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123 Dentist’s Annual Summer Movie Preview – 2015

Technically, it’s Spring for a while longer, but the kickoff of Summer Movie Season has always coincided with the warmer weather at the beginning of May. Ever since Jaws and Star Wars, films have been premiering as early as May to appeal to a summer movie audience, and this year is no different. The first weekend of the month of May is always the biggest one for movies, save only for mid-December. Hosted by our resident movie expert, we’re going to look at some of the biggest releases of 2015, and give you the inside scoop on some of the biggest, funnest, craziest adventures you can go on with the whole family. Well, for the most part. This year some of our summer movies aren’t made for the whole family, so you’ll have to be a bit more selective.

MAY 2015

April 30th

Avengers: Age of Ultron (in 3D) is the long awaited sequel to Marvel’s mega-hit from Joss Whedon. This time around, the villain is an evil robot created by Tony Stark (in the movies at least) and the team must join forces with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. The reviews are in, and largely positive, so get your tickets now if there are even any left.

What to see instead?

Nothing, are you kidding me? It’s the sequel to the Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. If you can’t find at least something to love, you’re probably not inclined to read this blog anyway!


May 8th

Hot Pursuit is a female driven road movie along the lines of Midnight Run, but this time it’s Reese Whitherspoon and Modern Family’s Sophia Vergara. The movie looks like it has some good comic beats and it could be great counter programming to The Avengers, which studios have largely decided to steer clear of even a week later.

What to see instead?

Maggie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger is a small, independently produced drama about a father who’s only daughter is infected by a zombie-like virus. What’s more, it’s Arnold’s dramatic turn in this that is getting the most attention.


May 15th

Mad Max: Fury Road (in 3D) is the long, long awaited sequel/reboot of Mad Max, from original director George Miller. The series now comes with stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron and it looks amazing. The themes of water and oil shortages are certainly more relevant then ever before and, let’s face it, the trailer is insane!

What to see instead?

Pitch Perfect 2 will make it’s big return to the stage with the original cast returning. The first film was a fun, female driven college movie that didn’t pander, and managed to be funny and catchy. You might not have quite as much trouble dragging men to the sequel, but you’d better hope they don’t know Mad Max is out the same week.


May 22nd

Tomorrowland (in 3D) has to be one of the only large scale, non-sequel or remake films. George Clooney and Hugh Laurie star along with some local Vancouver talent for Brad Bird, who directed The Incredibles, as well as the last Mission Impossible. It’s Disney’s attempt to make another classic theme park attraction more relevant, and it may very well work. Early buzz is strong for this one.

What to see instead?

Poltergeist is a remake nobody asked for, but it could very well be worth your time. If you like horror or love the original film and want to try something a little less optimistic than Tomorrowland, this is the film for you.


May 29th

San Andreas takes place in Southern California, but it could just as easily have been set in Vancouver. The film imagines the worst case scenario for ‘the big one’ and puts audiences in the middle of a devastating earthquake. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is at the height of his stardom and this film looks to be a serious blockbuster along the lines of The Day After Tomorrow.

What to see instead?

Aloha could be a good bet if you’re looking for something a little more grounded or dramatic. Cameron Crowe’s new film stars a wide array of talent, most notably Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone. It also has Bill Murray, and who doesn’t love a comedy set in Hawaii?


JUNE 2015

June 5th

Entourage has been off the air for a few years, but (mostly) male fans have been waiting for the movie since the show ended its successful seven year run on HBO. The fantasy entourage of an A-list movie star and their adventures in luxury are the male equivalent of Sex in the City. Nobody’s really expecting a great movie, but everyone wants to see their old pals from Sunset Boulevard.

What to see instead?

Spy sounds like it could be a hilarious alternative to Entourage, perfectly timed when that largely male audiences is distracted. It could be a lot of fun if you’re a Melissa McCarthy fan, too. Imagine the least likely spy ever, and multiply it by ten. There you have McCarthy taking on a Bond-type quest to save the world.


June 12th

Jurassic World (in 3D) has to be the most anticipated sequel after Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s been over a decade since the last sequel to Steven Spielberg’s original game changer and fans are hungry for more dinosaur action. The sequel takes place years after the events of the first three films, when InGen has been sold and rebranded and John Hammond’s original vision has finally been realized. What happens next? Well lets just say the people running things get bored and decide to create something new. As you might imagine, things go downhill from there pretty quickly.

