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“Toy Story 4” And “Yesterday”: Films To See In June

Well, summer 2019 has arrived, ladies and gentlemen. The weather has begun to reflect it, while the offerings in theaters are doing so as well. June is truly the month where movies turn almost exclusively into blockbusters and the like. Still, what isn’t shooting for that sort of big time business can be where some of the best cinema is found. Below you will see a collection of films that run the gamut, reflecting what the month potentially will showcase as their top offerings. I’ve seen a couple of them already, so I’m not speaking out of school when I say there’s some definite quality to be found here. Take a look…

Here now are June’s very best cinematic bets:

10. Dark Phoenix – The final film in the X-Men franchise not to be under the Marvel banner, this is the end of the road for the series. Kevin Feige will be handling the mutants from now on, but here is a conclusion to Fox’s incarnation. Expectations are low, especially after the fairly porous last outing, but anything is possible. That being said, it’s very much in the MCU’s shadow, so it’s hardly the event item it once was.

9. Child’s Play – Chucky is back. This modern day remake makes the deadly toy more of an evil Artificial Intelligence, which is…a choice. This is likely not going to be well received, so it’s more of a guilty pleasure curiosity than anything else. Horror has had some strong moments of late, though this probably isn’t one to hang your hat on, quality wise…

8. The Dead Don’t Die – The Cannes Film Festival was not especially kind to Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy. That being said, the flick still has some quirk factor in its favor. Fans of the director will turn out, and who knows, maybe the Cannes crowd was just in the mood for something else entirely? Either way, I’ll admit to being at least morbidly curious. Stay tuned!

7. Being Frank – Purported to feature an awards worthy turn from Jim Gaffigan, this indie offering got some strong notice back at the Sundance Film Festival. I have a link for it, so it’s a film I’ll be seeing in fairly short order. Once it does, expect a full report. In the meantime, anything is possible for it, right?

6. Shaft – A reboot/sequel to the iconic character, this makes the story a full on family affair. Not many people fondly remember the Samuel L. Jackson remake, though he returns in this far more promising outing. The Trailer was a riot, so even if it’s nothing to go crazy over, it should still be a fun change of pace in the CGI heavy month of June.

5. The Secret Life of Pets 2 – I see this animated sequel tomorrow and will be reviewing it in the next couple of days. The first one was a lot of fun, with an ingenious concept. If the movie has even half of the enjoyment of that installment, I’ll be a smitten kitten. Sit tight to hear how it is!

4. Late Night – Last week I caught this comedy and was thoroughly charmed by it. Look for a full write up potentially tomorrow, though definitely before Friday. As a tease: Mindy Kaling sure knows how to write a crowd pleasure, while Emma Thompson delivers a terrific performance. More to come shortly…

3. Men in Black International – In a few days I’ll lay eyes on this new installment in the science fiction franchise. Re-teaming Chris Hemsworth with Tessa Thompson (after they’ve shared the screens in two Marvel outings, Thor: Ragnorak and of course Avengers: Endgame), the series potentially has new life, post Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Bonus, this also has Emma Thompson in the case. You can’t go wrong there, no?

2. Yesterday – Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis team up for this musical fantasy. The concept is full of potential, that’s for sure. Audiences at the Tribeca Film Festival, who got the first look at it, were largely charmed by it. The movie may not have Academy Awards in its future, but it should find an eager crowd in the next few weeks. I know I’m incredibly anxious to see it, having missed the opportunity at Tribeca.

1. Toy Story 4 – Can Pixar do it again? Toy Story 2 and especially Toy Story 3 are some of the greatest animated sequels, and moreover, just plain sequels of all time, without question. More time with Woody and Buzz will be an absolute pleasure, though it remains to be seen if this third sequel can reach the heights of the others. If so, something special is coming our way, and not just in terms of Oscar attention…

Honorable Mentions: Katie Says Goodbye, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Leto, Pavarotti, Plus One, and Wild Rose

Be sure to check out all of these movies throughout the month of June!

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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