It has been a long, cold winter around the Emerald Island, hasn’t it. The long December evenings were dull and dreary, and every new storm hitting the country added that little bit of misery to already sodden and storm-weary souls.
Evenings are steadily becoming brighter and longer now though, and with a little bit of luck, Summer ’16 will bring some decent heat and lasting sunshine. Here’s hoping anyway.
The arrival of summer always heralds two things; regular runs from the ice cream van, and movie blockbusters. There’s a good few films looming large in the horizon, and this summer promises to yield quite a few big hitters.
Here’s a rundown of five selected summer 16 blockbusters. All these movies will premiere in Ireland between June 1 and July 30 2016.
Opens on: June 10
Are you a gamer? The kind with a pallid complexion, who spends nights on end battling orcs in the world of Azeroth? Even if you’re nothing of the sort, you’re likely to have heard of Warcraft.
Originally released for PC (in DOS version, if you’re old enough to remember what that is) way back in 1994, Warcraft took the gaming world by storm. Over the years, several sequels, expansion packs, novels, and all kinds of Warcraft-related merchandise and memorabilia has flooded the market.
A Warcraft movie was thus inevitable, really, but the technology to bring such epic fantasy world to life just wasn’t there at the time.
Warcraft: The Beginning, as its international release title reads, is based on the conflict between Orcs and humans, two opposing races with very different motivations to fight each other.
As its moniker indicates, it is intended to be the first movie in a new franchise. Whether it’s financially successful enough to warrant it remains to be seen.
Warcraft: The Beginning is one for the younger generation, perhaps, though fans of epic fantasy in general could do a lot worse.
The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Experiment
Opens on: June 10
The first Conjuring movie introduced paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively. In 2013’s The Conjuring, the Warren duo investigate a series of paranormal events taking place at a farmhouse in Rhode Island. It did moderately well at the box office, and was well received critically.
The inevitable sequel is almost upon us. Now, the Warrens travel to the United Kingdom, where a little girl living in a council house in Enfield is being plagued by supernatural occurrences.
The film takes its inspiration from the ‘true’ events of the Enfield case, which took place in the London Borough of Enfield from 1977 to 1979. The alleged haunting involved two young girls, aged 11 and 13, living in their mother’s council house.
Independence Day: Resurgence
Opens on: June 24
One of the big names of the summer, the sequel to the 1996 mega-hit Independence Day promises to deliver more of the same alien whoop-ass action, but probably louder, with a higher alien body count, and a hell of a lot more expensive.
Roland Emmerich takes the helm again, and though Will Smith will not feature this time round (he asked for too big a salary, if the rumours are to be believed), we do get Jeff Goldblum reprising his role of smart and slightly nerdy David Levinson, a satellite expert cum world savior, and Bill Pullman as President Whitmore. Liam Hemsworth of The Hunger Games fame joins the cast.
Independence Day: Resurgence takes place two decades after the original invasion attempt.
In the intervening years, the world has been largely rebuilt, and a brand new Earth Space Defence system, constructed with salvaged alien technology, now protects the planet against any extraterrestrial menace.
However, the invading aliens had been able to send a distress signal to their home planet before their final defeat, and a much larger battle fleet is on its way to finish Earth off.
In the first movie, the alien crafts packed an energy weapon that could devastate entire cities with a single blast. In Resurgence, the newer fleet uses some sort of anti-gravity piece of kit that can uproot a whole city and hurl it upwards into oblivion. How the good guys defend against this new hardware remains unclear.
What it’s pretty clear is that Resurgence will give you more bang for your buck, and if you liked the first one, with its cheesy one-liners, paper thin plot and even thinner characters, you are likely to fall head over heels with its sequel.
The original Independence Day became the first movie ever to make 100m bucks in a single week. Resurgence will likely top that, and then some.
And did I mention that Resurgence is but the middle chapter in a planned trilogy?
Opens on July 15
It was the summer of 1984 when the smash hit Ghostbusters hit the screens worldwide.
A supernatural comedy of sorts, Ghostbusters brought together the talents of comedian Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, a veteran from Saturday Night Live, and fellow comedian Harold Ramis, as a trio of eccentric parapsychology students who get more than their bargained for after starting a ghost-trapping business.
The movie exploded worldwide, going on to make in the region of $600m at the box office. It got nominated for two Oscars, Best Visual Effects and Best Original Song (who could forget such iconic tune?), but lost in both counts.
Ghostbusters kickstarted a franchise, and a sequel, Ghostbusters II, was released in 1989. Two cartoon TV series followed, with video games and other media also launched over the years.
Now, in 2016, we’ll see a reboot of the series with an all-female cast; Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones will pick up the ghost-catching duties in this one, with Chris Hemsworth thrown in for eye-candy.
Plot wise is a rather standard fare. Four women from different backgrounds join forces against a supernatural entity that can exert control over humans. Not the most original or exciting of premises. Slime, the green blobby ghost is sure to put an appearance, if only for nostalgia value.
The trailer, released only three weeks ago, was viewed about 24 million times in 24 hours. It received mixed reviews, however, and it remains to be seen whether the movie simply hopes to cash in on the pull and undisputed charm of the original, or can it stand in its own right.
Opens on: July 29
The Bourne franchise kicked off back in 2002, would you believe, with now classic action thriller The Bourne Identity. Matt Damon took up the role of Jason Bourne, an operative working for a shady covert agency called Treadstone. Problem is, Bourne does not remember who he is or why people are trying to kill him, so he is forced to fight his way through assassins and other threats to find out the truth.
Based on material written by American author Robert Ludlum, The Bourne series would go on to meet great commercial success, at least the films with Matt Damon as the eponymous agent. The Bourne Legacy, a misguided reboot attempt with Jeremy Renner playing a Bourne-like operative, did not fare so well.
This summer, a new Bourne movie, succinctly titled Jason Bourne, will hit the screens towards the end of July. Matt Damon is back in the lead role, as is Julia Stiles as CIA worker Nicky Parsons. Veteran actor Tommy Lee Jones also joins the cast as a yet unnamed high ranking CIA boss.
The three Bourne movies with Matt Damon have so far grossed nearly $1 billion worldwide, and this latest sequel is sure not to disappoint fans of the series.
And that’s all she wrote. Something for everybody.