May signals the full-on arrival of summer blockbuster season. What better way to pick your way through the offerings than with your trusty companion, Entertainmental? Let’s do this.
The Darkness – If there’s a more tired and completely irrelevant film genre than haunted-house-family-with-
A Bigger Splash – This odd-looking festival darling is sporting a high-profile cast that should have it talked about as a dark horse come award season. An aging rock star and filmmaker have their vacation interrupted by old friends. And mystery ensues? I don’t know what to think of this one, but it does come to us from the director of 2009’s fabulous I Am Love. It looks great and will be playing at the Darkside. Stars Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, and Matthias Schoenaerts; directed by Luca Guadagnino.
High-Rise – One of my favorite films of the year so far comes to us from the brilliant British director Ben Wheatley (A Field in England, The Sightseers, Kill List, Ideal). I like to think of it as a spiritual companion to Snowpiercer, and that should really be all you need to go check this one out. With a dynamite cast, and the source material by the great JG Ballard, this one should absolutely not be missed by any fans of the dystopic future genre. Stars Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Elizabeth Moss, and James Purefoy; directed by Ben Wheatley.
The Nice Guys – I love mystery/comedies about crusty private-eye types getting into shenanigans in smoke-filled back rooms. Shane Black already proved he’s a master of this sort of film with the extremely underrated Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005). This fun and lean-looking little thriller set in LA in the ‘70s looks like a wonderful return to form. A great cast, sharp writing, and a fun, intricate plot are bound to be served up in this, the epitome of a summer film. I’ll definitely be there. Stars Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Kim Basinger, and Matt Bomer; directed by Shane Black.
Angry Birds – Well this certainly looks lazy and terrible. I couldn’t have less interest in an animated movie version of a cellphone game. That said, this may be the best voice cast ever put together. I hate you, Hollywood. Stars Peter Dinklage, Jason Sudeikis, Sean Penn, Titus Burgess, Kate McKinnon, Danny McBride, Josh Gad, Ike Barinholz, Hannibal Burress, Jillian Bell, and Keegan-Michael Key.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – I actually found the first Neighbors (2014) to be pretty funny. Fans will remember the plot surrounding a young couple with a baby played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne who move in next door to a fraternity and find life becomes complicated. This time around it’s a sorority. I know, it’s not exactly The Decameron, but whatever, I’ll give it a chance. Stars Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Chloe Moretz, and Zac Efron.
Weiner – Has there been a more simultaneously cringe-inducing and yet undeniably fascinating political scandal in the last 10 years than that of disgraced former senator Anthony Weiner? The political firebrand went from party wunderkind to pariah after he had multiple sexting scandals explode in his face. Here’s the first in-depth account of the whole sordid ordeal and where he and his family are at now. This documentary has been the talk of the festival circuit and it looks fantastic. Directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg.
X-Men: Apocalypse – Considering the early so-so rumors coming out of filming, it’s a wonder Fox decided to put this film out only a couple weeks after Captain America: Civil War. It’s going to be Marvel-on-Marvel violence and I’m pretty excited about it. As an unabashed fan of the source material, I’ll take new X-Men movies any old time, even if they kind of suck. Much like 2014’s Days of Future Past, this film will bring one of the most storied sagas in X-Men history, Age of Apocalypse, to the big screen. I will certainly be there. Stars Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Rose Byrne, and James McAvoy; directed by Bryan Singer.
Alice Through the Looking Glass – This would be a perfect film to see after seeing Alice at the Majestic. Just to compare. I didn’t really care for Tim Burton’s first trip to Wonderland, but it was one of Disney’s highest grossing films of all time, so it’s sort of a no-brainer to go back. By which I mean you won’t need to bring much a brain to the theater for this one. Stars Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, and Helena Bonham Carter.
By Ygal Kaufman