There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying and relishing in the glory that is a popular superhero flick, another installment of a franchise or a remake of a classic. Now of course, while these kinds of films will certainly always be around, there are those that may prefer watching a good Non-Quel flick on a weekend.
“Non-Quel” meaning movies that aren’t sequels, remakes/reboots or new additions to the superhero/comic book genre… Not that there’s anything wrong them. One may also refer to them as being “original movies” but I like using “Non-Quel” because… It just sounds nicer to me. YMMV.
The summer season looks to be jam-frogging-packed starting the month of (it’s gonna be) May to the conclusion of my birthday month in August. With films like Avengers: Infinity War (releasing the tail end of April), Solo: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man And The Wasp etc. set to most likely dominate the box office, I thought it prudent to list some of the Non-Quel flicks I’m most looking forward to.
Check the list out and let me know if you too can’t wait to delve into Armie Hammer‘s mysteriousness in the upcoming Sorry To Bother You.
1. Tully – May 4th
- Starring: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass and Ron Livingston.
- Directed by: Jason Reitman (Juno, Up In The Air, Young Adult).
So is there any role that Charlize Theron can’t execute phenomenally?
Jason Reitman re-teams with his Juno writer Diablo Cody for the upcoming dramedy Tully starring Academy Award winner Charlize Theron. The film follows the friendship between Marlo (Theron), a mother of three, and her babysitter Tully as portrayed by Mackenzie Davis (Blade Runner 2049). Filming began back in September 2016 and Theron reportedly gained nearly 50 pounds for the role within a 3 and a half month period, eating round the clock in order to keep the weight on.
The film currently has an impressive 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 14 Fresh reviews out of 15 and an average rating of 8.1/10.
See The Trailer Below:
2. Breaking In – May 11th
- Starring: Gabrielle Union, James Lopez, Craig Perry and Sheila Hanahan Taylor.
- Directed by: James McTeigue (V For Vendetta, The Raven).
Gabrielle Union seemingly does not take kindly to individuals who terrorize her and her family.
Union portrays Shaun Russell, a mother of two who takes her children on a weekend getaway to her late father’s secluded, high-tech estate in the countryside in order to settle his estate. She soon finds herself in a desperate fight to save all of their lives when four men break into the house who are intent on stealing the deceased’s goods.
V For Vendetta helmer James McTeigue directs the thriller while Union tackles both starring and producing duties. Will Packer is also a producer on the film which marks the fourth time Union and Packer have collaborated on a project – Their other films include 2012’s Think Like A Man and its 2014 sequel along with 2016’s Almost Christmas.
3. Adrift – June 1st
- Starring: Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin.
- Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband, 2 Guns, Everest).
At this point I’m convinced Sam Claflin’s agent exclusively seeks roles where their client portrays the “devoted partner who must be taken care of by his equally devoted partner.”
Based on the true story of two avid sailors who set out on a journey across the ocean in 1983, the film follows the gorgeous coupling of Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) and Richard Sharp (Claflin) as they end up sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. “In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins, and must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved.”
Miles Teller was originally in talks to star as Richard, however he ended up dropping out due to scheduling conflicts which led the way to Claflin nabbing the role. If you’re keeping track, had Teller portrayed Richard it would’ve marked the fifth time he and Woodley appeared together on-screen as they previously starred in 2013’s The Spectacular Now and the Detergent trilogy.
4. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – June 8th
If you managed to get through the trailer without turning into a pile of literal mush, I salute you.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is an upcoming documentary from Academy Award winning director Morgan Neville (The Cool School, 20 Feet From Stardom, Best Of Enemies). The film takes an intimate look at America’s favorite neighbor: Mr. Fred Rogers. “A portrait of a man whom we all think we know, this emotional and moving film takes us beyond the zip-up cardigans and the land of make-believe, and into the heart of a creative genius who inspired generations of children with compassion and limitless imagination.”
The doc currently boasts a whopping 96% on RT, with 22/23 Fresh ratings and an average score of 8.8/10. If you’re planning on watching this in theatres, prepare to hold the person sitting next to you tenderly as you softly caress their head while whispering “won’t you be my neighbor?” under a fog of snot mixed with tears.
5. Hotel Artemis
- Starring: Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Sterling K. Brown, Jenny Slate, Charlie Day and Zachary Quinto.
- Directed by: Drew Pearce.
