Movies Not to Miss: June 2015
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Movies Not to Miss: June 2015


Which of these are you going to watch?

We are now at precipice of where the major blockbusters will be playing out the rest of this summer. While these movies won't have the advantage of setting the tone for this summer just as "Fast & Furious 7" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron" did, the couple of studio heavyweights coming out this month are certainly strong enough to take the heat on their own. If not leave their predecessors in the dust. So if you are expecting things to slow down, rest is for the weak.

However, for this month of June, our recommendations have been heavily swayed by the number of non-Hollywood (even local) titles that are coming out too. While these may not be names that you will hear again come awards season, these slower paced or dramatic pieces are clean breathers you can take, if you have been drained by the never ending thrill these past couple months.

But June isn't just a spectrum of mindless action or thoughtful performance, there are also unmissable works from other genres for every man, woman and child. So check out our list of movies not to miss this June!

Maggie

Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in a zombie movie and you think he will be an old zombie hunter with guns in both hands, saving humanity. But that is not happening in "Maggie". In a rare dramatic turn, Schwarzenegger plays as a farmer who has to struggle on how to bring a peaceful end for his daughter who has been infected by a virus that will turn her into a zombie. It is certainly an unexpected choice for debuting director Henry Hobson to pick Schwarzenegger for a role that requires him to express inner remorse and turmoil for this Black List screenplay. But his performance has already been praised by those who had seen "Maggie" at the last year's Tribeca Film Festival, which makes this one to watch and maybe actually pave a way to see a more dramatic Arnie.

General Release Date: 4 June

Wira Wah

What was once aimed for a Chinese New Year release date, we think that "Wira Wah" would have suffered from the glut of local Chinese movies that usually come out at that time of the year. What impressed us most about "Wira Wah" is that it could be the one to have the biggest names attached to it this year. Starting from Hong Kong director Lee Lik-Chi who has directed some of our favourite Stephen Chow comedies (Flirting Scholar", "Shaolin Soccer"), who will be directing a cast led by local celebrity Auguste Kwan. With a supporting cast as strong with Dato Lai Meng, Crystal Lee, Alvin Wong and Mimi Chu, this movie is looking hard to fail among Chinese audiences and aiming for the hard laughs.

General Release Date: 4 June

Insidious Chapter 3

Rewinding the story so far in the "Insidious" series, this third installment will be a prequel that takes place before the haunting of the Lambert family, when psychic Elise Rainer is revealed on how she helped to contact those on The Further. This will be the first installment in the series that won't be directed by James Wan since he was busy making "Furious 7" at the time, but the duties have been taken over by screenwriter and cast, Leigh Whannell, who has written every installment of the series (including this one).

General Release Date: 4 June

Jurassic World

The blockbuster of the month and one that probably has more expectation on it that will weigh over it. Chewed and crunched in development for almost a decade, it is hard not to see why expectations are not high for this fourth installment that would be directly tied to the original "Jurassic Park" in 1993. Taking place 22 years on Isle Nublar where the dinosaur theme park as envisioned by John Hammod is finally open and functioning, geneticist in the park have been trying to create a new species of dinosaur known as the Indominus Rex for tourism purposes. When the perfect killing machine breaks out, Veciraptor behavioral research Owen Grady is dispatched to stop the rampage before it devours the park. A bulk of the anticipation is to the name of director Colin Trevorrow, as there is much to see on how he will handle his first major feature, but with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in the lead, he shouldn't have to worry much on delivering the spectacle.

General Release Date: 11 June

Love Endures

Having a second local Chinese movie on the same list is not a sight that we see often (and we would welcome this happening more often), and there would be a third if "Love Endures" did not share too many similar themes with "Hold Me Tight". However, we have to give the edge to "Love Endures"; about a mentally disabled man who adopts an orphaned baby girl as his own daughter, who would later disown him for being unable to bear the embarrassment of being raised by a man with a child's mind. That edge comes from Hong Kong actor Liu Ka Chi who will impress us with his performance as the mental retard. This will also be the directorial debut for local celebrity Jovi Theng, who also shot "Love Endures" in his hometown of Sekinchan.

General Release Date: 11 June

Fathers and Daughters

Director Gabriele Muccino hasn't been able to find his form since the tear-jerking "The Pursuit of Happyness". Considering what a critical failure he had with his last outing "Playing For Keeps", we wonder if he will ever be able to grope out his next break. That could happen with "Fathers and Daughters"; a 'black list' script written by Brad Desch. With Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried in the titular roles, supported by a terrific cast of Jane Fonda, Quvenzhané Wallis, Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul, it looks like all is in place for a return to form. But we won't know unless we go and see it (or a trailer, even).

General Release Date: 11 June

Parasyte: Part 2

With the birth of a parasite baby and the police becoming aware of the existence of these parasites, the parasites have evolved to becoming more sophisticated and organised in their bid to be the next tip of the food chain. Shinichi and Migi will have new troubles in their hands as the parasites reach higher forms of evolution and will they be able to rid of parasites in this world? The finale installment to this two-parter of Yamazaki Takashi's adaptation of the "Kiseiju" manga will bring some of the most pivotal events in the manga to life. Takashi has shown that he is not practicing any restrain on the gore with the school massacre in the first part, so we would expect nothing less from him to make our stomachs turn and bring a satisfying end to this dark and humanistic adaptation.

