The summer movie season is, in many ways, the most important time of the year for Hollywood. It’s the period in time when the majority of each year’s large, expensive blockbusters are released into theaters and, if all goes according to plan, is the time when movie theaters make enough money in order to stay afloat for the following year. While the summer movie season does not always have a lot to offer in terms of high quality cinema and smaller, artsier films, it does feature a lot of high-profile crowd-pleasers and plays a frustratingly important part in a movie theater’s economy. The Summer Movie Season runs from the first blockbuster of the late spring, to the last blockbuster of late summer. Usually, this means that it runs from May to September, although mileage certainly can vary depending on the year. In this article, I will give all of you what I have been giving myself for several years: a semi-comprehensive rundown of what this year’s Summer Season Release Calendar looks like, as well as some brief thoughts on which of these movies I am most excited for.
05/06/22 — Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
In a shocking turn of events, this year’s summer season is being kicked off by yet another entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Multiverse of Madness is being billed as involving more horror elements than most Marvel movies do, and even has Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Spider-Man) signed on as its director. It is maintaining the PG-13 that Marvel is known for, however, so I wouldn’t exactly go in expecting something on the level of Raimi’s other work in the horror genre, and especially nothing as graphic as his NC-17-rated The Evil Dead.
Am I excited for Multiverse of Madness? Not really. If a weekend rolls around in which I have nothing else to do, there’s a small chance I might go see it, but there’s nothing that I’ve seen in the marketing for this film that does anything to set it apart from your standard Marvel formula, which is a formula that I am more than tired of at this point. I’m sure Benedict Cumberbatch will be good in it, as will his co-stars, but unless I hear exceedingly good things about this one, I’ll probably just wait for its digital release.
05/13/2022 — Firestarter
Firestarter is the latest Stephen King adaptation, and I have to admit that, despite my better judgement, I’m pretty excited for this one. Stephen King adaptations have been fairly hit or miss as of late, with some turning out fantastic (IT, Doctor Sleep), and some falling flat on their stupid faces (Pet Sematary, IT: Chapter Two). What makes me excited for Firestarter is a combination of a premise that I really like — a dark twist on the concept of superpowers — and its trailer doing a really good job selling me on it.
The movie’s main star is Ryan Kierra Armstrong, who has been good in a variety of projects in the past, and it’s director Keith Thomas’ second feature film. While it’s certainly possible that the end project will be an enormous misfire, I’m a sucker for this kind of horror premise, and it’s very likely that I’ll check it out opening weekend.
05/20/2022 — Men
Men is A24’s latest horror offering, and even before I did some basic research, seeing A24’s logo on the trailer in the movie theater was reason enough for me to be excited. The trailer also looked really interesting, and all of that alone will likely be enough to get me to see it. This movie is directed and written by Alex Garland, the brilliant film-maker behind Ex-Machina and Annihilation: two of the best thrillers I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. He can do the introspective thinking and theme, he can do the thrills and the scares, and I am so very excited to see what he’ll bring to the table this time around.
05/27/2022 — Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun is a mediocre 1986 action flick starring Tom Cruise, so naturally it’s getting a sequel 25+ years later. This movie will likely be terrible, and it will likely make an annoyingly large amount of money, thus perpetuating Hollywood’s endless cycle of pumping out soulless continuations and reboots of anything that existed more than 10 years ago and was moderately profitable. As is the norm for these things, the director is a nobody with nothing successful or good to his name, as are the writers. I will certainly not be going to see this, and I would recommend that you all stay away from it too. If you want some mediocre Tom Cruise action, either watch the original, or watch Mission Impossible 2.
06/03/2022 — Watcher
The weekend of the third of June is a pretty sleepy theatrical week, but of the few things coming out, Watcher is by far the most interesting-looking one. It appears to be some sort of psychological thriller about a woman who feels as though she’s being stalked by someone who lives in an adjacent apartment building to her’s, and….presumably thrilling situations ensue. I doubt I’ll go see it, but it looks moderately entertaining, and maybe I’ll check it out on digital once it leaves theaters. This film is Chloe Okuno’s directorial debut, and stars nobody who you’ve ever heard of. Check it out if you have some spare time, and enjoy thrillers.
06/10/2022 — Jurassic World Dominion
On the tenth of June, whether we like it or not, we will once again return to the world of Jurassic Park. Colin Trevorrow is returning to the director’s chair, and will attempt to bring the Jurassic World Trilogy to a conclusion. All the big stars are returning this time, including Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Neil, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. Will this movie finally crack the formula for making a good Jurassic Park sequel, or will it take a further shit on the already mangled legacy of Spielberg’s original masterpiece? Either way, I will most definitely not be buying a ticket to find out, because as far as I’m concerned, the only way we can get the studio to stop pumping out these godforsaken sequels is to stop going to see them. Fuck the Jurassic Park sequels, fuck the Jurassic World trilogy, and fuck Colin Trevorrow for getting this whole new mess started.
06/17/2022 – Lightyear
Pixar’s newest animated children’s film is hitting theaters on the seventeenth of June, and I’m moderately excited for it. Everything I’ve seen makes me think that it’ll be a fun, if unnecessary, Science-Fiction romp, and I’m excited to see how Chris Evans holds up as a voice actor. With that being said, I doubt it will live up to the heights of Pixar’s all-time classics, and am expecting a movie more on par with Monsters University or A Bug’s Life, rather than another Soul or Wall-E. Still, I’ll probably take my younger brother to see it, and I’ll likely have a reasonably fun time with it.
