In addition to today being Father’s Day, it’s also the official start of summer. While the May and June months sometimes feel front-loaded with all the big pop culture splashes, there’s still plenty to look forward to as we hit the dog days. Check out a few of the summer television shows, books, and movies that are worth our attention.
True Detective Season 2 (premieres June 21)
The much-anticipated second season of HBO’s hit drama premieres tonight! This second helping focuses new characters, a new city, and a new story of its own, bolstered by a cast that includes Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Rachel McAdams. Season one was just about perfect and ranks as one of my favorite pieces of television, but even if this new outing doesn’t hit the same high notes as Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s battle with the Yellow King, I trust series creator Nic Pizzolatto to deliver some thoughtful and exciting stories.
Terminator: Genisys (premieres July 1)
Unless the spelling of “Genesis” in the film’s title ties into a plot involving Arnold learning how to read, the change seems unnecessary. That said, I’m intrigued by the altered timeline that will appear to diverge from the previous Terminator films. And with heavy hitting actors such as Emilia Clark (Game of Thrones), J.K. Simmons (Juno, Thank You for Smoking), and Matt Smith (Doctor Who), we can at least hope for some fine performances among the action-smash spectacle. Oh, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in the saddle, so that’s something. I’m still a bit raw over his trashing of Terminator: Salvation, but I’m writing that off as sour grapes because only his image was used for that film.
Ant-Man (premieres July 17)
Marvel Studios’ second movie of the summer hits in the latter part of July and, while it might not have all of the bombastic energy that The Avengers: Age of Ultron had behind its marketing campaign, I’m on board, primarily because I trust Paul Rudd. Rudd has the acting chops and the funny that are necessary to make his role of convict-turned-superhero work. And while folks might deride the character, Ant-Man is an integral part of the Avengers mythos. Plus, it’ll be nice to see a hero enter the Marvel Movie Universe that can act as a POV character and comment on the insanity surrounding the superhero community.
Minions (premieres July 10)
Loved Despicable Me and its sequel and folks can’t get enough of the Minions. Can they support a movie all by their lonesome, though? I’m willing to bet yes, but Sandra Bullock as the voice of the film’s villain Scarlet Overkill should give the movie a boost should it start to drift. Bee-Doh!
Southpaw (premieres July 24)
I love a good boxing movie, and Southpaw, featuring a screenplay by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy), looks to feel that craving. If you’ve seen any of the publicity for the film, you’ll see a rocked-out Jake Gyllenhaal as the movie’s boxing protagonist, Billy “The Great” Hope, but he also has the acting acumen necessary to portray a man whose life truly falls apart when shit turns sideways. Also boasting a cast of Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker, Southpaw is the drama I’ve been most excited about watching this summer.
Fight Club 2 (Issue #2 hits June 24.)
Chuck Palahniuk’s sequel to the cult-favorite novel and film from Dark Horse Comics is already off to a strong start, with issue #1 already in comic book stores and the second installment hitting stands this Wednesday. The pacing on the story is already what we expect from Palahniuk, and he seems to be having fun playing with the comic book format. Add Cameron Stewart’s beautiful yet haunting work on pencils and Fight Club 2 is proving to be one of the summer’s must-reads. And yes, you can talk about it. (Be sure to check out our review of the first issue!)
Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian by E.L. James (out now)
This much-anticipated sequel to the literary page-turner that was Fifty Shade of Grey should be a— Ha, no, so kidding. I’d rather sit through Pixels (out this July) or choke myself with my own underwear than to read even one chapter of another serving of James’ idea of healthy “erotica.”