Summer Movie Preview: ‘The Fall Guy’ offers a solid start to summer movie season


While the summer solstice is still seven weeks away and most kids will be in school until around Memorial Day if not later, the summer movie season is upon us.

Frankly, it’s seemed a bit like summer in theaters since the last Friday in February when “Dune: Part Two” opened, but I’m not complaining. A good movie works for me at any point in the year.

There are more than a few promising movies set to open in theaters between today and the end of August, and here is a preview of some of the most promising ones.

May 3 – The Fall Guy (trailer)

This popcorn movie starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt is short on plot but long on action and chemistry between the two stars. Loosely based on the 1980s TV show that starred Lee Majors, the movie is about a stuntman (Gosling), who is hired to find a missing actor (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), whom he doubles for in hopes of saving the film being directed by his old fling (Blunt). Though the movie runs a bit long for its own good, it’s a fun film, just not a great one. (Grade B-)

May 10 – Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (trailer)

“Maze Runner” director Wes Paul takes over this franchise from Matt Reeves with a movie set 300 years after the apes reached their “Promise Land” in the last film. The trailer for the movie seems to harken back to a period just prior to the original “Planet of the Apes” film from 1968. Color me interested.

May 17 – IF (trailer)

It could very well be the summer of Ryan Reynolds with this promising kid-friendly film and the decidedly R-rated “Deadpool and Wolverine” flick later this summer. The high concept of director John Krasinski’s “IF” is what happens to imaginary friends (IFs) once their children outgrow them. With stars like Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Steve Carell, Maya Rudolph, and several others lending their voice talent to CGI characters, this is one of the more appealing four-quadrant pictures on the summer docket.

May 24 – Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (trailer)

Director George Miller may be in his 80s, but he still has post-apocalyptic stories to tell in this prequel to his 2015 blockbuster “Mad Max: Fury Road.” This time Anya Taylor-Joy plays the titular character with Chris Hemsworth as the barbaric baddie.

May 24 – The Garfield Movie (trailer)

Everyone’s favorite orange, lasagna-eating cat gets the CGI-animated treatment in this film that details Garfield’s origin and introduces his dad. In the late 1970s and early ‘80s, “Garfield” was my favorite newspaper strip. This movie looks cute. Chris Pratt is the new voice of Garfield in the movie that also features the voice talents of Nicholas Hoult, Ving Rhames, Samuel L. Jackson, and Hannah Wadding ton.

May 31 – Ezra (trailer)

This tear-jerking dramedy, directed by Tony Goldwyn, stars Bobby Cannavale as the father of an autistic son Ezra (William Fitzgerald). When facing a difficult decision about Ezra’s future, the father and son go on a road trip to sort things out. Rose Byrne, Robert De Niro, Vera Farming, Whoopi Goldberg, and Rainn Wilson round out a star-studded cast.

June 7 – Bad Boys: Ride of Die (trailer)

The title “Bad Boys’ has never been more true for Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, who’ve both had their share of public struggles over the years. If you enjoyed the other “Bad Boys” movies — I did —then I’m guessing this will be more of the same.

June 14 – Inside Out 2 (trailer)

Most of the original voice cast returns from the smash-hit original that is beloved by many. Riley has grown to be a teenager now and is dealing with more complex emotions like disgust, anxiety, envy, and embarrassment. Former story-board artist Kelsey Mann directs her first feature with this highly anticipated Pixar sequel.

June 21 – The Bikeriders (trailer)

This Jeff Nichols-directed film was one I was looking forward to seeing last December before it was pushed to this summer. The movie is about a Chicago outlaw motorcycle gang starring Austin Butler, Jodie Comer, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon, Norman Reedus, and Mike Faist. It’s probably my most-anticipated film of the summer next to Kevin Costner’s Western, “Horizon: An American Saga.”

June 21 – Kinds of Kindness (trailer)

Oscar winning director of “Poor Things” Yorgos Lanthimos is back with an anthology that is sure to be interesting with the likes of Emma Stone, Jesse Plemmons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qually, Hong Chau, Hunter Schafer, Mamoudou Athie, and Joe Alwyn starring.

