Memorial Day weekend is often viewed as the start of the summer movie season, although several big movies are already in theaters or will be out before then, such as "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3" and "Fast X."
We don't want to do a podcast that will eat up an entire day, so we've thinned the list down to six movies you'll want to put at the top of the list. That's not to say skip the others. No, there are a lot of great options still out there we didn't have time to cover.
But these six offer a little something for everyone depending on your interests. And we will be back with another pass at the best of the rest (along with a few we think might crash and burn) in two weeks with our episode leading into the long weekend.
So get a big bucket of buttery popcorn and buckle in for the top six films to see this summer.
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Bruce Miller's recommendations:
- "Barbie" out July 21
- "Elemental" out June 16
- "The Flash" out June 16
- "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" out June 30
- "No Hard Feelings" out June 23
- "Oppenheimer" out July 21
About the show
Streamed & Screened is a podcast about movies and TV hosted by Bruce Miller, a longtime entertainment reporter who is now the editor of the Sioux City Journal in Iowa and Terry Lipshetz, a senior producer for Lee Enterprises based in Madison, Wisconsin.
Writers Guild strike, 'Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.' and David Rubenstein's iconic journey | Streamed & Screened podcast
🎧 Co-hosts Bruce Miller and Terry Lipshetz talk about the status of television, a new movie and icons of American history.
There is something for everyone at the movies this summer, both in theaters and streaming at home. Here's a preview.
Note: The following transcript was created by Adobe Premiere and may contain misspellings and other inaccuracies as it was generated automatically:
Welcome everyone to another episode of streamed and screened and entertainment podcasts about movies and TV from Lee Enterprises. I'm Terry Lipshetz, a senior producer at Lee and co-host of the program with Bruce Wayne. Wait, I am sorry. Not, Bruce Wayne, I've got I've got that right out of the mind. I've got Batman on my mind numbing. Coming in a new film he is has.
Oh, that's right. So I've got Bruce Miller, editor of the Sioux City Journal, and a long time entertainment reporter. But he is a superhero in my world. Oh, you're so sweet to say that. And that's because we're not in the same room. That's right. It is. And that's it. But, you know, the movie season is starting. This is it.
We had Guardians of the Galaxy come out last week, and that, I think, is the the official kickoff of the summer movie season. Summer movies are huge. And this is when they make big money. And we didn't have summer blockbusters during the COVID years. It really took a toll. So I think this is the year we're going to see things back.
Its its you kind of get back into the theaters, eat a lot of greasy popcorn and watch every kind of movie you could possibly pick up. Yeah, I mean, last year it was basically the summer of of Top Gun being the first real big blockbuster to make it back and do really, really well since since COVID started. And in preparation for this episode, I'm going through the list of movies and I'm thinking, there's no way we could even touch on all these or if we're going to do a 19 hour episode.
So what we're going to do is you just wrote a column on basically six movies to really focus in on for the season. So let's we're going to dive into that and then we're going to do another episode next week and then the following week, which will be in advance of Memorial Day weekend, which is again, like that huge, huge weekend for seeing movies.
We're going to hit like our other ones either to watch that or we think might be duds or just they're going to be just pure popcorn movies where, of course, they'll be terrible, but we will all go and see them because that's just what we're going to do this summer. So. Bruce, why don't you get us moving? I'm going to do it alphabetically if you're already picked.
I'm fine with that. The one you must see if you've been seeing any of the. And you know, right now we're getting all of the trailers. So if you watch any movie in the theaters, Guardians of the Galaxy, I saw so many of the summer movies. I thought, Oh, my God, I got to see that. I got to see that.
I got to see that. I got to see that. There were a lot of them. But the one that has drawn the most kind of curiosity is Barbie. Yeah. Is it like a spoof of Barbie? Is it a real story? Story of Barbie? Is it what? And it's got a lot of big names behind it. Greta Gerwig directed the thing and wrote it, and she has always been kind of a favorite in Hollywood.