What to see instead?

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a hit from Sundance last year that is finally getting a wider release. The relationship dramedy is likely to feel similar to last year’s A Fault In Our Stars, but the plot and style is a bit more creative. If big budget effects and running, screaming and hiding from dinos isn’t your thing, this life affirming tear jerker may be just the thing the doctor ordered.


June 19th

Inside Out (in 3D) is one of the most exciting animated films of the year, if not THE most anticipated. Pixar missed last year and their last film was a sequel, so we haven’t seen what Hollywood’s most imaginative storytellers have to offer for a while. The notion of exploring our emotions and how they interact with each other and inform our decisions is compelling, and with Pixar it’s a surefire hit.

What to see instead?

Dope tells the story of a young man coming of age in an rough inner city neighbourhood in the early 1990’s, with big dreams of attending Harvard and escaping the ghetto. The film has strong early buzz, and certainly provides some great counter-programming for an animated family picture.


June 26th

Ted 2 is going to be exactly what you’d expect a sequel to a raunchy stoner comedy about a talking teddy bear. Which is to say, its hard to know what we’ll get from Ted 2, except that it may end up being a bit deeper than the last film. This time, Ted wants to adopt a child with his human partner, but to do so he’ll need to prove he’s, well.. real, in the eyes of the US Government.

What to see instead?

Max doesn’t look like a surefire hit just yet, but the studio behind the hero dog and his boy story is betting big on the family film. The success of American Sniper and the market for family films from the heartland give Max a possible edge. If it gets positive reviews, you might have something family friendly worth seeing.


JULY 2015

July 1st

Terminator: Genisys hopes to reinvigorate the classic time travel/killer robot movie franchise by bringing back original star Arnold Schwarzenegger and excusing his age with a wrinkle in time, so to speak. The concept is that all the mucking about with the timeline that led to the first four movies caused one change in the future too many. The battle to save John Connor’s life so he can become the saviour of humanity is no longer in the cards, because Connor has become the enemy. It’s like pushing the reset button on the franchise while respecting the past to a degree, like Star Trek did a few years back.

What to see instead?

Magic Mike XXL has to be the biggest film on this list for the female audience. The first film featured Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey as strippers in a highly competitive club, and drew on real life experiences from Tatum’s own history as a male dancer. The sequel brings more of the same, a peek behind the curtain, and lots of good looking men dancing for money and fame. There’s no reason to think this film will be any less successful than the first one was.


July 10th

Minions (in 3D) is a spin-off and a prequel, rather than a sequel, remake or adaptation like most other films this summer. The adorable little yellow guys from Despicable Me are still looking for their purpose in Manhattan in the 1960’s. The adventure is sure to give Pixar a run for its money as it vies for the affections of children this summer. Don’t expect Minions to be as imaginative or thoughtful as Inside Out, but it should offer a few belly laughs no matter your age.

What to see instead?

Self/less could surprise audiences with its dark, high concept premise. In the near future, a wealthy older man, Ben Kingsley, pays to have his mind transferred into a younger better looking body, Ryan Reynolds. Unfortunately there’s more to it than that, and soon things begin to fall apart. Reynolds could be beginning a minor comeback with this film and Deadpool next year.


July 17th

Ant-Man is Marvel’s first non-sequel since last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and features one of the original Avengers from the comics. Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd star in the film, which features the hero who can shrink down to the size of – wait for it – an ant. Not only that, but he can communicate with, and command, insects, as well as maintain his human size strength at a micro size. The powers offer a different type of super hero for Marvel and offer a great chance for comedy and amazing visuals.

What to see instead?

Trainwreck is Judd Apatow’s first movie in a couple of years and is serving as a coming out party for the talented Amy Schumer. Amy plays a single, modern woman who has made promiscuity her credo until she meets her match in Bill Hader. The hope here is to present a fresh, female friendly romantic comedy that is funny enough to attract a wider audience. Schumer is hilarious and certainly has the potential to become a star.


Mr. Holmes has two things going for it. First, it’s an original story about an elderly Sherlock Holmes struggling with dementia. Second, it stars everybody’s favourite magnetic wizard Ian McKellen as said version of Holmes. Be honest, you’re already checking the release date again, aren’t you?


