“Trainwreck”: Ten Original Summer Movies to look forward to

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As you all know by now, the summer movie season is getting longer and longer each and every single year. At the same time, the films being released are getting less and less original as well. It’s not necessarily a knock on quality, but everything seems to be a prequel or a reboot or a sequel, leaving very little room for originality. Sure, there’s original takes on things, but original ideas themselves appear to be in short supply. As such, I wanted to highlight some of the 2015 summer releases that seem to buck this trend. There’s a handful of titles that aren’t based on existing material, and that’s delightful to me.

Below you’ll find a list of ten flicks hitting theaters between the beginning of May and the end of August that aren’t comic book adaptations or anything even close to that. I might do a separate list of films like that next week, as the summer movie season basically officially kicks off, but for now, I’m going with this list. They tend to be mainstream outings, though there’s one or two small indies thrown in there to mix it up, for good measure, of course. Take a gander and use this as a way to plan out a well round couple of months of going to the cinema…

In alphabetical order, here are ten original concept movies to look forward to this summer:

Aloha – As a huge Cameron Crowe fan, I’m certainly eager to see his latest romantic comedy that’s sure to have a great soundtrack. Bradley Cooper stars alongside Emma Stone, with Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray among the top notch supporting cast. Crowe hasn’t been the king of the rom-com in a while, so perhaps this will be his return to wide level acclaim? We’ll find out at the very end of May.

Digging for Fire – Indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg always makes original films, but they rare show up on summer movie lists. This year, however, he continues his trend of working with bigger actors on slightly more mainstream a scale. He’s finally being noticed, so another teaming with Jake Johnson could continue that upswing. I believe this one comes out in August.

Inside Out – Pixar goes back to their non-sequel roots with this look inside the mind of a young girl, particularly at her emotions and how they control/interact with her. It has a spot at the Cannes Film Festival, so that’s certainly a feather in the proverbial cap. The studio seems very confident in this one, and it’s rubbing off on me. The June release date can’t come soon enough.

Irrational Man – The annual Woody Allen offering hits during the summer this year, so of course he gets a spot on this list. Emma Stone shows up again, this time starring opposite Joaquin Phoenix. Sparks could fly, that’s for sure. This is technically Allen’s “on” year, so at the end of July we might have a potential awards player on our hands.

Ricki and the Flash – For all of you who wish Meryl Streep would appear to have more fun, this is your film. She stars in Jonathan Demme’s first narrative film in a while, with a script by Diablo Cody to boot. It’ll be out in August, potentially launching Streep towards another Best Actress nomination.

San Andreas – A rare blockbuster that’s basically an original property (unless the concept of an earthquake in California is considered previous source material), this will see Dwayne Johnson getting the save the day amidst large scale chaos. I’m sure that’s music to a lot of folks’ ears, so that could be something to look forward to. It hits at the end of May.

Southpaw – One of Jake Gyllenhaal’s potential Best Actor vehicles, this boxing drama has him doing the sports redemption story. Not horribly original stuff, but it’s not based on anything, so it counts. If Gyllenhaal is good, this will be in the race for sure. Watch out for it towards the tail end of July.

Spy – Filmmaker Paul Feig is becoming the go to person in the industry to utilize funny women. He again works with Melissa McCarthy, this time in a bigger scale action comedy. This is his tune up for Ghostbusters, so hopefully he’s firing on all cylinders. It played to mostly good notice at South By South West, so that’s a positive note. It’ll sneak up on us at the beginning of June.

Tomorrowland – Unless you overtly think this is based on the attraction of the same name, Brad Bird’s big sci-fi project is one of the summer movie season’s biggest original properties. Co-written with Damon Lindelof and starring George Clooney, it’s potentially going to be a smash hit. We’ll find out in just about a month now, as it hits at the end May.

Trainwreck – Finally, we have the Judd Apatow film that he made with writer/star Amy Schumer. I’ve detailed its stunning SXSW success already, so just know that this is one to be really excited for. It’ll be hitting theaters in the middle of July, so mark it on your calendars folks.

Stay tuned to see how these turn out!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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