“Rocketman” (May 22)
I don’t want to speak too soon and call this a straight-up “Bohemian Rhapsody” clone, but it sure looks like one. By the looks of the trailer it hopes to follow the same beats as last year’s frustratingly crap Queen biopic, boringly gliding through the artist’s greatest hits, showing a montage for each, vaguely but never unflatteringly highlighting what was going on in the artist’s life… Rinse and repeat. From the trailer, the visual invention is not going far beyond what you could watch for free in Vevo music videos. Stay home for this one.
“Aladdin” (May 22)
Get out of here with this bull. It is transparent that all that Disney is doing is digging up the graves of its past properties and making them look somehow even worse with live action treatment. Will Smith’s Genie looks like a horrifying mistake. Nothing is worse than a boring movie, and this new Aladdin looks like it would bore even children. Do your and yours a favor and dust off your VHS copy of the original.
“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (May 29)
Critically, the 2014 “Godzilla” was applauded for its deft grasp of tension and tone, two things that are hard to maintain in a giant monster action movie. I thought it was very badass, but I had to agree with the admittedly apt complaint the fans had: “there’s not enough Godzilla in this Godzilla movie!” Director Michael Dougherty aims to remedy this by having Godzilla go fisticuffs with his rival Ghidorah, and from the trailers, their clash looks freaking epic and worthy of the big screen. Starring Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”) and Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”).
Extra: Cannes Film Festival Radar
“A Hidden Life” (May 15)
This is probably the most anticipated film of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Infamously polarizing filmmaker Terrence Malick, who won the 2011 Palme d’Or for “The Tree of Life”, returns to the festival with this German-Austrian period piece. Little is known about it, but what has been teased is that this is Malick’s grand return to focused, plot-driven films (ever since his shocking 1998 film “The Thin Red Line”, Malick has been making giant films with arthouse aesthetics). “A Hidden Life” is more than likely to frustrate and bore viewers who are not acclimated to Malick’s style of long, contemplative cinema, but for fans, this is one probably worth anticipating.