With “Top Gun”, will new films from Disney, Marvel and Jordan Peele bring audiences back to the cinema? – Sentinel of the Sun
If it succeeds in luring moviegoers to theaters, 2022 could well be on its way to a comeback summer season approaching pre-COVID 2019 box office action. Is that a pipe dream? Are the people ready? The last two years have replaced our need for speed with a call for caution, even ignored. And caution is something that the “Top Gun” philosophy does not recognize.
Two years is a long time to wait for clearance to land, but “Top Gun: Maverick” finally hits the runway in time for Memorial Day weekend. Previews of the film returning Tom Cruise as (now) Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, back in action and toppling authority left and right, have been received with a mixture of relief and delight.
“The typical sleepwalker crowd at CinemaCon in Las Vegas is notoriously tough,” said Keith Simonton, editor of IMDb.com the other week. “So it’s remarkable that when they showed ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ they clapped four times during the film. During this. It’s going to be a huge success. »
After that, can ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ continue the streak?
Will ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ find enough wit and excitement to maintain its happily off-center patch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Is it possible for Jordan Peele, who found a large following with ‘Get Out’ and then repeated the trick with a much trickier original, ‘Us’, to complete his trifecta with alien intrusion thriller ‘Nope’? ?
We will answer these questions soon enough. In the meantime, here are 10 movies to watch, and I say I haven’t watched any of them.
Release dates are subject to change.
Top Gun: Maverick (May 27): When Paul Newman took over the role of ‘Fast Eddie’ Felson in ‘The Color of Money,’ it was 1986 and a quarter of a century had passed since ‘The Hustler.’ Also in 1986, “Top Gun” proved Newman’s “Color of Money” co-star Tom Cruise to be a true international box office attraction. But 25 years is nothing compared to the 36-year gap between “Top Gun” and director Joseph Kosinski’s sequel. Cruise now takes on the role of mentor with an edge; with Miles Teller (as the son of the hapless Goose), Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Val “Iceman” Kilmer.
“Jurassic World Dominion” (June 10): Isla Nublar may be kaput, but in this so-called franchise stopper, the culmination of 29 years of dumb humans and hungry dinosaurs, once-extinct creatures now roam the world and share an uneasy coexistence with the rest of us. Until…Chris Pratt returns as the species’ best friend, as do Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, aka “the legacy cast.”
“Really Smooth Cha Cha” (Apple TV June 17 and in theaters): A 22-year-old bat mitzvah “party goer,” played by writer-director-headliner Cooper Raiff, finds himself falling for a woman older (Dakota Johnson) in this Sundance hit, for which Apple paid millions. Same story with “CODA” last year. The same results at the Oscars?
“Light year” (June 17): The origin story of Buzz Lightyear, (thank goodness) not yet turned into a live-action scam. It is next decade, I’m sure. This animated prequel to “Toy Story” swaps Chris Evans for Tim Allen, voice-wise. Fingers crossed for some sharp jokes and a bit of heart to go along with the need for speed.
“Marcel the shell with shoes” (June 24): This A24 release expands the captivating stop-motion comic book universe of the shell voiced by Jenny Slate, hero of various online micro-adventures. I love this character, so I hope to like the feature version.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” (July 8): Taika Waititi returns, directing this “Thor” sequel, which promises a formidable villain – Gorr, the butcher god – played by Christian Bale. Notable alums include Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson; the composer is one of my favorites, Michael Giacchino, coming out of his top-notch score (in a more moody vein) for “The Batman.”
“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” (July 15): A 1950s London housekeeper (Lesley Manville) gets the high fashion itching in this adaptation of Paul Gallico’s novel. If the old pandemic viewership quadrant ever returns to theaters in droves, it could be catnip.
“The Gray Man” (July 15, streaming on Netflix July 22): As a reminder of how Netflix bombs the village known as the theatrical release in order to “save” it, this $200 million adaptation of the book series (Assassins, Carnage global, you know drill) is playing in theaters for a week before Netflix’s streaming launch. Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans star; the directors are Marvel alumni Joe Russo and Anthony Russo.
“Nope” (July 22): At a remote California horse ranch, strange things are afoot: people are being sucked into the sky and stallions are supernaturally agitated. What does writer-director Jordan Peele have in store for our collective disorganization this time around?
“Easter Sunday” (August 5): Every once in a while, a stand-up comic runs a showcase of features that really work, “Trainwreck”-style. Let’s hope the same for Jo Koy, in this story of a struggling Filipino American actor-comedian and his extended, crazed family’s Easter week.
Michael Phillips is a reviewer for the Tribune.
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