Don’t look at the calendar now, but we’re already halfway through the 2017 summer movie season. Where does the time go, people!!! But I digress. What began with a semi-splash (Guardians of the Galaxy Volume II) gave way to eye-opening triumph (Woman Woman), which ushered in a slew of rehashed mehs (The Mummy, Cars 3, Transformers 67.) Let’s peek at what the fall (and beyond) has in store. RIP, Captain Underpants. We barely knew ye.
The Ultimate Tearjerker
Two-minute plot Jeff (Jake Gyllenhaal) shows up at the 2013 Boston marathon to cheer on — and win back — his ex-girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black). He’s still waiting for her at the finish line when a bomb goes off. Though he loses both his legs, his perseverance endures.
I’m excited because… I’m a sucker for that random person (literally) in the crowd able to overcome incredible hardship. What a shame — plus a potential PR nightmare? — that the real-life couple have since split.
Did you notice ‘90s British indie ingenue Miranda Richardson (The Crying Game, Damage, Enchanted April) plays Gyllenhaal’s Bah-stonite mom.
See it September 22
The Legit Oscar Bait
Battle of the Sexes
Two-minute plot In 1973, self-described chauvinist tennis champ Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) challenged the No. 1 women’s player Billy Jean King (Emma Stone) to a duel. On the courts. This drama depicts the ultimate women’s-movement game-changer.
I’m excited because… Times have changed. A male tennis champ like John McEnroe would never say that an all-time ace such as Serena Williams would rank a mere No. 700 on the men’s circuit. JK! He proclaims this “fact” in his new book. Ugh. Stone, meanwhile, a freshly minted Oscar winner for singing and dancing her heart out in La La Land, gets to literally flex her muscles.
Did you notice That’s Sarah Silverman in cat-eyed glasses sitting on a couch next to Stone during a sit-down with tennis officials.
See it September 22
The Holiday Reunion
A Bad Moms Christmas
Two-minute plot Winning over the uptight PTA was just the beginning. Now Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) attempt to keep the holidays merry for their families with their sanity intact. Sobriety is the first casualty.
I’m excited because… Last summer, the delightfully raunchy Bad Moms was a surprise hit for the Moms-Nights-Out (and beyond!) set. This sequel was a mighty fast turnaround — but moms are nothing if not efficient.
Did you notice Jay Hernandez is still around as Kunis’ hot-in-the-sack love interest. Crazy/Beautiful, indeed.
See it November 3
The Crowd-Pleasing Comedy
Pitch Perfect 3
Two-minute plot The Barden Bellas a cappella group have mercifully graduated college. (Star Anna Kendrick is almost 32.) As a respite from the real-world doldrums, the group reunites for a USO competition in Europe. Hijinks from Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) ensue.
I’m excited because… Pitch Perfect 2 was an overproduced disappointment. This charming franchise deserves to go out on a high note! (Sorry, the pun had to be done.)
Did you notice No sightings of the male Treblemakers — including the adorkable Jesse (Skyler Astin), Bumper (Adam DeVine) and Benji (Dear Evan Hansen Tony winner Ben Platt). Fingers crossed for uncredited cameos.
See it December 22
The New Superhero Story
Two-minute plot After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to the African nation of Wakanda . But his sovereignty is challenged. When enemies conspire to bring him down, he becomes Black Panther and teams up with the CIA special forces to prevent World War III.
I’m excited because… Director Ryan Coogler is coming off an incredible twofer of Fruitvale Station and Creed. Taking the reins of a superhero franchise is an inspired decision. And, NBD, but the cast includes Lupita Nyong’O, Michael B. Jordan, Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker . . . and Stan Lee.
Did you notice The Marvel Studios insignia doesn’t appear until a good minute into the trailer. Black Panther’s name is never uttered. Clearly Coogler intends to market his movie beyond the typical ComicCon crowd.
See it February 16
(Which movies are you most excited about?? Let me know…!)
Also published on Medium.