These smarter segment of the industry. And she has been able to corral a lot of people. You see Ryan Gosling and you see Margot Robbie in the ads for this, but they are the tip of the iceberg. I think this is going to be like the the musical. The Book of Mormon was back when that first premiered. And nobody knew what it was.
They had no clue what their show was. It was called Book of Mormon. That's the same way with Barbie. You think it's going to be a film about just Barbie and Ken kind of playing around in her pink Ferrari? Is it a Ferrari or is it a Corvette or is it what is Barbie's car? I think it's changed over the years.
My girls had a Barbie. It might have been a beetle, a Volkswagen Beetle. Really? It was changed. It was pink. Yeah. They got well, Barbie and can get kind of drummed out of Barbie land, and they have to try and make their way in the real world. So this is like, okay, let's see how this plays out. Will this land and are people making fun of Barbie and can or are Barbie and can too smart for the real.
And there are multiple Barbies and cans so this is you see all those ones in me in the department store or the, you know, toy toy store. There are a lot of Barbies and a lot of cans. Interesting. Only if there's only one. Alan, by the way, little one. Alan. But I think Barbie is going to be a big, big, big film because the kids will like it and then their their parents will like the kind of snarkiness that comes with it.
I wasn't sure on this movie, but then when I saw that Greta Gerwig was attached to it, I thought, Well, you know, this one might be one that I'm willing to sit through. Now, I'm not sure if my kids will want to see it because they're they're 12 and they're kind of at that point of maybe too old for Barbie, but maybe not.
So we'll see if they want to go see it or not. But I think that Greta Gerwig, you got Ryan Gosling. It's an interesting enough concept. And if it's that alternate reality type thing, is it almost like the Smurfs or the Brady Bunch where they're living? It's it's that fakeness, but it kind of lives in the reality. It's like Whoville, you know, you're living the world.
I think it'll be fun. I'm. I'm waiting to see it. I think it has a real kind of extra quality. And when you look at the people involved, it's not like all were taking a risk. I think they know what they're doing and they're releasing just enough information all along the way so that you are kind of eager for it.
And that's not coming out till July. So we have a time between now and Denver to really become part cold, hot again, lukewarm and then who knows what will happen when it opens. But I still think it's going to open big. So, you know what else is kind of hot and cold and lukewarm, but coming out maybe a little bit earlier than that is elemental.
Another one and this is Pixar's. It's like they're inside out where they want with emotions. This is elements, air, water, land. And when they're all characters and they interact and I think they're trying to teach you a larger lesson, I don't know that that always works for Pixar, though. I think sometimes they go a little too deep. Yeah, I'm not sure on this one.
I love Pixar movies, so like, I love Toy Story, the whole franchise, and I love Monsters Inc, but some of their movies are a little bit of a miss for me, and I don't know where this one's going to fall, so I want to see it. But I also I'm like, You have to go. Yeah. Now I saw that Peterson was directing this one.
He did The Good Dinosaur, which was another one of those Disney cartoon animated movies, which I didn't love when it came out. Like I, I went to it took the kids in. It was fine looking at how grass looked there, I wasn't I wasn't thrilled. But there's a sea change at Pixar, different, different management now. And so you'll see that there's a different maybe mindset, but what they have been doing in recent years is letting you know newcomers to the business get a swing.
They'll put them in to a short subject. They get a chance to kind of tell a story that they want to tell. And maybe this is one of those those situations where we're going to see kind of a different viewpoint, a different voice. Otherwise, this summer is going to be thin for animated adventures. I mean, we've got the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then Spider-Verse, which I think will be big.
But as far as Disney and Pixar, this is kind of be it again, like when they hit the Toy Story franchise, I ended up Finding Nemo franchise spectacular. But some of these others that are kind of the one offs, they don't necessarily you know, Coco was fine, but it was just it was fine. Like I didn't love it.
I didn't hate it. It was fine. Soul was fine. The reason I love soul, but I don't think my kids loved it as much. But I'm originally from New York and there was a lot of New York, like inside New York references. And they were also poking fun at the New York Knicks multiple times to Lyles, which I love the Knicks, but they've been awful for the last decade or more than that, too.
