Summer Summer

Sit back and switch off: Summer’s on the big screen

All the entertainment you can handle

Just in time for summer blockbuster season, the big screen’s back - which means we can all start watching films and big screen events again together! And we mean really, properly watching them: in the dark, on a gigantic screen, with a sound system more powerful than that machine* Emily Blunt hooks up at the end of A Quiet Place Part I to sound-kill the aliens. (*Um, spoiler - but if you haven’t seen part 1 by now, you only have yourself to blame really.)

There’s just one small problem. There’s almost too much to see. With so many major releases being delayed over the past year waiting for their cinematic debuts, we’re set for a summer full of all the big screen entertainment you can handle. You like drama? Action? Theatre? Horror? Oscar-winners? Superheroes? Hip hop-infused musicals? It’s all on. You know it’s a cracking line-up when Emily Blunt and Ryan Reynolds both feature twice.

So it’s going to be quite the challenge whittling down your viewing list. Or you could just do away with the whittling altogether and come see them all - we won’t stop you. Our bosses wouldn’t be very happy if we did.

Here’s a handy guide to what to watch:
If you fancy watching death- and physics-defying stunts projected onto gigantic, high definition screens, then you’re in luck. This summer the fastest and most furious franchise gets even faster… and furious-er with the ninth instalment. Scarlett Johansson is back at her butt-kicking best as Black Widow - a film that was so gruelling to make, it was like “being in the army”, says the director. And James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad includes the biggest action scene of his career: the filmmaker (known for the Guardians of the Galaxy movies) wrote it for Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. “It’s probably my favourite four minutes of film I’ve ever shot before,” he says.
Forget the green list - this summer you can take the whole family on an epic adventure. Journey down the Amazon with Emily Blunt in Jungle Cruise. Stumble upon an idyllic, walled-in paradise with The Croods 2: A New Age. Join everyone’s favourite rescue pups in Adventure City with PAW Patrol: The Movie - or ride across the American frontier on horseback with Spirit Untamed.
There’s absolutely nothing like being scared out of your mind watching a film on the big screen so the good news is there’s LOADS of brand new horror to catch supersized. John Krasinski’s eagerly awaited A Quiet Place Part II is “much bigger” than Part I. The franchise that brought us the concept of one night a year in which all crime is legal takes that concept to the max with The Forever Purge (what’s it about? The clue’s in the name.) And then there’s Candyman, which was “made to be seen in theatres,” director Nia DaCosta Tweeted after its original release date was postponed. “Not just for the spectacle but because [it’s] about community and stories - how they shape each other.”
If you like your films thought-provoking and feels-inducing then you’ll be pleased to see the number of critically acclaimed, Oscar-worthy titles on show this summer. The Father scooped Best Adapted Screenplay at this year’s Academy Awards, with Sir Anthony Hopkins being named Best Actor for his stunning performance. Then there’s alcohol-fuelled Danish film Another Round starring Mads Mikkelsen, which won Best International Feature. And coming along to move us “spectacularly”, in the words of the New York Times, is British drama Supernova featuring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci.
From the deadpan to the dead strange, there’s loads of lols to be had with this summer’s line-up - and nothing beats laughing together with an entire audience. LeBron James risks being trapped forever in a virtual reality in Space Jam 2 unless he can win a basketball game, while the monsters of Hotel Transylvania: Transformania risk a much worse fate: being stuck forever as regular humans. Meanwhile, the Kurupt FM boys reunite for a trip to Japan as award-winning mockumentary People Just Do Nothing transitions to the big screen.
This summer doesn’t just look good: it sounds amazing too. Whoever put together the team behind In The Heights was a gosh darn genius: the writer of the most talked about musical of recent times (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton) and the director of one of the most enjoyably over-the-top films of the last five years (Jon M. Chu, Crazy Rich Asians) plus a boat-load of sparklingly, irresistible song-and-dance numbers (we’re going to be humming these tunes for months, aren’t we?). Peter Jackson’s super exciting documentary The Beatles: Get Back takes us back in time to the band's intimate recording sessions during a pivotal moment in music history.
The big screen experience can take us anywhere in the world, and beyond: to places - physical, and psychological - that only the most creative filmmakers in the world can imagine, and then bring to life on screen. Voyagers carries us on a decades-long, interplanetary journey. The studio that brought us Hereditary and Midsommar are back with The Green Knight, an epic medieval fantasy directed by David Lowery (The Old Man and the Gun, A Ghost Story). Hugh Jackman stars in Reminiscence, which imagines a world where scientists have discovered a way to relive our past.