Welcome to the Summer Movie Preview. Last weekend's arrival of "Captain America: Civil War" was the early dawn of 2016's summer movie season. There will be big actors, enormous explosions and the largest budgets the American film industry has ever seen this year. The following mandatory fun list includes the bigger flicks of May and June, continuing next week with July and August releases.
May 13 "Money Monster"
What it's about: George Clooney is a smarmy television financial advisor who is held hostage on live TV by a man who lost everything to Wall Street. Also starring Julia Roberts and featuring Jodie Foster in the director's chair, "Money Monster" is an old-fashioned prestige picture.
What to expect: Expect conflicted feelings, unbridled intensity and seething anger toward those without morals who take without thought.
Worth Seeing?: It might be heavy-handed, but will be a nice break between summer superheroes and special effects.
May 20 "Neighbors 2"
What it's about: This time instead of being stuck next door to a horrific fraternity, Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne must do battle with a sorority led by Chloe Grace Moretz. They team up with past enemy Zac Efron for the fracas with drunk teenage girls and loud music.
What to expect: The trailer has more of the same stuff as the first, but the original is underrated and made Zac Efron look like a real human boy.
Worth Seeing?: For fans of the original, this should hit that sweet giggle spot.
May 20 "The Nice Guys"
What it's about: Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are private dicks who team up to take on the Los Angeles mob in the 1970s. It's "Chinatown" meets "Boogie Nights" with a dash of "Big Lebowski."
What to expect: Writer/Director Shane Black was behind such classics as "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," "Lethal Weapon" and "The Monster Squad." In other words, expect a modern classic with unlimited re-watch potential.
Worth seeing?: Make the plans to see it now so May 20 doesn't creep up too quickly. Take time off from work if needed.
May 27 "X-Men: Apocalypse"
What it's about: The ancient mutant villain Apocalypse steps up to James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender's X-Men, looking to bring the pain. Much computer generated imagery (CGI)/wizardry ensues.
What to expect: Following "Days of Future Past," this one should balance exciting X-action with character development for all of the new characters coming in. There is a lot that can go wrong here.
Worth seeing? Even the worst X-titles have entertaining bits (e.g. "X-Men Origins: Wolverine), so it should be worth seeing for a laugh if nothing else.
June 10 "Warcraft"
What it's about: Some nerdy nerds nerded and Warcraft was born. Orcs and humans team up to fight something that is destroying their shared world.
What to expect: David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, is a smart director. His film "Moon" is a modern sci-fi classic. Expect this to be better than the incredibly dire trailers.
Worth seeing: Very little early word of mouth on this one, but Legendary Entertainment's character videos are posted to its YouTube channel and the latest features half-orc assassin Garona. It's worth taking a chance on Jones.
June 10 "The Conjuring 2"
What it's about: Ed and Lorraine Warren are back! This time they head to England to deal with a creepy demon spirit that hates Lorraine.
What to expect: James Wan improves with each film he directs and the original was a creepy blast, so one hopes this sequel will deliver the same tone without the same scares.
Worth seeing: Horror fans should be there with bells on. Creepy, creepy bells.
June 17 "Finding Dory"
What it's about: This is a sequel to a 13-year old cartoon!! Nemo and his dad go on a journey with Dory to search for her family. Hijinks ensue.
What to expect: Aside from Randy Newman songs? Probably Pixar's usual blend of heart, hilarity and an important lesson or two.
Worth seeing: Pixar is usually a good bet. Let's just hope this is more "Toy Story 2" and less "Cars 2."
June 24 Independence Day: Resurgence
What it's about: A sequel to a 22-year old movie!! Will Smith's character has died, so Jeff Goldblum and Liam Hemsworth must fight aliens sans goofy wisecracks.
What to expect: Expect to see every landmark on the planet explode as Goldblum looks on in horror.
Worth seeing: Of course. It's probably going to be terrible, but at least it will be terribly fun.
Stay tuned for July and August previews in an upcoming edition of the Source Weekly.