Academy Award winner Jodie Foster stars as a nurse who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals… Aaaand I’ve already bought my tickets.
Hotel Artemis is the directorial debut of Drew Pearce who previously co-wrote the screenplay alongside director Shane Black for 2013’s Iron Man 3 as well as writing the story for everyone’s favourite Mission: Impossible installment, 2015’s Rogue Nation. While the upcoming action thriller boasts an impressive ensemble cast, one of the main reasons I’m most excited is the inclusion of Cliff Martinez who is set to compose the film’s score.
For those unfamiliar with the name, Martinez has reguarly scored the works of director Nicolas Winding Refn whose previous collaborative credits include Drive, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon. I listen to these films’ scores on a consistent basis so I cannot wait to see what he brings to Artemis.
6. Tag – June 15th
- Starring: Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb and Jeremy Renner.
- Directed by: Jeff Tomsic.
Tag is the directorial debut of Jeff Tomsic whose previous TV credits include Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening and 2 episodes of Broad City.
The upcoming comedy is based on the true story of a group of ex-classmates meet up and organize a game of tag that finds them traveling across the country. After their story was profiled on The Wall Street Journal in 2013, offers to adapt the story in a feature-length motion picture obviously arose because the story is amazingly insane.
Jeremy Renner stars in the film and apparently whatever stunts appear in it are going to be wild because he fractured both of his arms while filming in 2017 due to a “stunt gone wrong.”
7. Under The Silver Lake – June 22nd
- Starring: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace, Zosia Mamet and Jimmi Simpson.
- Directed by: David Robert Mitchell (It Follows).
Four years after the immense success of his supernatural psychological thriller It Follows, director David Robert Mitchell teams up with Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough for the upcoming A24 neo-noir dramedy Under The Silver Lake.
The film follows young and disenchanted Sam (Garfield) when he meets a mysterious and beautiful woman who’s swimming in his building’s pool one night. When she suddenly vanishes the next morning, Sam embarks on a surreal quest across Los Angeles to decode the secret behind her disappearance, leading him into the murkiest depths of mystery, scandal and conspiracy.
8. The Hustle – June 29th
- Starring: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp and Ingrid Oliver.
- Directed by: Chris Addison.
Alright, this is a bit of a cheat but it everybody gets one.
The Hustle is the gender swapped remake of the 1988 classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which starred Steve Martin and Michael Caine as two men competing to swindle an American heiress out of $50,000 – A bunch of no-good dirty and rotten scoundrels, you ask me.
The upcoming comedy stars Oscar winner Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson and is the directorial debut of English comedian Chris Addison whose previous TV directing credits include Veep and Fresh Off The Boat. From an outline by Deadline, the lead actresses portray “two female scam artists, one low rent and the other high class, who compete to swindle a naive tech prodigy out of his fortune.”
No trailer is available yet for The Hustle.
9. Sorry To Bother You – July 6th
- Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun and Armie Hammer.
- Directed by: Boots Riley.
Lakeith Stanfield leads an ensemble cast including Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson and one of my favourite humans on Earth, Armie Hammer, in the directorial debut by Boots Riley with Sorry To Bother You.
In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, the sci-fi comedy follows telemarketer Cassius Green (Stanfield) as he discovers a magical key to professional success – which propels him into a macabre universe. The film currently holds a stellar 92% on RT with 33/3 Fresh ratings and an average rating of 7.3/10.
Ant-Man And The Wasp is set for release the same weekend as Sorry To Bother You.
10. Skyscraper – July 13th
- Starring: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Pablo Schreiber, Byron Mann, Hannah Quinlivan and Noah Taylor.
- Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber (DodgeBall, We’re The Millers, Central Intelligence).
Skyscraper AKA the-film-whose-poster-makes-no-scientifical-or-physical-sense re-teams The Rock (who seemingly never sleeps) with his Central Intelligence director Rawson Marshall Thurber in an action/disaster movie where he must save the lives of those he loves.
The film follows FBI agent and amputee Will Sawyer (Johnson) who lives in the tallest and “safest” skyscraper in Hong Kong with his family. The skyscraper itself, known as “The Pearl” houses several floors that function as their own society and despite the risks highlighted by Sawyer, who is the building’s head of security, his bosses insist that it is impenetrable. True to Sawyer’s belief, the building comes under attack by terrorists, forcing Sawyer to take action. Matters are complicated further when he finds himself framed for the attack, and his family trapped above the resulting fire line.
