The 2020 Film Release Calendar: June

This has been perhaps the strangest Release Calendar I’ve ever done. Because the Oscars were held a few weeks earlier than they usually are, I wasn’t able to fit in the majority of the calendar before them. Usually I get the whole thing done by late January. And now, we’re post-Oscars, and I’m only on March. And the only reason January and February got done is because I wanted to get them up before some of the films actually came out.

But, here we are, working our way through the rest of the calendar for all the films to look forward to. I think you all know how this works — I’m gonna preview everything that’s set to come out (and a lot more that isn’t), and then guess what I think I’m gonna rate them all when I do manage to see them. And then we’ll use this as evidence of my ineptitude come the December wrap-up articles. These are my own twenty-seven 8×10 colored glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Anyway, here’s June:

June

Wonder Woman 1984

Well, it’s a sequel. The first one was very good. One of those movies that wasn’t as good as it felt watching it, but the fact that it actually felt empowering and uplifting and was also entertaining was enough for me. After the garbage that DC gave us otherwise, it was nice. The problem is having to go back for a sequel. We saw Guardians 2 do it differently and ultimately well. We saw Deadpool not really be able to pull it off that wonderfully, even if the movie itself was fine.

I’m struggling with what to do here. There’s nothing that makes me think they can pull this off, but also, I’m not sure if I give up on Patty Jenkins on the first sequel.

So I’ll say 3.5 stars. I think that technically counts as a sequel drop, since I think I rated the first one 4 stars. The first one was really only a 3.5 star movie that I went 4 stars on. So I feel like there’s gonna be a drop, but as much as I assume that because it’s DC and 3 stars should happen, something’s telling me to give them a slight benefit of the doubt and stay 3.5. So we’ll see. We’ll see if it’s the standard ‘sequel’s not as good but it’s fine’, or if they just fucked it up and DC is the shit hole we expected it to be based on all those other movies.

Candyman

A “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 horror film ‘Candyman’ that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.

Jordan Peele is producing this and co-wrote it and they got a woman to direct it. Which is nice. Nia DaCosta made Little Woods, which was a really solid character piece. This, however, is horror, and I do not like and do not care about horror movies. Almost ever. The problem with movies like this is, no matter how much you want to put social commentary onto them, they’re still just a supernatural being killing people.

Because the cast is nice, because there’s a female director and because they are trying to say something with this, I’m gonna guess 3 stars, although there’s a real probability this will only be 2.5 stars for me, mostly because it takes a lot for me to give a shit about horror. 3 stars is when they have a degree of style and/or fun to the proceedings, and it’s almost unheard of for something like this to go higher than that. But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say they can get to 3 on this.

Soul

A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

It’s Pixar, and it’s Pete Docter. Monsters Inc, Up, Inside Out. Dude makes great films. 4 stars automatically because of that. Looks like a variation of Inside Out and Coco, but I can see how they can make it unique and emotional. So I’m in for it. I think it can be really good. I’m hopeful we can get something on the level of those other three Docter films, but even if it can just hit a solid 4 stars, I’ll be happy.

The King of Staten Island

A semi-autobiographical comedy-drama about Pete Davidson growing up in Staten Island, including losing his father during 9/11 and entering the world of stand up comedy.

So it’s Judd Apatow, whose movies (that he’s directed) I’ve never been a huge fan of. I cannot stand 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up I did kinda like, I liked maybe half of Funny People (if that), I did not like This Is 40 at all, and Trainwreck was meh. So him, plus Pete Davidson… not thinking very highly of this one. This feels like another Trainwreck, where he’s just given someone a vehicle for them to do their thing. But, like Trainwreck… I’m not really looking forward to a ride in that vehicle.

So 3 stars. We’ll assume watchable, but I cannot assume I’m going to like it at all.

Top Gun: Maverick

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.

It’s Top Gun. We know what we’re getting. Cruise has a dedication to making things as good as they can possibly be, and Joseph Kosinski is directing. And honestly — Tron Legacy was really good, Oblivion was really solid, and I liked Only the Brave, even if no one else saw it.

I’m not totally sure they can pull this off, but I’ll give them enough of the benefit of the doubt and say 3.5 stars. It’s not going higher than 4, even if it’s great, but 3.5 feels like the right zone for this. (That would be the Danger Zone.) If this is only 3 stars come year’s end, they fucked up real bad. But I don’t think they will, and I feel like this is an easy 3.5 with a 4 potential.

In the Heights

A feature version of the Broadway musical, in which a bodega owner has mixed feelings about closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune.

I’m in for this. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first show adapted into a feature. Should be solid. He’s clearly involved, which is nice. John M. Chu directs… which, Crazy Rich Asians, Now You See Me 2, Jem an the Holograms, the Step Up movies… I know he can direct, but I’m not sure he can elevate the material for the screen. So I’m gonna say 3.5 stars, because I don’t think they can fuck this up. But I also was kinda hoping for a nice 4 stars out of this, maybe something I could really love. But hey, 3.5 is solid enough, and if they can get there, it can only get better. So here’s hoping for a great movie.

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