‘Dark Phoenix’ signals the end of an era.
It’s a new month, which means there’s new content to swath through. Although the summer blockbuster season is approaching, this month is arguably light on Hollywood hits and even lighter on shows since most won’t arrive until fall. However, we’ve got three, yes, three movies that revolve around dolls, toys and collectibles, including the family-favorite Toy Story 4 and the return of the not-so-good-guy Chucky in a reboot of Child’s Play.
On the television side, Netflix‘s fifth season of the critically-acclaimed Black Mirror series is arriving after the success of its interactive movie Bandersnatch. Check out the list below, ranging from some of the must-see releases to the more under-the-radar films and TV shows to look forward to in June.
Dark Phoenix (June 7)
The younger cast from X-Men: Apocalypse has come into their own 10 years later, and Dark Phoenix will focus on Sophie Turner‘s Jean Gray and her transition to her counterpart alias, The Phoenix, following the activation of some extreme power. The storyline has been teased and realized in X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand, respectively, but this film has been said to follow closer to the comic book storyline more than the aforementioned movies.
Why it’s worth your time: Many people are just completely writing this movie off because it’s not part of the MCU and because it won’t lead anywhere since this is the last film in the X-Men x Fox franchise. However, we’d argue that this franchise has been telling a story for almost 20 years and deserves a little respect from the youngins who were born in the golden age of comic book adaptations. Given how Days of Future Past gracefully put a bow on the franchise’s original trilogy, we’re hoping Dark Phoenix does the same for this First Class era of mutants. Especially since the closing of this really signals the end of an era for superhero movies.
I Am Mother (June 7, Netflix)
Directed by Grant Sputore, the film focuses on an anthropomorphic robot, named Mother (voiced by Rose Byrne), raising a human girl in an abandoned bunker following an apocalyptic event on Earth. With humanity now extinct, Mother looked over 63,000 human embryos, and chose one to harvest and raise as the last human on the planet. The story flips on itself when daughter (Clara Rugaard) meets a stranger (Hilary Swank) who arrives from outside the bunker.
Why it’s worth your time: Conceptually speaking, it sounds like a great premise. What makes it even greater is that it’s a cerebral film that you can take the time to watch thanks to it dropping on Netflix. The only point of caution we’d like to point out is that it’s best to go into this movie without watching the trailer, as it gives many of the movie’s plot twists away.
Men in Black: International (June 14)
Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson star as Agent H and Agent M, who employ high-tech weaponry to battle mischievous aliens on Earth. However, the pair have to turn their sights inward once they discover a mole within their own ranks.
Why it’s worth your time: It’s Thor: Ragnarok with suits instead of high-fantasy garments and mythological lore. Instead, it’s extraterrestrial spectacle and high-end sci-fi jargon. Although we didn’t get the 21 Jump Street crossoverwe were hoping for, the success of this film could garner interest in the proposition again, especially since the new cast of agents would bounce off the duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum better than Will Smith and Tommy Jones.
Shaft (June 14)
The sequel to Shaft (2000) is expected to follow Jessie Usher as Shaft Jr. as he reconciles with his estranged father (Samuel L. Jackson). The two are expected to join forces with Richard Roundtree (the original Shaft) to solve a Harlem murder mystery. It’s a family affair.
Why it’s worth your time: The original 2000 movie is actually a pretty good film, and we surmise it would’ve been more successful if it came out now during Samuel L. Jackson’s reign in the box office. Although the “passing of the torch” theme in films have a high probability of dragging franchises away from the character we’ve been interested in this entire time, hopefully, it’s a graceful passing and we get plenty of Jackson and Roundtree moments.
The Dead Don’t Die (June 14)
Director Jim Jarmusch‘s upcoming zombie flick stars Adam Driver and the iconic Bill Murray as police officers, with dozens of stars like Tilda Swinton, RZA and Selena Gomez as citizens in a sleepy, small town that isn’t aware of the incoming threat. Hilarity ensues.
Why it’s worth your time: Besides the star-studded cast and director, this looks like the mix of horror and comedy that made films like Zombieland, Tucker & Dale vs Evil, and Shaun of the Dead such classics, even if they’re just considered cult-classics to some.
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (June 14)
Helmed by Joe Talbot, the film chronicles Jimmie Fails’ character as he tries to find his sense of home and belonging in San Francisco by reclaiming his grandfather’s Victorian home. The script was written by both Talbot and Fails and is loosely based off of Talbot’s life.
