Harrison Ford stars in "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” Photo courtesy of Lucasfilm.

By Jared Rasic, Last Word Features

With the releases of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “Fast X” and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” we’ve officially landed in the summer blockbuster season … whether we like it or not.

Looking at the numbers, movie theaters are still struggling to get people through the door. For every barn burner like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water” or “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” there are two dozen movies that most of society collectively decides to wait and check out once they’re streaming.

Over the next couple of months, there are some pretty exciting films coming out (massive and under the radar). Will you go see them in theaters or wait until you can see them at home? Let’s look at a few.

Elemental” (June 16): A new Pixar movie is still appointment viewing for me, even though they’re on a mid-streak lately. According to reports from Cannes, this uses a romance between fire and water elementals as a jumping-off point to tell a story about the immigrant experience.

Asteroid City” (June 16): You’re either a fan of Wes Anderson’s perfectly composed diorama worlds or you’re not, but don’t discount him just because his aesthetic stays the same. He’s evolving as a writer and filmmaker, making his last three films into Russian nesting dolls of narrative and meta-textual cinematic language. If you’re on the fence, this is the one to give him another shot with, as it looks like his most ambitious film since “The Life Aquatic.”

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (June 30): The first “Indiana Jones” movie to be helmed by someone other than Spielberg, there’s no way it can be worse than “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” right? Right?


Joy Ride” (July 7): From Adele Lim (the writer of “Crazy Rich Asians”) comes this hard-R Rated comedy about two Asian-American best friends who travel to China to find one of their birth mothers. It’s easily the funniest trailer of the year so far, with what looks to be another scene-stealing performance from “Everything Everywhere’s” Stephanie Hsu.

Mission: Impossible-Dead Reckoning Part One” (July 14): I don’t care what anyone says, the last few “Mission: Impossible” movies slapped hard and this looks like more of Tom Cruise destroying himself for our entertainment. Let the bread and circuses commence.

They Cloned Tyrone” (July 21): This isn’t hitting theaters; instead it’s headed straight to Netflix, which is a shame since it looks like it should be experienced with as many people as possible. A sci-fi comedy with ‘70s grindhouse vibes, this has Jamie Foxx playing a character named Slick Charles, so I’m not sure what more you can want from a movie.

“Barbie” (July 21): It’s Barbie’s world. We’re all just living in it. Writer/director Greta Gerwig is a genius, so whatever you imagine this movie is, it’s more.

Oppenheimer” (July 21): The new Christopher Nolan joint comes out on the same day as “Barbie,” so what do you do? You go see both so the world continues to get all the different kinds of movies. Seriously though, this should be the bomb. I apologize.

Talk to Me” (July 28): My sources tell me (They’re me, OK? My sources are me.) that this is, by far, the scariest horror movie of the year and designed to give out lots of nightmares for the kids. Released by A24, expect this tale of stupid teens and an embalmed hand to be disturbing as all hell.

Blue Beetle” (Aug. 18): “Blue Beetle” was the first comic book I ever bought back in 1986, so I’m nostalgically invested in this being good, but also excited for the world to get a badass Latinx superhero. The trailer also has a character calling Batman a fascist, which, as much as I love Batman, is accurate.

Bottoms” (TBA): There’s not a lot of info about this except that it’s a queer sex comedy starring the always great Rachel Sennott (“Shiva Baby”) and Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”) and follows two high school girls who start a fight club as a way to hook up with cheerleaders. Picture “Heathers,” but gayer.

Problemista” (TBA): From Julio Torres, one of the creators of the severely under-appreciated HBO series, “Los Espookys,” comes a darkly humorous and visually astounding look at the NYC art world from the POV of an immigrant from El Salvador. Also, Tilda Swinton and RZA play a married couple, so I’m there no matter what. Big Michel Gondry vibes on this one.

That’s it for me. What movies are you excited to see this summer?


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