06/24/2022 – The Black Phone and Elvis
There are two interesting looking movies hitting theaters on the the twenty fourth of June, so I figured I’d just cover them both. The Black Phone is a horror film about child abduction starring Ethan Hawke. It looks pretty gritty and creepy, and it’s directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Doctor Strange), so it’ll likely at the very least bring something to the table.
Elvis, on the other hand, is a biopic about Elvis Presley starring Tom Hanks. It’s about as far from The Black Phone you can get in terms of tone, but it looks like it’ll be reasonably fun. It’s yet another offering from writer/director Baz Luhrmann, who has worked on a variety of interesting projects in the past, many of which have a fair bit of critical acclaim, so I’d say this has a reasonable chance of being good.
07/01/2022 – Minions: The Rise of Gru
Winning the 2022 most unnecessary film of the year award (barely beating out Jurassic World Dominion) is the Minions sequel! This movie will likely be terrible, and will also probably make a fuck ton of money, if the first one is anything to go by. I will, of course, do everything in my power to protect my younger brother from this movie, as Minions is the rare movie that has the capacity to make anyone who views it a dumber and less critical person, and….I have nothing else to say. End my suffering now, please.
07/08/2022 – Thor: Love and Thunder
Thor: Love and Thunder is Marvel’s second blockbuster of the year, and I’m looking forward to it far more than Multiverse of Madness. Taika Waittiti is back in the director’s chair, and from the looks of things, he will probably deliver another well-made action comedy. He gets to play with the Guardians of the Galaxy this time as well, and the result will probably be a fun romp in the Marvel Universe, directed by one of my favorite directors working today.
07/15/2022 – Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank and Bed Rest
In a week in which literally nothing interesting is coming to theaters, I’ve selected the two least uninteresting movies I could find to talk about. The first one is an animated flick created by the Nickelodeon (among other animation studios) and it looks like hot garbage. They somehow got Samuel L. Jackson to sign on as a voice actor, among an ensemble cast of people you’ve never heard of (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing when it comes to voice talent), and everything about the movie leads me to believe that the end result will be nothing short of terrible.
Bed Rest, on the other hand, as an indie psychological thriller, created by first time writer/director Lori Evans Taylor. This movie probably won’t get a wide release, nor will it pick up all that much traction, but if it does come out in an area near you, it could be worth checking out. It will certainly be better than Paws of Fury, that’s for damn sure.
07/22/2022 – Nope
Nope is Jordan Peele’s (Get Out, US) next horror movie, and it’ll apparently also have Sci-Fi elements incorporated into it. That is literally all I need to know to be sold on it, and that’s all you should need as well. Peele is a genius, and this movie will probably be spectacular.
07/29/2022 – Bullet Train
Bullet Train looks to be a fun action-thriller set aboard a train. It involves some sort of fight between five assassins, and it looks like it’ll be a fun romp. Will it be good? Who can really say, this is still a long way from release, but there are normally one or two low-profile action thrillers that come out each year which turn out to be secretly brilliant, and this could be one of them, who knows? It’ll be more entertaining than DC League of Super Pets, that’s for sure.
08/05/2022 – Secret Headquarters
Nothing much of note is coming out this week, but of the ones currently listed, the one that interests me most is Secret Headquarters. It’s apparently a Sci-Fi/Adventure movie about a kid, and it has Owen Wilson in it, so….maybe good movie?
08/12/2022 – The Man from Toronto
The Man from Toronto appears to be an action/comedy/thriller about a deadly assassin and an idiot, who are mistaken for each other at an airbnb. It honestly doesn’t sound….ya know, great, but it’s literally the only thing releasing on the weekend of the twelfth of August, so….there it is.
08/19/2022 – Beast
Beast appears to be a thriller, starring Idris Elba, in which a man and his two kids go to a game reserve in South Africa, and are hunted by bloodthirsty lions. There’s very little information out about the movie besides that, and just judging by the premise, it will probably be rather bad.
08/26/2022 – Samaritan
Samaritan looks to be a non-corporatized superhero flick starring Sylvester Stallone, and if his other recent movies are anything to go by, it will probably be not very good. I would advise not going to theaters to see this movie, unless the reviews role in and it was secretly incredible, in which case I will apologize to both Stallone, and to director Julius Avery.
Not much worth talking about is coming out this September, but one notable theatrical event that will take place is the rerelease of James Cameron’s Avatar. It will hit theaters on the twenty third of September, and it is presumably rereleasing to get people excited for the upcoming Avatar 2, which will hit theaters this December. So keeping all of this in mind, this year’s Summer Season will run from 05/06 to 09/23.
My Most Anticipated Movies:
A lot of my most anticipated movies of this summer fall in the earlier portion of the season. Firestarter and Men are both early contenders, and I bet Thor: Love and Thunder will be a ton of fun. I am also incredibly excited for Jordan Peele’s Nope, and I think Bullet Train has the potential to be a damn fine thriller. All in all, there have most definitely been Summer Seasons with more to look forward to, but this one isn’t too shabby either.
My Least Anticipated Movies:
As you could probably tell from my commentary on some of these releases, there are some movies coming out this summer that I really don’t need to see. Minions: The Rise of Gru may very well end up being the worst animated movie of the year, and Jurassic World Dominion will likely be every bit as soulless and mediocre as the previous two movies in its trilogy. Beyond that, Top Gun: Maverick is another movie with no objective reason to exist, but I’m not as pissed off about that one, because I have no prior investment in the original Top Gun.
I hope you enjoyed this rundown on this summer’s theatrical release schedule, as well as some of my thoughts on the big names, and if nothing else, that you have more potentially interesting movies on your radar than you did before.
Written on 04/29/2022