June 13th - 15th- 

Unlike last Summer, which was crowded with animated movies, this Summer is nearly bone-dry. Outside last month's major flop Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return and next month's Planes: Fire and Rescue, there's only one animated movie on the docket. But it's a big one. Yes, it's How to Train Your Dragon 2. Dreamworks has been very spotty in recent years in terms of finance and reception of their movies, but 2010's How to Train Your Dragon was huge in both realms. It's Dreamworks' biggest hit financially outside the Shrek franchise and is also one of the more beloved Dreamworks films. The sequel comes with high anticipation and with practically zero competition it should end up as one of the top films of the entire Summer. Plot-wise, the trailer seems to be very revealing, but that shouldn't deter people from seeing and enjoying the film.

Matching up against How to Train Your Dragon 2 is another highly anticipated sequel in 22 Jump Street. Based off the 80's TV show starring Johnny Depp, 21 Jump Street became a surprise hit back in 2012, earning over $200 million worldwide. Starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, the movie was about two young-looking cops that were sent undercover to a high school to help solve a crime. Now the duo is back, but this time they are sent undercover to a college to help solve a crime. The trailer for the movie has provided lots of laughs which should easily convince fans of the first movie to come back and experience more of Tatum and Hill.

Opening in limited release this week and getting a nationwide expansion the following week is The Rover. It's way too early to be talking Oscars right now, but if there was one movie from the month of June that I had to bet on, this would be it. The slogan for the movie is "Fear the man with nothing else to lose." As that suggests, it is about a man who is hunting down the men that took away his last possession, his car. It's directed by David Michod (Animal Kingdom), written by him and Joel Edgerton, and stars Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson and Scoot McNairy.

June 20th - 22nd-

It almost sounds like a broken record by now, but for the third time this month we are getting a sequel to a surprise hit. And for the second time this month, we are getting a sequel to a surprise comedy hit from the first half of 2012. This movie here is Think Like a Man Too. It was back in April of 2012 when Think Like a Man surprised audiences and ended up with just under $100 million in the US Box Office. It was about a group of women who use Steve Harvey's relationship advice via his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man against their men to keep them in line. This works until the men realize what their women are doing and thus begins a feud. Now the whole gang is back for the sequel as they go to Las Vegas for a wedding. The movie includes an all-black cast led by Kevin Hart, who has been on a roll recently, especially this year with decent hits in Ride Along and About Last Night. He'll look to continue his success with this movie.

Opening against Think Like a Man Too is the Clint Eastwood directed musical Jersey Boys. Jersey Boys is actually a popular Broadway Musical and thus fans of the musical could be interested in checking out the movie version. The movie tells the story of the musical group The Four Seasons. The audience for the movie could be fairly limited with the movie picking up an R-rating. R-rated musicals don't happen that often and there's probably a reason for that. But if Jersey Boys fans and/or The Four Seasons fans show up this, it could be a decent hit. Director Clint Eastwood has never been a surefire box office draw, whether it be in front or behind the camera. But it's been a while since he's directed a movie, 2011's J. Edgar to be exact, so perhaps Eastwood fans might show up to see a movie of his again.

June 27th - 29th-

The final weekend of the month brings us what is almost certainly going to end up as the biggest hit of the month and that is of course Transformers: Age of Extinction. A fourth Transformers movie has many people rolling their eyes, although it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone given the fact that the third movie earned over $1 billion worldwide. Age of Extinction isn't a reboot of the series, but it almost feels that way as it appears that they are trying to start fresh and earn more lovers instead of haters. The previous cast has been wiped clean, meaning no Shia LeBeouf, no Megan Fox, and no Megan Fox's Victoria's Secret model replacement from the third. Instead a more respectable cast has been hired as Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammar take the stage along with voices lent by Ken Watanabe and John Goodman. In addition to the Transformers, the movie also adds dinobots to the scene. Will all of this help the movie gain respect from Transformers haters? Probably not. Michael Bay is still directing and that's the problem many people have. Although people will still swarm out to see it anyways.

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