Our annual peek at the hunks (and likely hits) of the summer’s movies
We all try to get our beach bodies ready for summer, and Hollywood is no exception: They revel in showing off the abs, pecs and butts of their biggest stars. And they aren’t shy about putting women in revealing garbs as well. Is this exploitation? Maybe. But summer is meant to be a little racy, a little fun, a little sexy. And the movies are where we escape to those fantasies.
Of course, it‘s not just about sex — there are female-centric comedies (The AbFab movie, the Ghostbusters remake), adventure (Tarzan, Warcraft), comic-book craziness (Suicide Squad, X-Men), animation (Finding Dory) and more, all of which turn out in large quantities, starting this week with the unofficial start of summer, as represented by the release of one of the year’s most anticipated box office champs, Captain America: Civil War. But you can count on lots of other movies to come out every week until Labor Day, which is why we created this handy guide for planning your summer of moviegoing. Grab your popcorn and enjoy!
Captain America: Civil War. (Review here)
Money Monster. Jodie Foster returns to the back of the camera to direct this political thriller about a cable financial TV show host (George Clooney, a sexier version of Jim Cramer) whose program is terrorized by a disgruntled investor (Jack O’Connell).
The Lobster. A favorite at last year’s Cannes Film Festival (it won the Queer Palm, despite no actual gay content, for its allegorical nudging of societal convention), it stars Colin Farrell as a man who must marry or else he will be transformed into a crustacean. No, seriously.
Sunset Song. This latest film from gay filmmaker Terrence Davies (the original House of Cards) got its premiere last month at the USA Film Festival.
The Angry Birds Movie. Perhaps the first app-based feature film adaptation. Yep, we’re there now.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. Follow-up to the hit comedy with Seth Rogen and Zac Efron’s abs.
The Nice Guys. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling team for this buddy picture, set in Hollywood in the 1970s.
Maggie’s Plan. Rebecca Miller wrote and directed this romantic comedy about a woman who plans to have a baby as a single mom, until that goes off the rails.
Love and Friendship. Indie filmmaker Whit Stillman makes a bid for mainstream cred in this light-heartened comedy adapted from a Jane Austen short story.
X-Men: Apocalypse. Out director Bryan Singer is back with this comic book series that focusses on the outsider element.
Alice through the Looking Glass. Follow-up to the noisy, colorful Alice in Wonderland, with Johnny Deep once again as the Mad Hatter.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Andy Samberg bring his musical and comedic talents together in this bid for film stardom.
Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Sequel to the silly comedy, with Megan Fox.
Me Before You. Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke plays a woman who falls for the disabled man she’s caring for.
The Conjuring 2. Sequel to the horror hit of several summers ago.
Now You See Me 2. The unexpected hit about criminal magicians returns with this sequel, now co-starring Daniel Radcliffe.
Warcraft. Film adaptation of the online multiplayer fantasy game.
Finding Dory. Ellen DeGeneres’ vocal performance stole Finding Nemo more than a dozen years ago; now her character Dory is the one lost in the big ocean.
Central Intelligence. Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson team in this buddy comedy.
Independence Day: Resurgence. It’s been more than 20 years since the original ID4, but much of the cast is back, plus some sexy new blood (Liam Hemsworth) in this sci-fi followup.
The Shallows. A cat-and-mouse thriller, where the cat is a great white shark and the mouse is Blake Lively.
Free State of Jones. Matthew McConaughey stars in this historical drama, set in Mississippi during the American Civil War.
Weiner-Dog. More than 20 years after Welcome to the Dollhouse, Todd Solondz revisits lovable loser Dawn Weiner.
The BFG. Steven Spielberg directs this family fantasy about a girl who meets a big friendly giant.
The Legend of Tarzan. We always loved how Alexander Skarsgard wasn’t afraid to show off his body on True Blood; now we get an entire movie of his abs, with equally sexy Margot Robbie as Jane.
The Purge: Election Year. Third entry in the dystopian horror series.
Cafe Society. The latest from Woody Allen — as always, shrouded in secrecy.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. More sexiness from Zac Efron, Adam DeVine and Aubrey Plaza.
The Secret Life of Pets. An animated comedy about what really goes on when a house filled with privileged pets is invaded by a newcomer — a sloppy rescue dog.
Ghostbusters. More than 30 years after Venkman and company rid New York City of a gigantic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a new quartet of supernatural wranglers — all women — are back doing the same. A vey gay-friendly lineup includes out actress Kate McKinnon, plus Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig, with Paul Feig directing.
The Infiltrator. Bryan Cranston continues his string of high-profile performances as a U.S. Customs official who discovers a link to drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. Patsy and Edina are back, boozing it up in this film version of the camp classic Britcom, an iconic gay comedy.
Star Trek: Beyond. The crew of the Enterprise are back for more adventures in outer space, including out actor Zachary Quinto as Mr. Spock.
Ice Age: Collision Course. The latest in the animated films about prehistoric denizens.
Lights Out. A woman is haunted by creatures who only appear when it’s dark.
Bad Moms. Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell star in this comedy about young mothers who haven’t quite settled down.
Jason Bourne. Matt Damon returns, along with recent Academy Award-winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) in this spy actioner.
Suicide Squad. DC Comics tries to match Marvel with its universe of heroes … or in this case, villains. Jared Leto as Joker takes on his first role since winning an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club.
The Founder. Michael Keaton, who has been on a roll lately (two consecutive best picture Oscars), aims for a new kind of gold — as in arches — portraying McDonald’s visionary Ray Kroc.
Nine Lives. A body-switching comedy with Jennifer Garner and Kevin Spacey.
Florence Foster Jenkins. Meryl Streep plays the notorious tone-deaf opera star, a diva who never knew how bad she was.
Pete’s Dragon. A remake of the Disney family classic.
Sausage Party. The trailer alone is hysterical, with animated foodstuffs behaving in adult ways. Of course, it’s from Rogen, Franco, Goldberg and their crew.
Spectral. A special-ops team fights supernatural beings.
Ben-Hur. A modern remake of the biblical epic, with Jack Huston in the title role.
Kubo and the Two Strings. An enchanted child searches for his father’s armor in this animated fantasy adventure featuring the voice of George Takei.
The Space Between Us. A boy born on Mars returns to Earth to find his father.
War Dogs. Jonah Hill and Miles Teller star in this comedy from Todd Phillips (The Hangover).
Don’t Breathe. A heist of a blind man goes badly in this horror thriller.
Hands of Stone. The story of boxing champ Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez).
Mechanic: Resurrection. Jason Statham in the rebooted action franchise.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 6, 2016.