Get in, we don’t have much time to talk.
We have almost two dozen movies to preview, because I pulled a list of films I was curious about this summer, and it happened to be exactly 23. If I want to say something snappy and informative about each, this intro has to end so fast that it may feel abrupt. So, uh. Bye!
“Fast X” (In theaters May 19)
The finale to this 20-year-old franchise is being split into two parts. The better one better be “Furious X” or I’m crashing Vin Diesel’s next D&D game to mock him.
“The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future” (In theaters May 19)
This has been described as a “folkloric meditation on the relationship between humans and the environment, mother and child.” I’m guessing it may draw a different audience than “Fast X.”
“The Little Mermaid” (In theaters May 26)
“Live-action” Flounder looks like a discarded toy from “Skinamarink,” but Melissa McCarthy looks Divine, and I only wish all live-action Disney remakes made racists mad.
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” (In theaters June 2)
A sequel to maybe the best comic book movie of all time. Who isn’t excited to see the legion of Spider-Men and Spider-Gwen once more blast us in the face with the multiverse?
“Past Lives” (In theaters June 2)
Writer/director Celine Song’s debut film is an A24 joint about childhood sweethearts reunited decades later. Watching this cast untangling puppy love from complicated adult relationships is gonna hurt so good.
“The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster” (In theaters June 9)
Written and directed by Bomani J. Story, this reimagining of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” sees a young antihero trying to resurrect her brother. I’d be really sad if my sister died, but I likely wouldn’t do necromancy about it. Sorry May-May.
“The Flash” (In theaters June 16)
Ezra Miller didn’t do crimes for like a month or two, so they’re finally releasing this attempt to reset the “status quo” in the DC Universe. Who cares about continuity? All that matters is more Michael Keaton Batman!
“Pixar’s Elemental” (In theaters June 16)
It has been a minute since Pixar had a big hit. This rom-com featuring beings made of fire and water who fall in love could be the spark it needs or another dousing of said flame.
“Asteroid City” (In theaters June 16)
It’s a Wes Anderson movie that appears to have aliens involved. You’re in or you’re out based on that much info.
“Extraction 2” (On Netflix June 16)
June 16 is bangin’ huh? Chances are, you’ll wait to watch Chris “The Australian Hammer” Hemsworth somehow return from appearing very dead in the first film to do more creative murdering in this sequel. It’s like “John Wick” if he enrolled in more humanities classes.
“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (In theaters June 30)
What Shia LaBeouf? I may not have hated “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” as much as most, but that doesn’t mean I’m not absolutely in the tank for Phoebe Waller-Bridge joining Indy on a time-travel adventure. That’s like “Fleabag” on “Doctor Who.” Did they read my fan-fic?
“Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” (In theaters June 30)
I’ve said it a thousand times: We do not do enough with abominable sea monsters. This coming-of-age tale features a crazy voice cast: Toni Collette, Annie Murphy, Jane Fonda, Will Forte, Sam Richardson, and Colman Domingo. I would let them read me the phone book, let alone mythical creature adolescent narrative fiction.
“Joy Ride” (In theaters July 7)
A road-trip comedy through Asia featuring Stephanie Hsu? I’m in. This looks like the kind of movie dude-bros have gotten to make a billion times but women have gotten to make, like, once (“Booksmart”).
“Barbie” (In theaters July 21)
Cue Werner Herzog’s voice: This is, in fact, Barbie’s world. We are powerless before the pink palette. We are humbled by Margot Robbie. We will allow Ryan Gosling.
“Oppenheimer” (In theaters July 21)
There have been a hundred thousand “Christopher Nolan actually blew up an atomic bomb” jokes. They are jokes, right? Whatever, he hasn’t made a great movie in a long-ass time, and I’m not interested in another “what-has-science-wrought” movie. But it has Florence Pugh. I’m there.
“They Cloned Tyrone” (On Netflix July 21)
A stylish sci-fi, pulp-noir tale featuring a cast this dope? I must be dreaming. The plot is still vague, just “eerie events” and a “government conspiracy,” but I was there on the title alone.
“Passages” (In theaters Aug. 4)
I find the acting of Ben Whishaw to be so nuanced, delicate, and heartbreaking that knowing this movie will explore a long-time same-sex couple dealing with one of the men having an affair with a woman has made me melancholy.
“Gran Turismo” (In theaters Aug. 11)
Director Neill Blomkamp hasn’t lived up to “District 9,” but I keep hoping. Is it likely this adaptation of a video game about cars that go in a circle will do it? Uh …
“Blue Beetle” (In theaters Aug. 18)
It’s going to take a lot to love another superhero origin story, this time about a guy who gets a super-suit from a scarab. Still, the trailer had enough cheeky in it, like calling Batman a fascist, to make me DC curious.
“Landscape with Invisible Hand” (In theaters Aug. 18)
Talk about pushing my buttons: Overt colonialism critiques stuffed inside a sci-fi movie about an alien invasion is as much my thing as sarcasm and puns. That is saying something.
“The Equalizer 3” (In theaters Sept. 1)
Denzel Washington never made a sequel until the last “Equalizer.” This will likely be his only trilogy. We owe it to the man to see it through after all he’s done for us, right?
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” (In theaters Sept. 8)
Exploiting intellectual property isn’t just for video game and comic book adaptations. I barely remembered that there was a second “Big Fat Greek Wedding,” but they’ve made 23 James Bond movies, so this is fine with me.
“The Nun 2” (In theaters Sept. 8)
I can’t lie: I’m not excited about this. I had it on the original list because I wanted to make a joke about “sequel September.” Then I saw it represented the 23rd movie of the 2023 Summer Movie Preview. So here’s “The Nun 2.” It is a movie. It will be released. The best thing it did was make this theme work.