Who: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Krasinski and Helen Mirren
What: A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University, when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends.
When: June 21st
Why: I’m not entirely crazy about Pixar’s heavy reliance on their past properties over the last few years (especially for a studio known for its originality), but “Monsters Inc.” is one of my favorite Pixar movies, and the upcoming prequel has a story that’s actually worth telling. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t rather see something new from the animation think tank, but I’d much rather spend time with Mike Wazowski and Sulley than suffer through another pointless “Cars” or “Finding Nemo” sequel. The college coming-of-age tale doesn’t exactly cover new ground, but between Billy Crystal and John Goodman’s excellent chemistry and a supporting cast of new characters played by Dame Helen Mirren, John Krasinski and Nathan Fillion, it should at least be entertaining, even if it’s not as good as its predecessor.
Who: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, Marlon Wayans and Thomas F. Wilson
What: Uptight FBI special agent Sarah Ashburn is paired with testy Boston cop Shannon Mullins in order to take down a ruthless drug lord.
When: June 28th
Why: I didn’t think “Bridesmaids” was nearly as funny as the rest of America, and that has me worried about director Paul Feig’s follow-up, which reunites him with breakout star Melissa McCarthy. The actress has been terribly overexposed since the surprise success of that film (an Oscar nomination, really?), and though Sandra Bullock should help balance out her aggressively over-the-top comic tendencies, a little bit of McCarthy goes a long way. The trailer does feature a few good laughs, but it’s also riddled with many of the same annoying antics that made “Identity Thief” such a miserable moviegoing experience, and it should finally reveal McCarthy as the one-trick pony that her last few films have proven her to be.
Who: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Richard Jenkins
What: While on a tour of the White House with his daughter, a policeman springs into action to protect the President from a group of paramilitary invaders.
When: June 28th
Why: “Olympus Has Fallen” may have beaten “White House Down” to the punch by arriving in theaters a few months earlier, but when it comes to wreaking havoc on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, no one does it better than Roland Emmerich. Though Channing Tatum doesn’t really hold a candle to Gerard Butler as an action hero, and Jamie Foxx is a puzzling choice to play the President, the thing that matters most with movies like this is a huge action quotient, and judging by the trailers (which includes Foxx’s POTUS firing a rocket launcher from a moving vehicle), there’s certainly no shortage of that here. While “Olympus Has Fallen” delivered more of a “Die Hard”-esque slant to its White House under attack scenario, Emmerich’s latest appears to be more of a no holds barred shoot ‘em up, and that’s something that I can definitely get behind.