The beginning of summer always elicits a sigh of relief because it means a chance to catch up on all of the things I had missed out on during the school year. This typically entails binge-watching multiple shows on Netflix, hanging out with friends and finding other fun ways to fill the time. Of course, there’s also a plethora of opportunities to visit the movie theater, especially if you’re from a small town like my own where there isn’t much to do in the first place. Of course, in this day and age, bootleg is the more popular method of viewing. But there’s something so classic about kicking back at the movie theater. Considering the potent smell of buttery popcorn, dimly lit atmosphere and the giant screen, movie theaters are a nice change up from the same old laptop movie night in your own home. Who would want that when you could have the complete cinema experience?
With that said, a number of promising looking films are debuting this summer 2016, making it all the more necessary to visit the movie theater. A good variety of genres constitute the bunch, serving to adequately satisfy any type of audience. Action for the superhero loving comic junkies, comedy for the light-hearted bunch, and even some buzz-worthy animated pictures that are sure to reel in the big bucks from younger audiences and the parents they drag along with them. This upcoming summer, which is quickly approaching on the horizon, will be sure to attract all types of movie-goers and generate some box office buzz.
Here are some of the films that are set to release in the beginning half of summer:
1. "Captain America : Civil War" (May 6)
This action-packed, quick-paced crowd pleaser is back once again to satiate our thirst for Marvel. In this installment, political pressure weighs heavy on the Avengers when team members have differentiating views regarding the amount of government influence over the actions of superheroes. Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) are split drastically in their ideas, causing Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to choose sides. Can this team of superheroes function as separate units? Or will they realize that they are far more powerful as one? We'll just have to wait and see.
2. "Money Monster" (May 13)
This thriller, starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O'Connell, follows a high stakes ordeal after a bitter investor (O'Connell) loses money and holds a Wall Street guru (Clooney) and producer (Roberts) hostage on their live television show. The trailer features intense scenes and a feeling of urgency that promises to drive this movie forward.
3. "The Angry Birds Movie" (May 20)
This one is sure to attract a large crowd, considering that it was released as a video game in December 2009, and as of October 2010, sold over 12 million copies of the game from the Apple iOS App Store. Since it proved to be such a big hit, Angry Bird merchandise has appeared in many retail outlets, and it seems to be a fad that appeals to children, young adults and even adults who find themselves obsessing over the "Angry Birds" game. In the movie, Red appears to prevail as the quirky protagonist, working to stop the mysterious pigs that showed up on their island. The trailer highlights comedic elements from the film, and makes it attractive to those who never got into the Angry Birds fad.
4. "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" (May 20)
As if the first "Neighbors" movie wasn't satisfying enough, we now get another dose of the fraternity/sorority madness when the sisters of Kappa Nu move next door to tortured husband and wife, Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly(Rose Byrne). They reunite with their old enemy turned ally, Teddy (Zac Efron), and devise schemes to get the sorority thrown out of the house. If it's anything like the first one, this movie is definitely a must-see.
5. "The Nice Guys" (May 20)
Starring Ryan Gosling as a struggling private-eye and Russell Crowe as his partnered enforcer, the duo investigate the inferred suicide of a porn star in 1970's Los Angeles in "The Nice Guys." Along the way, they fight every not so nice guy that crosses their path and uncover game-changing conspiracies.
6. "Alice Through the Looking Glass" (May 27)
The trailer for this sequel looks mind-blowingly trippy. As Alice (Mia Wasikowska) walks through a mirror, she is told, "You've been gone too long, Alice," while the lyrics, "One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you smaller" plays in the background. Hm... what might that be referring to? This time, Alice returns to Underland and travels into the past to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). Although the Underland is surely grim and whimsical, the trailer hints at a fascinating aesthetic that will transcend viewers beyond the Earthly realm for the film's duration.
7. "X-Men: Apocalypse" (May 27)
X-Men is back for another round, with Oscar Isaac starring as the immortal Apocalypse, who is the world's first mutant possessing incredible power. Professor X (James McAvoy), Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) and a team of young X-Men fight valiantly to stop Apocalypse and his disgruntled mutant recruit, Magneto (Michael Fassbender), from creating a new world order, one which would destroy mankind. "X-Men: Apocalypse" appears a good fit for any superhero fan due to its apparent excess of adrenaline-spiking content.
8. "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping" (June 3)
This comedy follows the story of struggling pop/rap superstar, conner4real (Andy Samberg). When his new album fails to succeed, his life as a celebrity begins to fall apart and he'll go to desperate measures to reclaim his fame. This film boasts appearances from celebrities such as Adam Levine, Snoop Dogg and more, which only adds to its entertaining allure.
9. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" (June 3)
The ninja turtle squad returns in the sequel to 2014's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." In this installment, the turtles are back in action in an attempt to vanquish their sworn enemy, Shredder (Brian Tee). Shredder has hired the mad scientist, Dr. Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) to craft two mutants, who are added to his army of villains. Things are sent into upheaval when New York City is invaded by Krang (Fred Armisen) of Dimension X. This film will be screened in 3D, Real3D and 4DX, making it that much more exciting to watch as the turtles ascend on a mission to bring down their enemies and save the inhabitants of New York City.
