Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

June is Busting Out All Over

Movies in June by Guy S. Malone, Researcher

A few days ago, one of my very few friends said, "You know, June doesn't have many good movies.  Most are garbage."  
I answered, "Just because Ethan Hawke is in two them doesn't mean they're all garbage."

Below, I've listed 18 movies, some released in late-May;17 of them are in theaters and one big one on Netflix. None will be to everyone's tastes, but sift through and you're sure to find a few to your liking.  Films are in bold and italicized, with best bets in ALL CAPS, followed by release date in parentheses (remember some of the smaller films may come to a theater near you a week or two later than the date shown):

First, the one on Netflix: Thor: Ragnarok (June 5), one superhero movie that even non-Marvel fans can enjoy.  Chris Hemsworth (Thor), displaying a nice comic touch, plays half of the film off of Jeff Goldblum (in full Goldblum mode), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Bannon/Hulk), and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie).  The other half is serious mythology, with Cate Blanchett (Hela) bringing Ragnarok (think the Apocalypse) down on Asgard.  Idris Elba, Karl Urban, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Anthony Hopkins round out the excellent cast.

It's all a matter of personal taste in this genre, and I'm not going out on a limb for any of them.  The first two are originals, the third a female version of a proven heist tale, the fourth a remake, and the fifth a sequel.  

Adrift (06/01) - Based-on-true-story about a young couple (Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin) who agree to sail a boat across the Pacific, not counting on crossing paths with a Category-5 hurricane.

Hotel Artemis (06/08) - in riot-torn future LA, Jodie Foster runs a hospital for criminals; Sterling K. Brown tries to save his brother. Jeff Goldblum, Sofia Boutella, Jenny Slate, and Dave Bautista join the action, sci-fi crime fun.

Oceans 8 (06/08) - Female Oceans 11, starring Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon.  Hopefully, Gary Ross plus great talent equals the ultimate summer popcorn flick.

Superfly (06/15) - Trevor Jackson in the title role remake of the 1972 blaxploitation movie.  With Jason Mitchell and Michael K. Williams.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (06/29) - Sequels of excellent movies don't always work if they forget what made the original good.  This looks like twice the killing, half the surprise and intrigue.

Only one worthwhile entry this in the genre this month, but it's the long-awaited (14 years to be exact) sequel to a huge hit

INCREDIBLES 2 (06/15) - Elastigirl/Helen (Holly Hunter's voice) heads out to save the world, turning  Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson's voice) into Mr. Mom. Voices: Samuel L. Jackson, Bob Odenkirk, Kathleen Keener. 

It's that time of year, and you'll have no trouble recognizing the franchises here.  We'll probably see all three, like two, and love one.

DEADPOOL 2 (in theaters now) - Ryan Reynolds is back as the rowdy, raunchy superhero he was born to to play.  This time, he's up against Thanos, erm, Cable (Josh Brolin).  Morena Baccarin returns as Vanessa, along with a new slew of super and not so super heroes.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (06/22) - Want to know why dinosaurs went extinct?  Oversaturation.  Now, they are rescuing the dinosaurs from a volcano.  Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Ted Levine.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (05/25) - Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke help beat Star Wars into the ground, though I bet this cynical remake rakes in $500 million and gets 90+ from RT and EW. 

COMEDY - It's also the time of year for comic popcorn flicks, but there only seems to be one in June worth the drive and the price.

TAG (06/15) - Highly-competitive friends annually play a kids game; John Hamm, Annabelle Wallis, Isla Fisher, Ed Helms, Hannibal Buress try to tag elusive Jeremy Renner.

It's nostalgia time for, as the saying goes, kids of all ages.  Don't miss this one. 

WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (06/08) - On the heels of the excellent RBG comes our favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers, to take us back to the days when neighbors meant something and kindness ruled the day.