It's probably going closer to 30 years than than 20. Look how bad light year was. Yeah. You know, that's another one of those. And swing and miss and yeah I a we'll see what happens but I think it could tell them you know let's not go so much over the heads of the the audience. Look at how Mario is doing.
It's like huge and that isn't exactly a master's thesis in anything. Right. So I think if you try too hard to educate and entertain or edgy teen as they like to say, you could miss, you could miss big, We need a cute little character that can be a stuffed animal. There always has to be one of those in every in any animated film.
So elementals out June 16th, another one that's also coming out June 16th, which should be huge. The Flash. Yeah. And there's this one that, you know, they weren't going to release. They had this whole thing like, No, we're just going to bury it. It's going to be in the back and we're not doing anything about it. But then test audiences got to see it and they said, This is like the best superhero film we've ever seen.
And Ezra miller, who plays The Flash, was in some, you know, trouble, and that was kind of the like, could we really have a superhero that has been arrested for something? And then we have to deal with all of that fallout. But I think they realized that there's so much riding on this, particularly for DC Comics, that they have to release it.
What really is surprising about it, Bruce Wayne, is that Batman is in this film in a number of ways and we get to see old Batman, if you will, because he's able to travel through time. So I think it has success written all over it. If it was that good in test screenings, it's got to be great once they, you know, tighten everything up and get it ready for an audience.
So I think is going to be huge. I agree. And it's one where I wasn't sure if I wanted to see it initially because, again, I'm not a huge, huge comic book movie person, but I've always enjoyed Batman movies and Superman movies to an extent. And then, you know, when you found out when we found out that Michael Keaton was going to be coming back in some way, we didn't know exactly how, but Michael Keaton was coming back.
And to me, that's probably the best Batman movie of all time. Between that one and maybe the Christopher Nolan era, the Tim Burton. Christopher Nolan. Those two to me are just spectacular. So to see that trailer where Michael Keaton is back on the screen as Batman, I'm thinking myself, I got to go see this movie. Yeah, I think there's a lot there, too, to digest.
And I think it will be the start of better days for the Warner Brothers series of superheroes. We've been overwhelmed with way too many Superman kind of takes bad Aquaman, bad Wonder Woman. I mean, there's a lot of kind of baggage there. And this could, you know, start a new trend. They've got big people. They've got big, big names that are in there.
And yes, Ben Affleck is in it, too. So exactly. I think the flash will be one of, if not the biggest movie this summer. One of the biggest. Yeah. But it it is crucial for DC to land this one. They got to stick the landing on this because Marvel is just rolling over them right now in terms of universes.
And James Gunn, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy, is moving over to DC ahead of their division. So we'll see what happens with that. That could be really a big sign of things because his latest is good. We're we're halfway through your list of six. The next one, this next one is the one I've just been dying for.
And I'm I'm hoping it's not terrible because the last one in the franchise was not good. Indiana Jones and the Dial Destiny out June 30th. Yeah. And I you know there's a lot riding on it but George Lucas wrote it so if he's putting his hand back in and you've got Harrison Ford, you know, they're going to try and tell some kind of maybe an ending story, I don't know.
But there is something that he wants to say with that, and I think that's what will help this. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is incredible and is a great writer in her own right, is in this. And she could easily have suggested a line or two that might really make it that kind of, you know, how Indiana Jones always had that kind of odd way of phrasing something or you think it's going in this direction and then he turns it in another direction.
You, you know, there'll be snakes there. It has to be snakes, of course, But it's that whole kind of world of Nazis and all that stuff that during the forties people were like, Oh my God, what is this? And they would go to serials and I think it's going to be good. I think it will be good. And I think they will address the fact that Indiana Jones isn't 30 and running around right there.
I think it'll be a good kind of, if you will, closure to the to the series. I agree. I've seen the trailers now and especially that full one where they gave you a little bit more the two minute one. And it looks like they're going to you know, it's more of a modern thing maybe in the sixties or early seventies, that kind of thing.
