Summer Movie Preview with Parker Layman

My favorite season of the year is now upon us — THE SUMMER MOVIE SEASON.

Hello, and welcome to your official week-to-week guide of summer releases regarding what to see and what to skip during this movie season. Let’s get started.


Week 1: May 15


Mad Max: Fury Road

Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron

Director: George Miller

A film from a director who some may remember as the dude who made “Happy Feet” or as the genius visionary who crafted the original “Mad Max” trilogy now offers a visually stunning new take/sequel of his original series. This looks like a wild ride, and an incredibly unique experience that could be either extremely gratifying or just a little too “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance“-y.

See or Skip: SEE



Pitch Perfect 2

Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson

Director: Elizabeth Banks

I still have not seen the first “Pitch Perfect,” despite many a St. Paul’s chick-flick fan recommending it to me (along with “Mean Girls“). Therefore, I have no interest or expectations for this film. All I know is that it was directed by Effie Trinket, and I guess that’s interesting enough.

See or Skip: SEE (I guess)

Expected Rating: 6.4/10


Week 2: May 22



Stars: Sam Rockwell, Rosemary DeWitt

Director: Gil Kenan

Horror remakes are the definition of hit-or-miss. For every “The Ring,” there’s a shot-by-shot remake of “Psycho” starring Vince Vaughn. Its clearly a difficult art to master. Whether the decision to choose family film craftsman Gil Kenan (“Monster House”/“City of Ember”) to direct was a good one, and whether his Burton-esque style will translate smoothly to a bona-fide horror flick remains to be seen.

See or Skip: SEE

Expected Rating: 7/10



Stars: Brit Robertson, George Clooney

Director: Brad Bird

Masterful action director Brad Bird (“Mission Impossible 4”/“The Incredibles”) brings us a brand new action blockbuster about– okay, the plot is being kept under pretty tight wraps. As far as whether it will be good or not, the way I see it is this: it could be the next “Pirates of the Carribean” (The First One) or it could be the next “Haunted Mansion.” Your call, Disney.

See or Skip: SEE

Expected Rating: ???/10


Week 3: May 29


San Andreas

Stars: THE ROCK, I don’t care who else

Director: Brad Peyton

This is from the director of “Journey to the Center of the Earth 2.” His attempt to move away from family comedy is by making a disaster film that takes itself WAY too seriously. I think I’ll skip thiHOLY DOG POOP, THE ROCK IS IN THIS MOVIE, NEVER MIND

See or Skip: SKIP

Expected Rating: 3.9/10


Week 4: June 5


INSIDIOUS: Chapter 3

Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott

Director: Leigh Whannel

I LOVE “Insidious.” Well, I love the second one. The first one was alright. But that’s beside the point. The point is, those movies were good because of director James Wan’s (“Saw”/“The Conjuring”) unique visual style and intimate understanding of horror. Since James Wan went on to make “Furious 7,” this sequel/prequel is done by “Insidious” writer Leigh Whannel. This will be his first feature film. Just putting it out there that I always thought the weakest part of the “Insidious” movies was the writing and dialogue. So there.

See or Skip: SEE

Expected Rating: 6.4/10



Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham

Director: Paul Feig

The director of “Bridesmaids” brings us another— okay, you know what? ‘Bridesmaids” was funny, Melissa McCarthy was good in it, but I am TIRED of her and I am TIRED of Paul Feig. He simply is not that creative as a director. I have no doubt that this movie will make me chuckle, but one can only take a little bit of the “female Chris Farley” routine at a time. ALSO “TAMMY” WAS GOD AWFUL.

See or Skip: SKIP

Expected Rating: 4/10


Week 5: June 12


Jurassic World (Jurassic Park 4)

Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard

Director: Colin Trevorrow

I have no idea what to expect from this film since Jurassic Park sequels don’t exactly have a good track record and it’s coming from a second-time unknown director. I’m also not sure if I can buy Andy from “Parks and Recreation” as a serious “Indiana Jones”-esque action hero. “Guardians of the Galaxy” worked beautifully, but as far as a non-comedic action hero goes… we shall see.

See or Skip: SEE

Expected Rating: 7.5/10


Week 6: June 19


Inside Out

Stars: Amy Poehler, Lewis Black

Directors: Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen

This seems to be Pixar’s return to form after a string of “meh” sequels and half-baked ideas. The concept is similar to “Toy Story” in a lot of ways… but I doubt they will rip themselves off. Pixar, as well as co-director Pete Docter (“Up”/“Monsters, Inc.”). have proven themselves as great storytellers in the past… but let’s not forget about “Cars 2.”

See or Skip: SEE

Expected Rating : 8.8/10


Week 7: June 26

Ted 2

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Am I allowed to talk about this…? Probably not.


Week 8: July 3


Terminator: Genisys

Stars: AHNOLD, Amelia Clarke

Director: Alan Taylor

I was extremely excited for this film, since Terminator hasn’t been done justice in sequel form since the original sequel. Regretfully, however, I may not see it, SINCE THE TRAILER SPOILED THE ENTIRE MOVIE. The latest preview for this film reveals the entire plot, including the twists and the mysterious identity of the villain. I felt like I had watched the entire thing in less than two minutes. If this trailer comes on, DO NOT WATCH IT. You have been warned.

See or Skip: SKIP

Expected Rating: 7.3/10


Magic Mike XXL

Stars: Channing Tatum, Amber Heard

Director: Gregory Jacobs

…I don’t think I can talk about this either. All I will say is that we have TWO female targeted sex franchises currently running… and that is unacceptable.


Week 9: July 10



Stars: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm

Directors: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

I don’t care if this movie is good or not. I am not seeing it. The shameless marketing ploy that is this film does not deserve my attention, in the same sense that films like “Battleship” and “Mater: The Movie” “Cars 2” do not deserve my attention. They are not movies– they are expensive commercials for plush toys and merchandise. If you see this film, you are a mindless slave to Hollywood’s hyper-capitalist system. Just saying.

 See or Skip: SKIP

Expected Rating: Irrelevant


Week 10: July 17



Stars: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas

Director: Peyton Reed

I was more excited about this film when Edgar Wright (“Hot Fuzz”/“Scott Pilgrim”) was attached as writer/director. Marvel’s decision to replace him with “Yes Man” director Peyton reed and “Anchorman” writer Adam McKay is confusing to say the least… this enhanced comedic element will either work flawlessly or crash and burn in the flames of self-parody. We shall see if “Ant-Man” can live up to its larger-than-life expectations.

See or Skip: SEE

Expected Rating: 6.9/10


Week 10: July 24



Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James

Director: Chris Columbus

Great concept. Great director. But look at that cast list.

See or Skip: SKIP

Expected Rating: 2.4/10


The Vatican Tapes

Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Michael Peña

Director: Mark Neveldine

Just what we needed! ANOTHER exorcism movie. And this time, we get to see it directed by the guy behind “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance!”

See or Skip: SKIP

Expected Rating: 1.2/10


And on that horrible note, we are leading into the first day of school during the week of Aug. 7. At least we’ll have the new “Fant4stic” movie to enjoy. Until then… I’m still Parker Layman.




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