I will probably watch this movie solely because fellow Canadian and Party Of Five/House Of Cards alum Neve Campbell stars as Sawyer’s wife, Sarah… There are a few people in this world that I’d sacrifice everything for and Neve Campbell is one of them.
11. Hot Summer Nights – July 27th
- Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Maika Monroe, Alex Roe, Maia Mitchell, William Fichtner and Thomas Jane.
- Directed by: Elijah Bynum.
Yet another A24-distributed film is set for release this summer and I am hyped.
Timothée Chalamet, the breakthrough star of last year’s critically acclaimed (and my favourite of the year) Call Me By Your Name, stars alongside It Follows lead Maika Monroe in Elijah Bynum’s directorial debut, Hot Summer Nights.
The film follows Daniel (Chalamet), a shy out-of-towner who gets in over his head flipping weed with the neighborhood rebel (Alex Roe) while pursuing his new business partner’s enigmatic sister (Monroe). With a hurricane looming in the wings, tensions rise against a backdrop of drive-ins, arcades, and crashed parties as the stakes (and temperatures) grow ever higher.
Only 5 reviews have been written so far on the film which currently has an 80% on RT, however 4 of them have given it a Fresh rating with an average rating of 9/10.
12. The Spy Who Dumped Me – August 3rd
- Starring: Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Sam Heughan, Justin Theroux and Hasan Minhaj.
- Directed by: Susanna Fogel (Life Partners).
Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon team up on an action-comedy and I am here for all of it.
Directed by Susanna Fogel and releasing one day after my birthday (hint hint for people who want to buy me gifts and are too nervous to ask when my birthday is), The Spy Who Dumped Me follows Audrey (Kunis) and her best friend Morgan (McKinnon) who find themselves embroiled in a major international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend unexpectedly re-enters her life with a team of assassins on his trail and reveals that he is actually a CIA agent.
Both Kunis and McKinnon are hysterical human beings so I am ecstatic to see how they tackle this project.
13. The Meg – August 10th
- Starring: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Masi Oka and Cliff Curtis.
- Directed by: Jon Turteltaub (3 Ninjas, While You Were Sleeping, National Treasure).
This is one of those movies you hear about being in production like eight years ago but believe it’ll never come to fruition… Thankfully for movie audiences, it’s here and it’s big – or should I say – Megalodon?
Based on the 1997 sci-fi book, The Meg follows a deep sea submarine as it’s attacked by Megalodon, a giant 75-foot shark that was thought to be extinct for over millions of years. With the ship disabled at the bottom of the sea, a rescue diver and oceanographer must quickly work to rescue the crew.
It looks ridiculous, it looks like Jason Statham is going to be doing some shit to a shark and I just may use my accumulated Cineplex SCENE points to purchase a ticket for it without using any actual money from my wallet.
- Starring: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Jasper Pääkkönen, Corey Hawkins, Paul Walter Hauser and Harry Belafonte.
- Directed by: Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Inside Man).
As soon as I heard about veteran director Spike Lee and soon-to-be-veteran-if-he-keeps-up-the-phenomenal-work Jordan Peele teaming up for this story, I was immediately hooked.
BlacKkKlansman follows the remarkable true story of Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective in Colorado Springs, Colorado, who works under cover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan in 1979. Stallworth and his partner Flip Zimmerman risk their lives to penetrate the KKK at its highest levels. The film is based on the book “Black Klansman” written by Stallworth himself. Ballers star John David Washington is set to portray the lead while Adam Driver will star as Zimmerman.
No trailer is available yet for BlacKkKlansman.
15. Slender Man – August 24th
- Starring: Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso, Talitha Bateman and Javier Botet.
- Directed by: Sylvain White (I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, Stomp the Yard, The Losers).
Finishing off the summer season strong with… Slender-Man! From the director of such a horror gem as I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, I can’t wait to see how he tackles this Creepypasta tale.
The film tells the story of a malnourished man who is a tall, thin, horrifying figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face known as Slender-Man, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens.
While it may be good for a few jump scares, Joey King is one of my favourite up-and-coming talents as she surprised me with her incredible performance in 2013’s The Conjuring. I look forward to seeing how she tackles her role as “teenager who doesn’t realize summoning spirits is a bad idea.”