02 July, 2015
The first day of summer was June 21 but the summer movie season began well before that. Last week, we talked about "Jurassic World," which has proved to be a huge hit. The movie has sold more than $1 billion in tickets. Last weekend it passed "Avengers: Age of Ultron" to become the number one movie of 2015.
But, there are quite a few more blockbusters expected this summer. Today, we look at some of them, as well as other films opening in the coming weeks.
Humans at war with machines
Action-adventure movie lovers still have a lot more to look forward to. To start with, the Terminator is back. In early July, actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, stars in "Terminator: Genisys," the fifth of the science fiction film series.
The movie is set in different time periods as characters time travel to battle. Schwarzenegger's Terminator character is called The Guardian. His job, again, is to protect the human who leads the war against the artificial intelligence system, Skynet, which is out to destroy all of humanity. In "Genisys" Skynet has decided to fight the past with the future. But the main goal remains the same --- kill the mother of the resistance leader before she even becomes pregnant with him.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was not in the last Terminator movie, "Salvation." He talked about why he agreed to do "Genisys" in a video for the production company.
Schwarzenegger said he felt honored to be asked back. He said most action-adventure characters get replaced every few years. But he said he has remained the Terminator for more than 30 years.
Other installments in action-adventure series include a new "Fantastic Four" film and another "Mission Impossible."
Teddy bears, male dancers...
There are also, of course, some summer film series that are not action movies. Last week we talked about "Ted 2," the talking Teddy bear movie for adults. It was expected to earn at least $50 million at the box office last weekend when it opened. But moviegoers only bought about $33 million worth of tickets.
Actor Channing Tatum is also returning to the big screen. He renews his 2012 title role in the comedy, "Magic Mike XXL." In the new movie Mike has been out of the stripper world for three years. But he and several other naked dancers decide to do one last major performance.
The website Rotten Tomatoes gathers movie reviews and rates films based on the reviews as a whole. "Magic Mike XXL" got a 61 percent --- a just-passing grade. At least two reviewers described the movie as "ridiculous." Another suggested there was too little dancing to forgive the weak plot and poor dialogue.
"Magic Mike" is based on a period of Channing Tatum's life when he worked as a stripper in Tampa, Florida. He was 19 years old. Now he is 35 and married with a two-year-old daughter. Tatum recently said that he would explain the "Magic Mike" movies to his daughter someday. He told People Magazine, "She's gonna see it; there's no way I could shelter her from it. I'm setting aside money for college and for therapy."
...and demons too
Along with saving humanity and dancing naked, this summer also offers horror films. A new version of the 1982 movie "Poltergeist" was released in May. Two weeks later, the third film in the "Insidious" series arrived in theaters. Both did better at the box office than with critics.
Another horror film is still to come. "Sinister 2" will open August 21 in the United States. The film series centers on an evil spirit called a bughuul. The demon feeds on the souls of children. In the latest installment, the demon takes possession of one boy in a set of twins of a single mother living in a lonely farmhouse.
The description alone may be scary enough for some people.
A look at Amy Winehouse
Maybe you find independent films more to your liking. Are you also a music lover? If so, "Amy," opening July 10 may be the film for you.
The film explores the life of British singer Amy Winehouse. Moviegoers learn about the singer's speedy rise to fame and her early death from alcohol poisoning.
Director Asif Kapadia said that Winehouse was seen "messed up and stumbling around" in her final days. He said those days seemed to overshadow her life. He said he wanted to show the other side of the singer as a young and laughing girl. The movie includes home videos from Winehouse. Kapadia also interviewed many people who knew the singer.
But Amy Winehouse's father, Mitch Winehouse, condemned the film, calling it "misleading."
Another indie movie has excited some fans of the "Twilight" series. Twilight star, Kristin Stewart, and actor Jesse Eisenberg lead in a screwball comedy coming out August 21. "American Ultra" is about a federal agent so secret that he does not even know he's a federal agent. He and his girlfriend are thrown into a dangerous government operation. The biggest problem? They are almost always high on marijuana.
Briton Nima Nourizadeh directed "American Ultra." He told reporters the movie has action and humor but is, at its base, a love story.
I'm Caty Weaver with Jonathan Evans.
Caty Weaver wrote this for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
Words in This Story
blockbuster – n. something that is very large, expensive, or successful
installment – n. one of several parts of a long book, movie, television program, etc., that are released over a period of time
box office – n. used to describe how many tickets have been sold for a movie, play, etc.
dialogue – n. the things that are said by the characters in a story, movie, play, etc.
stripper – n. a performer who removes his or her clothing in a sexually exciting way
twins – n. two babies that are born at the same time to the same mother
screwball – adj (informal). funny in a very silly and strange way
Do you any of these summer movies appeal to you? Is there some other movie you've heard about that you'd like to see in the next couple of months? We want to know what you think. Post your answer in the comments section.