10. "The Conjuring 2" (June 10)
I tried to watch the trailer for this film, but couldn't bring myself to open my eyes as soon as the creepy music started playing (approximately .2 seconds in). With that said, "The Conjuring 2" is bound to deliver for any serious horror fans. Paranormal investigators, Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmigia) Warren, help a single mother and her four children defeat the malicious spirits that plague their London home. Just thinking about watching this film sends shivers down my spine.
11. "Now You See Me: The Second Act" (June 10)
The group of illusionists known as the Four Horsemen are faced with the act of performing a nearly impossible stunt for the sake of saving their reputation and exposing the unethical practices of a powerful tech player. This film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson, who combined make this sequel a must-see, regardless of whether or not you watched the first.
12. "Finding Dory" (June 17)
It's been the most agonizing wait since Disney announced "Finding Nemo's" sequel in 2013, but "Finding Dory" is upon us at last. Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks will be reprising their roles as Dory and Marlin as Dory sets out on a determined journey to reconnect with her mother (Diane Keaton) and father (Eugene Levy). Not only will this generation's children flock to see this, but Millennials who were their age when "Finding Nemo" debuted in 2003 are most likely to be just as excited for this movie's release. We'll just have to keep swimming until we can finally catch this movie in theaters.
13."Free State of Jones" (June 24)
Based on a true story, Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey), a farmer from Jones County, Mississippi during the Civil War, joins forces with fellow farmers to lead a rebellion against the Confederacy. This film is directed by Gary Ross, who also directed "The Hunger Games" and "Seabiscuit."
14. "The Shallows" (June 24)
Although the trailer looks like a one-shot for an uncomfortably fake shark attack, the plot for "The Shallows" sounds vaguely interesting. Nancy (Blake Lively) gets attacked by a great white shark while surfing alone, and is stranded on a rock just a short distance from the shore while the shark encircles her. I'll be honest, the trailer for this film made it look really, really bad. But then again it's Blake Lively, and not just any Blake Lively, this is Blake Lively stranded on a rock in a wet suit. That alone is something I'm sure many people will pay to see.
15."The BFG" (July 1)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Roald Dahl's "BFG" (1982), is coming to the big screen once again after the first animated adaptation in 1989. Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), an orphan, meets a friendly giant who she joins in the fight against evil giants who eat young girls and boys. Children and adults alike should be excited to watch this revived, fresh spin on Dahl's '80s children's classic.
16. "The Legend of Tarzan" (July 1)
Years after Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgard) abandoned the jungle for a civilized life in London, he is beckoned back to Congo with his wife, Jane (Margot Robbie), to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, oblivious to the fact that he is actually pawn in a Belgian captain's (Christopher Waltz) sinister scheme. If you're a "Tarzan" fan, you'd definitely be interested in David Yates' adaptation. It will also be screened in 3D and IMAX to create a more interactive feel.
17. "The Purge: Election Year" (July 1)
This marks the third installment in "The Purge" series, in which a senator (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her head of security (Frank Grillo) are trapped on the streets of Washington D.C. during the annual Purge, when all crime is legal for 12 hours. This series is great because it comments on social issues and power dynamics in a highly entertaining, yet disturbing, way.
18. "Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates" (July 7)
In this comedy, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza star as two uncontrollable women who respond to an ad on "The Wendy Williams Show" to accompany equally out-of-control brothers (Zac Efron and Adam Devine) to their sister's Hawaiian wedding. Along the way, they find themselves at the heart of countless blunders. This is sure to be a fun pick-me-up from the boredom that sometimes comes with the middle of summer drag.
19. "The Secret Life of Pets" (July 8)
If you have a pet and wonder what goes on in their mind or what they do when you're not home, "The Secret Life of Pets" might just have the answers to your questions. From the creators of "Despicable Me" comes a light-hearted animation about what our pets are really up to. Set in a New York City apartment, Max's (Louis C.K.) comfortable life as a dog is flipped upside down when his beloved owner brings home a mutt named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). They will have to put their differences aside when a scheming rabbit named Snowball (Kevin Hart) forms an army of abandoned pets that are out to avenge all happily-owned pets and their owners.
Considering this plethora of options, how could you not visit the movies at least once this summer? This list comprises raunchy comedies that might just be funny enough to get you those abs you've been pining after. If you're the somber type, there's plenty of more subdued films to exercise your mind. Have children? There's something for them, too! Not to mention the startling amount of sequels that are set to debut. If you loved the original, you just have to come back for more. No matter who you are, there's bound to be something that excites. This line-up of releases has me dedicating time in the first half of my summer calendar to visit the movies. The thought of buttery popcorn melting in my mouth is also a pretty big pull factor, not going to lie.