We are blessed this summer with an unusually diverse assortment of comedies, adventures, and sequels. So, let there be lights, camera, action…and popcorn!

BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI

TAG
JUNE 15 (UNRATED)
Each May, five competitive friends engage in an elaborate, nationwide game of tag, a tradition since first grade. As their only undefeated player, Jerry (Jeremy Renner), prepares to get married, his buddies pull out all the stops to target him, but discover he’s more than ready. The comedy is based on a true, if silly story, and also stars Ed Helms, Tracy Morgan, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, and surfer/crooner Jack Johnson.

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DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT
JULY 13 (RATED R)
Joaquin Phoenix stars in this biography/comedy/drama as John Callahan, an accident victim who enters rehab with the encouragement of his girlfriend, Annu (Rooney Mara), and his sponsor, played by Jonah Hill. There, he discovers a gift for drawing newspaper cartoons that propels him to national prominence. Based on the real Callahan’s autobiography, the film is directed by
two-time Oscar nominee Gus Van Sant.

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THE HUSTLE
JUNE 29 (UNRATED)
In this remake of the 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, two polar opposite scam artists (Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson), compete to swindle a tech prodigy (played by Tony Alex Sharp, who won a Tony Award in 2015 for his lead in Broadway’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) out of his fortune. Fun fact: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was a remake of 1964’s Bedtime Story, featuring Marlon Brando and David Niven.

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MARC CAIN SPREAD

MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN
JULY 20 (RATED PG-13)
As a stylish grandmother in a platinum wig, Cher is the draw here as we examine other aspects of the relationships surrounding the fictional popular singing trio, Donna and the Dynamos. The ABBA tune-fest time travels between past and present as Lily James plays the young Donna, portrayed by Meryl Streep in the original 2008 hit, Mamma Mia. Amanda Seyfried, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Christine Baranski return. Cher, who had a cameo in ABBA’s last video in 2004, ABBA: Our Last Video Ever (as an audience member), sings the Swedish band’s “Fernando” in the new film, which, like the original, was also partially filmed on a picturesque Greek Island. With Andy Garcia and Julie Walters.

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SKYSCRAPER
JULY 13 (UNRATED)
It’s thrilling 3-D and CGI high-altitude action for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who dons a prosthetic leg to portray former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and war veteran Will Sawyer, now a skyscraper security expert. Assigned to China’s tallest and allegedly safest building, Sawyer is framed when the structure catches fire, and must clear his name while rescuing his family trapped inside. Reminiscent of Die Hard and the original landmark disaster film Towering Inferno, the flick co-stars Neve Campbell and Pablo Schreiber.

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OCEAN’S EIGHT
JUNE 8 (UNRATED)
The trailer to this action/thriller heist fi lm—originally planned for 2017 release—begins with Sandra Bullock (as Danny Ocean’s sister) toasting at her brother’s crypt. This femalecentric
spin-off is the latest version of the 1960 Rat Pack classic that spawned a 2001-launched trilogy starring Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney. Damon and Carl Reiner are the only returnees this time, joining an all-star cast that includes four Oscar winners: Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Bullock, and Damon. Additional star power is provided by Helena Bohnam Carter, Rihanna, Katie Holmes, James Cordon, and Dakota Fanning. Former One Direction singer Zain Malik makes his acting debut, too, and segments of the film were shot at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala.

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JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
JUNE 22 (RATED PG-13)
Everything old strives to be new again…again, as Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) return to the doomed theme park resort, apparently not having learned lessons from previous installments of why it’s not a good idea to resurrect dinosaurs. The pair attempt to rescue the remaining prehistoric beasties on the abandoned Isla Nublar when a volcano erupts, and they uncover a planet-threatening conspiracy. Jeff Goldblum, who starred in the original,
reprises his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm. Also starring B.D. Wong, Geraldine Chaplin, and James Cromwell. Said Director J.A. Bayona, “It will be darker and scarier than the previous film… and takes the story where it has never been before.” We’ll be the judges of that.

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