And he's he's about to retire as a college professor, so he's older. But then it does the time jump and they've really gotten good at the De-Aging process. We've seen this now in the Star Wars movies where they're able to, you know, have the actors perform but use CGI to make them look like they did as as younger people.
So I think it they'll probably be able to make Harrison Ford look like a younger Harrison Ford, sell it and really hopefully wrap up the series in a good way. Now, it sounds like this is it definitely for Harrison Ford because he's come out and it maybe even thrown a bucket of cold water on hopes from Disney that he might come back in some capacity for a TV series on Disney Plus.
And it just sounds like he is he is done with Indiana Jones forever after this one is done. So let's hope that, you know, we can go out on a high note. That last movie was not good. It's and I've always loved the franchise. So I'm hoping that we can just kind of forget about that one. And maybe it's one of those things, too, where if you look at the series as a whole, Raiders of the Lost Ark was a great movie.
Temple of Doom was kind of and it was fine, but it wasn't a high note. Last crusade. A lot of the the Indiana Jones fan site is back to where it should be. Maybe they kind of missed the mark on the last one. So maybe it's just one of those every other thing they could nail it and we'll go out on a high note.
Fingers crossed I'll be there. So what do we have next, Bruce? Well, then we have you. This is going to be interesting. It's called No Hard Feeling. Okay. Are you good with that? Okay. And this is we haven't seen Jennifer Lawrence in quite a while, right? Right. Act now. And she's going to play this woman who is hired by a wealthy couple to kind of make their son, I don't want to say popular, but maybe not as nerdy just as they expected him to be.
The son is played by Andrew Barr, Feldman and I, Andrew Barr Feldman is kind of a one of those success stories that that New York is able to promote. He was in, I think, called the Jimmy Awards. The Jimmy Awards are high school equivalent of like the Tony Awards. So if your kid he is a star of his high school musical, you know, Fiddler on the Roof, he's playing Fiddler in the show.
And then they take those kids and they put them in a competition in New York City, and one wins the Jimmy Award, one male, one female, and then see what happens. Well, Andrew, Bart Feldman won the Jimmy Award and immediately they put him into Dear Evan Hansen. He did a year with that. He did. He was in High School Musical, The musical, the series he's had, like a lot of stuff, but he's still going to college too, at the same time.
But they cast him in this, and I think this is good. He's also doing a thing with a ratatouille musical, but he you'll be introduced to him in a big way. And oddly enough, this is a lot like Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The dad in this movie is played by Matthew Broderick. So there is it I and you get a little sense of that, but I think that's going to be hugely funny and I think it's going to be one of those ones You go, okay, I'm up for it.
I think this will work. You know, you mentioned Matthew Broderick and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and of course, we did an episode in talking about my affinity for that kind of era of movies to begin with. But the concept of this reminds me a little bit of a movie from that era in 1987 Can't Buy Me Love, where a guess Patrick Dempsey plays kind of that nerdy kid who's a little bit awkward in high school and he's going to spend his lawn mowing money on a really expensive telescope.
But he also, you know, he's got interest because he's he's a he's a young man and he's, you know, trying to impress the ladies. And Amanda Peterson plays a young woman who's need something. I think it was a dress. And he, instead of buying the telescope, helps her out. But under the agreement that she dates him and I can't remember, it's been so long since I've seen the movie, I can't remember every little piece of it, but it has a little bit of that kind of feel to it as well.
Yeah, a little risky business. Yeah. So here's a little about the genre that was very popular in the eighties, I think is now they're looking for how do we bring this back? This would be great. And like I say, you watch Andrew Barr. Feldman remember, that name is going to be big because of it. And Jennifer Lawrence, I think she plays that kind of snarky comedy that she's really good at.
And I think in this case, it'll work. It'll really work. So. And Matthew Broderick, no hard feelings. Look for that one this summer. All right. That one is out June 23rd. And then we have one more that we're going to talk about today. If I were to pick and I only got six, these are my six, but the other one is my first and only real Oscar bait.