Why it’s worth your time: If you’re tired of franchise films and superhero movies, this is a flick with a bit of dramatic storytelling rooted in truth and racial identity. It’s rare that a film like this gets any play from audiences at the cinema, opting to wait until those type of flicks hit a streaming service. However, since this film is coming from A24, hopefully, people will pay more attention to it.
Toy Story 4 (June 21)
This movie focuses on Woody and the gang moving with their new human companion Bonnie. During summer vacation, Bonnie loses Forky and Woody goes after him, where he happens to come across his former love interest, Bo Peep, from the original film.
Why it’s worth your time: At first glance, this looks like an unnecessary installment in an otherwise perfect trilogy. Its very existence tarnishes the wonderful sendoff of the franchise in the previous film. Until you realize Toy Story 4 is an introduction to the series for the kids of the parents who grew up with the trilogy. Toy Story 4‘s target audience is the younger demographics whereas Toy Story 3 was for us, those kids who grew up during ‘95 who are departing from our own childhood just like Andy did. Let your kids in on the franchise without your nostalgia glasses strapped to their eyes and maybe they’ll appreciate the OG trilogy for what it is like you did.
Child’s Play (June 21)
The complete and total opposite to Toy Story, this reboot of the cult-classic horror series sees The Last Jedi’s Mark Hamill voicing Chucky as a defected toy instead of a possessed doll. The film will pretty much follow the plot of the original: a mother buys her kid a hot new toy and it starts terrorizing their lives. The only difference is Andy will unite with other neighborhood children to stop him instead of calling the cops.
Why it’s worth your time: We’d watch anything with Aubrey Plaza in it, and Mark Hamill replacing the original voice of Chucky bolstered our interest to see it, as virtually any other name that comes to mind wouldn’t have fit the bill before he was announced. However, horror film remakes have been more unsuccessful that successful, so we’re holding out that the film does well or that the Chucky TV series (which follows the original Chucky timeline) will keep the doll from being left in stasis.
Annabelle Comes Home (June 26)
Annabelle has now been locked up inside a room full of evil artifacts by demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren from The Conjuring, and after her first two films explained her origins, this installment will see the accursed doll finally take action. She will unleash the maligned spirits of the cursed artifacts around her and wreak havoc on the couple, their daughter, and her little friends.
Why it’s worth your time: And finally, to complete our doll-themed trifecta of films we have Annabelle, a newcomer in the scene already with her own trilogy after making her first appearance in the critically acclaimed Conjuring film. Following the last two flicks, her controlling several other spirits like a ghostly executive sounds a bit strange, but out of all the spin-off films from the Conjuring universe, Annabelle is by far the best. We’re hoping this third film keeps that tradition going.
Luther Season 5 (June 2, BBC)
The emotionally impulsive detective and his infamous coat return in the series’ fifth season alongside the show’s standout character Alice Morgan, who was believed to have died between previous seasons. Although the show has already aired in Britain, the show will be making its debut in America this month showcasing a new grizzly mystery for Idris Elba to solve.
Why it’s worth your time: If you’ve followed the entire series, obviously the reason to return is because Alice Morgan is back. She’s the Joker/Catwoman to Luther’s Dark Knight, one can’t exist without the other and their pairing is the stuff of legend. Another great reason is if you’re an Idris Elba fan. Despite his successful transition into feature films, he keeps coming back to that iconic coat, meaning Luther is as much a passion project to him than it ever was.
Black Mirror Season 5 (June 5, Netflix)
The series returns to its three-episode roots in season 5, showcasing a bevy of Hollywood actors like Miley Cyrus, Anthony Mackie, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II starring in these strange tales about tech.
Why it’s worth your time: Horror anthologies are having a good year. Not only did Black Mirror wow fans with its interactive movie Bandersnatch, but the OG anthology series Twilight Zone just came back with a brand new series helmed by Jordan Peele. Each season of Black Mirror usually has some great episodes among the fodder, but since this season only has three installments, we’re sure each episode will be the best of quality.
All That (June 15, Nickelodeon)
The children’s SNL equivalent returns to Nickelodeon, with the acclaimed sketch comedians who made the original series so iconic returning alongside several fresh-faced kids to recapture lightning in a bottle.
Why it’s worth your time: There’s still an audience for sketch comedy. SNL is in prominence, Wild ‘N Out is still around, why not bring back All That at this point? It’ll feature appearances from original main cast members including Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Lori Beth Denberg, and Josh Server. They will also reprise classic characters and sketches during the original first season of the series, including Mitchell in Good Burger and Denberg in “Vital Information” and “Loud Librarian.”