We are coming to the cusp of blockbuster season, and June will see a few of those potential moneymakers make their debut in cinemas around the globe. Of course, there are also those films that dutifully (and often wonderfully) fill the voids around said blockbusters, films such as Stockholm, Support the Girls, In Fabric and Yesterday. In fact, I would go as far as to say 80% of the films being released this month are worth seeing, judging by trailers, so it really is a tough call to say which should come above the rest. However, with blockbusters generally being what summer cinema is all about, it’s perhaps relatively easy to pick three that could rule the blockbuster season.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (5th)
Since 2000, the X-Men franchise has shown no signs of slowing down. Introducing exceptional characters perfectly cast and taking them back and forth through time to sort out their own continuity issues (not a bad shout) has given us all kinds of good (Logan), bad (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and weird (Deadpool, but in a good way) movies to marvel at (pun intended). The latest in the franchise is the Sophie Turner-fronted (yes, her off Game of Thrones) Dark Phoenix, adding another episode into the origins of many of the X-Men characters. Most of the films in the franchise are entertaining thanks to the way many characters are written and the action scenes (mostly thanks to director Bryan Singer on many occasions), however the more recent ones have struggled somewhat. Could Dark Phoenix be the one to pull the X-Men out of the ashes?
In many ways, Brightburn doesn’t seem like the most original of ideas: what would happen if a kid with superhuman abilities came to Earth and wasn’t the butter-wouldn’t-melt, mild-mannered hero they usually turn out to be? It’s a thought that has crossed many minds, and now we have Brightburn, a film which speculates on such a thought. It’s helmed by James Gunn, certainly one of the better producers of hero-based movies out there, so it’s doubtful that this film would be a write off, however it’ll be very interesting to see how he, director David Yarovesky and writers Brian Gunn (brother) and Mark Gunn (cousin) see this story unfolding. This ain’t Marvel, y’all.
Toy Story 4 (21st)
Does anything really need to be said? If you grew up with Toy Story, you’ll get it. Maybe you weren’t too keen on Toy Story 2. Maybe Toy Story 3 really wasn’t your cup of tea. But you can’t deny that you will see this film anyway. Woody and Buzz and the gang are an integral part of popular culture, they are beloved by so many people worldwide, and soon more young children will come to love Toy Story and the characters too. As long as the relationships between the characters that have been so well built over the years can stay as strong as ever, this film can’t go too wrong. And Forky looks so cute, how could you not want to see this?
Non-English Language Choice:
This month’s NELC was a difficult one, but something about German film Ballon stood out amongst the rest. Perhaps because it’s a rare glimpse into the division between East and West Germany before the country was reunited that most people around the world don’t get to see. And to frame it within a family unit and through such an odd an unique story is one way to pull an audience’s interest. Many foreign language films that make it to international screens have similar themes running through them, and Ballon isn’t an exception to that, making it one to watch.
Other June releases:
Five Seasons: The Gardens Of Piet Oudolf
Men in Black: International
Un Saison en France
Sometimes Always Never
The Hummingbird Project
We The Animals
Wild Honey Pie!