I mean, the others, if they got something, you'd see Barbie in costumes or you might see Indiana Jones in the special effects or the flash and special effects, but one that would be a best picture potential, maybe some best acting potential. Is Oppenheimer about J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was the the father of the atomic bomb. And it's it's done by Christopher Nolan.
So you know that there's something more there. And I think it's not going to be just one of those kind of long dredges that you sit and watch. Oh, God. And now they're going to do what, from the the the trailers I've been able to see. It does look like it has a movement and it does have kind of some energy that I didn't think was going to be there.
And the look is just spectacular. Jillian Murphy is the star of this and Kenneth Branagh is in it. I mean, you just go through the list and it's blue chip all the way. Robert Downey Jr. So he's not Iron Man in this one. Yeah. No. Yeah, this one sounds like a one that I definitely want to check out.
Obviously, Christopher Nolan being attached to a huge directing name. It's a little bit of a departure from some of the things that he's done recent. Right. And then I think because it's specifically based on history, he is in kind of free floating with a lot of this depth. Some of those last ones were like, what in the heck is this?
But I think this one, it'll hold up and you'll go, I think that guy's got an Oscar. Come on. Yeah. So that's that's definitely this is a real solid list. Bruce So we haven't touched on everything, though. I mean, there, there is. Think that's my first my first blush, if you will. Okay. By the time I get to the the next, give me a week or so and I can give you a little better picture because some of those ones I will have been able to have seen.
But I think right now those are the ones that I intrigue you the most. They're the ones that you go, Yep, I think I've got to look at that and and there are ones that come on based X and it has to be on a list. Right. But that that's a no brainer. That is not even one that you would hesitate if you are fast and furious fan like I think you are too.
I will be there. Yes I that those movies have just gone off the rails but I don't know. Yeah. The idea that they're going in space and they're going to do all these kind of oddball things and these were street writers, right? They were right. It is work. I almost have to go back to the first one and watch it just to try to figure out what wait, what was this originally about?
Because it has gone so far in the other direction. And every movie, if we're adding in more people more and more characters like who? Wait, who? You're Jason Momoa, you're in it now. It's crazy. It's everybody that is kind of of a larger size, I guess comes into this as a villain at some point. Exactly. But it's also I mean, it's not just Jason Momoa, but Rita moreno is going to be in it.
Well, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron. And then you have Helen Mirren has been in this thing we renewed. It is like a marvel franchise where you figure, I better have that on my resume or else I'm really sunk. All right. So we're going to come back and talk about Fast X mission Impossible Blue Beetle Art Boy, right? Yeah. This is just one.
This is just part one. So we'll we'll be back in Little Mermaid. Oh, yeah. So many. We're going to come back in two weeks and kind of just touch on everything else that that we didn't include in this one. And then next week you've got a bit of an interview scheduled. Can you talk about what that's mean? Yes.
There is a really, really big TV series that's starting this month called American Born Chinese. And if you do any kind of research on this, you'll discover that this was one of those make or break kind of things. Everything everywhere, all at once really cracked a barrier and brought a lot of Asian stories and Asian actors and whatnot into the business.
Well, this actually was made before all of that happened. They started filming American Born Chinese. Well, that was Pop act. And when it did pop, interestingly enough, they are going to be a beneficiary because it has all the big stars at one Oscars or that movie in their series. So it's fascinating and it's a way of opening up a door to stories we haven't heard about.
Now, there are characters in this that, you know, if I threw a party, you'd go, Really? I've never heard of that. The Monkey King. I don't know what you're talking about, but are very popular in Asian culture. And it's a way of trying to introduce an American audience to some of these characters with a very simple story of a boy trying to fit in in a high school.
And we'll talk to the young actor who plays the boy and what he what he has to say about the big stars. So we'll talk about the show a little bit more. Fill you in on that next week, American born Chinese, and we'll have an interview for you as well. Thank you for listening to streamed and screened.