A summer movie feast to thrill fans

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This summer, movie theater owners are betting that the pandemic will finally be behind us. Receipts for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” suggest that might already be the case. According to Variety, theaters will also add an “extra” $1 or $2 to “highest-requested tickets” this summer, likely to speed their return to financial health, but ouch for families who frequent multiplexes.

First, the IMAX movie Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount, May 27), which wrapped principal photography in 2019 and opens this week. Tom Cruise returns as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. Miles Teller plays Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards). Jennifer Connelly is Maverick’s new love interest. Other blockbuster certainties opening this summer include “Jurassic World Dominion” (Universal, June 10), bringing back Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill and those dinos under the watch of director Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World”). Sacred hodgepodge, “Thor: Love and Thunder” (Disney, July 8) mixes characters from those “Thor” films and Norse mythology with most of the cast from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” series as well as top Olympic god Zeus (Russell Crowe).

  • (LR): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor team up in Marvel Studios’ ‘THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER’. (Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All rights reserved)

  • TO THE INFINITE -

    TO INFINITY — Disney and Pixar’s ‘Lightyear’ presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy, introducing the legendary Space Ranger and his trusty robot companion, Sox (voice by Peter Sohn). (© 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved)

  • 'MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU' looks back on the early days...

    “MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU” looks back at the early life of Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) as the Minions aid him in his quest to become a super-villain.

  • DWAYNE JOHNSON stars as Krypto in the Warner Bros. Pictures animated film...

    DWAYNE JOHNSON stars as Krypto in Warner Bros. Pictures’ animated action adventure “DC LEAGUE OF SUPER-PETS,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

This summer will also feature the usual family outings. Boston-born Chris Evans, Captain America of the big screen, takes over as Pixar character Buzz Lightyear in the spin-off of the computer-animated sci-fi action movie “Light year” (Disney, June 17), a film also featuring the voice talent of Keke Palmer and James Brolin. “Lightyear” tells the story of young Buzz Lightyear’s attempts to find a way back to Earth after being marooned with his crew on a hostile planet. In “Minions: The Rise of Gru” (Universal, July 1), a 12-year-old Gru (voiced by Concord-born Steven Carell) aspires, with the help of his loyal Minions, to be the world’s greatest super-villain. Gru is both aided and fought by characters voiced by Michelle Yeoh, Taraji P. Hensen, Lucy Lawless, Jean-Claude Van Damme, RZA, and Julie Andrews. In the computer-animated superhero action movie “DC League of Super-Pets” (Warner Bros., July 29), Superman (voiced by John Krasinski) and the Justice League are kidnapped by Lex Luthor (Marc Maron), and Superman’s superdog, Krypto (Dwayne Johnson), assembles a superhero group of pets. Among them are a dog named Ace (Kevin Hart), PB the pig (Vanessa Bayer), Merton the super-fast tortoise (Natasha Lyonne) and Chip the electrified squirrel (Diego Luna).

What would the summer movie season be without alternative programming? by David Cronenberg “Future Crimes” (Neon, June 3), a body horror effort from the master of those films premiered this week at Cannes. The film stars Cronenberg favorite Viggo Mortensen (“A History of Violence”) as Saul Tenser, a man with the ability to grow new organs in his body. He and his partner Caprice (Lea Seydoux, “No Time to Die”) have made the removal and display of these organs a form of futuristic performance art. In Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror movie “Nope” (Universal, July 22), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out” by Peele), Keke Palmer, Steven Yuen and other residents of a remote town witness inexplicable events in the sky. The film’s plot has mostly been kept under wraps. But the trailer looks like some kind of alien abduction movie.

  • Daniel Kaluuya plays in

    Daniel Kaluuya stars in “No”, written and directed by Jordan Peele.

  • AUSTIN BUTLER stars as Elvis Presley in Warner Bros. Pictures'...

    AUSTIN BUTLER stars as Elvis Presley in the Warner Bros. Pictures drama ‘ELVIS,’ a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

  • Bad Bunny and Brad Pitt star in

    Bad Bunny and Brad Pitt star in “Bullet Train.”

Which movie season is complete with a big screen biopic? This summer, we receive the king himself, “Elvis” (Warner Bros. June 24) from director Baz Luhrmann (“The Great Gatsby”) starring Austin Butler (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) as Presley and the great Tom Hanks as the King’s legendary manager, Colonel Tom Parker. The film also features Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”) as country singing pioneer Jimmie Rodgers. With an ensemble cast that includes Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Zazie Beetz and Joey King, “High-speed train” (Sony, August 5) follows five assassins who board a fast bullet train to learn what their missions are from their masters.

In action thriller “The Gray Man” (Netflix, July 22), from “Avengers” directors Joe and Anthony Russo, Ryan Gosling plays Court Gentry aka Sierra Six, the CIA black ops operative created by Tom Clancy collaborator and novelist Mark Greaney. Netflix hopes this will launch another franchise for the Russos from the hit Netflix “Extraction” movies. The cast also includes Chris Evans, Anya de Armas and Rege-Jean Page. Let’s hope these films bring our cinemas back to life.

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