The summer movie season is already off to a big start, with Spidey slinging webs and Godzilla stomping San Francisco to the delight of big crowds these last few weekends. Throw in Neighbors as the hot comedy (so far), and Hollywood’s silly season seems off to a respectable start. So what’s in store for audiences over the next few months? What you see will likely depend on your age …
7 months to 7 years
This is a tough way to start, since my best advice would involve begging you not to bring a sub-7-year-old child to a movie theater. But hey, I’m a dad now. I get it. Sometimes we have to turn our little bundle of joy into everyone’s problem, if only so mommy can have a little sanity time alone at home. It does take a village, folks. For those who must bring the little ones, dueling animated sequels should fit the bill: How To Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13), the follow-up to Dreamworks’ 2010 animated hit featuring the vocal talents of Jay Barachel, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Craig Ferguson and America Ferrera, and Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue (July 18), which I’m including simply because the Disney brand usually means harmless fun for the tiniest among us. Usually.
7 to 17
Ninety percent of the movies released between now and Labor Day fall into this category. The Hollywood summer sweet spot has long been the 14-year-old boy — and I’m not just talking about Bryan Singer. Bam! Too easy. Speaking of Singer, his X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23) is the next big superhero flick in a summer full of them. Not into mutants? The kids get a myriad of choices. There’s Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt fighting aliens in the Groundhog Day-meets-Starship Troopers sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow (June 6); the latest Transformers cacophony, this one subtitled Age of Extinction (June 27), which can’t come fast enough for this franchise; Earth to Echo (July 3), about a bunch of teens trying to get to the bottom of a cell phone mystery that turns otherworldly (think Goonies meets Super 8); and a fresh Marvel offering, Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug. 1), which promises a tongue-in-cheek take on a Star Wars-style space opera. I could go on (22 Jump Street, anyone?), but you get the idea.
17 to 27
Ah, your early to mid-20s — a time to sit back, and laugh, and smoke lots of weed, and laugh, and eat Doritos, and laugh. Where was I? Oh, right. Who better to ply the stoned masses with wildly inappropriate laughs than Seth MacFarlane? The Family Guy and Ted creator’s latest film is A Million Ways to Die In the West (May 30). It casts Seth opposite Charlize Theron in a Western (duh) where the running gag is that death is omnipresent and strikes in sudden and creative ways. I’m something of a MacFarlane hater, but I’ll admit the trailer for this one made me laugh. Plus, Charlize remains very, very attractive. Attractive enough to distract from MacFarlane’s cartoony mug? We’ll see.
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27 to 37
Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element is something of a touchstone film for guys in their 30s, mostly thanks to Milla Jovovich’s strategic wearing of a couple of belts designed by Jean Paul Gaultier and calling it clothing. Besson’s latest is the action flick Lucy (Aug. 8), which stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman who goes from captive to ass-kicker and extracts revenge on her tormentors. No idea if this movie will be any good (Besson’s filmography is hit and miss), but ScarJo’s on quite a roll right now and I wouldn’t bet against her.
37 to 57
Metaphor … being … strained … barely … holding … together …
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57 to 77
Believe it or not, there are some quality choices for the nation’s seniors this year — well, two, at least. But hey, that’s progress. Up first is Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the hit stage show Jersey Boys, which loosely blockbuster-izes the career of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Also vying for the Boomer dollar will be Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, who star in Rob Reiner’s grandparent comedy And So It Goes (July 11). I predict sold-out matinees across the land.