Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to June

“Inside Out”

Who: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Lewis Black and Phyllis Smith
What: After a girl moves to a new home, her emotions are plunged into chaos as they compete for control of her mind.
When: June 19th
Why: For a movie studio that was founded on innovation, Pixar has been leaning a little too heavily on pre-existing properties over the last five years, with only one truly original film (“Brave”) released in that time. And while Pixar shows no signs of slowing down on its sequel/prequel plans, it’s a relief to see that they’re not completely out of new ideas. “Inside Out” might just be the studio’s most daring movie since “Up,” and it’s a huge gamble that could blow up in its face. Amy Poehler is an inspired choice for the voice of Joy, and director Pete Docter is responsible for some of the company’s best films, but the trailers for “Inside Out” still have me more concerned than excited. Here’s hoping it proves me wrong.

“Dope”

Who: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons and Zoe Kravitz
What: After a chance invitation to a big underground party leads Malcolm and his friends into an offbeat adventure, he’s given the chance to show that he can be dope.
When: June 19th
Why: Another breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Rick Famuyiwa’s “Dope” may look like your typical coming-of-age story, but audience response to the movie was so overwhelmingly positive that it suggests there’s more to the film than the trailers let on. Early buzz has already pegged Shameik Moore as a star in the making, while it’s great to see Tony Revolori continuing to build on his breakthrough performance in Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Though releasing a movie like “Dope” in between big summer blockbusters like “Jurassic World” and “Ted 2” could be detrimental to its success, much like fellow Sundance indie “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” it only reiterates just how much the studio believes in the film.

“Infinitely Polar Bear”

Who: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide
What: A manic-depressive father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two spirited daughters, who don’t make the task any easier.
When: June 19th
Why: Mark Ruffalo is hands-down one of the best actors working today, but while he’s earned great reviews for his performance in writer Maya Forbes’ directorial debut, his character feels a little too close to the eccentric fathers he’s played over the past few years, especially in fellow indies like “The Kids Are All Right” and “Begin Again.” The whole manic-depressive angle will likely allow Ruffalo to really flex his acting muscle, but the movie doesn’t appear to offer much beyond that, with the potentially sappy storyline a major point of concern. And though Zoe Saldana has turned in some great work in genre films like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avatar” and “Star Trek,” she’s yet to convince me of her ability as a serious dramatic actress.

“Ted 2”

Who: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried and Jessica Barth
What: Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law.
When: June 26th
Why: Seth MacFarlane knocked it out of the park with “Ted,” delivering one of the funniest comedies of 2012 and earning him the Academy Award hosting gig in the process. Though the last few years haven’t gone as swimmingly (most people hated his Oscars appearance and reaction to “A Million Ways to Die in the West” was tepid at best), MacFarlane looks to bounce back with the return of his foul-mouthed teddy bear. Like most sequels these days, it’s hard to imagine “Ted 2” living up to the original, but the trailers have been promising thus far, despite the fact that Mila Kunis isn’t returning alongside Mark Wahlberg. But in a sequel-driven culture that’s complacent with doing the same thing again, only bigger, perhaps that’s a good thing.

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