For Lovers Of The ‘Non-Quel’: A Guide To 15 Awesome Summer 2018 Films That Aren’t Sequels, Reboots Or Superhero Flicks

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.

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Wade Wilson Forever | Credit: 20th Century Fox

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

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[Credit: Focus Features]
  • 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

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[Credit: Universal Pictures]
  • 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

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[Credit: STXfilms]
  • 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

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[Credit: Focus Features]
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

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[Credit: Global Road Entertainment]
  • 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

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[Credit: Warner Bros.]
  • 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

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[Credit: A24]
  • 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

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[Credit: MovieWeb]
  • 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

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[Credit: Annapurna Pictures]
  • 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

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[Credit: Universal Pictures | BoredPanda]
  • 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

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[Credit: A24]
  • 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

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[Credit: Lionsgate Films]
  • 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

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[Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
  • 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?

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[Credit: 20th Century Fox]
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.

14. BlacKkKlansman 

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  • 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

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[Credit: Screen Gems]
  • 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.”


Which of these Non-Quel flicks are you most anticipating? Let me know in the comments below!

featured image source: The Meg | Warner Bros. Pictures

Recommendation: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

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[Credit: Warner Bros]

Tess: You know what your problem is?
Danny: … I only have one?


Steven Soderbergh’s remake of Ocean’s Eleven is easily one of the best movie remakes of all time. Many are actually unaware of the 1960’s Ocean 11 that starred the Rat Pack of the day including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.

The Chemistry Between The Cast Is Infallible

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[Credit: WB]

Every single person cast in Ocean’s Eleven is essentially a perfect fit. The titular Danny Ocean is portrayed by the embodiment of charisma itself, George Clooney. His right-hand man Rusty Ryan needed to have the same amount of charm, if not more, and Brad Pitt manages to excel in his role. My husband in my dreams, Matt Damon, portrays the perpetually nervous Linus Caldwall with enough humour and appeal that causes the viewer to feel sympathy for him while also wanting to shake the hesitation out of him.

Every other character that makes up the eleven of Ocean’s crew is cast wonderfully, you truly feel the connection between them and the various histories shared between certain characters… You know, I could’ve done with Julia Roberts but that’s just a personal preference because I’m not exactly the biggest Julia Roberts fan.

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[Credit: WB]

“Does He Make You Laugh?”

Regardless of my feelings for Julia Roberts, the one scene she shares with Danny when he is released from prison is one of my favourites of the entire film (the whole trilogy, really).

It is obviously intriguing to see two A-list stars interact with each other, however the subtext shared between Tess and Danny is why I love the scene as much as I do. The tension is felt immediately when Danny touches her shoulder and as they execute that quick dialogue you’re left wondering about their marital life prior to the film. Not to mention, the absolute gorgeous lighting is just ridiculously enjoyable to watch.

Check Out The Scene Below:

I highly recommend watching this film if you are looking for an incredibly well-acted and sharp comedy. They ultimately are criminals who are looking to steal millions of dollars and yet, I still find myself rooting for them.


The Nitty Gritty

Release Year: 2001.
Director: Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Syriana, Magic Mike).
Stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Scott Caan, Casey Affleck, Carl Reiner, Elliott Gould, Eddie Jemison, Shaobo Qin, Andy García and Julia Roberts.
Run-Time: 1 hour and 57 minutes.

 

Recommendation: Some Like It Hot (1959)

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Osgood: I am Osgood Fielding the third.
Daphne: I’m Cinderella the second.

Some Like It Hot is in my personal list of the greatest comedies of all time.

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TONY CURTIS & JACK LEMMON getting touched up | monovisions

Jack Lemmon/Tony Curtis’ Comedic Brilliance

The chemistry between Jack Lemmon as Jerry and Tony Curtis as Joe is ridiculously spectacular and undeniably one of the best on-screen duos in film. They star as two jazz musicians who witness a Mafia hit, a la the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and must disguise themselves to join an all-female jazz band to escape Chicago. No matter how many times I watch it, the dialogue in this Billy Wilder-directed film never ceases to make me laugh just as hard as the first time I viewed it.

Marilyn Monroe’s Charm

The film also stars Marilyn Monroe as Sugar, a beautifully naive singer who begins a friendship with Lemmon’s Daphne and Curtis’ Josephine. Some Like It Hot marks the second collaboration between Monroe and director Billy Wilder; She previously starred in Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch (1955), arguably her most famous role.

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Wilder directing Monroe in her iconic “Subway Dress” scene 

She apparently “jumped at the chance to work on another film with [him]” and “Wilder apparently intended to cast Mitzi Gaynor to play Sugar but after he heard from Marilyn Monroe, the part was hers.

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I highly recommend watching this film if you are so inclined and I will inevitably end up doing a Nostalgia’d Review for it because I love me some Tony Curtis.


The Nitty Gritty

Release Year: 1959.
Director: Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, The Apartment).
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe and George Raft.
Run-Time: 2 hours and 12 minutes.

cinemagraph source: Cinegraphiks.
other sources: AFI tumblr, giphy, ehehr’s essay on the Seven Year Itch, The Redlist.