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Cold Theater Summer 

Blockbuster season arrives (again!)

Is time passing more quickly or is that just a cliche for those of us thickly stuck in the midst of a mid-life crisis? All I know is that it feels like the Summer Movie Season was just here, and now we're already diving deep into another one just as theaters are seeming to be settling into some sense of normalcy. We've seen proof that movies like "Spider-Man: No Way Home," "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and "Everything Everywhere All At Once" can still put butts in seats in the theater, but streamers like Hulu, Netflix, HBO and Amazon are dropping Hollywood blockbusters on the regular, so the idea of a Summer Movie season is almost extinct.

Yes, our home theaters are sometimes even better than the public ones, but the entire point of a Summer Blockbuster is that it's a movie that needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible on the best sound system available with a large group of excited strangers. So, here's a look at some of the summer movies coming out that I'm genuinely looking forward to watching in a theater packed with you beautiful people.

May 27
"Top Gun: Maverick:"

click to enlarge COURTESY IMDB
  • Courtesy IMdb

Yeah, I know Tom Cruise is weird and possibly creepy and Scientology is definitely insidious, but he's also the American Jackie Chan, doing stunts that make the audience's mouth drop. He's desperate to entertain us and a new "Top Gun" where a huge majority of the actors are really up there in the jets sounds like the reason movie theaters were invented.


June 10
"Jurassic World: Dominion:"

click to enlarge COURTESY IMDB
  • Courtesy IMdb

To me, one of the first truly life-changing experiences I've had when watching a movie was the first time I saw "Jurassic Park" in the theater. It made me feel like anything was possible and that our imaginations could lead us into truly astounding places. I think I've been hunting that feeling ever since, and while I don't think "Dominion" will come close to touching that rarified air, seeing Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum together again running from dinosaurs should be an absolute delight.


June 17
"Lightyear:"

I love the idea that this is the fake movie that inspired the "Toy Story" universe to make Buzz Lightyear action figures. It's been a long time since Pixar went hard at a science fiction adventure story and just based on the trailers, this looks like one of their most serious films so far. Chris Evans as Buzz is perfect casting, so here's hoping this is an entirely new direction the "Toy Story" franchise can head in. Imagine what a solo Woody action movie would be like.


June 24
"The Black Phone:"

Ethan Hawke was genuinely fantastic as the villain Arthur Harrow on Disney's "Moon Knight," so I'm really excited to see him take on the pitch-black character of a masked serial killer of children. This looks like a fun and frightening flick and the short story by Joe Hill is scary as all hell, so I'm hoping this is one of those horror movies that makes the entire theater laugh and scream as one.


July 8
"Thor: Love and Thunder:"

click to enlarge COURTESY IMDB
  • Courtesy IMdb

Taika Waititi is one of the most original voices in cinema right now and his "Thor: Ragnarok" is one of the highest high points of the MCU. Having an entire Thor film focused on him just wanting to live a life of peace while Natalie Portman picks up the hammer is going to be a bittersweet blast of madcap energy. Also, the character Christian Bale is playing in this is one of my all-time favorite Marvel comics villains, so I'm entirely too excited to see how bonkers this one gets.


July 22
"Nope:"

click to enlarge COURTESY IMDB
  • Courtesy IMdb

Jordan Peele's follow-up to "Us" only has a very short trailer and basically no information about it out there, except for the fact that it has something to do with aliens. I hesitate to call Peele a master since he only has two films under his belt, but the way he blends social commentary with genuinely frightening and imaginative images keeps him high on my list of directors who have a lifetime pass from me. If he makes an ASMR movie focused on people chewing loudly, I'll still be there opening night.


August 5
"Bullet Train:"

Why yes, I would like to see Brad Pitt fight assassins on a speeding Japanese bullet train from the director of "John Wick." I'm glad filmmakers are making movies just for me now.

As far as I know, all of these movies are exclusively playing in theaters before they land on any streaming service, so maybe I'll see you out there for Cold Theater Summer.

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