July 24th

Pan reinvents Peter Pan as a fantasy adventure to match Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. This prequel features Hook as an ally of Peter Pan when Neverland is still unknown and nobody knows how to fly. Hugh Jackman plays a twisted Blackbeard, a kind of precursor for what Hook will become later on, one assumes. Whatever the critics think will be important here, but the film certainly looks different enough to be interesting.


Pixels was a short film that creatively showed classic Atari age video game characters attacking a very real New York City. The feature film is exactly the same thing, with expanded justification for the invasion. Adam Sandler is joined by Peter Dinklage, Kevin James and Josh Gadd as video game warriors recruited into the fight to save humanity. It’s nothing if not original, but its success will depend on the reviews.

What to see instead?

Southpaw looks to be the summers biggest and best drama, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a successful boxer who loses his wife, Rachel McAdams in an accident and subsequently his title and custody of his daughter. He has to fight his way back from the edge to save himself and protect the only one he has left, and reclaiming his title opposite the man he holds responsible for his wife’s death is the only way to to it. Gripping stuff!


July 31st

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is the fifth film in the franchise starring Tom Cruise. This time out, the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) is shut down by a shadow organization that secretly controls the strings of power around the world. Hence the title, Rogue Nation. The last remaining fugitive IMF agents, including Cruise and his team, are left with an impossible mission, to bring down the most powerful people on Earth. The last film reinvigorated the franchise and Tom Cruise’s career, so expectations are high.

What to see instead?

Vacation is a sequel/reboot to the ultra-popular National Lampoon series that starred Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. The new series has a grown up Rusty taking his family, including wife Christina Applegate, to Wally World to recapture the experience from the very first Vacation movie. Chevy and Beverly return as the grandparents along the way.


August 7th

Fantastic Four is a second attempt at making a hit franchise out of Marvel’s first family. This time Fox is taking a cue from The Dark Knight and its own X-Men series to make Fantastic Four darker and more realistic. They’ve changed other elements from the comics too, and fans are curious if it will all work out. Everyone wants this one to work, but there is a lot of super hero competition this summer. Hopefully there’s enough here to stave off big budget fatigue.

What to see instead?

Masterminds tells the true story of one of America’s largest heists, committed by a few hapless security guards working the night shift at Wells Fargo. The movie stars Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jim Carrey and Jason Sudeikis and the buzz is strong with this one, especially if you like heist comedies.


August 14th

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is the next remake to be unearthed from the past. Hollywood is desperate for franchises with name brand recognition, so U.N.C.L.E, the series about a secret spy organization is up to bat. Sure to provide great action, comedy and a few suprises, it should appeal to older fans of the original series, as wellas anyone who’s craving more Mission Impossible or Bourne-style adventures before James Bond returns in the fall.

What to see instead?

Straight Outta Compton certainly won’t be for everyone, but its an important story about race relations and how West Coast rap became an important pop culture force. If you listen to rap music or grew up in the 1990s, you likely encountered the US Government’s war on explicit lyrics and the rappers who fought for their right to free expression in the music industry. The soundtrack alone is probably worth the trip.


August 28th

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend intends to be the long awaited sequel to one of the west’s biggest asian imports of recent memory. Since the original Crouching Tiger, though, things have changed. Little is known, or has been seen, from the sequel, except that it will be coming ONLY to IMAX theatres this summer, and it will be stunning. Can it recapture audiences like the original? Time will tell…

What to see instead?

Hitman: Agent 47 is the year’s final summer movie, and it does get a little less exciting as school begins and summer ends. Hitman is another second attempt/revival based on the hit video game franchise about a genetically engineered assassin who kills for the good of humanity, until of course, he’s used to kill someone who didn’t deserve it and things go horribly wrong. If you’re looking for one last action fest before Oscar season begins, this might be it.


They say the average American goes to the movies just over 7 times per year, but if this summer is any indication, that number will be on the rise. Its easy to get cynical with nothing but sequels and prequels and remakes to the films and series we grew up with, but it’s also exciting to see new takes on classic stories and, after all, there are no truly original ideas under the sun. A filmmaker’s ability to reinvent the old, and to refresh and reinvigorate the stories we love into something we can share with younger generations, is a new and unique opportunity too often dismissed by fans. Here’s hoping you get to see a few of this summer’s big films, and enjoy them as much as us!