June 28 – A Quiet Place: Day One (trailer)

Screenwriter/director Michael Sarnoski (”Pig”) tells us the story of how the alien-invasion that set up the chaos we experienced in the first two films actually happened. The movie stars Lupita Nyong’o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou, and Alex Wolf.

June 28 – Horizon: An American Saga — Chapter 1 (trailer)

This is my most anticipated movie of the summer. Director/star Kevin Costner better deliver with this film. This is the project that prompted him to renege on his contract for the TV show “Yellowstone.” I’d say he owes his fans big time for holding up and perhaps not completing that series. “Horizon: An American Saga —Chapter 2 is supposed to debut in theaters on Aug. 16.

July 3 – Despicable Me 4 (trailer)

As long as this film series keeps drawing business, Illumination and Universal will keep making more. The first three films have made more than $4 billion. Steve Carell is back as the voice of Gru and Kristen Wiig voices his lady love Lucy Wilde. After watching the trailer, I’m in again.

July 12 – Fly Me to the Moon (trailer)

This romantic comedy-drama about the space race during the 1960s from producer Greg Berlanti looks like a winner. The chemistry between Scarlet Johansson’s public relations specialist and Channing Tatum’s astronaut looks to be a winning recipe for a fun time at the movies.

July 19 – Twisters (trailer)

Twenty-eight years is a long time between sequels, but Glen Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos, Kieran Shipka, and Maur Tierney make for an interesting cast of tornado chasers. Maybe “Minari” director Lee Isaac Chung can put a new twist on an old favorite?

July 29 – Deadpool & Wolverine (trailer)

After years of multiple Marvel movies to dote on each year, this is the lone one for 2024. Teaming Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine looks like a genius movie for the studio that needed a shot of adrenaline. The film is rumored to be filled with cameos that are sure to please superhero fans of all stripes.

Aug. 9 – Borderlands (trailer)

Eli Roth has a spotty record as a director, but he might have just the right sensibility to bring this sci-fi video game to life on the big screen. He certainly will be working with a talented cast that includes Kate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Jamie Lee Curtis, Gina Gershon, Edgar Ramirez, and Arianna Greenblatt.

Aug. 9 – Trap (trailer)

I’d argue the trailer for this film is the best so far of the year. M. Knight Shyamalan is hit-and-miss as a director, but the high concept of a serial killer (Josh Harnett) lured into a trap at a pop concert with his daughter (Ariel Donoghue) is genius. The only question is will Shyamalan stick the landing?

Aug. 16 – Alien: Romulus (trailer)

Frankly, I’m bored with the Alien franchise. Have been since the late 1980s, but director Fede Alvarez tends to make tension-filled horror flicks that deliver. He has me interested as does star Cailee Spaeny (“Civil War” and “Priscilla”).

Aug. 23 – The Crow (trailer)

Director Rupert Sanders (“Ghost in the Shell”) puts his spin on the 1990s goth vigilante comic-book character with Bill Skarsgard (“It”) starring as the supernatural terror out to avenge the deaths of himself and his lady love.

Aug. 23 – Blink Twice (trailer)

Zoe Kravitz’s directorial debut stars Channing Tatum as a billionaire tech mogul who entices the lovely Naomi Ackie, a cocktail waitress, to join him on a vacation to his private island, where the situation goes nuts in a horrifying way. Haley Joel Osment, Kyle MacLachlan, Christian Slater and Geena Davis also appear in the movie.

New in Local Theaters – May 3, 2024

  • The Fall Guy (PG-13) 2 hr. 7 min. (trailer)
    AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Springdale, Malco Pinnacle, Malco Towne, Skylight
  • Tarot (PG-13) 1 hr. 32 min. (trailer)
    AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Springdale, Malco Pinnacle, Malco Towne
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (PG) 2 hrs. 15 min. (trailer)
    AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Pinnacle, Skylight