Most Anticipated Summer Movies Of 2018

Summer is right around the corner, and Hollywood has a slew of popcorn flicks lined up for us. Here’s a list of ones I think you should watch out for. This isn’t a top ten list, it’s just a list of films I think are interesting, and when we have a million releases every week that all are essentially the same handful of movies sold to us over and over again, being interesting is all one can really ask for out of a movie, whether it be awful or awesome. Note that this list excludes Netflix releases and streaming – I find that the best releases on those platforms are the ones that surprise you, while the big name releases they have (“Bright,” I’m looking at you) fail to impress. 

 

“Avengers: Infinity War” (May 4)

How can I not start this list off without mentioning the beginning of the end (at least of this arc) to the largest and most successful shared universes of films? Say what you will about Marvel films, but they are consistently good, even if some (ala “Ant-Man”) are a little vanilla. Marvel also does a fantastic job of keeping their shared universe coherent, in which each film works on its own, while also serving as another chapter in a larger story. Though I was not impressed by “Age of Ultron,” as I view “Captain America: Civil War” as the true sequel to “The Avengers,” I have no idea where Marvel will take this universe next, but I have enough confidence in the studio to know that it’ll most likely be something worthwhile. 

“The Incredibles 2” (June 15)

There is a reason why Pixar is the gold standard for computer-animated films, and while some of their recent forays (“Cars 3”; “Finding Dory”) have failed to capture the magic of their earlier films, Pixar is hot off the heels of “Coco,” and “The Incredibles” universe gives them a lot to work with, especially considering how super hero films have blown up since the first film. For me, “The Incredibles 2” should have happened a long time ago, and I hope this Pixar sequel takes the route of “Toy Story 3” rather than “Finding Dory” – that is, a natural progression and increase in quality compared to its predecessor. 

“The First Purge” (July 4)

The Purge has always been a promising concept, even if not all of its films lived up their potential. “The First Purge” will no doubted be politically-loaded, and I have no doubts that it will most likely be creatively barren in content and will make little to no sense, but I am interested in it the same way I would be interested in a “Hunger Games” prequel, because of one key question: How did the world get this way in the film? For most films, 99 percent of the time this is a question they cannot answer, and if they try, it would be nonsensical, but I’m willing to give “The Purge” a shot. Prove me wrong. 

“Mama Mia: Here We Go Again!” (July 20)

Like “The First Purge,” Mama Mia 2 is on this list because I view this as a curiousity. The first “Mama Mia” went under my radar until the Nostalgia Critic reviewed it, highlighting it as the antithesis of what a musical film should be. Will Mama Mia 2 follow in its predecessor’s footsteps? Will Pierce Brosnan sing undubbed? Will ABBA bring this movie back from obscurity and financial ruin? The world might never notice. 

“Teen Titans GO to the Movies” (July 27)

I put this movie on this list because I hate myself, and because I’m almost certain it would be a trainwreck, in the same vein as the second “SpongeBob Squarepants” movie. “Teen Titans GO” was a show nobody asked for, and only initially gained traction because of the popularity of the much better “Teen Titans” series. GO did eventually get better, but by the time it did, much of its viewership had long since tuned out, and I still view the show as a shameless cash grab, using “Teen Titans” as a shell for a comedy show. I don’t know what GO: The Movie will accomplish, or even if the film itself has any idea, but amid the new Titans fervor, I would much rather have preferred a regular “Titans” film, and its audience would, too. 

“Slenderman” (August 24)

I am not optimistic about this film, mostly because it’s coming to us about a decade too late. I do predict that this will turn out to be a subpar horror flick with holes in its script any film student could point out, using the “Slenderman” brand to peddle a long-shelved script that should never have seen the light of day. Had this film come to us tenish years ago, when Slenderman was still relevant, I might have some hope for this, but having this come out this late sets off warning bells to me, especially when we’re living in a Hollywood that will pump out anything so long as it’s attached to a recognizable name. 

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” (May 25)

This movie is going to suck. Everything, from the director turnover, to the supposed acting lessons for the lead, to the deviation from Disney’s December release dates for “Star Wars” films point to what is most likely going to be a hellish film that bears the “Star Wars” name, but had to be scrubbed of all sense of style and direction from its previous directors, because their vision did not align with Disney’s. I predict this is a Josh Trank “Fran4stic” situation. What we’re going to get is a forgettable, boring film that boasts high-budget special effects that somehow makes everything look grey and forgettable, something I like to call the “Total Recall” reboot syndrome. I think this’ll be Disney’s first bomb, and granted, “Star Wars” films don’t have to be high art, they just need some powerful moments that stick (“Rogue One” was largely a boring mess, but its dynamic third act made the film worth the price of admission). However, I’m not sure if this film will be able to do that. I do hope it’ll at least be interesting, but I can’t even say that. 

 

Some honorable mentions:

Ocean’s Eight, Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom, Ant-man and the Wasp, Hotel Transylvania 3, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Disney’s Christopher Robbin, Deadpool 2.