This summer has an abundance of noteworthy films coming out and quite a few that might not be worth the cost of admission.
Jackalope Ranch is here to help guide you through the movie madness with five must see indie flicks that should go mainstream and five more that can wait until a cold, lonely night when your Netflix queue is empty.
Arizona Filmmaker's Showcase
Release Date: May 4 at FilmBar I'm most excited this summer movie season to see some local talent. The series of short films features three locally-made movies, two of which are understandably centered around immigration and the border. It'll be interesting to see how Love a la Carte turns cheating and the immigration debate into a rom-com. From the trailer, it kind of just looks like a softcore shot in Scottsdale, but we'll see.
Release Date: May 24 at Harkins Camelview 5 What happens when you combine Squid and the Whale's director Noah Baumbach with leading lady Greta Gerwig in a quirky black and white comedy? You get a movie about following your dreams regardless of how unlikely success may be that I will most assuredly see this summer, of course. Plus Baumbach movies always have soundtracks that I become obsessed with--the use of David Bowie's "Modern Love" is a good sign.
Much Ado About Nothing
Release Date: June 21 at Harkins Camelview 5 While I'll always love 1993's rendition of the Bard's comedy with Emma Thompson, it'll be exciting to see how one of our favorite genre-bending directors who often features strong female leads, Joss Whedon, updates the movie into the modern era. He's definitely got some special things planned for the portrayal of Beatrice, since he's using one of his commonly featured actresses, Amy Acker. Kings Of Summer
Release Date: June 7 at Harkins Camelview 5
Fans of Parks and Recreation finally get a feature-length dose of the Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally duo. The coming of age flick, which is a summer movie necessity, is about three teenage boys building a home in the woods for themselves in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Twenty Feet From Stardom
Release Date: June 28 at HHarkins Camelview 5 This Sundance-featured documentary tells the tale of an unsung hero in popular music. Backup singers rarely get the credit and never get the spotlight, but without them, as the film shows, popular music from the 60's until today would be very different sonically. It explores why these singers, who are primarily African American women, allow others to shine, despite their undeniable talent. And The Skips...
The Bling Ring
Release Date: June 21 at Harkins Camelview 5 It might be hard to dismiss a Sofia Coppola flick, and though most did when she put out Marie Antoinette, but I've stood by her. However, I don't think I can stand an hour and a half of L.A. teenage rich bitches on a celeb-obsessed crime spree. Based on the true story of the girls who robbed Paris Hilton, Emma Watson plays the lead of a snotty little larcenist with a bad attitude--doesn't that just sound obnoxious? Plus if I hear Sleigh Bells on one more trailer, I think I just might lose it.
The Way, Way Back
Release Date: July 12 (Location TBA) With a cast comprised of Steve Carrell, Maya Rudolf, Sam Rockwell and Toni Collette, you'd probably assume that The Way, Way Back is going to be a laugh riot of indie bliss. However, in my experience, if you have to jam that many notable indie actors into one movie, it's probably weak in the plot. This one seems to be just be Adventureland remade at a water park.
Release Date: July 13 at FilmBar Following choreographer Allison Orr's mission to make garbage men and trucks into a dance troupe, this documentary seems like it was manufactured to be notable. New York Times says, "garbage becomes art" and it won a special jury recognition at South by Southwest, so maybe it's great. But we can smell the pretention in this movie a mile away--and it stinks. Rushlights
Release Date: June 21 at Harkins Valley Art This over-sexed thriller about a con man and woman team trying to swindle an inheritance looks intense. It also looks very poorly acted so I'm just going to pass.
Something in the Air
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Release Date: May 17 at Harkins Shea 14
Something in the Air or Apres Mai focuses on revolution, music and love in France during student riots in the late 60s. It looks visually stunning, it's just that I'm kind of sick of the over-abundance of hippie uprising flicks that seem to pop up annually. This one did win a bunch of awards abroad though, so maybe I'm being too harsh.