When the sweltering summer sun gets to be too much, it’s a comfort to know that there is always quality sanctuary at the movies. A look ahead shows that 2014 will be a particularly great summer blockbuster season with a wide variety of genres and subjects to please audiences of all ages. So whether you’ve got a bus full of day campers or a sunburn so bad that outside activity is out of the question, here are 5 reasons to make frequent trips to the movies this summer.
1. Romance and Tears: Everyone loves a good summer romance story. Two great flicks to get your fix are The Fault in Our Stars and Begin Again. The Fault in Our Stars is a major tear-jerker, based on the critically acclaimed book by John Green, about two teenagers afflicted with cancer who fall in love. If the film is anything like the book, be sure to bring lots of tissues. The Fault in Our Stars will be released June 6. Another romance, Begin Again (directed by John Carney) will close the Tribeca Film Festival in April and be released to theaters in July. Following the story of a young singer-songwriter who is dumped by her boyfriend for fame and is then discovered by a disgraced label executive. The film stars Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo. It will also be Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s big screen break as Knightly’s boyfriend.
2. Decent Sequels: Often the word sequel is followed with a swift cringe by many moviegoers. Nobody wants to see a good movie be squeezed for all a studio can get out of it (I’m looking at you Step Up 5, in theaters July 25). However, several movies could give hope to sequel cringers this summer. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are moving across the street June 13 with 22 Jump Street, in which the not-so-dynamic cop duo go undercover as college students to bust a fraternity crime ring. The trailer references the first movie’s unexpected success saying that they got lucky and ‘the department’ is investing a lot of money in bringing them back. Transformers: Age of Extinction swaps out Shia LaBeouf for Mark Wahlburg in another Autobots versus Decepticons war with the fate of humanity on the line. A lineup of new characters gives hope that this sequel will do as well in the box office and better in ratings as the others when it is released June 27. How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will also hit theaters this summer on June 13 and July 11 respectfully.
3. Unexpected Musicals: After thinking we wouldn’t get a movie musical until Into the Woods and Annie this Christmas, Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the Tony Award winning musical Jersey Boys is set to be released in June. Jersey Boys follows the life and career of singer Frankie Valli and the formation of The Four Seasons. The movie musical will star one the original broadway cast members John Lloyd Young who won a Tony for his portrayal of Frankie Valli. If you have any appreciation for The Four Seasons or great musicals then this is a must see.
4. Anticipated Action: It’s been hard to miss the hype of the several big action movies of the summer. Guardians of the Galaxy, Godzilla and The Amazing Spiderman 2 will be impossible to ignore and will most likely be the biggest hits of the summer. Another much-anticipated action flick is Michael Bay’s momentarily controversial Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot has a release date set for August 8. A teaser trailer was shown at CinemaCon in March, but was not made available to the public. It’s difficult to make any predictions about the movie without a trailer, but hopefully the signature Michael Bay action will ensure the movie’s success. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will also fight a lot of CG monsters as ‘the world’s first superhero’ in Hercules (opening July 25).
5. Nostalgia: The kid in all of us has the potential to surface this summer with several films that will send audiences down memory lane. An animated reboot of The Wizard of Oz called Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return starring Lea Michele as the voice of Dorothy will be released May 9. The plot revolves around a new villain, The Jester (voiced by Martin Short), who threatens to take over Oz. The original foursome along with some new friends band together to stop him. The movie is set directly after the resolution of The Wizard of Oz and the plot comes from a combination of several of Frank L. Baum’s book sequels. Straight off the high school summer reading list, Lois Lowry’s dystopian society novel, The Giver, will hit the big screen August 15 starring Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites and Jeff Bridges as The Giver. Taylor Swift is also billed but she does not appear in the trailer.