Four films here, all of the art house variety, and probably all worth your time and money.  Leave No Trace might be the top choice of the month.  American Animals looks very cool and entertaining.  Octogenarian Christopher Plummer (Boundaries) is working as hard as ever, but not as hard as Saoirse Ronan (On Chesil Beach) who is seemingly in a couple dozen movies again this year.

LEAVE NO TRACE (06/29) - Debra Granik (director of Winter's Bone who discovered a callow kid named Jennifer Lawrence) brings us a father (Ben Foster) and his daughter (Thomasin McKenzie), living off the grid outside of Portland, Oregon, who are pulled into urban social services and must find a way to escape and return to the wilderness where they were happy.  The 84 Metascore says she may have done it again.

AMERICAN ANIMALS (06/01) - Based-on-fact story of four college students who plan a heist--from a college library.  Ann Dowd, Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan.

Boundaries (06/22) - Pot-dealing dad (Christopher Plummer) is thrown out of his nursing home; what's a daughter (Vera Farmiga) to do?  (Saving Grace, Part 2?)  Film recommended by Babs de la Cine.

On Chesil Beach (05/18) -  Based on Ian McEwan's dramatic romance novel, a young woman (Saoirse Ronan) struggles with love and freedom in 1960's England.  Emily Watson, Billy Howle

When Neil Gaiman is spinning the yarn, we at least have to pay attention.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (05/25) - Based on a Neil Gaiman short story, Elle Fanning hitch-hikes across the galaxy, lands in a London suburb, and finds love.  A punked-up Nicole Kidman is in pursuit.  Ruth Wilson.

Hereditary carries an impressive 86 Metascore, based on 25 reviews (24 positive And one mixed)

HEREDITARY (06/08 - Horror tale of a family--Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Milly Shapiro, and Alex Wolff--experience gone mad. Those who have seen this Sundance hit say the grIm suspense is unremitting.

RBG Documentary

RBG Quick Review by Guy S Malone, Researcher

On the surface, Ruth Bader Ginsburg seems too quiet, mousy even, to be one of the leading minds of American jurisprudence for more than a half-century.  Indeed, if confronted with that truth, she might drop her eyes for a moment, blush, and go silent.  We don't know if RBG ever read Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, but she seems to be a living emblem of Taoist philosophy:

Silence is a source of great strength.  This diminutive woman comes across as so soft-spoken and unassuming it is hard to believe that she was arguably the strongest influence during the seminal days of the women's movement.  In the 1970s, as Director of the Women's Rights Movement of the ACLU, she argued six landmark cases before the US Supreme Court, winning five.

When the best leader's work is done, the people say, 'we did it ourselves.'  Even many of RBG's most ardent fans are not aware of her standing at the summit of women's rights--or her many other accomplishments.  It is only in retrospect that her achievements are recognized.

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.  She wasn't even one of Bill Clinton's top choices for Supreme Court nominee.  As he worked down his list of candidates and met her he was even less impressed--until she spoke.  She sold him in minutes, and then she sold the Senate Committee; even Conservative Orrin Hatch ended up singing her praises, despite deep philosophical differences.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  She graduated first in her class at Cornell in 1954.  One of the first women accepted into Harvard Law School, she became the first woman to be named to the Harvard Law Review (top 25 out of more than 500 in a hostile, male-centric program).  When her husband Martin took a job as a New York tax attorney, she transferred, finishing first in her class at Columbia Law School where she later became the school's first tenured law professor.

Being deeply loved gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.  As impressive as is her legal career, equally so is the love story of Ruth and Martin.  They were college sweethearts, Ruth was quiet and reticent while Martin was a gregarious jokester, both were as driven professionally as they were smitten with each other--potentially a recipe for disaster, in reality a story of strength and courage rooted in love.

At 1:38, RBG might seem long for a documentary.  It's not.  Serfing Dude, Don Swedanya, FilmZ, and I joined a near-capacity crowd in our art house cinema.  At times during the film, spontaneous applause broke out; other times, tissues dabbed at eyes.  In the end, in these divisive times, it was a wonderful shared experience to see what an American hero and true patriot looks like.
8.5 out of 10

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