General Release Date: 18 June

Office

Adapted from the play "Contemporary Musical Design for Living", the theatrical aesthetics being employed by director Johnnie To is as interesting as the cast he has assembled. Chow Yun Fatt is the fearless owner of a large corporation who has to deal with the crisis from a client, while his employees have ambitions of their own. Written by Sylvia Cheng, who also produces and stars, To seems to be playing up the theatrics which is not something we see coming out from the director who is better known for his grittier or romantic works. This will be a curiousity to watch, but who would want to miss seeing Tang Wei as an office lady?

General Release Date: 18 June

Minions

Really the best part of the "Despicable Me" series has always been the minions, and a spin-off of them is an evil plan to suck out million-gazillion dollars that is more evil than anything that Gru can ever conceive. Co-directed by Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin, who will be voicing the minions, "Minions" would be an origin story of sorts when Kevin the Minion, tagged along by two volunteers, go to find a new master at the Villains Convention where they meet Scarlet Overkill (voiced by a devilish Sandra Bullock). But can a villain be too villainous, even for these minions to bear? We will probably find out when we see the lines that will be queuing up outside the cinema, instead of McDonalds.

General Release Date: 18 June

SPL 2

While "SPL 2" starts over with a clean slate of characters and talents behind the scenes, it has found suitable replacements to be a match up to its 2005 originator, if not to be even better. Donnie Yen is replaced by Tony Jaa, and director Wilson Yip sits back to produce with Cheang Pou Soi taking over the director's chair. This time, however, "SPL 2" will have the benefit of Jill Leung, who wrote the screenplays for "Rigor Mortis" and "The Lights Go Out", to provide a more coherent story. From the synopsis, we can see that Leung has already spun an entangling web of fate, and perhaps that will make "SPL 2" more compelling than just the inevitable fight between Tony Jaa and Wu Jin, as Simon Yam and Louis Khoo play deadly mind games.

General Release Date: 18 June

Poltergeist

If the new type of short and shock horrors has never been your palate (like the aforementioned "Insidious Chapter 3"), then perhaps there is good reason to revisit an old classic. Tobe Hooper's (some say Steven Spielberg's) "Poltergeist" is one the classical horrors of the 90s, and it was only a matter of time before it would be put through the grinder of remakes. We can't say much about having director Gil Kenan on the helm, but having Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt as the leads is a little reassuring.

General Release Date: 18 June

Love and Mercy

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys may be one of the most important musicians of our time. His gifted story as a musical prodigy, tainted by his failing mental health, almost makes him a modern Mozart but with a much happier (and still living) ending. "Love and Mercy" became the passion project of director Bill Pohlad, who hasn't directed a film since 1990's "Old Explorers", and after more than 15 years not calling the shots directly behind the camera, he is still able to bring a new approach to biopics with the casting of Paul Dano and John Cusack to play the same character. Respectively, Dano and Cusack would be playing as Wilson, but on two different phases of the musician's life, and the reception it received at the Toronto Film Festival has been rewarding. An unusual praise was also given to its lack of creative license, sticking strongly to real events down to the detail that even had Wilson himself saying that is was 'very factual'. While the awards potential for "Love and Mercy" is not certain yet (and a maybe a little out of season), but this is a treat and refreshing piece to be seen for sure.

General Release Date: 25 June

Ted 2

If there is one thing that has defined Seth MacFarlane's involvement in feature films is that him being the voice of a fluffy teddy bear is more popular than seeing him in person. After MacFarlane's second feature "A Million Ways to Die in the West" had a slow death in the box office, he is best on following up with a sequel with the pot-smoking plush toy. "Ted 2" will pick up with Ted's marriage to his girlfriend, but he is not allowed to have a baby until he can prove he is a person in the American civil court. While we would undoubtedly love the Mark Wahlberg and Ted pair, having Amanda Seyfried replacing Mila Kunis as the new female lead would keep us from complaining. If we were delighted by the surprise appearances in "Ted", then this sequel is also bringing in a laughing list of cameos from Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson to John Slattery.

General Release Date: 25 June

Dark Places

Since "Gone Girl", Gillian Flynn's novels have become a new well of thrillers to mine from for its shock value and dark plots. "Dark Places" is her second novel being adapted to the big screen, but her involvement in this adaptation pretty much ends there. While director Gilles Paquet-Brenner is no David Fincher, he does have in his favour a solid cast. Starring Charlize Theron (who has rekindled her fame after "Mad Max: Fury Road") as the sole survivor of a shooting that murdered her mother and sister, she testified against her brother for pulling the trigger on behalf of a satanic cult. She would be confronted by Nicholas Hoult (also last seen in "Fury Road") as a member of amateur crime investigators, who points out that the evidence doesn't add up and she may have put the blame on the wrong person. The impressive cast list doesn't end there too, with Christina Hendricks, Chloe Grace Moretz and Tye Sheridan fitting into the picture, and if Gilliam's first novel is any indication, it's going to be one twisted picture as each piece of the puzzle fits.

General Release Date: 25 June



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